2015 constituent survey results: Follow the money
The good folks of our legislative district are engaged, educated and passionate about our state’s quality of life. We have a 90% voter registration rate and, in a presidential year, a 90% voter turnout–consistently more than any other legislative district in Washington. In fact, given our district’s civic engagement, it’s hard not to enjoy the trivial and irrelevant point that in both 2014 and 2012 I received more votes than anyone else running for the Legislature in any seat statewide. In appreciating our district, this year I’ve once again reached out with a comprehensive constituent survey to ask how folks are feeling about issues and ideas that matter on the front lines of life. And this year once again I am deeply humbled by the profound sense of commitment to building us up as a community together.
As chair of the Finance committee, much of my work is focused around taxes and spending.
Here are the results of this year’s survey.
I also received literally more than 500 private comments about important issues, ideas and concerns impacting people in their lives today, and perspectives on how state government can more effectively serve our community. I am choosing not to share those individual comments since many have personal concerns, but I will share with you how impactful the comments are about tough issues. There is a genuine sense in our district that we can be so much more as a state than what we’ve become, and we can invest more effectively in public education and infrastructure to enable our children to enjoy a quality of life we’ve enjoyed. Those blessings are under threat as we as a state fail to spend the public’s hard-earned tax dollars as effectively as possible but also express a lack of willingness statewide to invest sufficiently in public services.
We are all the government. It is not some distant entity, it is all of us. Our representative democracy is under threat, however, by the influence of money. We must make government more responsible, more connected to real people living real lives and more engaged in solving the right issues. I am torn in that on some days I am angry at the bureaucracy for losing site of how hard the public works to earn tax dollars, and other times when I feel the public has lost site of the need to engage in civic issues in constructive ways that benefit all of us. The juxtaposition of these views is probably inevitable and healthy, but they also point to the need for active civic engagement at all times. Vigilance is the price of liberty!
I am so deeply honored to represent the people of our district and our state. Serving as a part-time citizen legislator is not easy or for the faint of heart, but it is rewarding.
Please share your thoughts and insights as we move forward during the 2015 legislative session. Comment here, email me at email@example.com, follow me on @reuvencarlyle or ask to connect on Facebook.
Your partner in service,