We can and MUST do better.
Leadership, relationships, and experience making things happen.
Citations for Jim Walsh quotes:
“A free society needs its citizens to be able to read well enough to fill out a ballot and do enough math to buy groceries” – Walsh, J. (2009). Libertarian nation: The Call for a New Agenda. Aberdeen, WA: Silver Lake Publishing.
“The fashionable kerfuffle over so-called ‘carbon footprints’ is based more on emotion than logic” – Walsh, J. (2009). Libertarian nation: The Call for a New Agenda. Aberdeen, WA: Silver Lake Publishing.
“Social security is a cancer on our nation. It has reduced poverty among the elderly, but eradication of poverty among the elderly is a stupid way to spend a population’s money” – Walsh, J. (2009). Libertarian nation: The Call for a New Agenda. Aberdeen, WA: Silver Lake Publishing.
Economic opportunity and growth
For our economy here in the 19th District to thrive, we need leaders in the legislature who will work to bring together employers, workers, state and local agencies, and interest groups. We need to work hard together to maintain and ensure sustainability for our existing natural resource dependent industries, help them move into the 21st century, and work to diversify our economy in ways that will increase family wage jobs and improve our local prosperity.
I will use my experience and relationships to work with business and community leaders across the region to identify and seek opportunities to get state support to attract businesses of all sizes. I will also bring people together to work to improve our technology and other infrastructure that will allow all businesses to thrive and grow throughout our local communities here in Southwest Washington. I will be a champion working to ensure that both businesses and workers can prosper and thrive. We need to support our local small businesses, and ensure that we are working to restore a strong middle class with living wage jobs.
I am the only candidate in this race that has worked to stop the dangerous, empty promise of the Millenium coal terminal. At the same time, I have been focusing on the clean-up of that site, because when a community like ours has over 400 acres of deep-river waterfront property, we need to encourage businesses that will ensure that it is creating as many long-term, sustainable, 21st Century, family-wage jobs as possible, to rebuild our middle class. We need leaders with vision and determination to say “no” to outsiders who would pollute our rivers and forests and leave us with decades of problems to clean up, while working tirelessly to open up our communities to new economic opportunities that will sustain jobs for our neighbors and children for years to come.
Our economy needs to grow and evolve to meet the needs of the changing job market and workplace, including protecting workers and families with policies such as paid family leave, predictable scheduling, fair pay, and access to high-quality childcare.
Affordable housing is hard to find throughout the Pacific Northwest for individuals and families of all income levels, including here locally. We have not had significant housing development in 30 years, and as we work to expand our economy we need to ensure that we have adequate and affordable housing for all people. We must also invest in the types of smart, supportive services that will help people overcome economic and personal barriers, and develop long-term self-sufficiency, and we must plan for smart development that will contribute to the long-term health of our communities.
In addition to the universal challenges of quality and affordability of health care, our rural communities have other significant challenges: access to even basic services, shortages of physicians, dentists, nurses, and other health care professionals, and transportation issues. I will work to bring people together from across the district to prioritize our unique needs, and to advocate to improve access to health care, particularly in our small towns and rural communities.
Providing excellent education
Access to excellent public education has been a great equalizer for people from all walks of life. If an individual works hard, for decades they have been able to create and access opportunity for a brighter future. We are at a moment in time where that promise is not being kept for students throughout our state, and especially in our small towns and rural communities. We must restore that promise.
I am a proud graduate of Longview Public Schools, along with my 8 brothers and sisters. When I was in school here, Washington’s school system used to be the envy of the nation, but decades of inaction have left us with a situation where the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that the State Legislature is not meeting its “paramount duty” of properly funding education, holding the Legislature in Contempt of Court, and fining taxpayers over $29 million in the past year due to the Legislature’s inaction and failures.
The Legislature does not only need to address how it funds education, we have to ensure that we are creating an environment where all students can learn and thrive, teachers are supported, and the system is accountable. We also need to ensure that our education system provides opportunities for life-long learning and for people to have access to different pathways to success. From pre-K, K – 12, community colleges and universities – every level of education needs to be supported to meet the needs of students and the communities they serve.
Our children, families, teachers, staff, and communities need and deserve legislators who will be leaders to tackle this problem head on. I commit to be such a leader.
Fairness and Justice
I believe that we must fight for all people regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation and identity.
I will stand against discrimination, fight for equity, and ensure that we all have the right to our own body, self-determination, and to live safely with equal opportunity.
Everyone needs and deserves access to essential health care services, and this includes women’s rights to the full range of reproductive health care, including pre-natal care, contraception and other preventive services, pregnancy care, and abortion.
Protecting our land, air and water, and tackling climate change
Our local communities, particularly those along the coasts, bays, and rivers that are the lifeblood of our region, are significantly impacted by pollution and climate change.
We need to be doing all that we can to protect our world-famous water quality, clean air, and forests. Our region depends on wise use and sustainable natural resource practices that we have pioneered locally, to preserve our jobs as well as our quality of life.
In addition, there is no question that climate change is real and we must do what we can to address the causes, including reducing our use and dependence on dirty and dwindling fossil fuels. The impacts of climate change will be felt most devastatingly on those living near oceans and rivers, including impacts on our shellfish and fishing industries on which so many of our local communities depend. We can even help lead the way, working cooperatively to stimulate business and investment that creates and grows clean energy industry and jobs that takes advantage of our region’s unique geography and natural resources, including the attractive allure of our beaches, rivers, and mountains.