- Candidate Name: Katie Young
- Position Sought: 31st LD State Representative, Position 1 (Non-incumbent)
- Home Legislative District: 31st LD
- Democrat: Yes
- Manager or Point of Contact: Katie Young
- Phone: +12539876760
- Address: 19626 82nd St Ct E Bonney Lake, WA 98391
- Email: Non-incumbent
Part I – Candidate Background
1. Please briefly describe your qualifications, education, employment, community and civic activity, union affiliation, prior political activity, and other relevant experience.
I am a first time candidate coming from a background in the arts. Working in the arts as a freelance Director and Stage Manager for over a decade, my work combines creative problem solving, efficient use of finances, and collaboration to achieve results. I am a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association, the union representing professional stage managers and actors where I serves on the Stage Manager and Member Education Committees. I came to this work after graduating from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where I earned a BA with a concentration in Theater Production, Business and Genocide Studies. Interdisciplinary Studies are the practice of taking seemingly disparate fields and combining them to find new insights and strengths and it is precisely this sort of thinking that our government needs to build policy that spans multiple industries, areas, and problems to find holistic solutions.
2. What prompted you to run for this office? What are your campaign’s most important themes, issues, or priorities (three to five)?
Elected officials running unopposed is a momentary failure of democracy, and I felt the imperative to give the voters of the 31st LD a choice for their future. My priorities are to support quality education for all, invest in the future of our local economy to create living-wage jobs for the people in our communities, and ensure access to affordable, quality healthcare. Every legislative decision we make must consider the climate crisis and focus on creating a thriving, sustainable economy and future.
I’m a creative problem solver and I want to hear from you as to what your priorities are so that, if elected, I can work with my colleagues to build solutions that work for every person who calls our district home.
3. What steps are you taking to run a successful campaign?
Well, my first step is to seek out help because being a first time candidate a lot of this is new to me. But I also feel strongly that an effective campaign in the 31st LD depends on speaking to as many people as possible and getting first-hand access to the specific challenges facing the individual people of our district. I can’t do that without your help and support to reach out to your neighbors, check in on them to see how they’re doing and what their biggest challenges are. Invite them to reach out to me, or offer to share what they’ve said with our campaign.
Part II – Local and State Issues
1. Do you support Initiative Measure No. 940 (“De-escalate Washington,” requiring, among other things, that law enforcement officers be required to obtain violence de-escalation and mental health training, so that officers will have greater skills to resolve conflicts without the use of physical or deadly force)?
Meaningful reform in officer training is important for the safety of both our officers and our citizens and de-escalation training is the start to reduce unnecessary police force while keeping our officers safe. Training officers to be better prepared to assess circumstances quickly and accurately is good. I also support the wording of the objective good faith clause which moves the “belief” statements away from the individual officer and shifts it instead to “an officer at the time.” It has been seen in prosecution of deadly force cases around the country that guilty officers use their personal belief in danger as a justification for lethal force, even if a typical officer in their position would not have done the same. I believe this clause helps to close that loophole, while the training called for by I-940 will make our officers better equipped to make fast, safe judgement calls.
2. Do you support the right of public workers, excluding military, to bargain and strike?
Absolutely. It’s becoming harder and harder to ignore that our economy is not set up to serve the worker. It’s set up to serve the owner. Collective bargaining is an effective tool to get workers the wages, benefits and working conditions that they deserve. As a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the national union representing professional stage managers and actors, I participated in our recent “Not a Lab Rat” campaign and strike to provide workers with compensation for their work in developing new plays and musicals. The month-long strike resulted in increased wages, additional contracts, and profit sharing. We are stronger together!
3. Would you support a statewide “Ban the Box” law, prohibiting employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal history until after an initial screening or interview?
Ban the Box opens up opportunity for formerly convicted citizens to move forward with their lives without removing the opportunity for employers to do background checks for qualified candidates.
4. Do you support legislation that reimburses the cost of reproductive health care services, such as SB 6105, the Reproductive Health Access for All Act?
I believe that healthcare is a human right and as such, our society must make it accessible to all people regardless of gender or immigration status.
5. Would you support an automatic voter registration act such as HB 2595 (Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2018), streamlining procedures in order to automatically register citizens to vote?
Yes. Voting should be as accessible to every citizen as possible.
6. Would you support a bill that would enable the state of WA to create a single health financing entity to provide health care financing for all Washington residents, independent from employment, such as the WA Apple Care Trust?
Absolutely, in fact it would be my goal to sponsor or co-sponsor such a bill. The current pandemic has made it much harder for people to ignore the fact that a growing gig economy that uses workers without offering benefits and ballooning healthcare costs in the private market are not sustainable options for a healthy future. Every human has a right to healthcare. Expanding access through Apple Health gets us one step closer to fulfilling that right as a society.
Part III – Free Response
1. Why are you running as a Democrat? What aspects of the Democratic platform most resonate with you?
I believe that Democratic values are centered on fulfilling the needs of every citizen. Healthcare, education, fair wages and safe working conditions, and immediate, holistic action to address the climate crisis are ideals that create a future of opportunity and sustainability. We need a society that works for the people, not just large corporations, and I believe the Democratic platform agrees.
2. In the past, many Democrat-sponsored bills have died in the Republican-controlled Senate. Please list three failed bills from the past legislative session that you will champion when elected.
1) Carbon Tax
2) This is building on passed legislation, but I hope for effective guidelines from the Universal Healthcare Working Group as to a way forward for universal healthcare in Washington State.
3) I’d like to bring back HB 1053 which was moved the X-file in January. It is a bill to provide an exemption from the sales and use tax on feminine hygiene products as this tax unfairly targets people who menstruate.
3. What important state and local issues have you worked on (or taken an interest in) that you feel aren’t getting enough attention from elected leaders and the media?
I think our news cycle is structured in a way that makes it really easy to forget about really important issues as soon as they’re out of the daily headlines. I believe that aggressive action to address the climate crisis is something we cannot ignore. I would like to bring back a vote on a carbon tax to push Washington’s economy and energy future quickly towards sustainability. Racial justice in our country is a current hot topic but we can’t forget about the imperative to address inequities throughout our society. A first step would be to address our regressive tax code which places an undue burden on lower-income folks, leads to inconsistent funding for our government programs, and has a compounded affect of underfunding lower-income areas.
4. Do you think Washington public schools are adequately funded? If not, what minimum requirements should be met in an adequately funded public school system? What specific forms of taxation would you support to attain that funding?
The additional funding for schools in the 2019-2021 budget is an encouraging step toward improving education outcomes in Washington but there was still $300 million needed from local levies to fund special education, which must be considered a fundamental service available to all students who need it. I believe our difficulties to properly fund our school system would be largely relieved through implementing an income tax.
5. What are some obstacles inherent in proposed legislative solutions to climate change? How would you approach those obstacles in order to best overcome or minimize any negative effects?
I will fight hard to bring a carbon tax to Washington. We know this is not easy because it’s already failed. But, a carbon tax is good for Washington. With tight budgets and cuts in our future, I would propose a carbon fee of $20 per ton, increasing $2 per year (plus inflation) until 2035. This fee would be turned into a dividend that goes back into the pockets of our citizens, providing much needed relief while pushing our economy closer to a green-energy future.
6. What are some obstacles inherent in proposed approaches to tax reform in Washington State? How would you approach those obstacles in order to best overcome or minimize any negative effects?
A state income tax faces the battle of overturning the 1933 Washington State Supreme Court decision that classified income as a form of property. But the arguments against this ruling have been growing – Seattle’s attempt to implement a city income tax was overturned by a lower court and the supreme court voted 5-3 not to hear the appeal. I think it’s reasonable to be optimistic that they would hear a similar case on the state level. The next obstacle to tax reform is that the people who will see their taxes increase are also the people who have the wealth to fight reform with large PAC funding and ads. I think community engagement is key here because the math is on our side that progressive tax reform is great for the vast majority of Washingtonians, but without spreading that message widely and effectively we stand to be defeated. I think that the implementation of an income tax must inherently be met with a reduction in the sales tax. Sales tax directly disadvantages low-income residents and provides an inconsistent revenue stream for the state. I hope that by using a new income tax to offer relief of the sales tax we can help curb the fear around a new tax.
7. Do you support the voter-approved call for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision (I-735), and if so, how do you propose to work toward that goal?
Without a doubt – the extreme amount of money that’s funneled into campaigns around the country inherently disadvantages the average American voter while making politicians beholden to corporate interests, rather than voters. This is an issue that the majority of American’s believe needs to be fixed. If elected, I would work with our federal congresspeople to continue pushing for progress towards an Amendment. Ignoring the will of the people on this issue is inherently evidence of our distinct need for this sort of protection for our democracy. I would certainly vote to approve a Constitutional Amendment if provided the chance.
By typing my name below, I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.
Printed Name: Katie Young