FOCUSING ON WHAT MATTERS TO YOU.
Our state and our Spokane community face many problems due to the poor public policy decisions made 500 miles away in Olympia. The decision to defund the police, enable drug addicts to continue in their addiction, the refusal to prosecute criminals, to expose our children to racially charged materials and materials of a graphic sexual nature have turned Spokane into a city that is unaffordable, unsafe, and unfree. My campaign’s priorities are YOUR priorities and, with your support, I will go to Olympia and represent your best interests in every vote I take.
Now let us turn to take a look at how Spokane does for violent crimes specifically, and then how it does for property crimes. This is important because the overall crime rate can be further illuminated by understanding if violent crime or property crimes (or both) are the major contributors to the general rate of crime in Spokane.
The violent crime rate in Spokane is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked by law enforcement agencies--including the FBI--included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. According to FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of one of these crimes in Spokane is 1 in 171. To compound the crime problem in Spokane property crime is also higher than the Washington State and national averages. Property crimes include burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In Spokane, your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is 1 in 20, which is a rate of 50 per 1,000 population. Additionally, Spokane has one of the highest rates of motor vehicle theft in the nation according to FBI crime data. Your chance of getting your car stolen if you live in Spokane is 1 in 208.
Enough is enough. Our communities cannot be used as law enforcement policy experiments. Spokane isn't a Pertri dish for political experiments. We know what works (we've known for decades): supporting our law enforcement to fight crime, prosecuting criminals who commit crimes, and enforcing the laws already on the books.
Worse yet, the state does not see parents as the primary influencer in their child’s life. I will establish policy that affirms the parent’s role. The U.S. Supreme court ruled that it’s the right and responsibility of parents to direct the education of their children (Washington vs Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997); as well as the 14th amendment). It is the responsibility of the state of Washington to recognize this ruling in education law and policy. I believe, above all else, in educational choice, parent choice, and school choice. I will work to give you--the parents--the right to use your tax dollars, designated for your child’s education at either a public or private school that best serves your child’s needs. This will create a student-centered school system where the focus is on the education of the child. A child focused education could allow for tax dollars to pay for private tuition, access to tutors, online programing or other education-related costs. There are also options for tax-credit scholarships. These types of options were presented in four separate bills that were introduced in the 2022 legislative session and none of the bills were considered or moved forward. Washington State lags behind the nation in offering education alternatives.
Lawmakers in 18 states have expanded access to school choice, it is time for Washington State to do the same.
STATE BUDGET AND SPENDING
And what do you get for your $1.25 billion per week?
You get high crime rates.
You get under performing schools and unelected bureaucrats trying to replace your role as your child's parent.
You get homelessness at epidemic levels.
You get high property taxes.
You get high sales and gas taxes.
You get high car tab fees while the Washington State government ignores the $30 car tabs voted into law by the citizens.
You get high drug and alcohol addiction rates.
You get little, if any, money coming back to Spokane--the largest metropolitan area east of the Cascades.
The legislature will continue to abuse their role as elected public servants as long as we allow them to pass out of control spending budgets.
We need an intervention.
We need public servants who have the courage to be the adult in the room and recognize we have a spending problem. It's time for a common-sense spending policy that eases the tax burden on citizens, fosters small business growth, and funds solutions to our state's most important services while not burdening the middle class and the poor with oppressive regulations and taxes.
Our homelessness crisis (let's call it what it is) is NOT a problem of economics or available housing--those are symptoms of a deeper problem. The root cause of the vast majority of homelessness in Washington State is drug and alcohol addiction and a lack of mental health solutions. Homelessness has been used by our legislature as an excuse to spend money and raise taxes to combat a problem that could be solved through enforcing existing drug laws, sending drug dealers to jail, providing a diversion opportunity to avoid jail to addicts who commit non-violent crimes to fuel their habit, closing down injection sites that enable drug addicts to stay in their cycle of addiction, and bring Western State Hospital up to current standards for long-term treatment and care for mental health patients.
Our State Government has had many opportunities to make these required standards a reality which would have brought $52 million in federal financial support--support Washington State lost due to its failure to stay compliant with federal codes. Instead of fixing the problem, it has been left to crumble, providing only a revolving door for those who need long-term care. This has led to an increase in those experiencing homelessness who are mentally unstable and has left law enforcement as the primary contact with these individuals who can be a danger to themselves or the community. The solution must be coordinated with State, County, and City governments. Our mental health system must be brought to a standard that is compassionate, safe for the community, and safe for the staff working with these members of our community.
It takes courage to be compassionate. It takes courage to dispense tough love to help our fellow neighbors. Together, we must gather the courage to meet this challenge. As your next State Representative, I will have the courage to address homelessness. If you will stand with me, I know others will follow because
Courage is Contagious.