COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on businesses and families in the 48th district. There needs to be a careful reopening approach that works for everyone. Families need to feel safe, businesses need to rapidly recover, and the legislature must to resist the urge to tax our way out of the recession.
Transportation dollars for the greater Seattle Area are disproportionally spent on getting people to, from and around the City of Seattle. This is an outdated approach now that growth is rapidly expanding in urban centers on the Eastside. There are major employers in Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond who have found it necessary to create their own private bus system for their employees. Smaller businesses cannot afford to create private transportation for their employees. The eastside needs an equitable approach when allocating transportation dollars throughout the region.
Voters in the 48th legislative district continue to tell their elected officials that traffic congestion is their number one issue negatively impacting their quality of life and yet, the current elected officials seem unable to find solutions. When the Secretary of Transportation, Roger Millar (head of all state transportation systems), says we cannot solve traffic congestion, Vic does not see a leader but rather someone who has given up. You deserve leaders who provide solutions. The answers are there for those that understand the connection between funding, geography, and outcomes.
The unrest in Seattle is causing a mass exodus of businesses and households. The Eastside continues to be attractive to business leaders bringing significant economic growth to Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond. Policies need to be in place that support housing at all levels of affordability. This housing must have a corresponding system of roads to bring you to and from your job while allowing you to travel safely, at your convenience, for a reasonable price. Vic will build roads.
You have suffered with traffic congestion long enough. Your personal vehicle is a necessity in your daily life. In surveys across the 48th District you have consistently stated that traffic congestion is the biggest roadblock to your quality of life.
Do you ask yourself why your legislators do not provide the transportation systems you want with the safety you need? Why they continue to work on systems costing more and providing less choice? Do you find yourself feeling guilty for not using mass transit options they keep pushing? Wouldn’t it be nice if your legislators asked you what transportation options work for you and knew how to provide them? Send Vic to Olympia, where he will represent you on your top quality of life issue. He has the experience, credentials, and tenacity to get you out of traffic congestion. He can do it for a fraction of the price you are paying now for inconvenient, sometimes unsafe systems that do not match your daily needs. To learn more about Vic’s bold new transportation plan, click here.
Your safety on roads, in tunnels and on bridges is something you count on. Have you ever walked across a bridge and looked at the road deck? Too often, there are places where the water or land below can be seen through the rebar. Imagine a mom driving kids to soccer practice across a bridge that should have been repaired and now needs replacement. It is about their safety and yours. If your legislator has failed to act on the risk of failing bridges, you have the opportunity to vote for Vic Bishop whose entire professional life has been devoted to safe transportation. Vic will fight for solid transportation infrastructure.
Washington’s constitution requires the gas tax pay for new and existing roads and highways; and nothing else. The tax is easily collected (at the refinery) before you buy gasoline. The sitting legislature is introducing a new pay per mile vehicle usage tax. What is pay per mile use tax and how would it be collected? A new government agency would be created that would have the authority to track your vehicle travel. A database of every mile traveled in Washington State would be maintained. What would this cost? No one knows the full amount, but it would be more expensive to administer and collect than the current gas tax and it would not be required by the state constitution to be spent on roads. Vic will build roads rather than expand government.
The uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has many overwhelmed. It is times like this where true leaders emerge. Have you heard from your current legislator in the 48th district or has your legislator sat back and let Governor Inslee make all the decisions? Currently, the Governor and his staff are making all the COVID-19 related policy decisions. The issue with staff making the decisions is that you did not elect them. It is not for them to create policy on your behalf. That is for the legislature to do.
When COVID ends – then what? You have heard that the state is going to have a giant budget shortfall in the next legislative session. The Seattle Times Editorial Board said that the legislators are planning significant tax increases. If you elect Vic Bishop to Position One in the 48th district, instead of increasing your taxes, he will start working on day one to protect your safety and restore your economy. He will do this by making sure every dollar gets spent wisely with the best return on the investment.
The current smoke from wildfires in Washington, Oregon and California are a reminder of how fragile our environment is. Living in the 48th District we are blessed with remarkable natural surroundings that must be protected for our children and our children’s children. This is why the recent forest fires are so concerning. Today it is Oregon but tomorrow it could be Washington.
Fortunately, you have the opportunity to elect a leader who understands forest management from personal experience. The Vermont farm where Vic grew up had two forty-acre plots of white pine trees one of which his grandfather planted in the early 1900s. Under his father’s management, the land was designated by the state as an official Tree Farm. As a 4-H club member in his teens, Vic learned forest management first-hand including thinning dead trees and clearing debris.
Current conditions in our forests make the need to remove dead or diseased trees and debris evident. Our forest management policies need updating to prevent catastrophic forest fires. Vic understands we must manage forests in the environment we have while working toward better environment in the future.
You work hard for your money. You want the best value when you decide on your personal spending. Wouldn’t it be nice if the legislature made financial decisions using the same approach? Lately you have heard a lot about taxing business and the possibility of a personal income tax. Your taxes are already high, and you deserve a legislator who understands this and knows what to do about it. It starts with zero based budgeting where every dollar received is assigned a specific purpose. Zero based budgeting avoids spending money we do not have.
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