Editor's note: Patch has submitted questionnaires to state representative candidates in the 21st District, which includes portions of Edmonds, as well as Mukilteo and portions of Lynnwood and Everett.
NAME: Mary Helen Roberts
OFFICE SOUGHT: WA State House of Representatives – 21st District
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat
TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Unincorporated Snohomish County (Lynnwood mailing address)
CURRENT OCCUPATION: State Representative
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: small business; private non-profit
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE FACING VOTERS IN YOUR DISTRICT: Assuring a quality public education system from pre-school through higher education.
IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN OFFICE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE? A quality education system needs to be adequately funded. I will support a review of state government expenditures and find where funds can be shifted from their current use into education.
The criminal justice system is my top priority for review since incarceration is very expensive, and it’s possible to make our communities safer by investing more in prevention and early intervention while decreasing our incarceration rate.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE REFERENDUM 74: SHOULD GAY MARRIAGE BE LEGAL IN WASHINGTON? BRIEFLY, WHY? I am a strong supporter of I-74. I consider it a civil rights issue and see no reason for government to prohibit this personal commitment.
DO YOU SUPPORT/OPPOSE, INITIATIVE 502 TO MAKE SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIJUANA LEGAL TO PEOPLE 21 AND OLDER? BRIEFLY, WHY? I-502 is a common sense first step in taking a new look at the failed war on drugs. I feel the initiative is well drafted to keep marijuana out of the hands of juveniles while allowing adults to legally use this drug that has less dangerous consequences than alcohol and is less addictive than tobacco.