Government belongs
to the people.

I'm Gray Petersen. I'm running for the state legislature because I believe that voters of the 32nd District deserve working-class representation in Olympia.

About

I decided to run for the State House of Representatives because of the awfulness of the current economic depression requires the lens of someone who has lived in poverty. I have lived through economic recessions that has hit 3 times (the dot-com bubble crash, the 2008 Financial Crisis, and now the Coronavirus Depression), and even with a unionized job, it has been a great struggle to keep myself and my family members alive throughout all of this.

It is because of this that I decided to run. Essential workers, of which I am one, should not be considered “expendable” workers because Wall Street has decided it has “had enough of the economic slowdown” and want to throw workers off of unemployment.

We have a single chance to come out of a potential 2-3 year long Coronavirus Depression with a much better society than the way we entered it, a society that centers human needs and safety over the wants of portfolio managers and corporate profiteers, that considers clean energy, clean food, clean water, and clean air to not be profit center to extract from people, but a matter of human right.

I ask that you join our movement today, and I ask for your vote by August 4, 2020.

— Gray Petersen

Gray is a married husband, a unionized worker represented by IBEW, and is currently a network technician as a career.

Currently a volunteer for a few different social work and local party organizations, including the 32nd Legislative District Democrats, and the Snohomish County Democrats. Has volunteered for numerous efforts to bring equality, equity and justice, including Washington Families Standing Together and Washington United for Marriage.

Endorsements

I am honored to have earned the endorsements of:

Platform

Coronavirus Depression Relief

The coronavirus and it’s impacts have exposed how brittle our society has become in the wake of decades of austerity. Just in time production, food deserts in certain areas, continual cramming together of people into smaller and smaller communal living spaces has created a multi-tiered economy, where a white-collar middle-class worker is likely remote working from home, and having groceries and food delivered by drivers who are being forced by circumstance to live in tight quarters with other people. This is also causing issues in industrial agriculture and industrial food processing, with workers being forced to work without Personal Protective Equipment or in too close of quarters is causing massive corona-virus outbreaks.

I will introduce legislation that we need, including:

  • Guaranteed income for unemployed people ineligible under preCOVID rules for UI.
  • Immediate Rent & Mortgage Relief
  • A Halt to All Evictions, both Residential and Business
  • A Halt to Dangerous Industrial and Agricultural Practices that are endangering workers
  • Continuing the 600/week add up of unemployment benefits if the federal government refuses to continue funding it.
  • Prohibiting firing employees for not showing up for work during the pandemic if their job requires them to be in an office with other persons. People should not be required to endanger their immune-compromised loved ones.
  • A pandemic profiteering tax, charged against the wealth of persons who profited the most during the pandemic.

Public Safety

Locally and nationally, deaths and grievous injuries that have resulted from police brutality and systemic racism have sparked massive protest. George Floyd, Charleena Lyles, and countless others have lost their lives to this violence.

Our campaign stands with the protestors who are demanding real change.

We need better solutions than the use of police as a cure for all societal ills. We need to reduce and redirect the public funds that are currently being spent on policing and mass-incarceration into housing, mental and behavioral health, schools, treatment centers and community centers.

I will introduce legislation to:

  • Demilitarize police in Washington State.
  • Immediately forbid the purchase, possession or use of tear-gas, mace, sonic-weapons, “rubber-bullets”, concussive grenades, and other so-called “crowd-control” devices by law enforcement, and order the immediate disposal and destruction of these devices
  • Reduce state spending on policing and corrections departments, and reallocate funds to healthcare, housing, and rehabilitation services.
  • Give pensions to all law enforcement and corrections officers who’s jobs are eliminated by this reduction, so as to not financially harm them and their loved ones.
  • Eliminate Disciplinary Protection in union contracts with armed police and corrections officers.
  • Import federal civil rights legal code into state law, eliminate qualified immunity and to allow the full recovery of damages and attorneys-fees that are allowed in federal law into state law.
  • Completely ban the use of choke-holds, knee-holds, and other similarly violent uses of force to inflict pain or cause bodily harm.

Civil Rights

Women’s Rights

Women have been subject to gender pay gaps, harassment, discrimination, and many more indignities. Though we have progressive laws in this state, for too long these laws have been mostly static and not moving forward enough.

I will fight for:

  • Curbing the settlement agreement exception to the prohibition against NDA’s for workplace harassment and assault, to disallow negotiation of the confidentiality as part of a settlement agreement on behalf of the employer as a condition of settlement. It must solely be the option of the employee to protect their own privacy and confidentiality.
  • Eliminating the gender-pay gap, and when it has been determined that a gender-pay gap exists after investigation by the Washington State Human Rights Commission, the State Attorney General’s Office, or Labor & Industries Department, to provide paid-for legal counsel that represent’s the interests of the employee.
  • Eliminate at-will employment, which allows for retaliatory firings for reporting harassment.
  • A state constitutional amendment protecting reproductive care.

Rights of BIPOC Communities

Persons of Color, Particularly Black and Indigenous Persons of Color, have been mistreated, harmed, and continually oppressed by mutually reinforcing systems. I will introduce legislation to:

  • Eliminate I-200, and push for passing the WA Anti-Discrimination and Disparities Act.
  • Eliminate at-will employment
  • Increasing enforcement authority and funding to stamp out racially discriminatory behavior by employers and public accommodations.
  • Eliminate racially discriminatory systems.
  • Mandate BIPOC-informed and directed education and history in schools.

Rights of LGBTQIA+ Individuals and Communities

The LGBTQIA+ community has been subject to increasing and unrelenting attacks on our rights, our community, and our bodily integrity. As a queer person, I have a great interest in protecting the members of my community. Though the LGBTQIA+ Caucus in the legislature has done great work, I believe that this work has been stagnated since marriage rights was fully protected by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 (something which could be reversed in the future).

We must protect our gay, bisexual, lesbian, queer, trans and non-binary brothers, sisters, and siblings.

I will introduce legislation to:

  • Provide immediate homelessness relief, targeted towards LGBTQIA+ youth, who are overwhelmingly represented in our homeless population.
  • Ban all conversion therapy as fraudulent and dangerous.
  • Provide community space to LGBTQIA+ students and other community members.
  • Further develop LGBTQIA+ inclusive public education guidelines.
  • Provide fee-free name changes, birth certificate changes, and ID changes.
  • Eliminate gender requirements on public documents (or add non-binary options).
  • Eliminate gender-segregated dress codes.
  • Cover trans and non-binary healthcare as necessary health care.
  • End misgendered imprisonment, which happens even in Washington State.

Health Care

I watched my father die at the end-stage from what could have been an easily preventable illness. An infection that attacked his brain, and resulted in him slowly dying for nearly 6 years and being in multiple Medicaid-funded nursing facilities. I was unable because of the circumstances to move him here to Washington to be near me.

Health care is a human right, and should never be a profit center. Health insurance companies have absolutely no function other than to make-profit, which will always, without fail, deny care to save money.

If elected, unlike my opponent, I will be the primary sponsor of the Whole Washington Healthcare Trust, a state-based single-payer system.

Before the pandemic, half a million people were uninsured in Washington. Now, because of our precarious and outdated employer-based healthcare insurance system, we likely have more than a million uninsured people in the middle of a pandemic. That is unacceptable, and the continued refusal by the incumbent to even consider sponsoring the Whole Washington Healthcare Trust has life-and-death consequences during this pandemic for the residents of this state.

We must also target the societal determinates of health.

Housing Justice

Housing is a human right. The housing crisis must be addressed with real world solutions that provide for the needs of people. The private housing market has failed to adequately provide for those at low to middle income ranges. It is the right and proper role of government to provide permanent stable housing to people experiencing homelessness, to expand the stock of supportive, low income, and affordable housing, and to use all tools available to control the astronomic explosion of the cost of housing.

I will introduce a bills to:

  • Create a unionized state construction corps to build housing, using a state infrastructure bank to finance construction. From this will come a homes guarantee, where every resident of Washington State is entitled, by matter of right, their own living space.
  • Require Just-Cause for termination of tenancy, where a business reason is required to terminate tenancy rather than no reason at all. “No-reason” tenant terminations mask illegal retaliation and discrimination.
  • Ensure Safe and Livable private commercial and public housing for all.
  • Ending “sweeps”, particularly during a pandemic when there are numerous hotel rooms available that are sitting empty.
  • Provide Property tax relief
  • End complete categorical denials of housing based on criminal justice convictions, which functions as barrier to housing based on race (“Ban the Box”).

The Washington State Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a re-imagining of our society. Our state is going to be experiencing the leading edge of catastrophic climate change, given our exposure to the waterfront. Building resiliency against climate change should not be on the backs of marginalized and under-resourced communities, as had occurred when freeways where built through the poorest neighborhoods of this region.

I will work with other advocates in the State Legislature for a Green New Deal. Here would be my priorities:

  • A state jobs guarantee, with union protections and a minimum wage of $20/hour
  • A right to installation of energy efficiency insulation in a home. If the home cannot support the retrofit, the use of the state housing construction corps to rebuild to GND-standard.
  • Strengthened environmental protection laws to safeguard our air, water, and food quality.
  • Carbon neutrality by 2035.
  • Folding all private electrical and natural gas operations to Public Utility Districts.
  • Eliminate all subsidies for fossil-fuel corporations.
  • Guaranteeing access to clean water, food, and air as a matter of human right, not privilege.
  • Tax-fairness legislation, so that working-class and poor people aren’t spending 17 percent of their income on taxes, whereas the wealthiest only pay 1-2 percent.
  • Equalization of educational funding, and eliminating the use of educational levies to fund schools.

Contact

Contact us at info@electgraypetersen.com

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