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Marko Liias

Name: Mark Liias
Running For: Lt. Governor
: Democrat
Current Position: State Senator – 21st LD
City: Mukilteo
Social Media: Facebook Twitter Instagram
Contact Information: (425) 610-8683 [email protected]
Education:   Bachelor’s from Georgetown University (2003); Master’s from University of Washington (2017).

Auburn Examiner 2020 General Election Questionnaire
The Auburn Examiner did not alter or edit any of the candidate’s responses.

Candidates were asked how much they agreed with the following statements. Their options were Strongly Agree, Somewhat Agree, Neutral, Somewhat Disagree, and Strongly Disagree.

The existing state government is going in the right direction to benefit the people of Washington.
Strongly Agree

Voting by mail should not be allowed except in the case of absentee voting.
Strongly Disagree

There should be stricter rules and regulations on the use of money in political campaigns.
Strongly Agree

State and National Parks should be protected from being sold to private or corporate entities.
Strongly Agree

Environmental protections and regulation are more important than corporate tax revenue.
Strongly Agree

Collective bargaining rights for all unions and public employees must be protected.
Strongly Agree

Marriage should legally be defined as a relationship between one man and one woman.
Strongly Disagree

Public school sex education should be comprehensive, including all contraceptive methods without preference shown to abstinence.
Strongly Agree

At what point during human development should the law protect human life?
Legal protection should begin at conception

Legal protection should begin after three months gestation

Legal protection should begin after six months gestation

There should be no legal protection until after birth

More restrictive gun control is needed to protect public safety.
Strongly Agree

Open carry of firearms should be permitted everywhere, without restrictions.
Strongly Disagree

Qualified Immunity for Law Enforcement Officers should be repealed.
Strongly Agree

Chokeholds and Vascular Neck Restraints should not be permitted by any Washington Law Enforcement agencies.
Strongly Agree

There should be more emphasis on the rehabilitation of criminals than punishment.
Strongly Agree

I support the death penalty.
Strongly Disagree

911 Dispatchers should be legally designated as first responders.
Somewhat Agree

There is a mental health crisis in Washington State.
Strongly Agree

A dedicated line, separate from 911, should be created for incidents requiring mental health crisis responses.
Somewhat Agree

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been handled well by local and state agencies, including the Governor.
Strongly Agree

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been handled well by national agencies, including the President.
Strongly Disagree

The following were open questions with no limitations placed on the candidate’s response.

What is the number one platform issue of your campaign, and why is it important to you?
The most pressing issue we face is helping our state and our economy recover from COVID-19. This means listening to public health experts and ensuring that we save lives and take all measures to stop the spread of the virus now. It also means tackling the structural flaws in our economy that the pandemic has highlighted. We must rebuild our economy from the middle out, not the top down. That will require raising wages, expanding benefits like paid leave, and passing universal health care for all, making recovery available for all and not just the privileged few with personal resources.

How will you make decisions with an equity lens, understanding the impacts to all communities before making them?
We’ve done much in the legislature to level the playing field, especially for vulnerable populations but there is still work to be done to give everyone in Washington a fair shot for success. We must all redouble our commitment to equity in all we do. As we expand education and opportunity, as we grow jobs and new industries, we must ensure that every Washingtonian has the chance to share in the success that lies ahead. All bills that go through the legislature are assigned a “fiscal note,” to determine their impact on the state budget. I believe we need a similar measure for how communities are affected by our policies to ensure we make them as equitable as possible. As Lt. Governor, I will work with the new state Office of Equity, with legislators and leaders of color, with our state’s ethnic, women’s and LGBTQ commissions to place an equity and social justice lens on all the work we do in state government.

Is there a responsibility of the Washington state government you feel would be better managed on a county or city level?
People often look to the state for solutions on the housing crisis, but many of the problems around housing and homelessness can be greatly helped by county and local actions. This is not to absolve the state of the issue – there are deeply important measures and funding for the housing crisis the state must pass, but without robust local action too we will not be as effective. County and local governments can be reviewing and overhauling their zoning laws, recognizing that allowing for denser or lower income housing options in neighborhoods that are well connected to jobs will help lift up many who are struggling. Additionally, county and local governments could invest in public-private partnerships, to better offer services that their specific community needs. Housing will always need to be a collaborative effort, but more action up and down government will lead us to better solutions faster.

What is one problem under the jurisdiction of the office you are running for, and explain in simple concrete terms your plan to address it?
The Lt. Governor runs their own small state agency, the direction of which is largely guided by the sitting Lt. Governor. Lt. Governor Habib has made incredible strides with establishing the office as a center for promoting equality, equitable higher education, and running programs offering increased access to opportunity for folks who generally have less – particularly underprivileged students and students of color. These youth development and mentorship programs the office operates give access to college preparation and leadership training, so that more students can access higher education and opportunity. As Lt. Governor, I look forward to building on this work, particularly around finding solutions on college affordability and debt. This is an issue I’ve long worked on, including passing the Student Loan Bill of Rights. I look forward to bringing these efforts even more to the foreground as Lt. Governor.

Excluding the First and Second, which is your favorite U.S. Constitutional Amendment and why?
The 14th Amendment made leaps and bounds for civil rights all across America, preventing states from withholding fair and equal treatment for any of its citizens and guaranteeing the original Bill of Rights applies to everyone in the land, regardless of state action. It stands as a testament to how we can change for the better as a country, and must inspire us to continue doing more and lifting up our most vulnerable populations.

If you could recommend ONE book that best represents your values/describes your ethos, what would it be?
President Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope.

Candidates were asked to agree or disagree with the following statement.

I commit to representing the best interests of my constituents and not those of my party, donors, or special interest groups.