Finding solutions for affordable housing
Rep. Gregerson speaking at a rally the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance on the Capitol campus on Jan. 5, 2020.
Homelessness can happen to anyone. We have too many people living without shelter and many more are one financial crisis away from losing their housing. Homelessness looks different across the state and there is no singular cause, so there cannot be a singular solution. We need to build a diverse tool kit.
One of the methods the Legislature is considering is accessory dwelling units (ADUs), more widely known as in-law units or backyard cottages. By removing barriers for homeowners to develop these modest size dwellings on their property, we can increase the housing stock in existing neighborhoods so that seniors can age in place, people can spend less time in traffic and children aren’t pushed out of the neighborhood their school is in.
Fighting back against climate change with clean fuels standard and reducing single use plastics
The 2019 session included passage of some key environmental policies, including policies to transition our state to 100% clean energy by 2045, phase out super pollutants, and create more energy efficiency for commercial buildings.
While these were big victories, we know that there’s a lot more work to do to.
Clean fuels standard: Nearly half of Washington state’s greenhouse gas emissions are from the transportation sector. Implementing a clean fuels standard would deliver the triple win of protecting our climate, cleaning our air, and growing clean energy jobs. Last week, the House passed legislation to help create a healthy environment and strengthen our economy by growing jobs across the state. It now moves to the Senate for consideration. The program is similar to ones in California, Oregon, and British Columbia that have seen huge success for air quality and the environment.
Single-use plastics: Single use plastics – including grocery bags, take-out food containers and straws – gum up our recycling facilities, add to landfill waste, contribute harmful microplastics to the environment and harm our local marine life. Our Legislature is looking into a variety of options to reduce plastic use, but here are a few things you can do at home:
Moving elections to even years means more participation
Moving all elections to even years could increase participation in our democracy. Right now turn out in odd-year local elections falls far behind even numbered years. Nationally, less than 30 percent of registered voters will participate in local elections. This means that a small minority of voters end up deciding how entire communities are represented.
Cities and states that have moved elections to even years have seen positive results already. For example, the city of Baltimore went from 13 percent turn out to 60 percent after moving local elections into the 2016 cycle. In order to have a truly representative democracy, we must ensure that everyone has ample opportunity to participate.
All best wishes,
Rep. Mia Gregerson