Issues

Michelle's Positions and Plans

Let's Go Washington

11 Initiatives Michelle Supports. Click below to get the details and sign the petitions.

Public Safety

It’s time to make crime illegal again

Radical progressives in the State Legislature have pushed poorly written, anti-policing bills through the legislature despite numerous objections from Police Chiefs, Sheriffs and the public, while Republicans have offered amendments to improve these flawed bills and balance the rights of citizens with public safety. It is no surprise that less than 24 hours after these laws went into effect that we have seen an increase in crime.

“Government has a duty to protect and it is failing our communities.”

Source: WA Assoc. of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

As your state Senator Michelle will work zealously to make crime illegal again. She will prioritize public safety, support law enforcement and crime prevention and put victims first. As a paralegal who has worked over a decade in the judicial environment, she can offer perspective on criminal justice reform and reforms of our judicial system to balance the rights of the accused with the rights of victims.

Michelle will apply a listen, learn, lead approach to restoring balance and common sense to police and criminal justice reform. She will seek the advice of community leaders, citizens and law enforcement to craft policies that balance justice with public safety.

She will support laws that help law enforcement do its job, put more adequately trained peace officers on our streets and protect our communities.

She will stand in the way of any laws that would strip citizens of their right or ability to protect themselves.

Source: Administrative Office of Courts criminal filing data

Quality of Life

Issues that impact every Washingtonian

Transportation

It’s time to get Washington moving

Well-performing highways and local arterial roads are critical to moving people, and products, and a vibrant economy. Traffic conditions continue to deteriorate even as the state has invested billions in our transportation system. Furthermore, more time in the car is more carbon in the air, so effort to reduce our carbon footprint by muscling people out of their cares is counterproductive.

Much like our education system, it is not a matter of insufficient investment; the issue is how the money is spent. Seattle-style leftist politicians continue to try to engineer people out of their cars and this agenda drives the allocation of funds. 31% of transportation dollars are allocated to Sound transit but only 1.9% of the per person trips are by Sound Transit, whereas 75.4% of trips are via motors vehicles.

Investments in Sound Transit have been the “most expensive amount of money for nothing in the history of the world.”- Kemper Freeman (East King County Developer)

“Stalled Traffic is not Green Policy” – Michelle Darnell

The focus has on investing in Sound Transit, pedestrian walkways and bikes. However, these are not practical modes of travel for most families and certainly not for commercial industry. Imagine carting your children to soccer practice or the grocery store on a bike or via the bus system. Is it practical to travel to court
riding a bike with your case file?

It is time to reconsider this approach.

Michelle, like Kemper Freeman, believes that people should enjoy the freedom to travel where they want, how they want and when they want.

Michelle will work to support redirecting funding to increase capacity and repair arterial roads. She will advocate for taking back our lanes and returning to single HOV +2 Lanes. She will support investments in van pools and automated vehicle infrastructure. “It’s time to break up the public transportation monopoly and get Washington moving.”

Small Business & Jobs

It's time to listen, learn and lead

State government can do better when it comes to our local economy. Seattlepoliticians make decisions that shutter local businesses and then say our communities should be dependent on Seattle tourists. We can’t rebuild oureconomy on any one industry. We need family wage jobs. That means a diversified economy. And local legislators who will stand up to Seattle’s agenda.

Small businesses employ over half of the workforce.  Large businesses pass on thecost of mandates and taxes to customers which increases the costs of goods and services, further impacting poor and middle-class communities.  

Michelle will work to reduce barriers to small business success, like the B&O tax, which is a regressive tax on business.  The B&O tax is a tax on businesses before  they pay their payroll or bills.  The B&O has got to go!

Michelle will reach out to leaders in all  industry sectors to explore ways to reduce the cost of doing business in Washington state.

Based on my experience running a business and negotiating settlements, I truly believe the very best ideas come from the collective. My job as a senator is to seek out those voices, listen and facilitate the conversation, not ram rod my own agenda.

Tax Relief

It’s time for tax relief

State spending has nearly doubled since Governor Inslee took office.  There were 22 new tax increases during 2019-21 legislative sessions.

Washington state has one of the most regressive tax codes in the country.  Tax and spend, government first politicians have increased our taxes every session and there is no relief in sight, despite revenue surpluses and families and businesses struggling to recover from 2 years of covid mandates.

We are caught in a never-ending tax cycle.

Taxes create poverty.  Then legislators increase taxes to “invest in solutions” to the very problems created by redistributing wealth from families and businesses to government.  It is an endless cycle.

The burden on families and small businesses has been devastating. Increases in sales tax, gas tax, property taxes, tabs tolls and other fees is crushing families and businesses.  So much so that many people are moving out of the state.  Many more cant even afford to move.

Michelle believes in empowering people not government. She recognized that the heavy weight of taxation leaves families and small businesses powerless.

It is time to end this cycle and time for tax relief.

As your Senator, Michelle will fight any effort to increase taxes, fees or other effort to redistribute your hard-earned money to government. 

“Oppressive taxation is legalized plunder.  There are plenty of government first, tax and spend legislators in Olympia. I will be a voice for the people. We need tax relief now!”

Michelle also believes government has a spending problem and it is time to audit state government agencies and exercise fiscal responsibility. 

Housing & Homelessness

Its time for to increase the availability of affordable housing

Washington is the 7th worst in country in terms of housing affordability and it is getting worse.

Much of this is due to a supply and demand problem.  225,000 fewer housing units were produced than than needed in last 15 years.  Housing underproduction increases the cost of housing and also rents.  Also, thousands of people lost their homes during the recession and became renters.  This drove up rents as well.  People who cannot afford rising rents or first last and a deposit to move, can end up on the street.

On the other hand, zoning laws, impact fees and other regulations increase the cost of building and slow down the effort to meet demand.  The increase in property taxes also contribute to higher housing costs and rents.

There are some who believe that homelessness is fundamentally a mental health and substance abuse issue, and that certainly contributes to it,  but in fact those issues can also be caused by the homelessness issues itself. People often give up or turn to drugs and alcohol as an escape.  People become acclimated to the street culture over time and it becomes more difficult to get them up and out of homelessness.

This crisis did not develop overnight.  “As a foreclosure paralegal during the recession, I tried to sound the alarm. I saw empty bank owned homes across the state and tents popping up like mushrooms in urban areas.  I saw people displaced unnecessarily from homeownership and I knew that we had a crisis brewing. Unfortunately, it was not a priority until it became a crisis.”

Bills that would spur more home production and lower the costs of new housing were sponsored but failed in 2020.  Instead, the Democrat majority enacted $300 million in new taxes on real estate transactions in 2021, driving up housing costs. 

As your senator, Michelle can offer a unique perspective in addressing the multi-faceted crisis.  She will work to address the mental health and substance abuse crisis, while also working to decrease the barriers to increasing  housing affordability.  She knows we cannot spend our way out of the crisis, we need to build our way out.  

Education & School Choice

It’s time to fund the student rather than the system

Michelle strongly believes that parents and tax payers are ready to stop funding a failing top-down system and time to start funding parent driven education. Her number one priority as your senator will be fighting for our kids and she is a strong advocate for school choice. “The money should follow the back pack.”

17 states already have a version of school choice. School choice incentivizes government schools to listen to the parents (customers) while allowing families the option to school the best school for their children, regardless of where they live. It should not be that only the wealthiest families enjoy that option. Where school choice is tried, it works.

As your Senator, Michelle will work to advance school choice options through our legislature. She strongly supports voter approved charter schools and education savings accounts or scholarships so parents have more control over how education dollars are spent. She will work to build bi-partisan support. A 2021 poll, indicated that over 70% of the electorate, regardless of political party or race, favored school choice.

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