Incumbent Rep. Javier Valdez (D-Seattle) is running against Jerry Zeiger-Buccola, a Republican from Kenmore, for position 2 in the 46th Legislative District. The 46th district covers North Seattle, Lake Forest Park and Kenmore.
Editor’s note: Zeiger-Buccola, declined to participate in the Reporter’s Q&A.
1. Please provide a brief biography.
Javier Valdez: I was appointed to the State Legislature in 2017 and (am) the proud son and grandson of farmworkers and laborers. I have been a city of Seattle employee for more than 20 years, where most of my focus has been supporting and assisting women and minority-owned businesses. I hold a business degree from the University of Washington and master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College, the City University of New York.
2. Do you believe that taxes are calculated fairly to fund education in our state? If not, what would you change?
Valdez: Because of McCleary, the Legislature is now investing long overdue funding towards our education system. However, there is still work to do, especially in the areas of special education, bilingual programs, and funding for more nurses and counselors. We must be open to finding additional revenue streams to provide for these services.
3. Home prices and property taxes have been on the rise. How would you promote housing diversity and affordability?
Valdez: We must continue to invest in affordable housing and finding creative ways to assist all of Washington’s cities in this effort. As our cities and towns struggle with the homeless crisis, we must partner together, state, counties and cities, to keep those who are in danger from losing their home in their home and getting our homeless into permanent housing. We must also continue to invest and support the Housing Trust Fund.
4. Mass shootings, suicides and school security are big concerns in our communities. When it comes to guns, how do you balance safety with constitutional rights?
Valdez: One mass shooting is one too many and there is overwhelming support to ensure to guns are kept secure and guns be kept from dangerous people who wish to do harm. Raising gun ownership to 21 years of age, requiring background checks on assault weapons are two reasonable and common-sense policy issues, for example.