Today I write to ask for your endorsement in my race for U.S. Representative in Washington state's 2nd District.
The value of a dollar and the importance of hard work were lessons I learned early in life as the son of a power line worker and a mom who managed the books while raising eight kids. With that many siblings, working together was a necessity and finding common ground just a part of growing up. We took care of each other, and knew that giving back to our community was a must. Now my wife and I are instilling those same values of hard work, giving back, and taking care of those who need help in our children.
Those values drive me to serve our community and run for Congress.
This year, I am focused on building an economy that creates more jobs by investing in our roads, bridges, ferries and highways; and helping small businesses grow by increasing their opportunities to export their products. I'm also working on local efforts to grow our clean energy economy and establish Washington's 2nd District as a center for renewable energy innovation.
I want to increase access to education, including apprenticeships and adult basic education, to help people gain more skills. I've introduced a bill that connects students to training in STEM skills that prepare them for good-paying jobs in manufacturing. I want to create a pathway that takes students from their junior year in high school through community college and into an apprenticeship. We also need to focus on adult basic education and literacy efforts as well as workforce development. America should be investing in anyone looking to increase their skills and better themselves.
I am working to bring more financial security to students concerned or struggling with student debt. I want students to be able to refinance their federal student loans to take advantage of lower interest rates. I am also pushing to pass a bill that would protect private student loan borrowers from "auto-defaulting" if a cosigner dies or goes into bankruptcy. I am fighting to protect and expand Pell Grants. And I fully support President Obama's community college plan to offer free community college tuition to students who meet specific criteria. Measure such as these would provide students and families with financial relief, and help those struggling with loan debt to invest in their future.
Finally, I am focused on bringing more opportunities to people by breaking down barriers that prevent them from participating in the economy or our democracy. I am fighting to protect women's rights and LGBT rights as well as strengthen the Voting Rights Act. I want to overturn Citizens United and get dark money out of our election process. And I am working to take care of our most vulnerable by passing real immigration reform, supporting our refugees, and breaking down the barriers of addiction and homelessness in our communities.
I am proud to call myself a lifelong Democrat and call Washington state's 2nd District home. Please support me and join my campaign with your endorsement. Together we can help bring more jobs, more skills, more financial security and more opportunities to our community.
Posted on January 21, 2016.
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