Legislative Questionnaire 2022
Candidate Name: Carrie Wilbur
Position Sought: State Rep, Position 2
Are you an incumbent for this position? Non-incumbent
Home Legislative District: 31st
Are you a Democrat? yes
Campaign Manager or Point of Contact: self
Mailing Address: 11006 181st Ave Ct E Bonney Lake WA 98391
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.
Prior Political Activity:
Sign-waving (1990-present), marching, protesting, and door hanger hanging (2020)
Legislative Advocacy Training, Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities
Board chair and co-founder, Out of the Gray, Caring for Caregivers, 501(c)3
Treasurer/Board member, Suzuki Education and Research Association/Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute
Board member, Woodbriar Village HOA
About 45 credits shy of Bachelors in Education (Secondary, English and Fine Arts)
Periodically self-employed (care/helper, small commissioned art, art teacher, writing/editing) over the last 27 years, I began homeschooling my kids in order for them to have more time with their dad who was a student at the time. It turned out to be a good logistical fit for our family, and then became a huge blessing when my youngest was born with significant disabilities. The kids and I had the flexibility to manage specialized schedules in the middle of unfolding medical diagnoses and procedures. Now with one kid left at home (and his sisters able to provide care), I’m switching gears.
Resident of Washington for most of my life, the majority of which has been spent in this district. I care about what happens here and the people who live here. I can listen hard, learn quickly, read and understand legislation, have trained for and volunteered to advocate with elected legislators, and I have time to take this on. I began involvement with politics/elected positions/Robert’s Rules of Order and community volunteering starting in high school.
2. What prompted you to run for this office?
The 31st is a politically diverse district, but our representation is all Republican. Let’s change that.
I’ve seen our elected state reps trend red to violet and now red again. The one-party representation we have now allows the district to become even more entrenched in a time when we need the opposite: more ways to acknowledge, embrace, and serve our genuine plurality.
3. What are your campaign’s most important themes, issues, or priorities (three to five)?
4. What steps are you taking to run a successful campaign?
First: Getting the word out that I’m the write-in candidate for State Rep, Position 2, in the August 2nd primary. I’m reaching out to the neighborhood that is the 31st with email, Facebook posts, sign-waving events, scheduled events for the district. Let’s get on that ballot for the general, and step it up from there!
Part II – Yes or No Questions, please qualify your response if necessary
1. Do you support steps to build a fairer economy through tax reform, including a wealth tax? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #1
2. Do you support the right of public workers, excluding military, to bargain and strike? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #2
3. Do you support legalizing multi-unit homes statewide, as proposed in the #Homes4WA bill, to help alleviate the affordable housing crisis? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #3
4. Do you support legislation to address climate change and protect our environment, including the Keep Washington Evergreen Act? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #4
5. Do you support women’s unrestricted access to reproductive healthcare? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #5 Yes, and I support codifying rights to privacy under the 9th amendment to the Constitution.
6. Do you support achieving a universal, affordable, quality single payer healthcare program? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #6 I’m open to variable approaches – imaginative thinking will lead us to best address the needs of the people as they are, vs. shaping the people to the structure.
7. Do you support overturning “Citizens United” and imposing limits on campaign finance contributions? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #7 This is the only way for government to be truly “of, by, and for the people.”
8. Do you support laws regulating the purchase, ownership, and carrying of firearms? Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #8 There’s already a huge consensus on basic, reasonable requirements for gun ownership. Let’s do it.
Part III – Free Response (Please answer at least four questions fully, consider the remaining three optional)
1. Why are you running as a Democrat? What aspects of the Democratic platform most resonate with you?
I can’t imagine running as anything else in this political climate and district. Democrats are bringing good ideas, hard work, and practical solutions, but remain underrepresented in the 31st. This is especially important as we try to forge better ways to manage common sense gun regulations, and maintain healthcare equilibrium in the wake of pandemic and removal of Roe: there’s a lot of recalibration needed to stay on the overall positive trajectory of Washington state.
2. 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’m particularly interested in disability advocacy, and especially in how the state funds programs for individuals and families with special needs due to disability/aging. Funding for this issue is spotty and difficult to impossible to use, and is not representative of recipients’ needs.
The statewide structural transition from institution-based care to community-based or home living has been admirable. It is both less expensive and more appropriate to be truly person-centered. However, there are gaps that need closing. When parents leave the workforce to become unpaid caregivers, families experience growing instability, which often leads to intractable poverty. Additionally, there are not enough options for kids as they reach adulthood and may want to live more on their own– this echoes a similar dearth in treatment beds for mental health and addiction care.
Homelessness comes in here. It won’t go away until we address the root causes: income inequality/instability, which is magnified by circumstances beyond one’s control. In this case, that’s about unpaid care: it’s like knocking a leg out from under a stool and expecting it to continue to bear more and more weight over time.
3. What legislative reforms do you support to achieve greater equity and inclusion for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals in our communities?
I support state recognition of all tribal groups in Washington– including the Duwamish. As long as they remain unrecognized, Real Rent seems like the absolute least that can be done.
To address racial inequalities in our state, reparations are appropriate for people who were previously wronged by legislation. This includes efforts like redlining, and other state-imposed financial setbacks. These injustices ripple through generations, undercutting the strength of families, and continue to affect individuals today.
I support encoding rights to privacy, gender affirming care, and marriage equality in our state constitution. For more information about legislation to watch, the Washington State LGBTQ Commission is a great reference (lgbtq.wa.gov).
4. 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?
People at the margins always see new technology last. Specifically: electric and hybrid vehicles, induction cooktops, heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, solar panels, and whole-house batteries. All of these seemed far more out of reach just a decade ago, but even as modifications appear in our neighborhoods or just down the road, pricing is still prohibitive for people with special health care needs, or folks working at minimum wage, or going to school. Rebates and tax credits can partially address this inequity, especially as proposed through the Inflation Reduction Act. But what about those who know enough about these options to be excited about and want them, but don’t have funds upfront for initial purchase? Why couldn’t a rebate or tax credit be applied directly at the time of purchase, so the appliance or car dealer receives the check instead, effectively allowing the customer to buy at a lower price?
5. What safety, law, or justice reforms are you currently in favor of, and how will you work to implement them?
Most urgently: increased training for police, similar to standards in some European countries. Many chiefs of police have spoken about being glad to hire former military members because their training makes them an asset. This is especially evident in that they often discern more readily the difference between people who are upset but need a moment and people who are upset and fast becoming a real threat to themselves or others. I think Governor Inslee’s newly determined community-based training centers are a good first step.
Next, I favor hiring teams of social workers to work alongside police, sometimes answering calls ahead of police, and deploying these teams quickly. I know this is part of the plan for parts of the state, but it needs to happen faster, and everywhere.
In the longer term, supports should kick in earlier and more comprehensively for kids in families that may be at risk, in order to effectively sever the prison pipeline for good. There’s NO reason to set kids up to fail, and we can do better right now – hiring more school counselors and psychologists. School-based social workers and occupational therapists would enable educational teams to better spot and serve kids with more subtle disabilities or more minor behavioral issues who may need only a little intervention to set them up for enormous successes. The state could and should fund this explicitly.
More educational and training opportunities in prison would be an additional positive step. Rep. Drew Hansen’s recently obtained grant for prison libraries is a wonderful example of change that might seem small, but shifts culture during incarceration – which can extend positively past incarceration and into individual, functional re-integration.
6. What steps do you think need to be taken to improve voter turnout and increase voter trust in our election process?
The current climate of distrust (or the more longstanding apathy) can only be changed with one on one conversations. People have become committed to their narratives over any evidence, so countering objections or accusations with evidence is ineffective at best, and destructive at worst, if it inspires further entrenchment. The only thing that can shift this trajectory is calm conversation, patient face time, and relationship building – a foundation of trust must be built before any other work can be done.
7. Do you think 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?
They are not adequately funded. The total dollar amount spent per student (we rank 17th) is less important than is the amount per capita in consideration of the total wealth of the state. For a fairly wealthy state (we rank third), we sit too low on that list.
More about funding: did you know that Special Ed wasn’t part of the McCleary decision? It shouldn’t have to require another lawsuit to move this needle, when legislation can get ahead of a costly and frustrating effort to right a wrong. Equipment is an especially significant stumbling block for kids with special needs who need supports to learn.
Minimum requirements: safe and genuinely accessible buildings, students fed breakfast and lunch, highest speed internet, all materials provided per course requirements and teacher determinations, quality field trips, robust therapy, nursing, psychology, and counseling support staff, and equipment beyond just the most basic available for physical, speech, and occupational therapy in an educational setting.
Specific taxation: restructure the entire state revenue system to move us away from sales and property taxes and toward a vastly more fair and useful income-based system.
Printed Name Carrie Wilbur
Date (mm/dd/yy) 07/14/2022