State Senator, District 31 – Michelle Rylands

Candidate Questionnaire

1. Your name

Michelle Rylands

2. Candidate for:

State Senate District 31
Party Affiliation: Democrat

3. Campaign information

4. If elected, what positive changes will you champion that will benefit the 31st LD?

Education is my foremost change I want to see. Nothing can move forward until we fully fund k-12 education. Traffic. We need a sensible plan to combat the issues we are having. I believe the traffic issues we are having turns people away from wanting to invest their companies in our area, or for families to move into the 31st. Taxes. We need to find new revenue for funding the state.  The old way is just not working!

5. What are the three most critical issues you expect to encounter in the office you are seeking?


The 31st has traditionally been a red district. I expect to run up against old ways and old ideas.  I feel that with my military and law enforcement background, I can break down some of the stereotypes that Dems are anti-gun and anti-law enforcement.  I also know that we are such a divided government right now…national and local level. It’s so much easier to just oppose than work together.  I feel that my PTA experience of having to work with families who mostly don’t believe the same way you do, gives me a great advantage of working with all ideas. Lastly we are up against a cliff with McCleary.  Fully funding K-12 education is going to be a grand obstacle, but it can happen.

6. Please give us an example of when you had to a make a critical decision that, due to its impact on others, was difficult. Tell us why you made your decision and what, if any, actions you took to mitigate any negative results.

The PTAs mission is “…make every child’s potential a reality.”  Keyword is every!  When I became president of Ilalko Elementary I saw that we were spending 10% of our budget on a program that served 60 kids….that is 60 kids out of 700!  That goes against everything we believe in as a PTA.  It was a very popular program with the PTA because most of the 60 children chosen to participate were the kids of PTA members.  In short, the PTA stopped funding the program, I created a plan to make it self funding, and it has continued to be a huge success in our school. But that decision came with a lot of criticism. Parents who wouldn’t face me had other parents read scathing letters to me about how I was ruining the school and should resign.  The irony is that one of the mothers, who wrote a letter against me, took over the project and received an award last year for my work creating the new plan. Friends asked me why I didn’t raise my voice and say that it was my plan…because it’s not about me, but about the outcome for our kids.  This position I am running for is not about me…it’s about the people I will serve and what they need.

7. What methods will you employ to communicate with your constituency on a regular basis?

Though I am a huge fan of social media and believe it is a great platform to quickly get out information, I am a people person!  I need that one on one contact to get my message out, and understand the constituents’ message.  I love meet and greets, debates, town halls, and regular meetings.  I work best when I am in “customer service” mode. I plan on being out and about in the district when I am not in Olympia!

8. What other information would you like us to consider?

I hope my passion comes through.  I may not always have the answer to every question, but I can find the answer. I don’t believe that you can find passion.  I thank you for your time and consideration.

I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.

Signed at: April 29, 2017


Michelle R. Rylands


Additional Information

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