We, the King County Republican Party, reaffirm the principles that unite us in a common purpose. This platform is an invitation and a roadmap to a stronger, safer, and more prosperous King County, Washington State, and America. We invite every American to join us.
The US Constitution and the American Republic it defines have produced the most free, fair, diverse, prosperous, and just nation the world has ever known – allowing human creativity and productivity to flourish by limiting the power of government to interfere with private life. The Constitution must be preserved and interpreted as it was originally intended to ensure these benefits for future generations. The separation of powers, Federalism, and the Bill of Rights all define the role of government as a servant of the people and protector of God-given inalienable individual civil rights, which protect against the Tyranny of the Majority – the temptation for the 51% to rule over the 49%. Chief among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, including economic success. Political freedom has no substance without economic freedom, and so Socialism is incompatible with the American Republican form of government and with liberty.
Homelessness is a tragic part of our society now more than ever, in large part due to mental health and drug addiction. It is inhumane to allow people to live in unsheltered squalor and unfair to everyone to have to deal with the consequences of this problem. We support the enrollment of all homeless in secure, clean, and safe housing that is governed by enforceable rules. Low barrier homeless camps and tiny home villages without rules need to be closed. Homeless lawbreakers should be enrolled in treatment programs and actively engaged with social services if they wish to remain in the county’s public spaces. Otherwise, incarceration should be a conduit to services.
A strong work ethic is a foundational American value, and all populations should be empowered to work and contribute to society as they are able. We support employment assistance, vocational training, and substance treatment for all homeless people. Living on the street must not be an option.
Because enabling addicts to destroy their lives is inhumane, we oppose supervised heroin injection sites. We support funding for additional high-quality addiction treatment programs so that chronic, repeat offenders must choose jail or treatment and can be sent to either one immediately. Finally, we call for an increase in the quality and number of mental health facilities and hospitals to meet the needs of those who suffer from severe mental illness.
The desire for freedom must be tempered by the need for order. We encourage the vocal public support and hiring of more law enforcement officers who will do their job of arresting lawbreakers. We support “Broken Window” police policy that prevents criminal escalation and will be enforced equally among the housed and the non-housed population. City, county, and state authorities must enforce and prosecute existing laws against public intoxication, violence, theft, trespassing, sidewalk camping, property vandalism, and illegal drugs to reduce the mounting dangers to all citizens of King County. Chronic, repeat offenders must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Furthermore, we oppose legislative attempts to criminalize lawabiding gun owners for exercising their rights under the constitutions of both our state and nation.
Lack of affordable housing is a growing problem in King County. We favor free market solutions wherever possible to promote housing construction. These solutions include loosening zoning requirements, easing costly land-use regulations, moving permitting fees and taxes to later in the construction cycle, and streamlining approvals for building permits and inspections. We also support targeted adjustments to urban growth areas where environmental impact is minimal. We adamantly oppose rent control, which economists have consistently shown to reduce the supply and quality of housing. Since increasing property taxes hurt renters and homeowners in a free market system, we support keeping the current rates flat.
Effective transportation systems are crucial to the region’s economy and quality of life. Sound Transit, WSDOT, and Metro have a long record of broken promises, lack of accountability, and excessive taxation. Transportation agencies must be held accountable for their actions. Expansion of capacity, congestion reduction, improvements to safety and routine maintenance have all been ineffectively prioritized. Tolls and taxes should be used with common sense rather than for the purposes of social engineering and/or coercion. Port facilities must be modernized and upgraded to stay competitive. Improved access to rail and trucking is required to improve port productivity and reduce traffic congestion.
A strong education system is vital for maintaining the American democracy by fostering common civic culture, appreciation for our unique form of government, and intellectual diversity.
Schools and teachers must respect the rights of parents to control the education of their children. Public schools should support learners of every ability with a variety of programs, including special education, honors, HCC, AP, and Running Start programs, so that all children can learn. Lessons and materials must be available to the parents prior to its use in the classroom and subject to approval by local school boards. Sex education should be opt-in, age appropriate, focus on the biology of reproduction, and respect students’ personal boundaries and values.
We support the expansion of public charter schools since they have proven to be popular and effective. State-sponsored education savings accounts enable parents to choose what is best for their children and introduce constructive competition into the education system, improving quality and lowering costs. Higher education is also vital for the economic life of our state. The massive increase in tuition at public universities, due in part to increases in non-academic staff, is unjustified and must be limited to the inflation rate.
The United States faces near- and long-term security threats from our adversaries: the spread of terrorism, growing cybersecurity and espionage threats, illegal border crossings, and the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. America’s national policy of peace through strength, coupled with enhanced border security, alliances with freedom-loving countries and diplomacy which has American interests as its highest priority are essential to safeguarding the national security of a sovereign United States.
As a sovereign nation, America is enriched by the economic and cultural benefits of legal immigration. Our country needs immigrants and guest workers in the workforce to help maintain a growing economy. Since the founding of our country, immigrants have been a part of the fabric of our communities. We welcome refugees fleeing persecution and oppression, who should not be confused with economic migrants. A transparent and merit-based immigration system provides fairness to people from around the world through enforcement of existing immigration laws that protect American national security and the safety of American citizens. A proper immigration system not only controls the inflow of people; it also provides for enhanced physical barriers, and prevention of illegal entry of felons, drugs, gangs, and human trafficking. We must eliminate human trafficking, visa overstays, and immigration-related identity fraud by using E-Verify and, when necessary, DNA testing. Failure to do so empowers the cartels, whose many crimes victimize American citizens as well as prospective immigrants. Furthermore, convicted felons here illegally must be deported to their home countries.
Veterans of our military have earned preferential treatment when seeking employment. They have also earned specific educational, housing, health care and retirement benefits. Many of these benefits depend on state law, and we call on the state of Washington to protect these benefits.
The Veteran’s Administration has the duty to ensure all claims for injury or illness connected to a veteran’s service time are processed in a timely, fair, and respectful manner. If a VA facility is not readily available, a veteran should be able to seek, at government expense, necessary care via self-chosen private providers.
Any family who has lost a loved one in military service to the United States, shall continue to be given the honor and title of “Gold Star Family”, and receive all the survivor benefits and respect due them. Furthermore, the deceased veteran shall continue to be entitled to burial at a national cemetery and be granted full military honors, including the presentation of a United States flag to the surviving family as a token of thanks for the veteran’s honorable and faithful service.
The free enterprise system is the foundation of the American economy and must be strengthened. Prosperity comes from the initiative, intelligence, and hard work of the American people.
Recently we have had record low unemployment and increasing real wages. This is the result of lowering costs, taxes, and regulations that discourage hiring and investment. We oppose state income taxes, head taxes and carbon taxes. In order for more new jobs to be created and existing jobs preserved, we continue to support policies that foster entrepreneurship, recognize the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, encourage relevant educational training, guarantee the right to work, and minimize regulatory burdens.
American consumers have benefited greatly from products made overseas; however, globalization has had a negative impact on manufacturing, supply chains, jobs, income, and income disparity. Recent renegotiation of trade agreements is creating more balanced and fairer trade. The focus of the American economy must be innovation and productivity. Our government must act aggressively to protect intellectual property and confidential information from theft and misuse. Washington state and King County, in particular, depend heavily on trade and exports and therefore require genuinely “free and fair” trade agreements that open global markets to our goods and services.
The trajectory of our federal spending is unsustainable and therefore irresponsible. The rising gap between tax collections for Medicare and Social Security and the cost of those programs is the primary driver of increasing federal debt. The CBO projects these programs will consume an ever-larger portion of the federal budget. Additionally, the historically low interest rates we are currently experiencing mask the extent of the problem. If those rates revert to historic norms, rising interest costs of the debt will consume an ever-larger portion of the federal budget, starving other federal programs deemed worthwhile.
We call for Congress to implement gradual spending controls so that government spending stops growing faster than GDP. The government-controlled portion of the economy should not be allowed to grow faster than the private sector, and our children should not be saddled with the interest on trillions spent irresponsibly before they were born.
Americans deserve quality, affordability, and the freedom to choose their health-care providers and insurance plans. Health care reform must continue to be patient-focused and centered on the relationships of individuals with their health-care providers using marketplace solutions that work to improve health outcomes, guarantee coverage for preexisting conditions, reduce unnecessary treatments, allow for more innovation, introduce greater price transparency, and remain accessible for all Americans. Reform of the FDA approval process for both new and generic drugs has the potential to reduce drug costs and improve health outcomes, while deregulation of health insurance across state lines and meaningful tort reform can reduce medical services costs.
Protecting the environment requires humanity’s attention. The EPA was established to protect human health and the environment. However, regulatory agencies have gone far beyond the clear limits of their statutory authority. Recent expansions of carbon regulations and wetlands’ definitions in our state are good examples of this type of overreach.
The earth’s changing climate is not exclusively man-made and certainly will not be helped by restricting Americans’ freedom of movement through banning gas-powered automobiles or excessive taxation of fuel or carbon-based industries. We promote stewardship of our landscape and work to understand and preserve our environment. Environmental policies should be based on valid and replicable scientific research, subject to rigorous debate. Proposed solutions should be based on sound economic analysis, realistic weighing of costs, and avoidance of excessive bureaucracy. Recent wildfires prove the necessity of responsible, proactive fire management tools such as selective harvesting, brush removal, and prescribed fires in our forests.
We support a comprehensive energy policy for the United States, allowing access to and use of its abundant energy resources consistent with free market principles. Our energy policy should include a good balance of science-supported renewable and nuclear sources (to provide clean, consistent, base load power). Creativity, technological development, and market-driven application of science and technology will determine the most efficient, cost-effective, and clean uses of energy, which are essential to a prosperous economy. We also believe that energy development should not be distorted by subsidies or crony capitalism.
Every U. S. Citizen of voting age (18 years and older), once legally registered by positive authorized identification, has the right, if not a duty, to vote. Voters must have confidence election officials will safeguard their individual votes, accurately count each vote, and announce election results in a timely fashion. State and local governments should abide by the will of the people.
The United States and Washington State Constitutions protect the rights and freedoms of the people, especially the rights to freely speak, assemble, pursue happiness, and practice any religion (or none at all). These rights are held equally by all Americans, without consideration of heritage, skin color, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
The 4th Amendment protects citizens from warrantless search and monitoring by any local, state or federal law enforcement or administrative agency of any private communication or data, including pre-emptive storage for future warranted search. Religious freedom is the freedom to believe, teach, and live according to one’s own conscience in private, in public, and in business. As such, no person, business, or religious institution should be forced to engage in any activity or to provide any product or service that violates their conscience. We unequivocally condemn all forms of racism and religious persecution. There is no place in our party for white nationalism, racism, or violence and intimidation against the members or institutions of any religious group.
Stable and supportive families are the cornerstone of a free society. It is the right and responsibility of parents to provide for and direct all matters concerning the health, welfare, and academic and moral teaching of their minor children without coercion by the state. Parents or those with legal custody have the right to determine the guidance their children receive on all matters and to protect their children from influences they deem harmful. We encourage communities to support and help families and children in need.
The Declaration of Independence states that all humans have the unalienable right to life. Therefore, all human lives, regardless of age, ability, or disability, from pre-birth to natural death, ought to be preserved and cherished. Accordingly, we support legislative prohibitions on human cloning, infanticide, euthanasia, and partial-birth abortion. Only stem cell research which does not rely on human embryonic tissue is acceptable. Taxpayer funds should not be used for abortions. We support legislation which mandates that parents and guardians of minors be notified prior to such minors procuring medical procedures, including abortion.