NAME: Sarajane Siegfriedt
OFFICE SOUGHT: 46th District, Pos. 2
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat
TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Seattle
CURRENT OCCUPATION: Member, King County Board of Equalization
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: 23 years in business (Zurich Insurance, AT&T, Boeing) and 12 years in human services, including lobbying in Olympia for the Association of Alcoholism and Addiction Programs and Washington Public Campaigns
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE FACING VOTERS IN YOUR DISTRICT: Education at all levels, from pre-K through higher ed, then healthcare and human services.
IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE TO
ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?
I will work to adopt a budget that represents our priorities. We must pay for adequate education, health care and human services. Over the past four years, the state has cut $10.5 billion, mostly from these priorities. Although we are a wealthy state, we are failing in our duties to our residents. We have failed to pass tax reform under Tim Eyman’s 2/3 rule to increase a tax or repeal a tax exemption. The State Supreme Court will rule on this before the legislative session, and I believe it will be ruled unconstitutional. Then the Legislature will actually be able to legislate.
As part of the Our Economic Future Coalition, I have worked for the past four years on reforming both revenue and tax exemptions. I will work hard on a more fair tax system that alleviates the burden on working and middle-class families, and increases taxes on our wealthiest individuals and corporations. I will not vote to raise the sales tax. I will vote to raise enough revenue through tax increases on the wealthy and through repealing unproductive tax exemptions to pay for the first $1 billion downpayment on education that the court says we need to fund education. The stated funding priorities are full-day kindergarten, smaller classes in K-3, transportation and operations.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE REFERENDUM 74: SHOULD GAY MARRIAGE BE LEGAL IN WASHINGTON? BRIEFLY, WHY?
I support Ref. 74 because everyone deserves to marry the person he or she loves. It's a civil rights issue. It doesn't mandate churches to change anything they do. No church will be forced to marry anyone they don't want to. I am fortunate to belong to a church that supports Ref. 74. We will continue to bless same-sex marriages, as we have for three decades. I am sad to see allegations that "gay marriage" or "gay sex" will be taught in the schools. This is not true. It is sad to see the opposition using such scare tactics.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE, INITIATIVE 502 TO MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS OF
MARIJUANA LEGAL TO PEOPLE 21 AND OLDER? BRIEFLY, WHY?
I support the initiative to legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and over. It's long past time to end the war on drugs and the racism in our criminal justice system that locks up non-violent drug offenders, disproportionately young men of color. We would save the state millions by ending the war on drugs and alleviate crowding in our prisons. About 10% of our prisoners fall into this category. Just as with alcohol, some people have a propensity to become addicted, and some of the savings should be dedicated to treatment, including restoring residential treatment beds. Just as with tobacco (which is far more addictive), we should work hard to prevent illegal purchase and use by young people. I strongly support medical cannabis as an effective drug, and will work to strengthen the initiative, if it becomes law, to protect the rights of cannabis users and to regulate medical use.