Editor's note: Patch has submitted questionnaires to all 45th Legislative District candidates, and plans to post the responses verbatim as we receive them.
NAME: Roger Goodman
OFFICE SOUGHT: State Representative, 45th District, Position #1 (re-election)
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democratic Party
TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Kirkland
CURRENT OCCUPATION: State Legislator, Attorney
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Attorney in civil litigation in the late 1980s; Legislative Director, counsel and Chief of Staff to two senior members of Congress in Washington, D.C. In the 1990s; Executive Director of Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission in the late 1990s; criminal justice policy analyst and reformer, King County Bar Association, 2000-2008; State Representative, 45th District, 2007 - present
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE FACING VOTERS IN YOUR DISTRICT: The need to boost higher education opportunities for the many talented students coming out of our Eastside high schools, both at the four-year institutions and at our career and technical schools preparing students to be job-ready.
IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE? I'll get right in the middle of the negotiations, along with my long-time colleague and partner in the state House, rep. Larry Springer, to find the critical funding solution to increase the state share of support for our higher education institutions, both through cuts to non-essential government programs and by putting a measure before the people to raise revenue for education.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE REFERENDUM 74: SHOULD GAY MARRIAGE BE LEGAL IN WASHINGTON? BRIEFLY, WHY? Yes. As vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee, I was a principal co-sponsor of the "marriage equality" bill that made it to the Governor's desk for her signature. As a lawyer and as a legislator, I believe we must guarantee equal legal rights for people living in committed relationships who enter into the civil, legal contract called "marriage." This civil institution must be clearly distinguished from the religious sacrament called "holy matrimony," over which the state has no authority, but which nevertheless is also not a civil, legally-binding institution. I must necessarily keep my religious faith and its beliefs out of legislative business, and anyone who asserts that their "faith" requires them to oppose equal legal rights for same-gender couples who enter into a civil, legal contract is impermissibly crossing the line between church and state.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE, INITIATIVE 502 TO MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIJUANA LEGAL TO PEOPLE 21 AND OLDER? BRIEFLY, WHY? Yes. The prohibition policy didn't work with alcohol and the prohibition of marijuana has only resulted in the same corrosive effects on society - increased access and use by minors, threats to public safety and an extravagant waste of public money fighting an unwinnable "war on drugs." while arresting literally millions of adults for marijuana possession all to "protect the children," we've seen that marijuana is easier to obtain than beer by middle- and high schoolers. We must "get real" and assert rational, regulatory control over what is a potentially hazardous substance, as we do with other potentially hazardous substances, including alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals.
Colorado already has seen positive results from its uniform, statewide regulatory approach to marijuana for adults for medical use, with teen marijuana use declining significantly, with young people reporting marijuana is harder to obtain than beer, with a decline in dui arrests and with a decline in beer sales. We could also use the $500 million/year in revenue to fund education and health care. As for federal-state conflict of laws, Washington state is empowered to protect the health, welfare and safety of its people and the federal government will intervene in our state's affairs at its own peril.