This is part of a series of candidate profiles Patch will be bringing you for the 2012 elections. Incumbent Cathy Dahlquist is running against Brian L. Gunn for Position No. 1 in the 31st Legislative District.
NAME: Cathy Dahlquist
OFFICE SOUGHT: State Representative 31st LD, Position 1
PARTY AFFILIATION: Republican
TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Enumclaw
CURRENT OCCUPATION: Small business owner & State Representative
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: My husband Jeff & I own a small architectural firm in Enumclaw.
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE FACING VOTERS IN YOUR DISTRICT: The lack of jobs and the poor economy are the most pressing issues facing our district.
IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?
It is all about setting priorities and funding those priorities within existing revenues. Continuing to look for ways we can operate state government leaner and not spend more money than we have. I will continue to plan for the future and long term stability by continuing to reform pensions and fully fund what is owed to these plans.
I am one of only a handful of elected legislators that actually owns a small business. I will continue to work on needed government reforms that will offer relief to business and allow them to create jobs. By offering these reforms in the area of L & I and Workers Compensation, more employees can stay on the job. By reducing the Growth Management regulations we will create a healthy economy by encouraging growth.
Improving public education by ensuring we are fully funding our schools, offering more choices to families and putting in place accountability measures that ensure we have the best teachers in front of students. By being a member of the Education Funding Task Force and the Education Accountability Task Force I will have direct input on making sure we improve our student outcomes so our students are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE REFERENDUM 74: SHOULD GAY MARRIAGE BE LEGAL IN WASHINGTON? BRIEFLY, WHY?
The voters will ultimately decide the outcome of the redefinition of marriage. I believe that the definition of marriage resides in one’s religious beliefs and not in the opinions of our state government. As a Catholic, I am opposed to redefining marriage as it is currently defined. The domestic partner law that was passed by the voters in 2009 allows couples that are the same sex to have the same legal rights of all couples.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE, INITIATIVE 502 TO MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIJUANA LEGAL TO PEOPLE 21 AND OLDER? BRIEFLY, WHY?
Until the federal government takes action to change the definition of marijuana as a controlled narcotic, I will not support the legalization at the state level. Currently, the law allows for patients to obtain a recommendation from a doctor that allows them to use small amounts of the drug for medicinal purposes.
Editor's Note: As Cathy Dahlquist was also a member of the Enumclaw School Board, we asked her to weigh in on I-1240, the Charter School Initiative, as well.
I am supporting I-1240 because I believe that all students deserve an equal opportunity to a great education. My children have been very fortunate to go to schools in a district that has provided a safe and stable learning environment with highly qualified teachers. Many children in our state do not get that same opportunity because we are only one of nine states that does not allow for public charter schools. Public charter schools would be a new option for students and parents. These schools would allow for more flexibility and creative solutions in public school staffing, scheduling and administration. Students would still be held accountable to high standards and requirements. Washington State currently has one in four students failing to graduate from high school on time. Only one-third of those that do graduate, do so without the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college or the workplace. More than half of high school graduates entering community or technical colleges require remedial classes in math, English or reading. The status quo is not working for all students, which is why I am supporting I-1240; it offers an opportunity for educational choice.