Snohomish County is facing a drug epidemic tied with mental health, which is creating an environment of more crime to our homes, businesses and on our streets. We have to stop enabling bad behavior and disrupt this pattern.
I believe we do not need more laws; we need to enforce the ones we have. At the same time, my commitment is to help those that need and want our help by advocating for a dual diagnosis treatment center with longer treatment programs. I want Snohomish County to be known as the safest county in the state, and I will need your vote to do it.
We have an incredible example of failed policy in Seattle and King County. I will make sure that our policy does not mimic that of Seattle. I will make sure we look north; to the success we are seeing in Marysville and Arlington. When a crime is committed and there are drugs or mental health in play, law enforcement gives offenders the simple option of going to jail and facing the consequences, or getting help for their addiction. I believe the more we disrupt bad behavior, the more we can leverage those people who are in need into care.
WHY? It is more important for the future of our families and the future of our workforce that we learn from those parents that have been in this fight alone. Each and every family that has shared their experience has one thing in common - they had to stop enabling bad behavior in their home before help was accepted. Everytime. As one father said to me, “we need the county to stop enabling the behavior out there”. This is important to the future of our county.
SKILLED LABOR WORKFORCE
I believe that we must build on the strengths of Snohomish County. We are rich in aerospace, industrial and manufacturing industries. We must be proactive about replenishing this aging workforce. We have a skills center that is full and we could immediately fill another one. There is a demand for these family wage jobs and a need for someone to come alongside and make it happen.
I will protect the future of the next generation and I will make sure we find a way to bridge the gap through connected pathways to education. We must have a transition for those in labor jobs that might get displaced with new policies and regulations for a greener environment. I will protect our current workforce with the time and training they need for this “just" transition as we protect our environment.
EFFECTS ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The shortage of skilled labor is showing its effects in many ways throughout the entire county. For example we are seeing a huge impact on the cost of building homes because of the lack of labor. One of the several reasons we are seeing a decrease in affordable housing. Another cause of the lack of affordable housing is regulations. I believe that regulations serve a purpose and are intended to protect our community and environment. We must however, look at the ones that are doing more harm and are preventing this supply of affordable homes. It takes triple the time to build a home because of the shortage of a skilled labor workforce. Regulations can add up to 25% of a cost of a home before the shovel even hits the ground.
We are preventing the #1 source of equity and wealth in our county; the purchase of a home. We must put forth policy that gives people a safe environment to live in and the ability to prosper in a county that brings a sense of pride and belonging. I will support our skilled labor workforce with more pathways to education.
Traffic congestion is a reality. I will work hard to increase the capacity of our roads so that we can decrease delays in our daily lives. The congestion on our streets prevents getting to our highways quickly, costing us time. The back up on our highways spills over on to our city streets and prevents us from moving around our cities with ease, costing us time. We need more capacity on our highways to handle the increased demand of drivers and transit on our roads.
We must look at how we can efficiently use bus rapid transit without sacrificing the capacity of our roads. With the increased technology and decreased cost of autonomous and electric cars, the demand for our vehicles is not going to decrease. We must prepare our infrastructure to meet the increased demand for all modes of transportation. With the projected growth of the county, it means more cars and more drivers.. I will make sure we receive the benefit of the ST3 funding. There are big voices in King County pressuring for spurs to serve their needs, however I will be a voice to make sure that what we have been paying for, and was promised, is delivered.
I know too many people who have missed many dinners at home or their kid’s soccer games because of traffic. I will work tirelessly for solutions to our congested roads so we can get people to work and home again in a timely manner.
Sustainability. Raising taxes raises revenue but it is not the only way this county can increase revenue. No one wants to pay more than their fair share of taxes and with good policy we don’t have too. Taxes aren’t bad but politicians who want to use taxes to pay for the progressive policies that serve a party and not the people in the community, can certainly do more harm than good. Raising your property taxes should never be the first choice. I will make sure the focus to raise revenue incorporates economic development first so that I can protect your quality of life.
Every year more of your money goes to the State even though Snohomish County is one of the fastest growing counties in this state. I will make sure more of your money comes back to this County. I will advocate for you to make sure that this county gets its fair share.
As a Councilmember in Mukilteo, I saved the average home owner $750+ a year in taxes by standing up for transparency and the truth about bigger programs that greatly serve the government at the cost to the residents' pocketbook. I also cut hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasteful spending toward non-prioritized line items in order to fund for the longevity and financial sustainability of the city finances as well as protecting the tax payers checkbook.
I am a proven steward of the tax payers money and will hold those accountable to getting the programs funded, and the results needed, to further the health of Snohomish Counties future.