Education

Strong public schools are the backbone of a strong community. Our schools in

Washington should be some of the best in the country but due to years of inaction by our

legislature, many of our schools and many of our students continue to fall behind. We

have a long way to go to meet the obligations put in front of our legislature by the

McCleary decision. After Republicans passed the largest tax increase in state history

last year with their property tax hike that will impact families across Southwest

Washington, they claimed that our education system is now fully funded. However, it is

clear that it’s not. We can and must do better for all kids. Until every child has a

classroom instead of a portable, until our teachers are compensated fairly for the much

needed work they do, until our school districts have the tools and resources they need to

think proactively about each kid, we are not there yet. That’s why I will work tirelessly to

with my colleagues to ensure that our schools receive the funding they need to give our

students, teachers and staff the tools and support they need to be successful.

Economy

Thousands of our neighbors in Clark County leave home every day to head to Portland

for work. But we can create and keep these jobs right here at home. The current tax

burden placed on small businesses makes it tough to get off the ground and start turning

a profit. I will work to cut red tape and reduce the tax burden on small businesses, so we

can create jobs that stay right here in our community. Additionally, we need to identify

ways to help working families with the balancing act of making ends meet and spending

enough time at home. I will be a strong advocate for equal pay for equal work, reducing

the cost of child care, and working to make sure that the jobs we create in our

community offer living wages.

Transportation

Far too much of our time and money is wasted sitting in traffic every day. For years,

infrastructure improvements have been held up by partisan bickering and political

game-playing. While residents of our region need solutions, we have only seen stalling

from Olympia. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road. I support the I-5

bridge and believe that we need to move forward with a plan to move more people

across the bridge in a safe, quick, and affordable manner. I will work with

transportation experts, residents from our community, my colleagues in the legislature

on both sides of the aisle and in Oregon to identify and move forwarded with these

sorely needed infrastructure projects.

Taxes

Washington State recently increased property taxes to pay for education. While these

increases for local schools is extremely important, we have to have a balanced approach

when it comes to our tax system. I do not support an income tax as I know

firsthand being a lifelong resident of the 17th LD which is a border district

that an income tax is not popular. I think all options should be on the table for

discussion and debate and look forward to working with my colleagues on finding ways

to alleviate the burdens of ever-growing property and sales taxes, which

disproportionally impact our low-income neighbors, seniors, and working families.

Housing

I believe Housing needs to be a priority of all elected officials at the city, county and

state level. In 2016 I was a supporter of the City of Vancouver’s Prop 1 Affordable

Housing Levy. I would support legislation that gives local municipalities authority to

explore and act upon Rent Control policies and incentives to encourage alternative and

affordable housing types. Affordability is an issue not only for people facing or at risk for

homelessness; working families are also struggling to ensure they have housing security

as costs increase particularly around growing metropolitan areas. There are many

actions the state can take to address this, from direct investments like the Housing Trust

Fund to market regulations encouraging low-income and workforce housing, as well as

protections for tenants.

Public Safety

Gun violence in our country accounts for nearly 32,000 preventable deaths annually.

These staggering numbers do not include far more preventable injuries, lifelong impacts

of gun violence on survivors, families of victims, and financial costs to taxpayers. In

Washington State, more people die annually from gun violence than motor vehicle

accidents. It's an unacceptable toll - and it’s our responsibility to take action. Through

collaboration with community partners we can create common sense gun safety policy

and laws and education to reduce gun violence. I am a strong supporter for common

sense gun safety laws. As someone who has worked in the field of social services and

public education for 20 years and is a sister of a police officer, I want to see our

communities, schools and neighborhoods be safe.

Healthcare

Washington is one of the states that led the nation in enrollments in private insurance

through the Affordable Care Act, yet hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians still

have no health insurance. Crushing healthcare costs have made it difficult to strengthen

our economy, with families and businesses all struggling to make ends meet. Our state

legislature led the way in creating the Health Benefit Exchange envisioned under the

federal Affordable Care Act while expanding access to Apple Health. We still have

uninsured populations and a growing number of insured people who cannot afford the

care they need and deserve. Behavioral health and mental health issues is one of the

most urgent needs in our state. We need to provide adequate resources, treatment and

support services to help keep people from cycling to crisis.

Environmental Justice

Working families disproportionately experience the toll of environmental injustices

every day. High pollution levels and increased exposure to environmental hazards at

home and at work are a reality for many people. Climate Change is real and the

science behind it is real. We must prevent and address the human and economic

threats and invest in policies to grow the production of clean energy, renewable energy,

energy efficiency, clean manufacturing and infrastructure upgrades that create family

wage jobs.

Civil Rights

I’m a strong advocate for women’s rights, civil rights, human rights and

labor/union rights. As an elected official, I would sponsor, support and vote for

legislation that protects a woman’s right to choose, access to healthcare for all families

and public policy that support women in the workforce. We cannot have economic

justice without racial justice in our nation. Even now, as anti-union forces try to break

the strength of working people across Washington State and our country, the roots of

so-called right-to-work legislation are steeped in a history of racism as a thinly-veiled

attempts to drive a wedge between workers of color and their white brothers and sisters.

I will continue to speak up, stand up and advocate for our communities of color,

LGBTQ+ community and immigrant community. Simply put Hate is not allowed in our

17th Legislative District.

Paid For By Elect Tanisha Harris (D)

PO Box 873251 

Vancouver WA 98687 

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