The 27th district, which includes most of Tacoma, has two impressive candidates running for state rep: Laurie Jinkins, a Tacoma/Pierce County health official, and Jake Fey, Tacoma city council member and deputy mayor. Jinkins, a social justice Democrat with experience working on the state budget, would be the first out lesbian in the state legislature and a fighter for women's and minority rights.
Jinkins is taking a leading role in the passage of Referendum 71, which gives gay and lesbian couples parity with straight couples under the law. We also like her idealistic stand on ed reform, teaming with the well-funded Stand for Children PAC, which gave her $8,000 to promote Obama Administration education standards.
And she advised Governors Gregoire and Locke during her time at the state Department of Health on budget priorities, and appears to have the budget know-how to help the state with its monumental task of fixing its revenue stream.
But we think the real key to fiscal sustainability isn't just about budget spreadsheets. It's about a new equation for the economy—an infrastructure retrofit the coordinates transit, energy efficiency, an smart development. Fey has proven himself a leader on this front. A green Democrat with support environmental interest groups, Fey would be a champion for transit and density.
Fey's already shown that he can be an effective leader on environmental issues, heading up the effort to push through a smart-growth package in Tacoma that trades developers building height for affordable housing units, improves pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and provides bonuses for developments that set up in the city core, rather than on the cheaper metropolitan fringe. Fey, who manages an energy efficiency program at WSU, was the brains behind the package and did much of the politicking involved in selling it to concerned residents. The package is called the most progressive in the state by density champions Futurewise.
We're picking Fey because he'll join a coalition of legislators (which, we hope, will also include 34th candidate Joe Fitzgibbon) who stand a chance to make a different in the development and transportation policies in Washington State.
Read the rest of our PubliCola Picks election endorsements here. (For a quick afternoon jolt, check out our 32 no-brainers, too.)