Public servants have a responsibility to facilitate regular communication with their constituents. Our campaign is sending emails weekly to anyone who signs up on our website. I will send surveys in these emails so I can more accurately set our common priorities. I commit to hold town halls twice each month during the legislative session so we can share information and you can ask questions. I value your concerns and will provide quick responses to emails and questions, as did Rep. Marie Poulson. Listening to your concerns will enable me to stand for your values at the Capitol.
During the past few years, many spent personal funds, time, and energy to get initiatives on the ballot. Citizens took these steps because their representatives were not enacting changes they felt were necessary. Even after the ballot initiatives passed, the majority of the legislature did not listen. They passed their own legislation that delayed and weakened the initiatives and made it harder to pass citizen initiatives in the future. When representatives listen to citizens, initiatives aren’t necessary.
Last-minute legislation suppresses citizens’ opportunities to express their views. In December the legislature passed an unpopular tax reform, which many of us successfully worked to reform. In recent legislative sessions we have seen several attempts (some successful) to propose and pass legislation at the end of the session without providing adequate time for citizen input. I will strongly oppose such legislative behavior.
I am prepared to ask tough questions during this time when, despite wise savings, our legislature may be pushed to make cuts. I will seek feedback from you as to what should be our highest priorities.
The legislature has passed a resolution allowing technology-sustained remote meetings. It is likely that legislators who live far from the Capitol will want to continue meeting remotely even after the COVID-19 crisis has passed. Currently, citizens can only listen to proceedings but cannot see the faces of legislators or the graphs and documents being displayed, and gaining access to these documents at a later date takes too long. We need to do what is necessary to ensure efficiency and transparency in remote meetings.