Hello fellow Democrats,
I’d like to tell you a little bit about my family, as my parents are an important reason why I chose to run for State Representative. To begin, I’m the son of Cuban immigrants; both of my parents’ families fled Fidel Castro’s dictatorship in the 1960s. They grew up in immense poverty as children but when they met as teenagers, they fell in love and married and pursued the American Dream.
Throughout my entire upbringing, my parents lived the model middle class life: great jobs protected by a union (father was a trucker and Teamster), raised two great sons (my brother served in the Marines and is currently a police officer; I’ve had a great career as a software engineer), they owned their own home, and always had access to healthcare.
Unfortunately, their dream ended in the 2000s. Yellow Freight, where my father worked for 30 years, blamed “expensive” unions and slashed his salary 15%, then absorbed most of his pension for company profit, and finally tried to fire him when he became injured. He was forced into a settlement and two years later, without access to healthcare, my parents spent their entire life savings on managing medical debt. Last year they filed for bankruptcy and this year they’re selling their home to make ends meet and moving in with me and my fiancée.
Never in my life did I think this could happen to wonderful people like my parents, who believed if they worked hard now, they’d be set in the future. Never did my father imagine he’d see his pension dwindle away before he could even use it. I wish our story was unique, but it’s actually far more common than many of us realize. What happened to our great society?
This is why I’m running: because for families like ours, we need bold, progressive leaders willing to fight for us. I will favor and champion progressive issues that benefit everyday Washingtonians.
I proudly support the statewide initiative to raise up our minimum wage, because I know that will immediately lift millions of workers out of poverty.
I support the statewide initiative calling for a Carbon Tax, because the wildlife and businesses supported by the Puget Sound are too important to lose for short-term profits with fossil fuels. It takes the tax burden off workers and places it where it belongs: on the polluters. My opponent Jesse Young has already received giant contributions from affiliates of BP.
I support a statewide capital gains tax, the same one that Larry Seaquist chose not to co-sponsor with many House Democrats, which will affect largely only the top 3% of income earners in our state and potentially raise billions in revenue to amply fund education. We could solve McClearly!
I will be vocal in discussing sexual assault in the military and finding solutions for the 1 in 4 enlisted women being assaulted. We must strongly advocate for prosecution in cases of sexual assault: If a soldier can be jailed or discharged for driving drunk, they should for sexual assault as well.
I need you to help make this happen. Tell others about our campaign, get engaged at www.alecmatias.com and consider contributing to support our mission. Together, we can be the change we want to see. Our campaign is your campaign, your fight is our fight.
Today, take a moment to remember the brave men and women who gave their lives serving in our country’s armed forces. Their ultimate sacrifice is what allows us to enjoy the freedoms we cherish; our gratitude and respect shall remain eternal.
As we honor our fallen brothers and sisters this Memorial Day, let us additionally reflect on what we can do, now and in the future, to aid our most vulnerable and at-risk veterans. It is imperative for every American to understand the true costs of war and realize that we cannot ask our brave soldiers to lay their life on the line to protect us and not be willing to do the same for them and their families. We must mirror their bravery and fight against the enemies facing many veterans today: poor access to healthcare, lack of mental health services, and homelessness. They swore an oath to support and defend our way of life; let us do the same for them.
Our campaign proudly stands with our brothers and sisters in the transgender community and we consider I-1515 a monumental setback to our state’s stellar record of inclusion. One reason I’m incredibly proud to call myself a Washingtonian is how our state has been ahead of the curve when it comes to progress. I-1515, unfortunately, is not progress; it regresses our state’s anti-discriminatory laws back at least ten years and is nothing more than a political tool for right-wing candidates to divide our community and pander to a shrinking base of constituents. If this initiative is approved for our November ballot, we strongly encourage every voter to vote NO on I-1515.
Let’s now dig into the facts to see how much of a waste of time and taxpayer money I-1515 would be for our state... >> READ WHOLE ARTICLE
The advice came the morning after I publicly announced my candidacy for State Representative at the 26th District Democrats meeting on April 7, 2016. My announcement was a moment I’ll never forget: I was overwhelmed by the incredible warmth everyone shared with me and their passion for our campaign’s mission to return LD 26 to a blue district. A district that focuses on aiding the disadvantaged by protecting affordable housing, finding homes for the dozens of homeless veterans in our district, giving shelter to at-need students studying in Bremerton (8.4% of whom are homeless), and fighting back against corporate tax breaks that use our tax dollars to send Washington jobs out of state. One of the LD26 Vice Chairs even gave me a hug after the meeting and said, “Thank you for running, we need you.” It was an incredibly humbling moment in my life.
Thirteen hours later, Larry Seaquist – who served as our State Representative until he lost to Michelle Caldier (R) in 2015 – called me on my cell and wanted to meet immediately for coffee. I accepted enthusiastically, hoping to build a new relationship with a local leader who could help me unseat incumbent Republican Jesse Young. Unfortunately, I was surprised when the conversation quickly tailspinned into suggestions to abandon my campaign. Here are a few bits of the advice he offered me:
“Why not run for the chair of the Kitsap County Democrats instead?”
“Party politics is a game of quid pro quo, and you haven’t paid your dues yet with the party.”
Then there was the bombshell that made my jaw drop:
“You’re not conservative enough to win in our district.”
I'll have to disagree with Mr. Seaquist, here: Democrats running on strong, progressive platforms are exactly the type of people we need in politics. I was a bit shocked to hear him say this, but as of today, I understand his true intentions: yesterday, Larry Seaquist announced that he is dropping out of the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, and jumping into the Democratic race against me for District 26.
I’m not sure why he changed his mind on where to run, but I do know this: the phrase “you’re not conservative enough to win” is not acceptable advice to give to any Democratic candidate. It was bad advice from whomever gave it to Tim Sheldon in District 35 two years ago, and it’s bad advice here and now in District 26. With Olympia spending years mired in a downright gridlock, sending another conservative, whether Democrat or Republican, is not going to help out the middle class of our home state.
Perhaps because he lost to a Republican in 2015, Mr. Seaquist believes that moving to the right is the only viable strategy to win his next election. I couldn’t disagree more.
I chose to run for State Representative to give District 26 Democrats an opportunity to inject true progressivism into our legislature. When my district called for a progressive to run against Jesse Young – the Republican incumbent running unopposed – I upended my life and career to heed the call. Our campaign is your campaign, your fight is our fight. Today to tomorrow, 2017 and beyond, I will stand with the people of Washington. I am not accepting any donations from corporations, I will not coordinate with SuperPACs, and our campaign will live or die by the support of voters like you.
And, in strong contrast to my new opponent, Mr. Seaquist, I do not believe that I need to abandon my progressive principles to build the broad coalition of support needed to win in our district.
Will you stand with me to fight for progressivism? Stay plugged into our campaign, chip in a few bucks, or express interest in volunteering. And mark your calendars now: make your voice heard and vote on August 2!