Issues Laurie Cares About

So many issues face us. Laurie Dolan can tackle them and make our community a better place.


Having spent 30 years of my life in K-12 public education, I bring a deep understanding of classroom instruction, funding and leadership to education discussions.  I started out teaching first grade at Bancroft Elementary, one of the highest poverty schools in Washington.  After teaching first grade for five years, I taught special education, then went into school administration where I spent the last 18 years of my career as a school director in the Spokane Public Schools.  If elected, I will be serving in the 2017 legislature, the exact moment when the Washington State Supreme Court and the Washington State Legislature must address critical decisions for adequately funding K-12 education. It will be vital to have qualified people in the legislature who deeply understand the K-12 system.  I am fully qualified to meet the challenge.  

Income Inequality

When I began teaching first grade, the little people who walked through my classroom door came from families who were often unable to provide food, clothing, shelter, heat and medical attention. One of the first students I ever met was Lee.  Lee came to first grade with no language.  In 1973 there was no Head Start or Early Childhood Education, no kindergarten, and no readily available health care services.  I think I was the first professional person to ever meet Lee.  He was six years old, deaf, and his most important learning years had already been lost.  Lee opened my eyes to the challenges that lay ahead. Since meeting Lee, I have spent my entire career working with children and families in deep poverty.  Poverty is not a life choice. In fact, it usually means families have no choices at all.  From Title I (federal aid to disadvantaged and low income students), to Homeless Education, to expanding Medicaid, I have worked in each arena, and I know the names and circumstances of real people impacted by income inequality.  I also know, and have helped create, the programs that overcome income inequality.  I will continue to focus on this issue in the Washington State Legislature.

Regressive Taxes and K-12 Funding

K-12 education is the paramount duty of Washington State, yet under the current regressive tax system, adequate funding is impossible.  If a state income tax is not politically feasible, we should focus on a capital gains tax which would impact only the most wealthy.  Although the Democrats in the Washington Legislature have written these proposals, they have never been passed.  We must fund education, but not on the backs of teachers, state workers, seniors, and vulnerable citizens. A statewide systemic effort to educate voters on the necessity for a new funding stream for education is urgently needed.

Climate Change (and Puget Sound)

My grandson, Jack, is two years old.  I want him to grow up in a world of possibilities, not a world that is increasingly limited by our own inability to protect our earth.  Clean oceans, clean air, and the mitigation of global warming are all important for Jack, his children and his grandchildren.  If we don't pay attention to our earth home, all of our other issues become immaterial.  

During my time as the Governor’s policy director, I helped create the Western States Climate Change Initiative, the Puget Sound Partnership and clean car emissions standards that made Washington a leader in this area.  These are important steps in a larger picture, but there is much more that needs to be done in terms of clean energy and carbon emissions reduction.  I will continue to be a voice for saving our planet.


Paid for by Friends of Laurie Dolan (D) 4315 78th Ave SW, Olympia WA 98512
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