School District No. 343 – Director District No. 5 – Paul Gilmartin

Municipal/Other Questionnaire 2022

Candidate Info

Candidate Name:    Paul Gilmartin
Position Sought:     School District No. 343 – Director District No. 5
Are you an incumbent for this position?     Non-incumbent
Home Legislative District:     31st
Are you a Democrat?     Yes

Campaign Info

Campaign Manager or Point of Contact:     Paul Gilmartin
Mailing Address:

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 an attorney who previously worked with infrastructure development and business litigation. Presently, I work in biomedical regulatory affairs and collaborate with researchers to bring about advances in cancer care at Fred Hutch.

I earned B.S in civil engineering from Cornell University; a Certificate in Biomedical Regulatory Affairs from University of Washington; and a J.D. from Georgetown University. Additionally, I studied in the graduate Public Administration program at Cornell.

When I moved to Washington, in 2006, I volunteered on the campaign of Maria Cantwell, canvassing Capitol Hill, Seattle neighborhoods. I met Barack Obama before his presidential campaign. In later years, I attended the local democratic caucus in 2008. I am an active voter, generally voting for Democratic and progressive candidates and matters.

2. What prompted you to run for this office?

I am a parent with young children in the Dieringer School District. In recent years, I observed a lack of oversight by the board and decisions that may not be in the best interest of the students. It began during the pandemic when I had to challenge statements by the Superintendent regarding safety measures being taken in the schools. The administration discounted guidance, and sometimes rules, provided by State and Federal health officials. The Board did not question the information.

Days before the 2022/23 school year began, I learned that my child, who was entering 4th grade, was being placed in a class composed of 4th and 5th grade students. I was open to believing this was an innovative, purposeful approach to teaching. It was not. I dug into the matter and discovered that, when a 5th grade teacher took one year of leave, the administration chose to not hire a replacement: choosing to increase class size to save money. Analyzing the numbers lead me to further discover that the split class was created because the decision created 5th grade populations that exceeded the contract with the teachers. The split class spread the burden to the 4th grade, increasing all class sized.

I realized we need someone who will carefully look at the information, seek the truth, and hold the administration accountable.

Since I began the campaign, I learned the nature of what is at risk. I learned of the interests that are seeking to entrench their ideologies in this district. One candidate is strongly backed by the national organization, Moms for Liberty. We simply cannot allow Mothers for Liberty to gain a toehold in the district. Dieringer School District may be a bulwark for Washington’s public education.

3. What steps are you taking to run a successful campaign?

I declared my candidacy, completed my C-1 and F-1 disclosure statements and submitted my Voter Pamphlet Information. I have a web site that will launch on May 26: I will add more to the web site over time. I am working to install a platform to accept and record donations.

I am seeking endorsement, guidance, and assistance. With Moms for Liberty backing one candidate this is no longer a small, local race.

In advance, I apologize for the brevity of my responses, particularly in the free response section of this questionnaire. Time is of the essence.

4. What are your campaign’s most important themes, issues, or priorities (three to five)?

1) Effective oversight of the administration: question the information and seek the truth
2) Listen to parents
3) Listen to teachers
4) Counter the influence of Moms for Liberty and similar ideologies

Below is the statement I submitted for the voter pamphlet profile:
I am deeply committed to providing children with the best educational opportunities. This is why I am running for Board Director.

My training and experience equip me with the ability to review complex processes, to carefully analyze policies, contracts, and data. Responsible oversight is needed. Alarming issues are being missed. I will use my skills to ensure that Board decisions are sound, accountable, and based on real information.

One of my goals is opening pathways for parents to engage and have their voices heard. Parent involvement is crucial to the success of our schools.

Another goal is listening to teachers. We entrust our children to their care and guidance. It is imperative that leaders understand teachers’ perspectives.

Education can transcend boundaries and bridge gaps, providing a pathway to break free from cycles of poverty and inequality. I understand the transformative power of a well-rounded education. It takes a village to raise a child.

I am committed to making a positive impact on our district. Join me in my campaign for a seat on the Dieringer School Board. Let’s work together to shape a brighter future for our children. The kids come first!

Part II – Yes/No Questions, please qualify your answer if necessary

1. Do you support steps to build a fairer economy through tax reform and progressive taxes as wealth increases?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #1     There is much to address in this question. One item: WA needs an income tax.

2. Do you support robust investment in publicly owned housing/subsidized housing for elderly and low-income individuals/families, and zoning changes to support such housing?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #2

3. Developer impact fees are allowed under the Growth Management Act. Should they be increased to help pay for needed improvements to our roads, parks, and schools?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #3

4. Do you support building a municipally owned and operated broadband system in your city or jurisdiction?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #4

5. Do you support local investments to address climate change where applicable?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #5

6. Do you support women’s unrestricted access to reproductive healthcare?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #6

7. Do you support laws regulating the purchase, ownership, and carrying of firearms?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #7

8. Do you support the right of workers to unionize and bargain, including public employees?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #8

Part III – Free Response (Please answer at least four fully, and consider the additional three optional)

1. Why are you requesting Democratic endorsement? What aspects of the Democratic platform most resonate with you?

I have been a Democrat all my voting life.

This is a position for the School Board. To me, there is no question that the Democratic platform will be better for the district. I believe in free access to public education. I believe in public investment in that education. I believe in the inclusion of DEI in the curriculum and embracing all people. I do not ban books or tell children what they must be. I believe in the State’s duty to educate ALL children and serve the needs of ALL children.

As I noted earlier, we simply cannot allow Mothers for Liberty to gain a toehold in the district. I anticipate you may be aware of their platform. Dieringer School District may be a bulwark for Washington’s public education.

2. What public policy reforms do you support to achieve greater equity and inclusion for BIPOC and LBQIA+ individuals in our communities?

I support greater protections for BIPOC and LBQIA+ individuals in our community, especially with respect to schools. Schools should support personal decision making not impose external “values”.

3. What steps do you think need to be taken to improve voter turnout and increase voter trust in our election process?

We need election reform that makes it easier, not harder, for people to vote. Washington should be a model for mail in balloting.

We need to restore trust in the election process. I believe steps to do that include overturning Citizens United: bring sanity to campaign finance; and restore the Voting Rights Act to apply Section 5 provisions to all jurisdictions.

4. What important local issues have you worked on (or taken an interest in) that you feel aren’t getting enough attention from elected leaders and the local media?

I have a lifelong interest in environmental issues. With so many seemingly immediately critical matters filling the media, serious engagement on environmental issues is overlooked. Leaders and media talk broadly about climate change but real discussion is light. Other environmental issues often do not garner attention.

5. Please list at least three specific, concrete actions you would support to ease the homelessness crisis.

Increased funding to provide access to mental care.
Resources for housing and nutrition.
Funding to guide people to use available resources.

6. What safety, law, or justice issues are currently facing your jurisdiction, and how will you address them?

7. What are the transportation/transit challenges which face your jurisdiction and how would you address them? What role does green energy play in your proposed solutions?

Washington, particularly the suburban Seattle area needs more reliable and comprehensive transportation planning. Money is spend on infrastructure but it does not appear effective.

By typing my name below, I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.

Printed Name:     Paul Gilmartin
Date (mm/dd/yy):     05/26/2023

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