U.S. House of Representatives, WA 8th Congressional District – Dr. Kim Schrier

Legislative Questionnaire

Candidate Information

  • Candidate Name: Dr. Kim Schrier
  • Position Sought: U.S. House of Representatives, WA 8th Congressional District (Non-incumbent)
  • Home Legislative District:  41st LD
  • Democrat: Yes

Campaign Information

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 proud to have been endorsed by the Aerospace Machinists Union, representing 45,000 Washingtonians, as well as IUPAT (Painters and Allied Trades), LiUNA (Laborers), and UA 598 (Plumbers & Pipefitters). Additionally, I am the only candidate with endorsements from Washington State Legislators, including both of my State Representatives in my home district of the 41st, Representatives Judy Clibborn and Tana Senn They know that I am the best candidate to fight right-to-work laws and stand up for working families. Beyond that, I have national support from EMILY’s List and the National Women’s Political Caucus, and local support from a coalition of Indivisible groups across Washington’s 8th Congressional District. I am honored and grateful to count on their support.

2. What prompted you to run for this office? What are your campaign’s most important themes, issues, or priorities (three to five)?

I never thought I’d run for office. I am a pediatrician, a wife, and a mom with deep roots in the 8th district. I have been living and taking care of families in this community for over 16 years. I love my job and my patients, and I never thought I would do anything else. But the 2016 election changed everything for me, and I knew right away that I had to stand up and do whatever I could to put checks on the Trump administration’s attacks on healthcare, women, and the middle class. So I began doing what many of us did: I marched, I rallied, and I called my congressman daily. When that first Trumpcare bill came out, I met with Rep. Dave Reichert’s staff to tell them all the ways this bill would be bad for my patients and bad for our district. Two days later, he voted for it in committee anyways. That was the last straw for me. We deserve better. We deserve representatives who will fight for us, and I am stepping up to do that for the families in this district.

As a pediatrician and as a patient with type 1 diabetes, my concerns begin with healthcare. Medical costs are out of control. Healthcare is the number 1 cause of bankruptcy in the United States and is consistently reported as the largest obstacle facing small business owners. I am dedicated to pursuing affordable and accessible medical care for every person in this country. Currently there are 15 doctors in Congress, only two are Democrats, and none are women. When elected, I will fill an egregious gap and will bring perspective and insight needed to fix our healthcare “non-system.”

But my concerns extend well beyond healthcare, to the environment. You can’t have health and wellbeing without clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. It is our responsibility to protect our natural resources, both locally and globally. Our oceans are in peril and the United States must lead immediately by addressing the issues of rising acidification and plastics, which threaten catastrophic disruption to the bottom of our aquatic food chain. The United States must take back its global lead on climate action, and right here at home we must inspire and incentivize a clean energy economy and an agricultural shift to re-sequester carbon in District 8. I am a committed, staunch advocate for the public lands we hold dear in Washington State and across this country, and I will fight for a stronger Clean Water Act and protections of our public lands from corporate mining.

As the mom of a third grader, I promote the strengthening of our public education system. We need to invest more in our public schools. The first thing we can do is to start paying teachers more and giving teachers more control. Right now, a first year teacher earns about $40,000, while the average entry-level salary at Amazon and other tech companies is closer to $80,000. It is unacceptable that students graduating college, ripe with debt and who would otherwise choose to teach, instead go where they can often easily earn twice as much. We need to recognize the importance of teachers, and we need to promote the message to our communities that investing in our teachers and school infrastructure is essential to prepare teachers and students for what will likely be a very different, tech-driven economy.

Finally, having taken care of families and their children in the 8th district for nearly two decades, I understand the concerns of working families here. I am committed to fighting for an economy that supports my patients and families like them throughout our district. I will help bring good-paying union jobs into the 8th district by supporting infrastructure investments that use PLAs, contain environmental protections, and create union jobs locally.

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

I am the only one putting together the campaign infrastructure to take on Dino Rossi in November, and have the most organized campaign. I have raised $1.1 million in the first six months of my candidacy without taking corporate checks or loaning my own campaign money. I am working with the best field team, doing voter contact and targeting through VoteBuilder. We attend community events and meetings, including meetings of local Legislative District Democrats, all throughout the 8th District. We are building local grassroots support, with endorsements from a coalition of local indivisible groups, and my campaign has received national attention from CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Washington Post, TIME, The Guardian, ABC News, The Hill, and others.

I have also assembled a list of leading campaign consultants to support my candidacy, including nationally-commended experts.
Finance: Tracy Newman (Newman Partners)
Media: J Toscano (76 Words)
Polling: Anna Greenberg (GQRR)
Email: Delana Jones (Moxie Media)
Digital: Ryan Alexander (GPS Impact)
Research: Rob Eberhardt (Stanford Campaigns)

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)?

Yes

Yes. Policies to support de-escalation and mental health training should absolutely become commonplace in police officer trainings, and I support measures that require this type of training. It is absolutely unfair that we send our police officers into potentially dangerous situations without adequate training for how to deal with mental health issues and how to de-escalate conflicts. These types of trainings ensure that our police officers are prepared to address the issues we know they face on a regular basis, so that they can do a better job of protecting the public.

2. Do you support the right of public workers, excluding military, to bargain and strike?

Yes

Yes. Workers are their most powerful when they’re able to work together to demand better treatment, better wages, and better working conditions. History has shown us time and again the importance of collective bargaining. I am a fierce advocate for collective bargaining rights. I’ve earned the endorsement of some of Washington State’s largest labor unions, including the Aerospace Machinists, Painters & Allied Trades, Laborers, and Plumbers & Steamfitters. They all know that I am committed to preserving and enhancing workers’ rights to collectively bargain. Workers must have the right to negotiate for their working conditions, to ensure that they and by extension the public, are as safe as possible.

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?

Yes

Yes. Our focus should be on rehabilitation and reducing recidivism rates. Research shows us that when formerly incarcerated individuals become employed and have access to social services, they are able to support their families and less likely to become incarcerated again. A “ban the box” law would be better for our economy and our communities. I also support increasing job training programs in prisons to make sure that people are prepared to re-enter the workforce.

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?

Yes

Yes. I absolutely support the Reproductive Health Access for All Act. I firmly believe women should be making decisions about their own health, and I trust women to make the right decisions. Right now there are no women doctors in Congress. That is an incredible missing voice as Congress addresses women’s healthcare and reproductive rights. I have been a staunch advocate my entire life for a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health and her body. I plan to be an active voice for women’s health in Congress, and I would be a vocal opponent of any efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. I was endorsed by EMILY’s List a full year prior to the 2018 election because EMILY’s List knows I will stand up for women’s reproductive rights at the federal and state levels.

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

Yes, and I applaud Washington state for passing HB 2595 this year. Anything that makes it easier for people to register to vote and vote has my support. This would include automatic voter registration.

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?

Yes

Yes. I support the creation of a state-level “Medicare For All” system. Eventually I hope we can get there nationally, but it’s difficult to get there overnight. I applaud Washington state’s efforts to move us towards that system. At a national level, I support allowing people to buy into Medicare at any age and putting market pressure on insurance companies to lower costs. This would organically lead us toward a Medicare For All system and would be a strong first step toward universal, truly affordable healthcare.

Part III – Free Response

1. Why are you running as a Democrat? What aspects of the Democratic platform most resonate with you?

I am a strong Democrat and have deep loyalty to the party and the values it promotes, which are highlighted in my campaign’s platforms. The current administration and its policies are a direct threat to those Democratic principles, and that is why I decided to run as a Democrat – we need checks and balances on the Trump administration. This administration is a direct threat the health and wellbeing of the patients and families that I have had the honor of serving for the past 16 years. These families have stories to tell, and I see firsthand the anxiety that the relentless attacks on the ACA have caused. These are not “numbers of insured” to me. They are families with children. The intention of this administration to cause the ACA to fail means that care will become expensive and, for many, unaffordable and inaccessible. Since announcing my candidacy, patients have approached me inside and outside the office to explain what was happening with their insurance rates and deductibles ($1,700 / month, $10,000 deductible!!), and one family explained that because of these costs, they’re choosing to roll the dice and not purchase health care for the family this year. This is a decision that families should never have to make. Another family which considered going without insurance in 2017 is forever grateful that they didn’t opt out, because their 12 year old boy was diagnosed with a brain tumor after seeing me in November. Had they chosen to forego insurance, they would have been among the thousands in bankruptcy because of medical expenses. This is unacceptable in our wealthy nation.

Environmentally, this administration is rolling back all progress made during the Obama administration. There is continual disregard for science and evidence-based decision making. Every step is a leap in the wrong direction: denying climate change, pulling out of the Paris Accord, cutting funding to the EPA and green energy programs, opening up our coastal waters for offshore oil drilling, selling off public lands to private industry for mining. All of this when we desperately need to be committing to climate action. They are assaults to our future generations, who will live among the disastrous consequences of our ongoing irresponsible stewardship.

The attacks on women’s reproductive rights and pregnancy planning programs throughout 2017 just added salt to the wounds. With public education, we saw the installation of a Secretary who had never taught, learned, or sent her children to a public school, and whose main mission is to channel public school dollars toward vouchers for religious and for-profit private schools. And the attacks on human rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, a free press, and the truth itself are quite simply un-American and have no place in our democracy.

I am stepping up to represent my community and defend the progressive values that I believe in as a Democrat, including access to healthcare, an immigration plan that includes a pathway to citizenship, living wages, and equal voting rights, to name a few. I am committed to my patients, my neighbors, my friends, and people all over this district who deserve better. I will be a strong and fierce Democratic principles in Congress, and I will fight tooth and nail so that someday my 9-year-old son Sam’s children will know that we did everything we could to protect the natural resources of this earth that are their rightful inheritance.

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.

As a member of Congress, I will not be voting on bills in the State Legislature. Regardless, these three bills all failed on a State level, and I would be a champion for them on the Federal Level.

As a pediatrician and a mom, I find it absolutely inexcusable that our current regulations allow military-style weapons to get into the hands of people who would do others harm. We need to take common-sense steps to prevent tragedies like the ones we have repeatedly seen from happening in the future. These steps include raising the age of purchase to 21 years for assault weapons, requiring safety training, and requiring annual background check renewal, similar to the way we require drivers licenses to be renewed. SB 6620 failed in the State Legislature, which would have raised the age of gun ownership to 21. I will be an advocate for that same regulation from Congress.

SB5025 would have raised the purchasing age of cigarettes from 18 to 21. As a pediatrician, this is common sense, and I would advocate for this from Congress. On that note, I will not pursue endorsements or accept contributions from organizations that advocate for policies that I fundamentally disagree with, such as the tobacco industry, the NRA, and the fossil fuel industry.

I also would have advocated for the resolution on sexual harassment, HCR 4413. Harassment of any kind is unacceptable, and we are just seeing the beginning of women (and men) who are willing to come forward to address sexual assault. I would support the creation of a bicameral task force to address workplace climate at the Capitol, both in Washington State and in Washington, D.C.

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?

Developing a strong infrastructure plan is key to investing in Washington’s 8th District – whether it is developing adequate roads for our orchardists to get fruit to our ports, upgrading our electrical grid so that we can withstand cyber attacks, or making changes to our water systems, public buildings, and energy pipelines. We could make these improvements to our infrastructure in an environmentally-conscious way, building a clean energy economy for all of us through a more efficient public transportation system, increasing clean energy storage capacity, expanding access to electric vehicle charging stations, upgrading our hospitals and schools to a higher energy performance standard, and making investments in climate resilient infrastructure to adapt to changes in our climate. Additionally, we could update our infrastructure in a way that benefits our economy in the 8th Congressional District by ensuring that any adaptations to our current infrastructure are made through the use of PLAs with unions in our own community.

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?

As a mom with a son in public school, the daughter of a public school teacher, and the product of a public school education (through medical school), I will always be an advocate for public education. As a member of Congress, I will push back against Betsy DeVos and her damaging policies. It is bad enough that we have an Education Department that won’t stand up for students’ rights or hold charter and for-profit schools accountable. But I have an opponent – Dino Rossi – who has made it clear that he is on their side. Dino Rossi proposed an education plan in the state legislature that would have cut teacher pay, increased class sizes, and expanded charter schools. This is unacceptable. We need a tax system that works for our public schools and for the middle class, and requires that the top 1% pays their fair share.

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?

The biggest obstacle to proposed legislative solutions on climate change is our current administration’s assault on science and on the EPA. This administration does not treat science as fact, or even acknowledge climate change as a threat. I am incredibly passionate about addressing climate change and protecting our planet. I even worked at the EPA for a year in 1992, identifying water conservation and pollution protection best practices. This issue has always been a passion of mine.

I believe that addressing climate change is the greatest moral issue of our time. As a pediatrician and person of science who understands the negative impacts of polluted water and air on the health of our children, I will fight any effort to reduce or eliminate clean air and clean water protections. In Congress, I commit to applying evidence-based principles and methods to my evaluation of environment policy and regulation and insist that our government agencies do the same. I will defend our wild lands, I will champion climate change action, I will advocate for innovative approaches of local organizations like the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and Carbon Washington to transition our country to 100% clean energy within my lifetime, while creating a booming clean energy economy here in Washington State. I will refocus subsidies away from oil and gas companies, and toward the people most dramatically affected by climate change including lower income communities, farming communities, and communities of color.

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?

Here in Washington state, we need to address our regressive tax system and move toward a progressive income tax. From the federal level, we need to make sure everyone pays their fair share, including making sure that any tax cuts go to the middle class and that we remove the loopholes that benefit high-earners.

We have a huge opportunity for social good through tax reforms. On this surface, this means immediately closing corporate tax loopholes, so that huge corporations contribute fairly, here, in the United States.

I am also in support of adjusting our taxes on the super wealthy. This not only means opposing tax breaks for the richest individuals and companies, but also strengthening certain taxes like the estate tax as mentioned. In this area we must look at closing loopholes such as the GRAT loophole for the estate 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?

There is absolutely too much money in American politics today, and it’s hurting our entire system. I care deeply about this issue and have pledged to not accept corporate PAC money because I want to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, when it comes to getting special interests out of our politics.

Citizens United is the biggest contributor to this issue. It has ushered in an unprecedented wave of corporate spending and dark money disguised by shell corporations. I disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United: these bottomless contributions of course influence the way a politician votes. Just look at how big pharma has prevented Congress from taking common-sense steps to lower prescription drug prices. Our government is being manipulated by a very few, very powerful players. The first step we need to take is to overturn Citizens United. Unfortunately, the same politicians who benefit from unlimited contributions are holding up legislation to return to a more accountable campaign finance system. That’s why I have pledged to reject all corporate PAC money in my face for Congress. I consider this pledge just the first step in the work I plan to do in Congress to limit the influence of corporate interests in politics.


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

Printed Name: Kim Schrier

Date: 04/24/2018

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