Outside of Suburban Seattle, West Side A Lot Like ‘Us’ Politically
You may have heard from people on the West Side of the state say, "hey, we're NOT like Seattle." This study seems to reinforce that. And this survey comes from a DEMOCRATIC legislator who does not buy in with the rest of the party.
Senator Tim Sheldon is the longest tenured legislator in the State Senate, he's from the 35th District which is made up of Mason County, and parts of Thurston and Kitsap Counties. Annually, he sends out a survey to his constituents, asking a wide variety of questions such as, what the the most pressing state needs? Do you favor current political actions by legislature?, and more.
Geographically, it's one of the largest districts in the entire state. Sheldon was part of what was known as "The Coalition", he was one of 2 Democratic Senators who joined 24 GOP legislators to halt most of Inslee's and House's progressive legislation from 2013-2017. However, shifts in seats have given power back to Democrats in both branches 2018 onward.
Sheldon said in a news release Tuesday:
"The survey demonstrates the enormous gulf between the Legislature’s urban-Seattle leadership and the remainder of the state that lives beyond the King County line. Sheldon’s 35th Legislative District, which covers Mason County and parts of Kitsap and Thurston counties, strongly opposes efforts to artificially raise the cost of driving, mandate sex education in elementary schools, and impose new restrictions on gun rights."
Sheldon's office says 2,311 people filled out and returned the voter survey, which was done in mid-February. Here's how they stack up on current hot-button issues in the state:
- "82 percent oppose a low-carbon fuel standards measure that would largely duplicate the carbon-tax initiatives that have been rejected twice by Washington voters. The bulk of the governor’s proposal (HB 1110) is a retread of the carbon taxes that have been rejected twice by Washington voters, and official estimates indicate it would raise the price of gasoline by up to 57 cents a gallon.
- 71 percent oppose a mandatory statewide sex-education curriculum for public-school students, starting in kindergarten. Sheldon was the only Democrat to oppose that measure (SB 5395), which was approved Saturday and awaits the governor’s signature.
- 61 percent say the state should not increase homelessness spending, and 63 percent say local governments should enforce vagrancy laws.
- 92 percent say “keeping taxes low” should be a priority for the state.
- 78 percent say they oppose a new income tax on capital gains, a proposal that enjoys much favor among Democratic legislative leaders."
Sheldon went on to say about the study:
"Outside the central Puget Sound area, we don’t see a lot of six-figure incomes, and people struggle to put food on the table. We just aren’t that interested in protest marches, class warfare and endless talk about sex and race.
“And that’s where we see the disconnect. The Legislature needs to be sensitive to the needs of all of Washington, and not just its wealthiest urban region.”
It's too bad the rest of his party doesn't heed his wisdom and do the job and listen to what voters want, not just a few elites.