Agriculture & the Environment

 

SUPPORT OUR FARMERS

 

Everyone needs a farmer, three times a day. The fact of the matter is this: Without farms we don’t have food, it’s that simple.

Eduardo was raised in the heart of Washington’s agricultural industry and deeply understands the significance of our irrigation crop, dry land, and dairy farmers.

Eduardo has worked in Quincy’s apple orchards and blueberry fields as a fruit picker, in the cherry orchards as a line supervisor, and vegetable processing plants as sorter and packer of corn, carrots, potatoes, peas, and lima beans.

In short, Eduardo understands how vital our local agriculutral industry is to Washington, the United States, and the world.

Eduardo makes the pledge to protect Central Washington farmers’ access to freshwater resources for farming by seeing through the government’s century-long promise to complete the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project.

Eduardo supports legislation that invests in researching the effects of climate change on our agricultural systems and mitigation of gas emission from agricultural processes.

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that promotes the recruitment and retainment of a reliable agricultural workforce.

Eduardo makes the pledge to support Washington’s agriculture and our famers, whose livelihood depends on it.

 

PROTECT OUR WATER RESOURCES

 

Water is life. Eduardo supports legislation that continues advancing the work in the Odessa Ground Water Replacement Program as well as in the Yakima Basin Integrated Water Resources Management Plan.

Eduardo makes the pledge to protect Washington’s streams, rivers, lakes, and tributaries by supporting legislation that invests in water management and environmental impact research.

Eduardo makes the pledge to protect Central Washington farmers from drought and curtailment by seeing through the government’s century-long promise to complete the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project and by supporting legislation that calls for effective management of our invaluable freshwater resources.

 

FIGHT WILDFIRES

 

Eduardo has deployed to wildfires in the past, one being the most destructive in California’s history and the deadliest in the United States in over a century. Eduardo has also provided humanitarian aid to those affected by the largest single wildfire in Washington state’s history.

Eduardo has seen first-hand the death and destruction that fire can unsuspectingly bring to a community. Eduardo wholeheartedly makes the pledge to help Washingtonians in preventing a similar tragedy by supporting legislation that develops ecologically-sound and economically-beneficial forest management plans.

Eduardo makes the pledge to invest in research and management of wildfires. Eduardo will support legislation that invests in fire departments and in disaster risk reduction training programs for remote, at-risk communities.

 

 

DISASTER RISK REDUCTION & PREPAREDNESS

 

Climate change is affecting our state in a profound way more and more each year, with natural events being more intense and disastrous, from raging wildfires to debilitating ice storms. Eduardo aims at having Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness be a key part in local emergency management. In conjunction with local emergency forces, Eduardo would invoke community led training particularly to those at risk, or in remote parts of the state, to be able to mitigate the effects of any natural disaster, as well as reduce the impact of such events to their communities by reducing vulnerability. By incorporating such measures, along with the cooperation of emergency forces, the 13th Legislative District will be better prepared to persevere through any emergency.

 

INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

 

Fossil fuels are a threat to our very existence. Eduardo will support legislation that calls for the expansion in clean and renewable sources of energy—such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric—to leave a better future for our next generation. Eduardo makes the pledge to maintain our dams which are crucial to our region’s economic and agricultural vitality. Eduardo will support state legislation that calls for investing in scientific research and innovation to reduce our state’s dependency on fossil fuels and find better solutions to the world’s energy crisis. Eduardo vows to always put our environment over the special interest of oil corporations. While it is public record that Eduardo’s opponent, Mr. Tom Dent, has gladly accepted contributions from multinational oil corporations such as Chevron and Phillips 66, Eduardo promises to place the needs of our future generation over the needs of Big Oil.

 

 

Civil & Human Rights

 

PROTECTING IMMIGRANTS

 

As the son of immigrants, Eduardo understands the hardships that come with starting a new life in a different country.

As a nation built primarily by immigrant laborers, Eduardo understands the importance of our immigrant roots and community.

Come November, Eduardo asks that you remember this: In 2019, Mr. Tom Dent voted to oppose S.B. 5497 titled the “Keep Washington Working Act.”

S.B. 5497 “established a statewide policy supporting Washington state’s economy and immigrants’ role in the workplace and ensured their access to state services” and which developed “strategies to protect our immigrant workforce, and secure their rights as workers and members of our communities.”

Mr. Tom Dent voted against protecting Washington’s immigrants from warrantless arrests under S.B. 2567;

Voted against protecting Washington’s immigrants under S.B. 5165, which codified citizenship and immigration status into Washington’s anti-discrimination laws;

Voted against allowing undocumented students in the State of Washington to continue to be part of the state’s College Bound program, keep their in-state tuition status, and expand their access to financial aid under H.B. 1488.

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that protects immigrants’ civil rights, expand financial support for Washington’s undocumented students in our higher education system, and support sanctuary school policies in all K-12 educational institutions.

STANDING WITH INDIGENOUS WOMEN

 

The U.S. Department of Justice finds that nearly half of all Native American women―46 percent―have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. One in three Native American women will, at some point in her life, experience the violence and trauma of rape and that on some reservations, Native American women are murdered at a rate more than 10 times the national average. Eduardo makes the pledge to protect and stand in solidarity with violated, missing and murdered indigenous women by supporting legislation that calls for an end to this national endemic of violence.

PROTECTING LGTBQ+ RIGHTS

 

Eduardo believes that sexual orientation and gender identity should be protected classes under civil rights statute, and therefore discrimination on this basis should be held illegal.

Eduardo holds that sexual orientation and gender identity-targeted crimes should be classified as hate crimes.

In 2018, the 13th Legislative District’s current officeholder, Mr. Tom Dent stated in an interview: “As far as children’s issues, I’m a kid guy. It’s just that simple; I like kids. I like them from the energy they have and the passion they have for life and their innocence, but I also understand that our children are our future and that’s the most important thing we have and I believe that our children are our most precious natural resource.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Tom Dent also voted to maintain the traumatic and abusive practice known as conversion “therapy” (See S.B. 5722).

According to the Human Rights Campaign: “So-called “conversion therapy,” sometimes known as “reparative therapy,” is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organizations for decades, but due to continuing discrimination and societal bias against LGBTQ people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.”

Eduardo asks if Mr. Tom Dent truly cares about Washington’s children.

Additionally, Mr. Tom Dent voted against H.B. 1732 which classified sexual orientation and gender identity-based targeted crimes as hate crimes in the State of Washington;

Voted against S.B. 5689 which amended Washington’s K-12 anti-bullying guidelines to include educational materials on preventing discrimination and harassment of transgender students;

Voted against S.B. 5356 which established an LGBTQ+ state commission to oversee the advancement and equity of the Washington LGBTQ+ community;

This year, Mr. Tom Dent was one of the only ten House Representatives in Washington to vote against S.B. 5900, opposing 87 House Representatives who voted to create the position of LGTBQ+ coordinator within the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Washington State Legislative LGBTQ Caucus’ statement on S.B. 5900: “LGBTQ veterans face many obstacles—many received an other than honorable discharge under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell because of who they love or because of their identities. This bill has the potential to change those discharges, recognizing their service, and allowing those veterans and their families to access benefits.”

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that protects Washington’s LGBTQ+ communities and every single one of our military veterans. Can Mr. Tom Dent say the same?

 

PROTECTING THE SECOND AMENDMENT

 

Simply put, Eduardo supports gun ownership.

Not only did Eduardo grow up around guns on his family’s farm in Central Washington, Eduardo’s military background has allowed him to qualify on various fully-automatic weapon systems during his five-year career in the U.S. Army.

As someone with personal gun ownership experience, Eduardo values the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and makes the pledge to support legislation that guarantees our citizens’ right to keep and bear arms.

Eduardo does not support banning semi-automatic firearms.

Eduardo’s experience living two years in the San Francisco Bay Area has opened his eyes to the abusive discretionary power that Sheriff’s Departments, in urban municipalities, possess in granting or denying concealed carry permits.

Eduardo, on the other hand, supports Constitutional Carry.

Eduardo does not support magazine capacity limits. Eduardo does not support Initiative 1639.

As a person of Mexican descent, Eduardo sees Mexico’s extremely restrictive laws regarding gun possession, and finds it unjust that there is only one gun store in the entire nation, where priority is given to the rich and connected citizens.

Eduardo also sees that these bureaucratic and oppressive measures have done little to quell extreme violence in the nation. Eduardo holds that bad guys will always find a way to find guns regardless of gun control measures.

Eduardo supports mental health background checks.

Eduardo cares deeply about the wellbeing and safety of our children and others and advocates for the safe operation of firearms and the implementation of criminal background checks across the United States.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

 

Eduardo supports a rehabilitative and restorative approach to justice, not a punitive and vindictive one.

Eduardo supports ending the cash bail system which does nothing but criminalize poverty.

Eduardo supports ending the school-to-prison pipeline, opposes private, for-profit prisons, and is for addressing the mass incarceration crisis, and racial and socioeconomic inequities in the American criminal justice system.

Having interned in a public defense firm and studied law, Eduardo understands the complexities of our system.

While Mr. Tom Dent was one of 21 House Representatives to oppose the 77 that sought to expand educational opportunities for those incarcerated under H.B. 1129 in 2017, Eduardo supports investing in prison vocational and educational programs.

As a criminal justice scholar, Eduardo understands that prisoners who participate in education programs reduce their risk of returning to prison by 13%―and that taxpayers save $5 in incarceration costs for every $1 invested in prison education programs (Davis, 2019).

 

PROTECT VOTER RIGHTS

 

The cornerstone of any democracy are free and fair elections. Eduardo makes the pledge to oppose any legislative attempt at voter suppression. These tactics are, in Eduardo’s opinion, the antithesis of our American values. Eduardo makes the pledge to support voter participation, oppose gerrymandering, and supporting the automatic vacating of records and restoration of the right to vote for those on parole or probation.

 

Economic Justice

 

A MEAL FOR EVERY STUDENT

 

As a person that has endured food insecurity, Eduardo understands the pain of missing one or two meals a day.

Eduardo supports legislation that assists those with food insecurity in our state, including college students, young children, low-income families, and seniors.

Reflecting on his experiences in which school lunches were taken out of his hands for inability to pay, Eduardo understands the embarrassment and pain associated with our inhumane school lunch system. Eduardo makes the pledge to protect free and reduced meals in K-12 public educational institutions.

Mr. Tom Dent, on the other hand, has voted against assisting Washington’s children and young adults struggling with food insecurity. While Eduardo supports a meal for every student— because he understands that a nutritious meal is a key to forming a healthy and productive life—Mr. Tom Dent was one of only eight, yes, eight House Representatives to oppose H.B. 1508.

H.B. 1508 proposed “addressing hunger and the development of school-based meal programs through the creation of the breakfast after the bell program, elimination of the school lunch co-pay, and promotion of the farm to school program.”

Eduardo asks if Mr. Tom Dent cares about Washington’s children and their wellbeing.

 

SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES

 

Eduardo makes the pledge to support small businesses across Washington state. Eduardo will support legislation that supports the entry of women, veterans, and person of color business owners into the market. Eduardo further makes the pledge to support all businesses affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

 

INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE

 

Eduardo is committed to improving and maintaining a quality of life for his fellow Washingtonians. Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that invests in key infrastructure. Eduardo will support policy that invests in public transportation, public buildings, water treatment systems, and other forms of vital infrastructure that are key to creating good jobs in our state. Eduardo will support policy that maintains our streets and roads, bridges, schools, senior living facilities, hospitals, parks, airports, and ports.

SUPPORT PAY EQUITY

 

Eduardo believes that two people, with the same skillset and experience, should be paid the same.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, female full-time, year-round workers made only 82 cents—in 2018—for every dollar earned by men.

These statistics represent a gender wage gap of 18 percent between men and women.

The pay disparities for women of color, women with disabilities, and women with children are greater, as they make even less, on average.

On the contrary, Mr. Tom Dent’s voting record indicates that he does not support pay equity, demonstrated by his 2017 vote on H.B. 1506: “The Equal Pay Opportunity Act.”

KXLY reports: “The Equal Pay Opportunity Act fights wage secrecy by granting workers the right to inquire about, disclose, compare, or otherwise discuss their wages without retaliation from their employer. This right is critical for all women to know when they are being unfairly compensated, but is especially important for women of color, women with children, women with disabilities, and others who are more heavily discriminated against in the workplace.”

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that guarantees a fair and equal wage for all.

END HOMELESSNESS

 

Eduardo makes the pledge to support young children in our K-12 schools and young adults experiencing homelessness and to provide resources and allocate funding for homeless veterans.

As a person that has lived through a stint of homelessness, conducted extensive research on homelessness and volunteered at a homeless shelter, Eduardo understands that homelessness is a multi-faceted issue intrinsically tied to various factors such as race, gender, immigration status, sexual orientation, mental health history or socioeconomic standing.

In his first year in office—2015—Mr. Tom Dent was among the 26 House Representatives that voted against S.B. 5404, a homeless youth prevention and protection act.

S.B. 5404 aimed to provide stable housing, family reconciliation, permanent connections, education and employment, mental health, social and emotional wellbeing services for Washington’s homeless minors.

Eduardo believes everyone deserves a place to call home. Eduardo asks: Why then, would someone who claims to love children so much vote against a bill that aims to protect them?

 

SUPPORT AFFORDABLE HOUSING

 

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that guarantees affordable, low-income housing in Washington for our most at-need citizens and military veterans.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines affordable housing as households obtained for 30 percent or less of one’s income. Over 30 percent, HUD classifies this to be a “cost burden.”

While Mr. Tom Dent opposes local and county affordable housing investments (see S.H.B. 1406), Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that provides for affordable housing for our at-need community members. Eduardo will support easing local zoning restrictions to encourage higher density development so that the market can contribute to solving the affordable housing crisis.

 

 

Education

 

SUPPORT K-12 STUDENTS

 

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that calls for an improved quality of education for our public school students.

Eduardo will fight to maintain and re-invest in special education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and migrant student programs, alike.

Eduardo supports prioritizing mental and behavioral health programs in our public schools by investing in school counseling services.

Eduardo will support legislation that calls for the holistic integration of real-world skills, through financial education in public schools and cultural awareness programs in school curriculums.

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that invests in extracurricular, and sports & recreation programs for our students.

Eduardo makes the pledge to protect and continue support of sanctuary school policies in all K-12 educational institutions.

Eduardo makes the pledge to fight for all of Washington’s public school students.

FIGHTING FOR OUR TEACHERS

 

I’m sure we can all agree that no teacher should have to buy supplies for their students from their own paycheck. Eduardo stands with teacher unions across Washington who are fighting for competitive wages to retain and recruit distinguished teachers in our public schools.

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation on providing the best quality education for every K-12 student.

As a personal friend to many who went on to be public school teachers, Eduardo understands that our teachers are overworked and underpaid for the service they provide to our communities.

Eduardo supports reducing class sizes to allow teachers to build meaningful and lifelong bonds with their students and allow for them to engage fully in their learning process.

Eduardo makes the pledge to stand up for and unwaveringly support Washington’s public school teachers.

SAVING THE ARTS

 

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation which promotes the advancement of the arts. As a musician and admirer of murals, Eduardo understands the importance of artistic outlets as forms of expression. Eduardo understands the value of art in our schools and how critical it is for our young people to have access to these resources. From theatre to film, and creative writing to music, Eduardo will protect this generation’s access to these programs.

 

 

MENTAL HEALTH IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 

Eduardo supports assisting our public school students with mental health, counseling, and case management services.

In 2018, Mr. Tom Dent voted against H.B. 1377 which called for professional collaboration time between school counselors, teachers, social workers, and psychologists to focus on recognizing signs of emotional or behavioral distress in students.

Backed by the Washington State Association of School Psychologists, H.B. 1377 required every public school to employ at least one mental health counselor.

Eduardo again asks if Mr. Tom Dent cares about Washington’s children.

SUPPORT ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES

 

Eduardo makes the pledge to support programs which educate students on the effects of bullying.

No student should be driven to commit suicide. Eduardo supports legislation that protects all our students—of color, with disabilities, immigrants, low-income, or LGBTQ—via anti-bullying initiatives.

Be it known that Mr. Tom Dent failed to protect LGBTQ+ students in 2019 when he voted against S.B. 5689.

S.B. 5689 called for schools to “develop strategies to eliminate gender-identity discrimination and address specific challenges for those public school students.”

Eduardo continually asks if Mr. Tom Dent cares about Washington’s children.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION FOR ALL

 

Eduardo will support legislation that creates affordable post-secondary education to include colleges, universities, and trade schools. As a first-generation university graduate, Eduardo gets it. He understands how tough it can be to graduate high school without knowing how to navigate the educational system. He supports eliminating socioeconomic barriers to higher education for all.

Eduardo will advocate for programs that inspire, recruit and educate talented first-generation and low-income scholars in entering the critical academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (S.T.E.M.).

Eduardo makes the pledge to support higher education access for first-generation and low-income students because he understands that, for many, a post-secondary education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.

On the contrary, in 2019 Mr. Tom Dent voted against H.B. 1278 and S.B. 5800 which respectively require “colleges and universities offering on-campus housing to provide first-year College Bound Scholarship students without shelter access to room and board when space is available” and assisting Washington’s homeless college and university students with relief through reduced-price meals, laundry facility access, short-term housing assistance, and case management.” In November, Eduardo humbly asks all Central Washington University students to ask themselves “Who has my best interest in their mind and heart?”

While Mr. Tom Dent voted to ban our undocumented students from Washington’s College Bound program, strip them of their in-state tuition status, and restrict their access to financial aid (see H.B. 1488), Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that expands access to resources for our undocumented, DACA, TPS, and refugee scholars.

 

 

Health

 

HEALTHCARE SYSTEM REFORM

 

Eduardo makes the pledge to support legislation that ensures affordable and quality access to medical services for all by supporting universal healthcare access through a single-payer system. He supports the fight for access to affordable prescription drugs for all Washingtonians whose lives are or may be at risk.

Eduardo will stand up for Central Washington’s rural hospitals because he recognizes the need to protect the essential services being provided in our rural communities. Eduardo makes the pledge to fight for our healthcare professionals’ physical safety and their labor rights. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eduardo thanks our state’s healthcare professionals for their brave sacrifice and service to our communities.

 

PROTECTING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

 

While Eduardo respects everyone’s religious beliefs, he also believes in a clear separation of Church and State. Eduardo supports sexual and reproductive health rights. On the contrary, Mr. Tom Dent opposed S.B. 5602: the “Reproductive Health Access for All Act (RHAA),” which eliminated the barriers to care for immigrants and transgender or gender non-conforming people.

Women who are undocumented cannot access family-planning services because of federal restrictions and transgender or gender non-conforming people have historically been denied reproductive care because of their gender identity.

The RHAA Act also requires health-insurance plans, including student plans, to cover mental, physical, sexual, and reproductive health screenings following sexual assaults, and medications necessary following an assault. Eduardo makes the pledge to stand with survivors of sexual assault, and to support policies that make sexual and reproductive healthcare safe, affordable, and accessible for all.

 

INVESTING IN MENTAL HEALTH

 

Our mental health is just as important as our physical and emotional wellbeing. Countless people are impacted day-to-day by various mental health conditions. These mental health conditions often are undiagnosed or mistreated due to a lack of financial resources and access to services. Eduardo supports breaking those barriers by supporting legislation that expands the treatment of and response to mental health programs. He also believes in aiding our public schools with mental health resources, counseling, and case management services.

In 2018, Mr. Tom Dent voted against H.B. 1377, which called for professional collaboration efforts between school counselors, teachers, social workers, and psychologists to recognize and respond to signs of emotional or behavioral distress in students. Backed by the Washington State Association of School Psychologists, H.B. 1377 required every public school to employ at least one mental health counselor.

Eduardo again asks if Mr. Tom Dent cares about the learning environment and well-being of Washington’s children.

 

STANDING WITH VETERANS

 

Eduardo supports state legislation that expands access and services provided by the Veterans Health Administration. As a former hospital volunteer at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a service member himself, and a friend of many combat veterans, Eduardo has witnessed and listened to countless veterans share their struggles in regard to healthcare.

Eduardo believes veterans deserve timely access and quality medical care. Eduardo makes the pledge to unwaveringly support mental health legislation, which will assist members of the military veteran community who are coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions. The bottom line: Eduardo promises to help veterans get the services and medical care they fought for. Eduardo thanks his brothers and sisters in uniform for their sacrifices and service to our country.

 

COVID-19 RESPONSE

 

Eduardo empathizes with all Washingtonians affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). He is deeply disappointed by the federal government’s inadequate and lackadaisical response to this global pandemic. Eduardo vows to support and prioritize the safety of our frontline heroes — the backbone of our healthcare system. A fervent supporter of scientific and medical research, Eduardo values the expertise of our leading epidemiologists, pathologists, virologists, and microbiologists. Furthermore, Eduardo is determined to work with the state government to ensure that we are well-prepared for future occurrences. This means having adequate personal protection equipment (PPE) supply and establishing a system that can meet the demand for emergency equipment necessities. As well as advocate for the investment of scientific advancements in the study of these malicious diseases. Eduardo will fight for those who are financially burdened by the debt incurred by this series of unexpected events. If and when a vaccine is discovered for COVID-19, Eduardo will work to ensure all Washingtonians can receive it at no cost. While we must protect Washington’s agricultural sector, I contend that it is imperative that we also protect the safety and health of the farmworkers that make our agricultural industry possible.

 

PAID FOR BY CASTANEDA FOR CENTRAL WASHINGTON

Disclaimer: Specialist Eduardo Castañeda is a member of the Army National Guard. Use of his military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense

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