Dear Fellow Southern Washingtonians,
My name is Devin Kuh and I am excited to announce my candidacy for State Representative District 14 Position 2. I am running for office to present those living in our district with a progressive option who will fight for those most vulnerable in our communities and ensure that education, healthcare and economic opportunities are plentiful and fulfilling for all. Furthermore, I will fight to protect the environment in our district to ensure it is able to provide for us and our families for generations. We need an economy and government structure that works for every person living within our district. I was born and raised in Colorado by a Special Education teacher and a small business owner. They taught me the value of empathy, doing what is right, community and a love for the outdoors(see cover photo of my mom and I skiing in 2015). I first started falling in love with Southern Washington while attending Whitman College. After graduating from Whitman College with degrees in Math and Economics, I pursued Education as a teacher and a coach for, White Salmon based, World Class Academy. When school’s not in session I have worked as a guide and instructor for Wet Planet Whitewater. The past two years, I earned a master’s degree in Teaching Math and Science and taught at The Bush School. Seeing the issues our district faces was a call to action for me. I knew I must get into this race and provide a different voice to my community members. One that centers on the health and wellbeing of us, our children, and our planet. The world has changed too much in the past six months to continue with the status quo. As a high school teacher, I know that our democracy is in jeopardy. When elected officials run unopposed, citizens do not have voices that speak for their needs. To those with a more progressive view of the future for Southern Washington, I will work for you. Please join me in safeguarding our future.
At a time of unprecedented turmoil in our public schools, we need leaders with a strong connection to education and an understanding of what it takes to systematically create democratic classrooms, that provide opportunity for all and help eliminate the widening opportunity gap we are seeing in education. We need to ensure that education stays a public good that works to provide opportunity, community, and personal growth for our students. Not merely serve as a sorting hat for entering the work force. We need to ensure we provide schools adequate funding and trust local teachers and principals to tell us what they need to best serve their students while keeping students, staff, and families safe.
Another key belief of mine is the importance of access to high quality healthcare. Access to this health care is a right. We have seen too many people laid off and lose their healthcare during an international health emergency to continue as normal. We must act locally and as a state to ensure that every person living within our borders has that access to healthcare, during the pandemic and after. People should not have to chose between financial and physical well-being. The great toll of COVID-19 has laid bare the fact that our current representatives have not been able to create sustainable and durable economic opportunities for Southern Washingtonians.
Just as we must nurture the development of our youth, and protect the health of all, we need to apply these same principles to our public lands. These lands and resources must be valued, protected, and used sustainably to drive tourism, economic growth and economic stability for generations to come. We cannot mortgage the futures of our children and our grandchildren for fast cash and easy solutions today. We must strive to develop methods of production that will sustain and maintain us for generations to come. Focusing on developing clean energy and maintaining healthy forest and river systems will ensure that our communities thrive both economically and environmentally for years to come.
I hope that if elected, I will be heading to Olympia at a time when we have found a vaccine for COVID-19, our economy is open, and we are once again flourishing. Unfortunately, we must prepare for the reality that we will still be dealing with the health and economic fallout of this virus. The evidence so far has shown that stimulus that focuses on rewarding small businesses for maintaining their employees is one of the most effective strategies. I aim to keep this focus for the State of Washington and ensure that our taxpayer dollars are going directly to support small businesses and individuals. The corner stones of our society and community. We need to stop giving resources to the largest corporations who are well equipped to weather economic hardship. We need to keep our citizens employed and our small business a float until we turn the corner.
Ultimately, I am a teacher and am excited to elevate the voices of others and ensure that communities are given as many seats at the table as they want to help drive the types of legislation we look to pass in Olympia. I will strive to form coalitions and elevate the ideas, strategies and needs of those who will be most affected by any piece of legislation. We must strive to truly have a representative democracy where Olympia is filled with the voices of Southern Washington, not of career politicians.
Kuh for you!