Transportation is the lifeblood of commerce. Without good roads, auto, bike, pedestrian and mass transit options, neighborhoods suffer, businesses decline, and folks have a harder time getting their kids to school, to shop and to work.
In 2013, the Washington State Senate missed an opportunity to move our region forward by declining to approve a comprehensive statewide transportation funding package that included a replacement Interstate 5 bridge and other road improvements for Vancouver and Clark County.
Our roads and bridges need significant repair. The Interstate 5 bridge was first built in the days of horse and buggy, and is built on wood pilings that were originally placed into service in 1917 and 1958. We need to replace it.
We can't afford to miss out on future opportunities for infrastructure funding. I will work hard to advocate with our county, state and federal partners to find the resources needed to bring our infrastructure to a point where it serves our community.
More than 90% of the businesses in Vancouver and Clark County are small businesses with 10 employees or less. The City of Vancouver has been working to make it easier for businesses to open in the city limits, and we need to continue our efforts to support the growth of these small businesses.
Continue working with community partners like the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia River Economic Development Council and Workforce SW Washington to attract employers with living, family wage jobs to Vancouver.
Community partners like WorkSource, Next!, the Cascadia Technical Academy, Clark College, WSU-Vancouver, and our local and regional labor unions have developed and are implementing training programs for the living and family wage jobs of the 21st century workforce. We need to support the continued development of these programs and encourage their integration into existing high school curriculum.
I believe we need to support A Stronger Vancouver package of enhancements to the Fourth Plain corridor and Heights area, our parks, funding projects and growth in our fire and police department, and resources for helping the homeless population in Vancouver.
Vancouver has a proud and long heritage that is unique and must be preserved. Fort Vancouver's history goes back to our earliest settlements, and Pearson Airfield is a nationally recognized historic airfield. Pearson is one of our nation's oldest continuously operated airfields. These and other locations around Vancouver are treasured community assets that contribute to Vancouver's unique character and charm, and must be protected.
We should support Vancouver's Arts, Culture and Heritage plan. Arts and culture have a historical track record of revitalizing economically depressed areas in cities large and small. Vancouver's First Friday Artwalks are a great illustration of how arts and culture development can make a difference in our Downtown.
We need roads that are safe for all modes of transportation, not just autos. We need to make sure our roads are bike and pedestrian friendly so that all can use them safely.