Your Name: E.J. Zita
Name of Office: Port Commissioner, Port of Olympia (Thurston County, WA)
Congressional District: 22
Legislative District: 8
Date of Election (mm/dd/yy): 11/07/17
Candidate Website: http://www.reelectzitaforport.com
Candidate Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zitaforport/
Candidate Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do You: Believe in the need for Campaign Finance Reform/not support Super PACs/Citizen’s United?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: Corporations are not people. Elections should not be bought. My average campaign contribution is less than $100. My opponent has big contributions from PACs, and her average is over $150.
Do You: Believe in Medicare/Medicaid/single-payer for all?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: Everyone deserves health insurance that covers what they need and is easy to access. My partner, an ARNP, is one of the few primary providers in our area who accepts Medicare/Medicaid patients, because their reimbursement rates are so low. So those patients are underserved – and even when they get to see a doctor, they have to wait too long for a specialist,
Do You: Believe in LGBTQ marriage equality/equal rights?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate: Everyone should have the right to love whom they please (consenting adults). Marriage is a patriarchal institution, but it is valuable because it provides easy financial and legal protection for committed couples and families. I am lesbian, and have married my girlfriend twice – finally in our home state.
Do You: Believe in tax-paid public accredited college access for all who are accepted and free tuition at all public colleges?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: Yes, everyone should have access to education regardless of ability to pay. Also, young people (and transitioning workers) should have access to good vocational and apprenticeship training. I teach at a PUBLIC liberal arts college, dedicated to providing high quality education to all. I also support union apprenticeship programs.
Do You: Support college loan repayment relief and college loan monthly payments no more than 10% of net income?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: College should help young people better thrive in their future – not burden them unnecessarily. Grants and low interest loans are too difficult for young people to get now.
Do You: Believe in closing corporate tax loopholes?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: Businesses and the rich must pay their fair share of taxes. Tax rates for the rich should be higher. The burden falls disproportionately to the poor and middle class. Related – Sales tax is regressive. I support an income tax for WA state. Carbon tax should be levied nationally, and higher carbon rebates returned to the lowest income people.
Do You: Believe in a $15 Minimum Wage (graduated in, over 4 years, at a maximum)?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: That is still not a living wage, but it is a good start. It should be national, so states can fairly compete with each other. I pay all the kids helping on our farm $15/hour or more.
Do You: Prioritize repairing infrastructure?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: We should first maintain infrastructure so it needs less repair (e.g. chip and seal roads now, so there are fewer expensive potholes later). Too many Bridges are dangerous and urgently need repair. We should invest in sustainable infrastructure for the future – for transportation, communications, and utilities. Passenger rail, public wireless internet, and renewable energy, for example. This drives jobs, improves communities, and helps protect the environment. I support these policies, currently serving on our county transportation committee.
Do You: Believe in Police/Prison Reform (end private prisons, drug treatment vs. prison, possible Body Cams, demilitarize/retrain police, etc.)?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: Absolutely necessary. We are working to improve language in WA state code so that police cannot be excused from killing people if they claim they were afraid. All police need deep and repeating training in de-escalation, and in better serving people with low resource, no homes, and /or mental illness. My spouse, an ARNP, sees too many of her patients hurt by cops because they are on the streets. One gets beat up, suspected of being drunk, because he has CP. I have been an activist for police reform since we were brutalised in our peaceful anti-war protest in 2003. In 2016, I worked WITH our local police toward a peaceful resolution of a public standoff, and I have a respectful relationship with our local police chief.
Do You: Believe in finding a way to reduce the power of the military industrial complex and constant state of conflict/war?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please be specific.: Yes, war is almost always immoral, and preparations for war are obscenely expensive. We should fully support the UN, and all nuclear powers should disarm. I am a nuclear physicist by training (fusion – trying to make a safe sun in the laboratory), and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists throughout my adult life.
Do You: Support common sense gun control/improved background checks (ban on assault weapons, like Bernie)?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please be specific.: Yes, background checks should be required for every purchase, and no automatics. Every gun owner should be licensed and required to pass tests and/or take training. We own a gun because we have a farm; we are trained, and the gun is unloaded and locked up.
Do You: Support a woman’s right to choose and will try to prevent local legislation that inhibits access to care at Planned Parenthood or any other clinic providing women’s care in this area?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: Only a woman has the right to decide what happens to her body. A fetus is not a person. We need the right to terminate pregnancies so that parenthood can be a positive choice, not an accident. Education of women and family planning are the biggest factor in improving quality of life and healthy communities, globally (along with clean water). Women and girls should have access to free abortion on demand, as well as birth control and other physical and mental health care. My partner provided all family planning options until her women\’s health clinic was firebombed by anti-abortion terrorists in 2005. We rebuilt it, but could no longer get insurance to provide abortions.
Do You: Believe in climate change and working towards renewable energy sources?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: Yes, I am a PhD physicist working in energy research, and scientific research is indisputable. Human burning of fossil fuel is responsible for rapid and accelerating global warming and ocean acidification. We have the ability transition to 100% renewable energy in one generation if we commit to this, creating good jobs in the process. The sooner the better, because feedback effects will make it harder to restore climate equilibrium, the longer we delay. Our new climate will be warmer, and weather will be more extreme, but we must stabilise our environment by first stopping carbon emissions, and then absorbing excess atmospheric carbon – with sustainable farming and re-forestation.
Do You: Believe in separation of church and state?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: Separation of church and state is in our constitution for good reasons. Religious freedom means no religion should be given special preference, e.g. tax breaks.
Do You: Believe in a path to citizenship?: Yes
Why or Why Not? Please Elaborate.: It is socially just, and it is good for our communities and our country. People deserve the same paths to citizenship that our grandparents had. And newcomers to our country enrich us all, culturally and practically. We need each other.
Did you support Bernie in the 2016 Primary?: Yes
Do you support and believe in whistleblowers like Eric Snowden and Julian Assange?: No
If Not, Why?: Snowden yes, Assange no – he appears to be a rapist.
Do you respect 3rd parties as an alternative to get corporate ownership out of politics? Or should you “vote blue no matter who?”: Yes, we absolutely need more than 2 parties in the US. Polarization between Rs and Ds yields gridlock and other problems. Coalitions between diverse parties strengthen European governments by making them compromise and work together. But actually getting a third party in office is a hard process in the US – because it can split our votes in this entrenched 2 party system. I am registered both Democrat and Green – because I have always been D, and I love the 10 key values of Greens. Coalition with Greens Revolutionized energy policy in Germany. We need to move in the same direction.
Other Comments.: I ask you to endorse both Zita for Port and Fishburn for Port. Together, we can make the Port of Olympia a Port for the People. I would also be grateful for a campaign donation, as our conservative opponent has deep pockets from the status quo. Thank you for these questions! Can I get a copy of my answers please. email@example.com PS – I was a Bernie alternate for our precinct last year.