State Senator Maralyn Chase’s concession speech

First of all I want to thank the many people and organizations who have supported me. I was honored by, and proud of, my record as a Democrat and representative of a growing number of people who want to see Medicare for All, the best quality public education, tax fairness, living wage jobs, equal justice with affirmative action and police accountability, affordable housing, and campaign finance reform. I am especially proud of my work to protect the Puget Sound environment, to promote clean energy technology, and mitigate the dire effects of climate change. I look forward to continuing my work with you, the public, to support these policies and principles.

I was one of the first members of the legislature to endorse Bernie Sanders’ campaign and in Tuesday’s election, we saw voters send record numbers of women to Congress who represent a powerful growing movement rising out of Occupy, Black Lives Matter and the Sanders’ campaign. These new women in Congress represent formerly marginalized groups including: Native American, African American, Muslim American, Hispanic American and LGBTQ2 American women. These electoral victories validate my positions on equity, affirmative action and access to the vote. It also validates that people can overcome their prejudices, and become stronger when they refuse to be pitted one against another by those who would profit from their division.

People need to know that this divisive, democrat on democrat campaign for state senate was driven by big money in politics and biased journalism. When people understand that Monsanto, the pro-charter school PAC, Stand for Children, and REALTOR PAC expect legislators to deliver legislation that contradicts tax fairness, that dips into our public school funds for private charter enterprises and undermines the democratic process, they may be shocked.

I want people to know that we can achieve our vision for a just, sustainable and healthy life, if the wealthiest Washingtonians would only pay even half of what they owe on their taxes. Please go to the records in the Department of Revenue 2016 Tax Exemption Study and look at the charts in the introduction and summary of findings. Then look at Chapter 17 on property tax exemptions. When the highest income earners pay minimal or no property taxes it shifts the tax burden to middle and lower income taxpayers who must then pay more taxes.

Some exemptions are for the common good, e.g. tax credits to help people put solar panels on their homes. With an extra $50B a year in tax funding, we could fund every school, fix every road, provide healthcare for all, boost small businesses that provide so many jobs, fund clean technology and jobs training, and protect the Puget Sound.

People are suffering deprivations caused by the manipulation of our government and electoral process by the wealthiest among us. They undermine our cohesion as a people, numb us to the suffering of our neighbors and cause increasing levels of hostility. Now more than ever we should be united in opposition to those people and organizations that would pit us against one another to rob us of the beautiful lives and abundant wealth our work has created.

We know what we stand for and we will continue to fight.

Maralyn Chase

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