Candidate Q&A: Cheryl Hurst | 2020 primary

Following is the candidate’s unedited answers to a list of questions from the Federal Way Mirror. The primary election is Aug. 4.

  • Monday, July 27, 2020 2:30pm
  • News

Cheryl Hurst is running for Legislative District 30, State Representative Pos. 1.

Candidate’s name: Cheryl Hurst

Age: 60

Occupation: Non Profit President, Airbnb Host

Why are you running for the Legislature? (250 words or less)

I am stepping up to make sure that OUR 30th District has a person with high integrity. We often get overlooked in our district. I was already concerned before the pandemic, about how our growing communities can help their citizens and economically compete & prosper. I will listen to the needs in our district, work with all community members and not back down to peer pressure in Olympia. I have a voice for and a track record of working & helping our communities. The Federal Way Mirror readers spoke for me in my decision to run by voting Best Community Volunteer in years 2019 & 2020. I couldn’t think of any better way to honor the award!

Will you pursue/support any state legislation for reforming police departments? (250 words or less)

Yes! I would support legislation for improvements in community policing where law enforcement work closely with members in their communities. The police work in partnership with the community with the goal of being more proactive rather than reactive when possible. I also want to take a look at training of the new and seasoned officers, to get their input on how they can be better supported by their citizens and what they believe might help them in their jobs and their home life. I believe we need to change what officers are expected to do. We need to supplement the departments with mental health professionals and also provide a CLEAR directive on how we handle issues.

How do you plan to prioritize racial equity in Washington? (250 words or less)

By working on partnering with private citizens, the business community and government to create opportunities with apprenticeships, mentoring and a hand up for us to build our economy and create less barriers. We need to make sure that the 30th district is not bearing more of the burden of solutions in our state that lead to less equitable outcomes in the region compared to other communities. Opportunity zones should be opportunities that include all of our community while being an incentive for investors. We need to advocate for equitable school funding in the 30th district diverse communities.

What will you do in the Legislature to address homelessness and affordable housing in your district? (250 words or less)

This complex situation cannot be answered with a one stop shop approach. We need to define why people are homeless. I believe we need to work on homeless families with children & the elderly as highest priority with successful programs such as Fusion Housing. Affordable housing might include grants for home-ownership such as Habitat for Humanity. We need to figure out how to support stable housing since each move depletes the budget and disrupts lives. We need to improve access to mental health care services and create systems where those with mental illness can be properly diagnosed and treated. We need to make drug treatment mandatory for those who are drug addicted and pose harm to self or others.

Where do you stand on Referendum 90 and Senate Bill 5395, and why? (A vote to approve Referendum 90 supports allowing Senate Bill 5395 to take effect, thereby requiring public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education for all students and requiring students to be excused if requested by their parents.)

I believe we should focus on teaching a general tolerance for individual differences. I agree with the social & emotional learning as long as it is age appropriate. I believe sexual education starting in 5th grade and above should still be included to prepare students for questions they may have going into middle and high school. If we continue with comprehensive sex education, I think we should consider the option of allowing families to opt in rather than to opt out as an approach. We need to respect families who are new to our State/Country and not take what would typically be a parent or caregivers’ job and hand it over to a classroom teacher. We are missing skills/teaching opportunities that could be taught such as how to start a bank account, Drivers ed and how to communicate and get along more effectively with others. I think we should use more School curriculum to allow time for counseling and mentoring our students to be productive and responsible adults and give them time to ask questions and discuss their needs/fears about growing up.

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