"When my spouse and I originally came to Eastern Washington, it was meant to be short term. However, the longer I stayed the longer I began to feel like I was finally "home". All my life I have experienced Hiraeth; it's a Welsh word that means a nostalgic or melancholic homesickness for something you've never known. Since settling in Eastern Washington, first in College place and then in Pasco, the feeling has faded. No longer am nostalgic or feel melancholy for what never was. I am excited for the future, I feel at home, and I feel welcomed and cared for by my community in a way I never had before. Because of this, I want to work for the community that has become my family."
LIST OF ISSUES
Healthcare is a basic human right, all people have the right to accessible and affordable healthcare. Whether that comes in expanding Medicare coverage, lowering costs of insurance on the WA ACA portal, or supporting a form of single payer healthcare. A lack of healthcare undermines people's health and economic security. The benefits of expanding Medicare or the creation of a single payer system for our state far outweigh the fiscal cost.
We already know that mental health care is lacking in the 16th. Our jails and prisons are typically the ones currently providing most mental health care. We cannot continue to criminalize mental illness and behavioral health issues, then giving treatment while one is incarcerated and then released without a true action plan going forward.
The novel corona virus has shown us how important access to healthcare is. Now we also know primary physician care is also severely lacking. That isn't to say the RNs, CNAs, Doctors, Respiratory therapists, etc, aren't working hard, they are in fact working far too hard! We need to incentivize more of each kind of practitioner to spend significant time practicing in the 16th.
In Eastern Washington we are more likely than those on the West side at dying early in our life. We must prioritize healthcare access! Not just for the adults dying early, but for the children who will grow up here and die earlier due to preventable conditions and diseases. Local and easy access to providers and to specialists in our area is a top priority of mine.
Too often, disability rights and disabled people are over looked, sacrificed, or flat out ignored during the process of legislation. Though we are approximately 25% of the U.S. population, our voices too often still go unheard. As a state and as a rural District, we must work harder to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act, now on its 30th anniversary this year! Though the ADA is a Federal Law, it affects everything in our lives on the federal, state, county, and city level. It even affects the websites we browse! Accessibility not only helps disabled people, and those who care for them, accessibility helps everyone in the community. Making sure we are listening to groups like ADAPT, the Peer Legislative Advocates, and Disability Rights Washington and amplifying their point of view on laws that affect disabled people is vital.
Access to safe, quality, and affordable housing is a basic human right. Many who experience housing instability or houselessness lose the foundation of access to jobs, schooling, long term and general practitioner care. In a state with single digit percentage apartment vacancy rates, we absolutely must increase access to state supported section eight approved housing. We need to remove the ban on rent control, and begin the work of building and creating apartments and duplexes that the every day person in the 16th LD would use, rather than luxury condos that will be hard to fill, and even harder to pay for. Doing this will only better our community.