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Congressional candidate comes to town

 

Christine Brown and volunteers talk with local citizens at a "Coffee with Christine" at Voltage Coffee House in Grand Coulee Thursday morning after a town hall meeting in Coulee Dam Wednesday night. - Scott Hunter photo

Christine Brown, Democratic candidate for Washington's 4th Congressional District, spoke to a small crowd in Coulee Dam on May 9 about her views, and listened to views of those attending.

Brown is traveling to towns in Central Washington as part of her "Big Table Tour."

"The whole idea is to bring people to the table," Brown said. "I want to make sure all people have a seat at the table so that all points of view can be heard, listened to, and taken into account. A lot of people feel that if you don't have money, you don't have a voice."

"What I'm discovering is that parties in general are very unpopular," Brown continued. "People are unsatisfied with the Republican and Democratic parties. They feel there is way too much polarization, and so what people are looking for are answers to problems. They want to know how can we solve problems as a group of people."

Browns spoke on a lot of major issues:

Healthcare: "It doesn't matter if you're a Republican, independent, or Democrat; you have healthcare needs. For a lot of people, those healthcare needs just aren't being met. People don't have it or they're worried they'll lose it. They don't care if you're a Democrat or Republican, they want services that will make them better."

And on women's healthcare in particular: "It's incredibly annoying to me that 12 older men can go into a room behind closed doors and put together a plan for women's healthcare. That's just nutty," she said, referring to a U.S. Senate committee of 13 men meeting a year ago to formulate a new healthcare law to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Immigration: "I am a really strong proponent of comprehensive reform that includes a path to documentation and eventual citizenship for the people who are already living here, working, and paying taxes. This group of people is unbelievably important to our collective economy. Growers are quick to say one half of the workforce in agriculture is undocumented. Other industries that are incredibly dependent on the undocumented worker are construction and hospitality, as well. Our economy in this region is really tied to that, and that's why I want to be a loud, bold, aggressive voice for immigration reform. A wall is not going to solve our issues."

Changes in the Republican Party: "There is tremendous unrest, dissatisfaction. Some people feel that they have been left behind by their own party, and I'm talking about Republicans. They feel like the party does not represent how they viewed the party in the past, and they are looking for alternatives."

Brown supports the Second Amendment right for responsible people to own guns for hunting, protection, target practice, and collecting, but believes in basic background checks.

Concerning the opioid crisis, Brown says treatment is the answer, and not making people jump through hoops to receive treatment, drawing a link between the opioid crisis and the healthcare issue.

Brown was raised in Yakima, worked in human services in Yakima county before going on to be a television news reporter, and eventually station manager, in the Tri-Cities. "There are at least two sides to every story," she said. "When you're in news, you look for all sides, and that is just as important in lawmaking."

Concerning the environment, Brown wants to reduce fossil fuels, increase renewable energy, and let the United States be the country that develops the batteries that will be a major part of the future of energy.

Speaking of renewable energy, Brown took a tour of the dam along with members of her staff. "It is such an incredible marvel that it was built and that it still operates," she said. "This exemplifies America in terms of problem solving, and being ingenious about how to do that."

Brown is running against Republican incumbent Dan Newhouse. The election will take place in November of this year.

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