Elected service calls for a principled courage that rises above personal and political differences. Citizens choose their representatives for varying reasons, but foundation to their choice is the expectation that those they elect will work hard and stand up for their rights. On the Republican side of the Legislature, constituents want us to stand for something and fight, together, to achieve it; not play second fiddle to Democratic agendas.
The increasing rise of political vitriol, recent events, and media speculation of potential legislative actions by the House majority party, however, are now exerting unprecedented influence that could divide state Republican officials and constituents irreparably. Therefore, a bold call for unity around principles we all hold paramount is needed.
I do not believe in litmus tests and am making no such request here. Rather, I am asking for each House Republican member to consider joining me in support of this Statement of Republican Unity, as the 2020 session begins, so that we can together publicly demonstrate our commitment to Republican, constitutional, conservative and professional principles and caucus unity. We must show citizens we are united and will support them.
I, Representative Jesse L. Young, District 26, Position 1:
Stand committed to transparency, in all its forms, and the unalienable Constitutional right to due process. I am affirming my commitment to these principles by:
Pledging to oppose any formal House legislative action against Representative Matt Shea until he has had due process to defend himself from accusations made against him by the Rampart Group report. We take an oath to uphold due process rights, and at a minimum Representative Shea should be allowed equal time to respond and defend himself as it took to produce the accusatory report.
Pledging to immediately support and co-sponsor House Bill 2190, which seeks to permanently end the use of title-only “Ghost Bills.” Submitting bills without actual legislative content only to add in the tax increase language at the last minute, as was done in 2019, stifles public review and political debate. It is dishonest, disrespectful to Washington citizens and downright shady. Transparency is fundamental to our roles as public servants and this should be the 2020 Legislature’s first order of business.
Stand committed to honoring the will of the people as expressed in their passage of Initiative 976 to reinstate $30 car tabs. I am affirming my commitment to voter rights by:
Pledging to immediately support and co-sponsor House Bill 2227, which is the legislative version of Initiative 976. Voters have spoken and the Legislature should honor the will of the people.
Stand committed to protecting our Second Amendment rights. I am affirming my Constitutional oath by:
Pledging to vehemently oppose any attempt by the State Attorney General or the House majority party to force through unconstitutional legislation that:
Seeks to enforce “red-flag” laws that attempt to eliminate due process rights and the presumption of innocence.
Makes or labels any current valid gun owner a criminal.
That seeks to ban or eliminate currently legal firearms or accessories.
Finally, I reaffirm my pledge to always fight for families, faith, freedom and fiscal responsibility.
Standing for something always produces results. It’s also the key to getting effective bipartisan solutions. It’s the exact technique I used to stop the tolls from increasing on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. I couldn’t have done it alone. I needed bipartisan support from the Democratic Caucus in order to get this done.
But when you stand for something and truthfully and honorably advocate for it, and then roll up your sleeves to work hard, you can accomplish a lot of great things in a short amount of time. And that’s the same process it’s going to take to accomplish all of the important objectives outlined here. It won’t be easy, but I’m committed to these causes and I will stand up for them.
Rep. Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, represents the 26th Legislative District.