Our unique and beautiful natural environment is one of the things that makes our area such a great place to live. As your state representative, I will make it a top priority to enact policies that move our state in a more sustainable and environmentally responsible direction. For too long, the Legislature has been reluctant to take bold, far-sighted action that ensures that future generations will be able to enjoy living here as much as we do.
I am proud of the hard work I have already done to help out our environment at a local level. I stood side-by-side with Sharon Nelson and Dow Constantine in the fight to save Maury Island from being strip-mined by a multinational mining corporation. I have led the Burien Planning Commission to adopt strong protections for our marine shorelines. And I led an effort last fall to finance the construction of bicycle and pedestrian improvements in Burien neighborhoods that desperately need them.
I look forward to carrying this work forward as a state legislator. Among my priorities:
*An increase in the hazardous substances tax to pay for job-creating clean water projects. This approach ensures that polluters are responsible for cleaning up the stormwater pollution they create, not ordinary taxpayers.
*A statewide effort to improve energy efficiency in the built environment, starting with public buildings like schools. This will create jobs in the short run, save money in the long run, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and energy needs.
*Authority for the Puget Sound Partnership to conduct a comprehensive review of proposed projects with potential impacts on Puget Sound. The Maury Island battle revealed that current law only provides for a piecemeal, "under-lapping" permitting process which is leaving marine habitat in Puget Sound ever more fragmented.
*The Growth Management Act was a huge achievement when it passed in 1990. However, despite the success it has had in controlling sprawl, we now know that it needs to be even stronger. The biggest reform we can make to strengthen growth management in Washington is to ask local governments to plan for greenhouse gas reductions in their land use plans.