It’s our duty to protect residents from crime and injustice. That’s especially true when it comes to the most vulnerable members of our families: children, people with disabilities, seniors, foster children, the hungry, the homeless and our veterans. We believe in neighbors helping neighbors, and know that misfortune can strike any family at any time. That’s why we must ensure funding for those who need our help and reform laws to better protect the safety and privacy of families in every corner of Washington state. Some of the worst harm done in our state is by impaired drivers. Washington leads the way in reducing deaths and injuries due to drunk driving, but we must make sure we build on that good work by closing loopholes that allow the worst repeat offenders to continue wreaking havoc. Our communities and our roadways will be safer as we remain vigilant. Cracking down on those who use the Internet to distribute private, intimate images of other people, and on those who possess sexually-explicit images of children is a constant goal of House Democrats. We’ve done great work in strengthening the laws on the books, and giving law enforcement the tools and funding they need to pursue child pornography traffickers.
We must continue funding law enforcement programs that arrest and prosecute those who are committing these crimes and abuses. We must also make sure our young people aren’t slipping through the cracks.
Reducing recidivism for youthful offenders, preventing youth homelessness and helping youth in foster care so they can transition from child to adulthood are important because without stability and guidance, the young people of today can get lost in the system and end up the criminals of tomorrow.
Our state must respond to crisis, including situations involving persons experiencing emotional, mental, physical, behavioral or chemical dependency-related crises. Providing training to our law enforcement officers gives them the tools they need to respond to these situations.
And when we are faced with natural disasters, our communities should have access to statewide plans to mobilize our emergency responders so that when big disasters happen, like the Oso landslide, local emergency responders have the help they need to keep our communities safe.