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  • Joe Kear

Why I Am Running!

Working families need a break! That’s why I’m running. We need a representative who will support the interests of average folks. My opponent has only a 27% lifetime voting record with the Washington State Labor Council. He’s voted against working families. I’ll be the representative who will vote for us.

For too long we’ve focused on tax breaks and subsidies for corporate giants. We have rising costs and problems that need attention. Let’s focus on investments to address: housing, healthcare, childcare, and education. Let’s tackle mental health and the homeless issue. Let’s create local jobs with investments in clean energy, broadband, small business and local industry.

I was elected to be a union representative for the Machinists and Aerospace Workers in 2005 and helped employees throughout the area. I know how to listen, collaborate, negotiate and get things done. I can work with groups to identify where our interests are aligned, and move us forward. I did that in 2009 when the Daimler Truck plant in Portland announced it was closing and moving production to Mexico. I led four unions in negotiations and helped work out the financial case to keep the plant open. It’s still there today.

That’s what we need in Olympia. Someone who can work with people to figure out the best path forward. As part of the majority I will be in the mix to get representation and funding for our area.

The Democrats hold only a slim majority in the House. If we lose it we will be jeopardizing our future. It’s not hard to predict. Look at the red states, with bans on abortion and attacks on personal rights and restrictions on voting. And their attacks on immigration are compounding a worker shortage. So-called moderate Republicans have gone along with this. We can’t risk this extremism in our state.

I’ve always helped people. I’ve worked with the homeless, and with community groups. I have fought for individual rights, including organizing the first LGBTQ events and working for school desegregation, and for women’s rights including the freedom of choice.

I know my way around financial issues, having worked as a bookkeeper and I have served as treasurer for many organizations. I serve as an officer for a large pension plan.

I live on 50 acres of forestland and understand rural issues in our district. I serve on the conservation district and I was involved in drafting Skamania County’s West End Comprehensive Plan in 2001-2004. We want to protect our rural areas and still have opportunities for housing and jobs.

My priorities:

1) Working Families. We need investments to support housing supply and affordability, healthcare costs, education costs, and childcare. Let’s support eldercare so seniors can stay in their homes.

2) Jobs for the future. Let’s create local jobs and address climate changes with investments in clean energy. Let’s invest in education for the jobs of the future including apprenticeships and trade school. Let’s support broadband, small business and local industry.

3) Restore our communities. Everyone deserves to feel safe. Let’s invest to recruit and keep officers, support equitable law enforcement and promote community policing. Let’s support mental health and develop a comprehensive approach to the homeless issue. Let’s restore our sense of community where everyone is valued and respected.

Good jobs and improving our local economy will solve a lot of problems. I know how to get real results for working families. Let’s make our economy work for everyone!

I appreciate your consideration. My promise is to listen, and speak up for working families, small business and local jobs.

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