State Representative LD 31, Pos. 1 – Sara Sutterfield

Legislative Questionnaire

Candidate Info

Candidate Name:   Sara Sutterfield
Position Sought:    State Representative LD 31, Pos. 1
Are you an incumbent for this position?    Non-incumbent
Home Legislative District:    31
Are you a Democrat?    Yes

Campaign Info

Campaign Manager or Point of Contact:    My dog, Rocky. He's a good boy.

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. Beyond your qualifications, what makes you the best candidate for this position or office? Please describe any specific background or unique perspective you offer and how those will help you accomplish your goals for the position sought. If possible, give practical examples.


I attended Southern Utah University with the intention of finding a husband before earning a degree in Secondary Art Education, neither of which panned out. My journey took me from Utah to Washington State, exploring various paths such as caregiving for people with disabilities, pizza delivery, a Certified Nursing Assistant program, automotive Tire and Lube, dance fitness instruction, and home improvement.
Working my way through positions within the Big Orange Box, I became a Sign-Maker for the Lander Home Depot store in downtown Seattle. This role allowed me creative freedom within advertising and marketing. After corporate changes, I moved into the Paint Department and eventually became the Paint Manager at Johnsons Home and Garden in Maple Valley. After my second child, we moved to Wilkeson to focus on raising our family.

My diverse experiences and commitment to boost my community make me uniquely qualified for this position. I am an active member of the Friends of the Carbon Canyon, volunteer with the Foothills Historical Society in Buckley, WA, and support various local organizations. As a mother of four highly-independent, creative children, my approach to life fosters the development of talents and their use in the service of humanity, which I believe leads to deeper and longer-lasting satisfaction than the pursuit of material pleasures. This philosophy aligns with my commitment to comprehensive mental health care, quality education, environmental stewardship, and strong small town infrastructure, as it promotes a balanced and sustainable approach to improving the well-being of our community and planet. The slogan, "My Red is Blue," reflects my transformation and commitment to unity and inclusivity.

2. What prompted you to run for this office?

Little promptings have guided me to run for this office, and I believe much of our human systems (such as the government) need a hard restart—a learning process I am ready to undertake. My experiences as a community member and mother have shown me the importance of blending our traditional opposing views. This idea highlights that regardless of past political affiliations, there is common ground and shared values. I am called to serve my community with integrity and dedication.

3. What are your campaign’s most important themes, issues, or priorities (three to five)? Share issues or priorities specific to the office that you’re running for.

Healthcare (Mental Health Focus): Accessible mental health services for all and advocating for a universal healthcare system.

Education: Promoting an inclusive and comprehensive educational system that fosters creativity and truth.

Environment: A climate resolution that incorporates indigenous stewardship traditions to bring our planet back into balance.

Small Town Infrastructure: Investing in reliable transportation, quality public facilities, and essential services for small towns.

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

My campaign will focus on positive messaging and community engagement, with a sparkle of creativity. I will use social media, community service projects, and artistic expressions such as puns, poems, dance, and song to connect with voters. I am committed to transparency, integrity, and not speaking negatively about my opponents. The slogan, "My Red is Blue," emphasizes my commitment to unity and progressive values. Good ideas and values transcend party colors.

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    All people who have a uterus.
6. Do you support achieving a universal, affordable, quality single payer healthcare program?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #6    No cost healthcare.
7. Do you support laws regulating the purchase, ownership, and carrying of firearms?     Yes
Optional: Qualify Your Response to #7    

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 am running as a Democrat because I believe in the core values of the Democratic Party, including social justice, economic opportunity, and environmental stewardship. The Democratic platform’s commitment to healthcare for all, quality education, and protecting our environment aligns with my vision for our community. The slogan, "My Red is Blue," reflects my journey and dedication to these values.

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?

Small towns, such as Wilkeson, require big money financial support in order to update much needed and required infrastructure for their citizens. With the Carbon River Corridor Cooperative Action Plan and new visiting conditions within Mount Rainier National Park, small towns will play host to many tourists and this influx (however welcomed) will continue to take its toil on these communities unless addressed and relieved.

More broadly: mental health care, youth education, and the inclusion of indigenous knowledge in environmental policies are critical issues that need more attention. These areas are essential for the well-being and future of our community and require dedicated advocacy and action.

3. What legislative reforms do you support to achieve greater equity and inclusion for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals in our communities?

I support comprehensive anti-discrimination laws, increased funding for education and healthcare services for marginalized communities, and policies that promote economic opportunities for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals. These reforms are necessary to ensure that all members of our community have equal access to resources and opportunities. I'd like to see inclusive language updates in all political documents.

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?

Misinformation and resistance from special interest groups are significant obstacles to climate legislation. To overcome these challenges, I would prioritize community education, transparent communication, and collaboration with environmental experts, including indigenous leaders. Ensuring that the benefits of a climate resolution are clearly communicated and understood by the public is essential for gaining widespread support.

5. What safety, law, or justice reforms are you currently in favor of, and how will you work to implement them?

Criminal justice reform is necessary to create a fair and equitable system. I advocate for police accountability and transparency by implementing policies such as body cameras, independent investigations, and community oversight boards.

Ending the cash bail system is a priority, as it disproportionately affects low-income individuals. I support replacing cash bail with a risk assessment system to ensure pretrial decisions are based on safety and flight risk, not financial means.

I will also prioritize sentencing reform to address disparities, particularly for non-violent offenses, and support alternatives to incarceration like restorative justice programs. Increasing funding for mental health and addiction services is crucial to addressing the root causes of criminal behavior.

Finally, I advocate for juvenile justice reform focused on rehabilitation, providing young offenders with access to compassionate education and vocational training. By working with legislators, community leaders, and advocacy groups, the aim is to implement these reforms and build a just and effective criminal justice system.

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

I support the implementation of Ranked Choice Voting, which has been shown to increase voter turnout and reduce negative campaigning. Additionally, I advocate for more accessible voting options, comprehensive voter education programs, and transparent election processes to build trust and encourage participation.

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?

Public schools are not adequately funded, if funded means working. An adequately working school system should provide comprehensive support for all students, including special education, mental health services, and extracurricular programs. Teachers should not feel undervalued. Capital gains tax and a wealth tax on high-net-worth individuals can ensure equitable funding for all school districts. I support that corporations who make school supplies will provide school supplies to every school for the entirety of the school year. This includes snacks.

Printed Name    Sara Sutterfield
Date (mm/dd/yy)    05/20/2024

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