I'm Natalie McClendon and I'm running for State Representative in Whatcom County's 42nd district to help lead the state toward a strong economic foundation. As a legislator I'll draw on my experience building coalitions in community groups, working as a public school teacher, and as a small business owner. I believe that in order to lead, one must first listen and learn.
No politician or political party has a monopoly on good ideas. By listening to people across the political spectrum throughout Whatcom County, I will gather ideas to craft solutions to get our economy moving again.
As a teacher, a community leader, and now a candidate, I've talked with voters in every corner of the district. They are tired of the partisan bickering and gridlock and worried about the economy and their kids' education and future. District residents tell me they feel ignored when trying to talk with my opponent, Mr. Overstreet.
Getting our economy healthy again is everyone's top priority. The legislature took an important step this year with the passage of the Jobs Now Act, which funds some 20,000 jobs in Washington retrofitting for energy efficiency and updating drinking water, fish hatchery and stormwater facilities. Voters are baffled that my opponent voted against this important bi-partisan jobs bill. It is putting thousands of construction workers back to work in Whatcom County and across the state, improving our state's infrastructure, saving future tax dollars, and putting money into local economies. It's as if he hadn't heard there was a recession.
When it comes to understanding our problems and finding effective solutions, there are a lot of good people to learn from: labor, business, environmentalists, teachers, nurses, Democrats, independents, Republicans and everyday citizens. I've learned a lot from years of working with people across the district to make our communities and neighborhoods better. I will continue to learn from you so that I can fairly represent you in the state Legislature.
In contrast, my opponent has already made up his mind on budget issues. He's "no" on jobs. "No" on women's health care. "No" on all-day kindergarten. "No" on removing toxic sealants on playgrounds. "No" on family planning. "No" on clean drinking water. And the list goes on and on. While the rest of the legislature tackles tax reform to make our system fair and raise the revenue needed to fully fund education, he will be sitting on the sidelines, waiting to vote "no."
We need an economy that works for all Americans, and the 42nd District needs a legislator who will help solve the challenges our families and neighbors face in today's complicated, challenging world. As a small business owner, I can't clock out at the end of the day and leave the problems for someone else to deal with. I'll bring this same commitment to problem solving to the Legislature, working with all my colleagues to build coalitions for practical, fair and smart solutions.
Having a well-educated workforce will help keep Washington State businesses competitive in the global economy. All our children need a good education to be ready for a good job. Kids can't learn in over-crowded classrooms, and they need teachers that care about the success of every single student. I had a great public school education and my kids went to good schools, too. But we are failing the next generation by not preparing them for the good jobs we have right here in this state at major employers like Boeing and Microsoft, as well as the thousands of smaller businesses in Whatcom County.
My opponent's idea of leadership is to introduce a bill to require county treasurers to accept gold in payment for taxes. One local business leader told me, exasperated, that "we've really got to get serious there." Yes, we do.
If there were easy answers we'd have solved all our problems long ago. But with your help, ideas, input and involvement, we can make good decisions for the 42nd District and Washington. I promise to listen, learn and lead for a better future for all of us.
Ballots will be in your mailbox around Oct. 20, and I ask for your vote.
Learn more at PeopleForNatalie.com
Natalie McClendon is the Democratic candidate for Washington State House of Representatives, District 42, Position 1. Each of the 49 state legislative districts is represented by one senator and two representatives who vote on state laws and budgets. State representatives are elected every two years and are paid $42,106 annually. The state representatives from the 42nd District represent about 137,000 people in the northern half of Bellingham and Whatcom County north to the Canadian border. One candidate will win election in the Nov. 6 general election.