2016 Candidate Questionnaire for Patty Kuderer

(Endorsed 1.30.2016)

Candidate Name: Patty Kuderer

Position Sought: 48th District State Representative, Position One
Campaign Manager: N/A
Consultant: John Wyble, WinPower Strategies
Campaign Email: info@pattykuderer.com

Campaign Phone: 206-910-2422
Website: pattykuderer.com
Campaign Address: PO BOX 1545, Bellevue, WA 98009-1545

Do you request the endorsement of the Progressive Caucus? Yes


Do you support raising state and federal minimum wages? To what level? Definitely. I will work with our labor unions and social justice organizations to pass a statewide minimum wage to $13.50.

What legislation would you support to make organizing unions easier? The Washington State Labor Council released a set of policy proposals this week that I support including making our tax breaks more accountable, increasing the minimum wage and allowing local jurisdictions to enact paid sick leave and paid family leave legislation.


What is your opinion of high stakes testing? How would you change the way students and teachers are evaluated? We have had different graduation requirements each year for the last five years. That doesn’t work and needs to be fixed. Of course, we need to measure student and teacher performance but this needs to be straightforward with involvement from local school districts. This is, of course, a complicated issue. I am excited to immerse myself in this issue. My background and involvement in the PTSA should help understand how our decisions directly affect our local schools.

What is your opinion of charter schools? The Supreme Court has ruled charter schools unconstitutional. I believe in innovation in our schools. I just haven’t given up on our public school system to provide that innovation. We have academic achievement gaps and 25% of kids aren’t graduating. So, we need to continue to look for solutions. However, I believe we can do that in our current public school system.


How would you promote development of alternative energy and prevent privatization of natural resources? It starts with the state setting the example. The state needs to have clean cars, buy clean energy and make sure any new construction project is built green. I believe we have to set up a mechanism that creates economic incentives for corporations to lessen their impact on the environment and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. I’m excited to work with the governor and other environmental leaders to get that done.

What are your plans for increasing investments in renewable forms of energy production? What types of renewable energy do you favor most? Again, this is where the state can set a strong example. Our pension boards need to move away from investing in fossil fuels and look toward the new green economy. I believe in strongly investing in green energy companies that are innovating and that need help scaling to bring down the overall cost especially of wind and solar.


What would you do to facilitate implementation of public banking and monetary reform? I’m open to hearing more about proposals on these issues.

What solutions do you propose to fix WA State’s highly regressive tax system? I believe we need to start with tax break accountability. All tax breaks need to be sunsetted. Each tax break needs to show that it is helping the economy or creating jobs. If the tax break is not meeting that minimum requirement than we need to return that money to taxpayers. I think it’s critical that we do that to start building trust with voters. I also believe we should revisit B&O tax and the special treatment that some large corporations are given. Finally, we need to consider a carbon tax and tax on capital gains.

Health Care/Retirement

Explain your position (for or against) Medicare for All (aka single payer health care) in terms of the effect on local citizens, service providers, and government. We have finally made steps in the right direction on health care with the Affordable Health Care Act. I believe we need to keep building on that to ensure more accessibility and accountability. We should make sure we know the impacts of the ACA (both the good and the bad) as we move forward to ensure that all Americans have access to quality healthcare.

What policies do you oppose and what polices would you promote with respect to Social Security and Medicare? These programs are so critical to seniors. My first step would be “do no harm.” I believe these programs are essential to our safety net and I am not interested in changing the age requirement.

Security/Public Safety

How would you act to stop the militarization of local police forces and establish civilian oversight of law enforcement? I will always stand with citizens to ensure their rights are protected. I am a strong supporter of civilian oversight over local police departments. I am also a supporter of cultural competency training and community oriented policing. The bottom line is there is a lack of trust between large segments of our population and law enforcement.

How would you preserve national security while protecting American’s right to privacy? Most of these laws are made at the federal level, not the state. Nonetheless, we need to be mindful of our right to privacy while ensuring law enforcement has effective and efficient tools to fight terrorism. We need to follow the Constitution.


Do you consider yourself a Democrat? Do you consider yourself a progressive? Why? Yes and Yes. I believe we need to do more as Democrats to deal with economic and social justice issues. I believe strongly the Democratic Party needs to focus on bread and butter issues like wages, health care, pay equity, family leave and sick leave. We need to build a more diverse, inclusive party that brings concrete results that improve people’s lives.

What parts, if any, of the Washington State Democratic Party Platform do you disagree with? Why? I agree with the principles set forth in the party platform.

If this is not your first election, what other offices have you run for? If it is your first campaign, what other campaigns (candidate or issue) have you participated in? What did you learn from those campaigns? This is my first election.

Have you ever been a precinct committee officer or held other Democratic organization offices? Yes, I have been a PCO. I also served on the 48th LD Democratic Party’s e-board as well as was the 48th’s representative on the King County Democratic Party’s Endorsement Committee.

What single issue is the most important motivator for your run for office? What proposals do you have for dealing with it? Education funding is critical given the Supreme Court’s ruling in McCleary. We must ensure education is the top priority in the state budget. Again, eliminating and sunsetting tax breaks, making the B&O tax more fair, and a tax on carbon and capital gains are among the possibilities on the table. I am open to all reasonable suggestions for remedying this problem.

Are there also important secondary issues? Describe your approach to implementing solutions? Many issues are a very close second to education funding – I care deeply about income inequality, transportation, affordable housing, women’s reproductive rights and the environment. I am excited to work with labor organizations and economic justice organizations on minimum wage, paid family leave, paid sick leave and gender pay.
If you are running in a heavily Republican area, do you have a reasonable chance at winning? If not, how do you plan to use your candidacy to build ongoing connections among local people who share progressive values? The 48th District now leans Democratic. That said, I don’t take anything for granted and intend to work hard with a very aggressive ground plan. I also plan on working closely with all progressive allies to win this election.

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