My name is Laura Ruderman and I'm running for Congress because it's time that we the people take our democracy back.
I'm running for Congress to be a commonsense voice for people like you and me - to fix a broken political system where the one percenters look out for each other and no one looks out for the rest of us. I will throw the full weight of my legislative, professional, and personal experience into the political ring and hold nothing back. I won three legislative races by talking with voters, by doorbelling and personally responding to every email and phone call. As a member of Congress, I have pledged to return 25 constituent phone calls each day.
So far in this race I have knocked on 4,444 doors in every corner of our district, and I won't stop there. I want to know what my neighbors are thinking, and I want them to know, without a doubt, that I am listening. It is my mission to forge a direct connection between voters and the government that is supposed to serve them.
I have a proven track record. I got to the legislature by defeating a Republican incumbent in a Republican district, and then held the seat for three terms. For the first three years, the legislature was in a 49-49 tie. Rather than getting mired in gridlock and finger pointing, we figured out how to work together and got things done. We increased health insurance access for lower income kids and brought the individual health insurance market back to Washington State. We passed balanced, bipartisan budgets. None of this was easy, and required making hard choices. I know when to compromise, and when to stand firm to best achieve the goals of my constituents.
My top priority is putting people back to work.
While in the legislature, I worked hard to attract and retain good jobs in the Puget Sound. I worked with companies like Boeing and Microsoft, and industries like biotech, to provide incentives and opportunities for job growth. When companies like these thrive, the multiplier effect generates more jobs across the entire state for suppliers, in construction, and across the retail sector. In the last decade, we have seen far too many new jobs providing subsistence wages with no benefits. This is not a future I believe in.
I am running for Congress because I believe that if someone is willing to show up and work hard, they ought to be paid a living wage, have health insurance, be able to take time off when they get sick or have a family emergency, and be able to retire with dignity. Social Security and Medicare should never be used as bargaining chips in a budget reduction debate.
I'm running for Congress because I want to be able to tell my two kids that our government recognized the danger of climate change and fought back. Climate change is a reality, and I am committed to expanding our nation's energy portfolio so that America can lead the world in starting a new green energy industrial sector.
I'm running for Congress because I can't sit idly by while a Republican-led House strips away the rights that women have fought so hard for, including the right to make our own reproductive choices. It is also well beyond the time when any two adults should be able to marry.
I'm running for Congress to fight for affordable, accessible health care for every person in our country. In just the last few years, my mother, my father, my sister and two sisters-in-law have all battled cancer. My sister-in-law recently died of it. For me, this is a deeply personal issue. I will never stop fighting to prevent insurance companies from denying or dropping coverage if you are sick. Affordable health care should be a right, not a privilege.
And finally, I'm running to restore tax fairness. The middle class deserves to pay a smaller percentage of its income in taxes than millionaires and billionaires.
Together we can address the troubling problems facing America today. I ask for your vote.
Laura Ruderman is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, District 1. The primary election is Aug. 7, with the top two candidates moving on to the Nov. 6 general election. For more information go online to bellinghamherald.com/election-news. Our online Voter Guide allows you to see candidate responses side by side, prepare your own sample ballot and share your endorsements on social media.