Jaime Herrera is vacating the State House seat she was parachuted into the 18th District to be appointed to so she can run now to replace retiring Brian Baird. As a result, voters within the 18th Legislative District are being presented an opportunity to elect someone who actually lives with them and desires to work to better the community, not just to build a quick résumé to climb the political ladder.
Ann Rivers, considered the best and most likely to be appointed to that seat in 2007 before the surprise selection of Herrera, is now asking for your support and vote to fill that open seat.
Ann, a Public Relations Specialist says, “I’m still very passionate about changing the direction that we’re headed in. Specifically in the 18th, we need to address our high unemployment rate. I’m seeing the pain out there. My main focus is going to be putting people back to work.”
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ann face to face and discussing issues with her. A long time resident of the 18th and mother of two teenage sons, Ann lays out just the sort of common sense approach and sound values that has been sorely lacking in our government for a very long time.
One area of concern I had with Ann was her desire to create much-needed jobs while maintaining a staunch opposition to the proposed Clark County Mega-Casino. My perception of a contradiction was placed to rest as she explained, “What we need are REAL family wage jobs. Indian casinos pay at the federal minimum wage, sometimes referred to as ‘food stamp wages’ lower than State Minimum Wage.”
She continued explaining that Casinos often are forced to incorporate Union Construction Workers, needed to win Union support in communities, but do not employee Union Workers to run the casino after it’s built. She told me, “…a better type of job is based in the production of goods since service jobs are more vulnerable to the economy than production jobs where a worker can gain a skill and advance beyond their existing job.”
Of growing concern to citizens in Southwest Washington is ILLEGAL Immigration. Ann advocates the use of e-verify to ensure that scarce jobs go to those legally entitled to be hired first. She is especially concerned with the prospect that “our most vulnerable citizens have to go without so that illegals can ‘go with’.”
With Washington State once again facing massive budget deficits, Ann feels that privatization of some taxpayer supported agencies, such as our Liquor Control Board, would save the state Millions of dollars while allowing them to continue reaping the taxes.
Another area to cut spending would be to insure that all State Agencies implement the law signed in 2002 by former governor, Gary Locke on Competitive Contracting, instead of hiring new State Employees.
Ann sees there is so much waste in our State Budget that she calls it “frightening,” as most of us also see. With her in the Legislature, we would have another voice to advocate finally clearing it out.
Having personally seen what a wasteland much of the areas like ANWR in Alaska are, she knows we could tap our resources there and elsewhere, while we continue to augment traditional energy sources with solar, wind and biomass saying, “Imagine how much stronger our economy and our dollar would be if we were less reliant or could eliminate dependence on foreign energy?”
She would also prefer to “engage in a broad-based effort to identify new sources and technologies for energy… energy that makes both ecological AND economic sense.”
Of particular concern to Southwest Washington is the Columbia River Crossing, more commonly referred to as the “I-5 Bridge.” She sees this bridge as “an INTERNATIONAL bridge moving goods and services between nations [that] the people of Clark County should not carry the burden of replacing on their own.”
Opposed to forcing “Light Rail” upon Clark County Citizens, she sees that “a third and fourth bridge built to the east of I-205 and to the west/north of the I-5 bridge would relieve pressure on the I-5 corridor while increasing freight mobility and decreasing congestion.”
And of course, we know there has been little, if any, meaningful discussion of such a proposal, which Ann would undoubtedly spearhead once in office.
Seeing that state spending has risen by over 33% over the last few years, leaving Washington State citizens with little to show for it, Ann believes in “Zero-based budgeting,” where “every state agency must come in and justify their requests, top to bottom, start to finish” to end the “Unsustainable spending.”
Most sensible people are coming to realize that throwing money at our problems does not solve any issue nor does increasing taxes every chance elected officials have. Opposed to imposing an income tax on voters, Ann would bring back I-601 and enforce I-960 that requires a 2/3rds vote to increase taxes and was recently suspended by the Majority Party in Olympia.
She feels elected officials must “remain cognizant of the outside world and the pain the people we’re supposed to represent are actually feeling and living, remembering that each and every dollar we spend was first earned by somebody else.”
Realizing that one “can never adequately repay those who put their lives on hold” to defend America, she would “fight to exempt Veterans from paying for books, fees and tuition at any state institution of higher learning” helping Veterans with job training and education in truly meaningful ways. As she says, “Welcome Home must stop being an empty phrase,” and the cost is an expense she “believes the people of our district and this state will actually support.”
A hunter herself, Ann knows what firearms can do and disagrees with disarming law-abiding citizens as a means to combat crime. She believes in enforcing current laws to curb the misuse of guns, not adding more laws to be ignored.
Mindful of the murders of two young girls in Clark County by released Level III repeat Sex Offenders she advocates, “the strongest possible measures be taken to keep our public safe,” adding, “If our existing measures aren’t strong enough, then we have to make them stronger.”
Ann says, “I will be doing everything I can to increase sentences, decrease probations, increase supervision and conditions and eliminate the problems that led to these tragic and unnecessary deaths.”
Mindful of the harassment and intimidation supporters of California’s Proposition 8 continue to be faced with and similar efforts by Gay Activists with Washington State, even though they won the R-71 vote on Domestic Partnerships, Ann finds herself in agreement with Justice Clarence Thomas’s partial dissent issued recently on the High Courts overturning of some of the campaign finance law on not releasing the names, addresses and signatures of citizen petitions.
Ann has lived in both counties that comprise the 18th Legislative District that gives her insight into the unique challenges of the District. She has worked as Legislative Staff and has the education, small business ownership experience and the ability to learn and analyze information in a rapid manner that will result in immediate impacts.
She possesses “a burning desire to end the folly of an out of control budget” in Olympia.
She is a wife, a mother and a homeowner paying out a lot of in taxes like the rest of us and like us; tires of watching it vaporize before our eyes.
As Ann says, “It is time for the people of the 18th district to not only be heard, but for their concerns to be presented and for those concerns to actually make a difference where it matters most: Olympia.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, Ann Rivers. “One of Us, Working for All of Us.”