Marcus is committed to creating good-paying jobs for men and women in Spokane. This means investing in strategic industries like biomedicine and aerospace to attract hi-tech jobs and keep Spokane on the cutting edge of innovation. It also means increasing access to the higher education and workforce training people need to excel in the jobs of the future, and keeping college affordable so that we are not pricing students out of their education. As the prime sponsor of legislation paving the way for the WSU medical school and a staunch advocate for job creation and higher education, Marcus has been keeping these priorities front and center in Olympia. And it’s not just the number of jobs that matters—Marcus will continue to fight for fairness in the workplace to ensure that the jobs created and protected in Spokane offer the lasting economic security we need to thrive.
Public investments in infrastructure and transportation lay the groundwork for strong communities and put people back to work. Marcus serves on the Capital Budget and Transportation committees to make sure these investments are being made right here in Spokane. He has delivered resources to our community to expand skills centers, support community development initiatives, and keep our community vibrant. In the last two years, he helped deliver over $1 billion to promote transportation priorities in our community, including funding to connect the North Spokane Corridor to I-90, improve options for bikes, buses, and foot-traffic, and increase safe routes to schools.
As a parent, Marcus is working to keep Spokane’s neighborhoods safe for our children. Marcus is the proud recipient of the 2013 WACOPS House Democrats Legislator of the Year award. He believes we need to work aggressively to reduce crime in our community, and part of that challenge means giving law enforcement the tools they need to serve our community. Another part of the challenge involves addressing the root causes that lead to criminal behavior, so that we can prevent crimes from happening in the first place. Marcus supports evidence-based restorative justice practices, along with substance abuse treatment and mental health services that are central to reducing recidivism and keeping our community safe.
Education should be the great equalizer for ALL Washington’s children, and Marcus is working hard to ensure each one of our kids has access to outstanding K-12 education no matter where they live or go to school. As the father of two young children, he also knows that kindergarten is too long to wait for a strong start. That is why, in addition to promoting small class sizes and exceptional K-12 outcomes across the state, Marcus is fighting for high-quality early-learning programs and wrap-around services to help close the opportunity gap and ensure every child in Spokane and Washington has an opportunity to succeed.
Marcus believes no one should ever go hungry, and everyone deserves a roof overhead and a safe place to call home. Kids cannot succeed in school when they are doing their homework under the dome-light of their car. Parents cannot secure a bright future for their children when they can’t put food on the table, and people that are trying to get back on their feet need something to hold onto. Our community is stronger when all of us have the economic security and stability needed to thrive. Marcus will continue to be a strong voice for our most vulnerable children, seniors and veterans so that we can all move forward together.
Driven by the conviction that our children should inherit a better world, Marcus is committed to protecting and preserving the immense natural beauty that we are blessed with in Washington state. Here in Spokane, we are lucky to have two gorgeous state parks at our doorstep, and Marcus believes family income should not be a barrier to experiencing the outdoors. The environment that lets us thrive faces threats on many fronts. From local challenges like toxins in the Spokane River to global challenges like climate change, Marcus is working hard to keep our planet clean, beautiful, and livable for our children’s generation and generations to come.
Marcus believes public participation is crucial for democracy to work for the people. He has passed bi-partisan legislation to increase transparency and accountability of how our tax dollars are spent. He supports reforms that would increase voter access to our electoral process and limit the role of money in elections. He will continue to resist efforts to put corporate profits ahead of people in public policy. He works for you, and he believes that you, the employer, should be able to reach him easily. He welcomes phone calls at his personal cell phone: (509) 879-7805.
In Washington state, women make only 78.2 cents for every dollar made by a man. The wage gap for women of color is even higher. Marcus knows that we can’t have real economic opportunity in Washington state when so many are getting short-changed. In addition to paycheck fairness, he will continue to advocate for paid family leave and legislation to prevent pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Marcus believes in a woman’s right to choose in reproductive health decisions. The state should not interfere in those decisions, and neither should an employer or an insurance company. Women’s issues are family issues, and Marcus will continue to be a strong champion for Washington’s families.
Marcus believes everyone should have access to high-quality, affordable health coverage. As Vice Chair of the Health Care and Wellness Committee, he has been working hard to make the affordable care act a success in Washington state, to improve health care delivery, and to build support for measures that will reduce the cost of care for many people in our community. He has championed successful initiatives to improve access, coverage, and timeliness of newborn and developmental/autism screenings. He has also secured funding and passed legislation to improve mental health care and substance abuse treatment. He worked with the family and friends of the victim of a tragic murder-suicide to pass Sheena’s Law to help ensure mental health emergencies are handled by mental health professionals. Sometimes prevention is the best medicine, and Marcus is advancing policies that will reduce childhood obesity and improve public health across the state.