Voters in the 21st Legislative District should re-elect Democratic state Rep. Strom Peterson, who has done a solid job representing Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds and Everett the past four years.
State Rep. Strom Peterson is a Democrat who is progressive on social issues like gun control, yet mindful of how increased traffic and property taxes can burden his constituents. Voters in the 21st Legislative District — which includes Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds and Everett — should send him back to the Legislature for another two years.
During his most recent term, Peterson worked hard to pass a bill creating a drug take-back system for unused medications, including opioid painkillers that can play a role in suicides and overdoses. Doing more to address the opioid crisis is one of his top priorities going forward.
Peterson, who owns a cheese shop in Edmonds, is also well versed on some of the areas where the Legislature fell short in its recent school-funding overhaul. In addition to putting more money into special education, he wants to push to build more classroom space — a necessary step if the state is to follow through with its plans to lower K-3 class sizes.
At the same time, Peterson is appropriately cautious about completely revamping the state’s new K-12 funding system right away. He’d rather wait and see how well the plan is working before making drastic changes, such as lifting limits on local school-district levies.
He shares some of his constituents’ concerns about the high cost of car tabs under Sound Transit 3. Though he supports transit projects in his district, he also thinks the Legislature should do something to ensure Sound Transit car-tab fees are calculated more fairly.
As a former member of the Edmonds City Council, Peterson should have been smarter this year about the need for transparency in government. He, along with most of his colleagues, voted in February to exempt the Legislature from the state’s Public Records Act, a law he lived under when he was a city councilman.
A Republican candidate, Amy Schaper, did not participate in the Times’ endorsement process.
For the most part, Peterson has proved himself a conscientious and effective legislator. Voters should re-elect him to a third term.