Saturday, June 2, 2012
A Different Kind of Candidate in District 10 election
Gunn isn’t seeking to raise money, but is running what she called an experiment in democracy. Rather than pay a filing fee, she collected more than 1,700 signatures from voters to qualify her candidacy for the Aug. 7 primary ballot.
“My goal is to talk about the issues that no one else wants to talk about. In many ways, to get elected you have to stay near the center and not speak the truth,’’ Gunn said. “I think that is the problem with the two-party system right now. ... The conversation bandwidth has gotten really tight. The capacity to produce solutions has gotten reduced.”
For her, that means advocacy of women’s issues like equal pay and passage of an Equal Rights Amendment, as well as protecting the environment and changing the way corporations function in the nation’s political life. Gunn thinks the nation needs to create an environmental “restoration corps” – like the Civilian Conservation Corps that put people to work after the Great Depression. The jobs could include cleanup of polluted sites.
Among issues at the top of her agenda: a push toward full employment, reduction in the size of the military and changing the federal law to require corporations to register nationally and to agree to good conduct.
Gunn now lives in rural Thurston County but grew up in Chicago where Hillary Rodham Clinton was a classmate in high school. She also worked as an editorial assistant for the now defunct Chicago Daily News, which put her in touch with columnists like the iconic Mike Royko. From there, she went into academic work and later advocacy on environmental issues. Gunn on a few other issues:
TAXES: Gunn says the Bush-era tax cuts should expire. She would increase taxes on the 1 percent of top earners – with a top rate “on the order of 49 percent.’’
ECONOMY: Gunn wants slower growth and an economy that creates fewer extremes in wealth. Although some Americans have fared poorly in the economic downturn, she does not think that economic growth is “the” solution to the country’s problems. She believes growth has caused pollution and feeds a consumer lifestyle.
CLIMATE CHANGE: It is real and she is concerned. “I would work to develop legislation that really addresses the issue,” Gunn said.
At the same time, she wants to stop the opening of new nuclear power plants.
MILITARY: Gunn wants to close many foreign military bases, including in Germany, and thinks a restoration corps can give people an alternative way of doing national service.
Like others, she is making returning veterans a high priority. She thinks those struggling to get the right care should be able to get access to something like Medicare – rather than have to rely on a nearby military hospital. Overall, she regards the Veterans Administration as understaffed and overworked.
SOCIAL ISSUES: She supports the right to abortion. She also supports recognition of same-sex marriage.
HEALTH REFORM: Gunn said she doesn’t believe people should have to buy health care insurance. She also does not like the enshrinement of private insurers in the Democrats’ 2010 reform.
Instead, she favors moving toward a single-payer health care system. If the Supreme Court strikes down President Barak Obama’s reform, “I’d be willing to go at it a second time,’’ Gunn email@example.com 360-753-1688