2022 Election Candidate Questionnaire

Licton Springs Community Council is a non-political organization. We reached out to candidates with a few locally-relevant questions to help our neighbors be better informed about the upcoming election. This information is not an endorsement, and any candidate in a contested race that responded to our questionaire will have their responses included below, in an arbitrary order.


Washington State Senate District 46

Washington House of Representatives District 46 - Position 1

Washington House of Representatives District 46 - Position 2

Washington State Senate District 46

Matt Gross

What should residents of Licton Springs know about you, your background, and your general priorities?

My name is Matt Gross and I am running to be your next state senator. I grew up in northeast Seattle and my wife Anna and I are raising our family in Maple Leaf. She is a public school teacher and I serve as a deputy prosecutor for King County. Our family wants to live in a clean, safe neighborhood. And we want everyone in our city to live in a clean, safe neighborhood. That’s my priority.

To accomplish that, our State government needs to ensure everyone has access to housing, mental health care and drug treatment regardless of income.

What do you believe are priority issues that are distinctive to District 46?

Housing and public safety.

I believe in individual accountability but I have no illusions that cracking down on crime is the best or only way to make us safer. Instead, we need to proactively invest in people's stability. That starts with guaranteeing access to affordable housing, mental healthcare and drug treatment.

When I knocked doors in Licton Springs a few months back, residents told me about the bathroom at the park. I saw it for myself and took this picture. I asked the parks department what the holdup was and they said they were waiting on a demolition permit.

Image of Licton Springs Park bathroom after fire damaged the building beyond repair

It is unacceptable for the city to just leave this standing next to a kid’s playground. Get out the bulldozer. As your Senator, I would use my voice to amplify the concerns of the residents of Licton Springs and make sure your concerns aren’t ignored.

Learn More

I am happy to talk more about your neighborhood. My number is (206) 245-7005 and my email is matt@votemattg.com. I hope to earn your vote.

Javier Valdez

What should residents of Licton Springs know about you, your background, and your general priorities?

I am the son and grandson of farmworkers and laborers and, if elected, I will be the first Latino born and raised in Eastern Washington in the State Senate. I was able to go to UW because of the support of programs like the State Need Grant and Pell Grant and see it as my responsibility to ensure that the pathways that allowed me to come so far are even more open to the next generation. Since joining the legislature in 2017 I have been a leader in the legislature on racial equity, stopping gun violence, and our transition to a green transportation system, sponsoring legislation and leading the legislature on ending the ban on affirmative action in Washington, banning ghost guns and the sale of high capacity magazines, and expanding public transit and transportation infrastructure.

What do you believe are priority issues that are distinctive to District 46?

The issues that people share with me the most are addressing the housing crisis, our upside down tax structure, and combating climate change. I have worked to expand access and funding to low income housing and wrap around support systems so that our area stays affordable and as our homeless neighbors transition into long-term housing they have the support that is needed to ensure that transition is successful. Our tax structure is the most regressive in the country, our reliance on sales and property taxes puts the weight on the people in our communities least able to afford it, I fully support replacing these taxes with tools that reduce that burden. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington, we can and must transition to a green transportation system immediately, I have worked to expand access to public transit in our district including expanding pedestrian and bike infrastructure to ensure that it is safe to reach transit.

Learn More

Our website is https://JavierValdez.com and the best email to contact the campaign is this one javiervaldez46senate@gmail.com

Washington House of Representatives District 46 - Position 1

Hadeel Jeanne

What should residents of Licton Springs know about you, your background, and your general priorities?

I live in Licton Springs myself (you may have seen me in our local buy nothing group!) and I’m running to represent the 46th because I love my neighborhood and I love my neighbors. The last few years have been so hard for so many, and we’ve left too many folks without the help they need. I think we can, and must, do better.

Too many of our neighbors are sleeping on the streets because the cost of housing is too high and because we haven’t provided them with the services they need to get on their feet. Instead of providing those services and the investments in housing infrastructure that are so deeply needed, we inhumanely sweep our neighbors from park to sidewalk to temporary shelters that aren’t appropriate to meet their needs.

Long time residents of Seattle and the 46th district are constantly being priced out of our neighborhood and forced to move further and further away, increasing their reliance on cars while feeling the impacts of climate change every day.

As a young parent, I want a future where my children will be able to afford to remain in the city they grew up in. Sadly, unless we immediately address the housing crisis, this will not be a choice for our children and grandchildren.

The decisions we make now about education, housing and land use, transportation, and so much more will shape the future for the next generation. We need to do more to ensure we are leaving our city and state better than we found it, for the sake of our children and future generations.

What do you believe are priority issues that are distinctive to District 46?

Housing affordability and transportation are two of my top priorities, because of their impact on who can afford to continue living in our neighborhood and because they are both deeply connected to the climate crisis.

I love enjoying our local stay healthy street on Ashworth with my family and as a state legislator would work to provide funds to expand the stay healthy streets and other open streets programs so that our neighborhood has more safe places to walk, roll, bike, and play. I would also like to invest in improving our beautiful park, including repairing the bathrooms and upgrading the play equipment.

We should use existing right-of-way for active transportation and transit, build more rail more quickly, provide more bus service, ensure transit connects to all the key destinations, and make transit free for all riders. Seattle currently has many bus routes that go north-south but very few heading east-west, which we feel the impact of in Licton Springs with no one bus route all the way to Golden Gardens or east of Northgate. We need these investments to give folks an alternative to driving and we should do all of this rather than expand existing highways or build new ones, which exacerbates existing environmental injustice.

Aurora Avenue is also part of our community, and right now, it’s unsafe. Just a few days ago we saw yet another person killed while walking along Aurora by someone in their car. We know that Aurora is unsafe, 17% of all fatalities on the roads in Seattle happen on Aurora, yet we haven’t fixed it. Crosswalks are few and far between, the sidewalks (when they actually exist) are narrow and crumbling. The people of North Seattle deserve better than a literal highway cutting through their neighborhood. While I’m pleased that the state legislature has appropriated $50 million to improve Aurora, and that SDOT has begun its safety project on Aurora, there is still plenty of work ahead to make sure it is done right. As a state legislator I will work hard to ensure that the intention behind these plans is carried out properly. Aurora Avenue must be rebuilt in a way that prioritizes safety, transit, and becomes a destination for our neighborhood rather than a speedway for cars.

Washington State hasn’t built enough housing to meet our needs, especially in our urban core and the 46th district. One of the effects is that we’ve made people move away from their jobs and communities in order to afford housing. I myself have had to move multiple times due to rent increases and unsafe living conditions. When the legislature killed bills to build “missing middle” housing and include the climate crisis in the Growth Management Act, they not only undermined work to make housing more affordable, they also undermined work to reduce carbon emissions. I support bills to allow more affordable housing types to be built throughout our district, as well as tenant protections and statewide rent stabilization to ensure that renters have housing stability and can afford to remain in our neighborhood.

Learn More

Website: https://hadeelfor46.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hadeelfor46

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HadeelFor46/

Email: info@hadeelfor46.com

Gerry Pollet

What should residents of Licton Springs know about you, your background, and your general priorities?

I’ve been your State Representative since December 2011. I’m on the University of Washington School of Public Health faculty. A key reason I’m running for re-election is because the State continues to need well-informed leadership to respond to COVID based on science, to learn from the Pandemic to prepare for future epidemics / pandemics and significantly improve our public health system. As a champion for improving public schools (including as “the Legislature’s top advocate for special education” [KING5], a champion for the right to health care and addressing the social determinants of health, leading construction of affordable housing and controlling rents, fighting for free college to end intergenerational poverty and as a long-time regional and national environmental leader fighting climate change, I’m running because there’s much more work to be done!

I ran for office following many years of organizing with PTAs, Paramount Duty and other organizations to fund public schools. When Seattle Public Schools was unable to lower class sizes due to lack of classroom space, I was one of the founding organizers of the effort to fund new and expanded school buildings. When I became a legislator, I led funding for Cascadia Elementary and Robert Eaglestaff Middle School, and now Northgate Elementary. This year, I played a major role in finally changing school funding to fund a nurse in every school (increasing from the state providing just .07 of a nurse per school (seven one-hundredths)).

I’ve been a leader in fighting climate change and working for environmental justice, including helping to write and pass our legislation to end use of fossil fuels for electricity.

I’ve been called the most accessible and open legislator in Washington. I return to the district every Saturday during session for my drop-in discussion time (“Traveling Town Halls). I also serve on the board of the Coalition for Open Government and authored and passed our new legislation guaranteeing you the right to comment at city or county council and other board meetings.

What do you believe are priority issues that are distinctive to District 46?

My experience with community councils and neighborhood organizations is reflected in my leading the years-long effort to fund and build the pedestrian and bike bridge connecting North Seattle College and Licton Springs with the new light rail station. I’m working to improve circulating bus transit to light rail and rapid bus lines. I’ve worked to fund the planning for major pedestrian improvements and safety along Aurora. Huge portions of our district are not safe for walking or bicycling, including routes for our children to walk to school. I will continue to work to fund sidewalks in partnership with the City. Safety along Aurora and in our neighborhoods needs to improve for residents to be willing to walk to stores, and for our store employees to be safe.

Homelessness continues to be an unconscionable crisis in north Seattle. It is unconscionable and a public health crisis to turn a blind eye to large encampments in parks, school playgrounds and along rights of way. That’s why I helped provide tens of millions of dollars to move people from homeless encampments into rapid rehousing with behavioral health, mental health, and job services. It’s been frustrating to have Seattle not use those funds. I’m pleased that this is now changing. We also need much more permanent supportive housing. I’ve led the effort to fund and build hundreds new affordable housing units here in the 46th District, bringing together community members to advise the agencies in how to develop housing and to include health clinics and childcare in the buildings. As Chair of the Local Government Committee, I’ve insisted that policies to increase density include commitments to prevent displacement of low-income residents and racially diverse communities.

I’ve also led the work to have the State partner with the City to develop new community centers – recognizing the need for centers in Licton Springs and Lake City.

Many residents also benefit from my having developed the model for free community college reflected in “the Seattle Promise,” which allows for our high school graduates to attend North Seattle College tuition free. However, Seattle Colleges’ workforce training programs, including health care professions, are in jeopardy. As one of our legislative leaders on college and workforce training access, I’m working to develop a new formula for the State to fully fund community and technical college workforce programs which are very important to both high school grads and people looking to improve their careers.

Learn More

Read more at https://gerrypollet.com Would you like to speak with me? Email me at info@gerrypollet.com including to join me for drop-in Saturday morning discussions (“Traveling Town Halls”) with your Representative.

Washington House of Representatives District 46 - Position 2

Nina Martinez

What should residents of Licton Springs know about you, your background, and your general priorities?

On personal note I am a technology consultant and mother of 2 teenagers. I am a statewide community advocate working with legislators creating legislation that has made our lives better. I grew up in a military family – my dad served in the Vietnam War but unfortunately suffered from PTSD as a result of the war but come from family of farmworkers and small business owners. I have a PROVEN RECORD and experience passing successful legislation in Olympia which means when elected I will be prepared to get to work. I currently serve as Board Chair of Latino Civic Alliance, a civil rights organization • Governor Inslee Task Force Appointee: - Independent Investigations involving Police Use of Force - Hate Crime Advisory Working Group - Agriculture Labor Rights • Improving small businesses with access to capital & technical assistance • Supporting our essential workers, like teachers and nurses.

What do you believe are priority issues that are distinctive to District 46?

In the Legislature I will prioritize 1) K-12 Education Retaining Teachers- there is warning of mass exodus of teachers in the Seattle school districts from burnout from COVID pandemic. I have met with teachers, and they have personally told me they are overworked and also worried about their students mental health needs. The legislature needs to provide additional financial support to retain teachers and invest in additional support staff paraeducators. 2) Increase access to mental health services for youth. Although the legislature has approved substantial funding to behavioral health providers – there is still a serious gap of families understanding how to access services for their children and long waiting lists up to 3 months at Seattle Children’s Hospital, community health providers, behavioral health counselors and clinical care. 3) Gun violence: I want to support the ban on assault weapons but also focus on youth having access to illegal guns – unfortunately in the 46th and other districts in the state exits 4) Small Businesses: Many small businesses in the 46th closed during pandemic but many are struggling to remain open or retain staff. The legislature can do more to help businesses attain capital and technical support.

Learn More

My website link is https://www.electninamartinez.com and I can be reached at nina@electninamartinez.com. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions and I do ask for your support. Thank you. Nina

Darya Farivar

What should residents of Licton Springs know about you, your background, and your general priorities?

I’m running simply because the 46th District is my home. I'm invested in the health of this community. I've lived here my entire life and attended elementary through high school in the district. In fact, when my parents fled Iran because of the revolution they met at my high school, Roosevelt, and put down roots in Lake City.

There are few places you can go in Lake City without being directly confronted by the housing and behavioral health crisis and seeing neighbors cycling through the criminal legal system. These issues have been core to my role as Public Policy Director at Disability Rights Washington where I work with the legislature to create meaningful change for our communities. Not only do I have legislative experience, I also know whats happening on the ground. I’m part of a team that oversees 12 behavioral health diversion programs across the state. These programs are doing well enough to have received funding from the legislature to continue their work. These are programs that meet people where they are at to provide help as soon as its needed. We need a system that provides help the moment it's needed, not after individuals have fallen through every hole in our systems.

I'm also running because representation matters. We need to elect people individuals who have the best interest of our communities in mind because it is also in their best interest. I’m interested in bringing attention to neighborhoods that haven’t received the support they need like Lake City and the Aurora corridor. And I’m running to represent my communities. As a first-generation young Iranian American woman, I know exactly what its like to not have my voice heard. If I’m elected, I would proudly serve as the youngest to ever serve the district and the first Middle Eastern woman in the Washington State Legislature. We need a representative who has a proven track record of successfully tackling hard issues in Olympia, someone who understands how these policies work on the ground, and one who knows what it means and how it looks to lift every voice.

What do you believe are priority issues that are distinctive to District 46?

My priority is the intersection of behavioral health, housing and homelessness, and the criminal legal system because these are the issues directly impacting my neighbors and constituents. I live in the Lake City neighborhood, a lower-income community of color, where you can’t go anywhere without being directly confronted by the behavioral health and housing crisis. Over 40% of people experiencing homelessness have a disability, many a behavioral health disability. In Washington State, our lack of a behavioral health system drives people with serious psychiatric disabilities into the revolving door of homelessness, crisis, incarceration, and institutionalization.

Our current system misses the mark because it focuses on providing care only when someone meets criteria for involuntary treatment. This is a fine line to walk, and many tip over this line into the criminal legal system during crisis. Involuntary commitment was designed to be a last resort, not the cornerstone of our behavioral health system yet our current system is centered around it. This is the work I know best as Public Policy Director at Disability Rights Washington and as part of the Trueblood Court Monitor’s Diversion Team. I’ve spent the last several years overseeing 12 different diversion programs across the state which do just this, provide help as soon as help is needed. I’m proud to say these programs are doing well enough that they just recently received funding from the state legislature to keep them running. In the House, I would continue to do this work, and redirect our focus from involuntary services and criminal legal investments to community-based programs that intervene as soon as individuals need help – not after it's too late.

In my day job, I advocate for a behavioral health system with true choice that intervenes at the earliest possible point, for many this starts in grade school. And, if elected, I will use my platform to elevate the urgency of this work. Washington State wastes millions of dollars waiting for people to reach a crisis level of care before providing treatment. We can save money and lives by providing low-barrier accessible housing, addressing basic needs, and a full spectrum of care for our residents.

To create meaningful access and treatment options, we need leaders who understand how individuals accessing resources interact with, and rely on, public service systems. I will work for a system that supports individuals with a variety of behavioral health needs, including culturally relevant and LGBTQIA+ responsive services, school-based therapy, outpatient services, disability specific care, and permanent supportive housing with wraparound supports. I will work for a system that provides care as soon as care is needed.

But, to make this vision a reality, we must take care of those who care for us. There is a serious shortage of behavioral health professionals. The schooling required to become a behavioral health professional takes a significant amount of time and money. This results in a less diverse and smaller pool of professionals and fewer individuals pursuing specializations. Once individuals meet the requirements necessary to pursue employment, they are not taken care of as employees. Our healthcare providers are underpaid, undertrained, and as a result, understaffed. The healthcare providers, social workers, certified peer counselors, and caregivers we rely on to take care of some of our most vulnerable are not treated well. If we want to transform our behavioral health system, we must start by taking care of our behavioral health providers. I will work to make sure they are paid a living wage, are provided the training they need to successfully provide individualized care, and ensure they are encouraged to pursue specializations. By properly supporting our workforce, we encourage others from diverse backgrounds to pursue this career path and increase the number of providers’ range of expertise.

Learn More

Thank you for taking the time to review my responses to your questions! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out at https://www.DaryaForHouse.com I look forward to hearing from you.

Lelach Rave

What should residents of Licton Springs know about you, your background, and your general priorities?

Working as a pediatrician for over twenty years, I have had the privilege of being there for thousands of patients and families in our community who share their stories and entrust me with their struggles and triumphs. Running for elected office is a natural extension of the work I am already doing. I have long viewed caring for my patients to include advocacy in the policy realm. Kids can’t vote. So they count on those of us who care for them to stand up on their behalf.

About 14 years ago, I became active with the Washtington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Legislative Committee. I chaired that group for six of the past years and have had the opportunity to do extensive policy work in Olympia through this affiliation. My work in Olympia reflects my values and priorities. I’ve helped to create the Children’s Mental Health Work Group, established Medicaid payment for developmental and autism screens for children, and established a single phone line referral resource for children with behavioral health needs. I've also advocated for Paid Family Leave, to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco and nicotine products to 21, and promoted gun safety through safe storage, child access prevention, universal background checks, and extreme risk protection orders.

My goal is to bring each of my patients’ families and their stories to Olympia, and give them all a seat at the table to influence policy for our state. It will be an honor to work to end health disparities for kids and families in my community by addressing all of the economic and social conditions that determine the health and well-being of members of our community. So many of the challenges faced by my families require changes at the systems level, and that is what I hope to create as a state legislator.

What do you believe are priority issues that are distinctive to District 46?

My connection to my neighbors in the 46th LD and my approach to politics are inspired by my experiences as a physician and a mom. My goal as a public servant is to nourish and advocate for the most vulnerable members of my community by (1) improving access to public services that contribute to the social determinants of health like quality, accessable healthcare, education, housing, food, and childcare (2) combating the economic unevenness that too often determines the health and wellness of our kids and families, particularly inequality that stems from bias based on marginalized identities such as race, class, religion, disability, gender, and sexual orientation, and (3) protecting a safe and nurturing environment by promoting gun safety, regulating access to toxins like vape products and flame retardants, and protecting our bountiful natural environment. As a mom in the 46th, I know how important these issues are for families in our district.

Specifically, I want to improve healthcare access, invest fully in mental health, and ensure safe (legally safe, as we know that abortions are quite physically safe) accessible reproductive health care.

I will prioritize building safe, affordable, sustainable communities with the housing and transit we need

I will champion revenue reform to invest in a strong foundation for Washington’s kids—from childcare to K-12 to college and career pathways

I will always carry the intimate and complex needs of my neighbors into my advocacy, and I will listen to my community with compassion every step of the way.

Learn More

Another resource for residents to read is the recent Seattle Times Editorial Board endorsement - https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/the-times-recommends-lelach-rave-for-46th-district-position-2/

The best way for residents to reach me is through my campaign website and email. https://drlelachrave.com/ and lelach@drlelachrave.com

Nancy Connolly

What should residents of Licton Springs know about you, your background, and your general priorities?

I am currently a physician with the University of Washington - Harborview Downtown Clinics, providing care for people experiencing homelessness in downtown Seattle. Previously, I served as a physician and Medical Director at Virginia Mason Medical Center, Lynnwood, and an Assistant Professor of Infectious Disease at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

As our community experiences the interwoven pandemics of COVID, increasing homelessness, the worsening mental health and addiction crises, without an apparent end in sight, it is heartbreaking to see this impacting our neighborhoods, my patients and our entire state. I am tired of witnessing slow and inadequate attempts to fix these problems. I want to be part of our state’s government working on real, substantive solutions.

I am committed to working on safety and security, our inadequate and often inaccessible mental health and addiction services and increasing our supply of affordable housing.

What do you believe are priority issues that are distinctive to District 46?

While not absolutely distinctive to the 46th, our crisis of a lack of affordable homes and the resultant increase in people living outside in public spaces is certainly a problem in the 46th. Also, the decline in safety and security, with increased thefts, violence and vandalism are a sign of an unhealthy community in need of bigger solutions.

I believe we need to first address the problem of safety and security in our neighborhoods by adopting a more restorative justice approach. People need to be held accountable for their actions, but this accountability should result in behavior change and rehabilitation rather than just punishment and release to the same situation, or worse, than before they committed a crime. I believe we need to prioritize community courts, mental health and drug courts as well as improving our mental health and addiction services.

All this must be done with an eye to sustainability. As we increase our supply of affordable housing and increase density, a requirement demanded by our increasing population and the worsening of our climate crisis, it must be done in a sustainable way, optimizing efficiency and decreasing the need for and use of fossil fuels.

Learn More

Website: https://www.drnancyconnolly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/electdrnancyconnolly/

Instagram: @electdr.nancyconnolly

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancycsc

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