Jay Inslee: The 7 Issues Guide


Photo via Puget Sound Business Journal

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the most important. I hope that these guides serve as a helpful starting point for you as you look into which candidates (or how many candidates!) you are interested in supporting in their bid to become our next President.

Today, let’s get to know Jay Inslee!


Career Highlights

✦ Current Governor of Washington
✦ Former U.S. Representative (WA-1st and 4th districts)
✦ Former Washington state representative



Affordable Healthcare: “Inslee backed the Affordable Care Act when it was up for a vote during his time in Congress. In 2013, as governor, he expanded Medicaid under the ACA in his state.” Source 

Universal Healthcare: “Recently he introduced a public option health care plan to help stabilize the state’s health insurance exchange. Inslee said it would be an initial step toward creating universal health care in the state.” Source

Opioid Response: In 2016, Inslee launched an initiative to combat the opioid crisis in Washington. The initiative “brings together state agencies, local public health organizations, law enforcement, tribal governments, and other partners to act on opioids. The executive order identifies key aspects of the state’s current opioid response plan that can be implemented immediately as part of a strategic statewide effort to prevent opioid use disorder and overdose deaths.” Source 

Mental Health: “Inslee’s $675 million proposal would fund hundreds of new community mental-health beds and create a partnership with the University of Washington to establish a new teaching hospital focused on behavioral health. It would boost the ranks of mental-health workers, who have been in short supply, and provide long-term housing options to ease the bed shortage.” Source 

Pro-Choice: “On abortion rights, Inslee believes in a woman’s right to choose and opposed the Trump administration’s announcement that it would prohibit taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions.” Source 


Climate Change

Record: “Inslee has long been a champion of climate change action and is making the issue the centerpiece of his presidential run. As a member of Congress, Inslee backed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that passed the House but ultimately failed in the Senate.” Source

Record: “Inslee is the only one who has actually run a government that has made climate-change policy central. He points to the towns in Washington that have become solar-cell farms, among other accomplishments.” Source

Paris Climate Accord: “He also co-founded and co-chaired the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of 17 U.S. governors working to uphold America’s goals from the Paris Agreement.” Source 

Green New Deal: “Mr. Inslee has praised the Green New Deal … for elevating public discussion of climate change and acknowledging the scale of the action needed. But he has also described it as more of an “aspirational” outline of principles than a policy document.” Source 

Climate Legislation: “As governor, Inslee pushed unsuccessfully for the nation’s first state-level carbon tax. He has also proposed lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035 and converting state ferries into electric hybrids, among other initiatives.” Source 

Environmental Accountability: “In 2015, he ordered Washington’s Department of Ecology to impose a cap on carbon emissions. He created a fund for clean energy, and the state now has extensive solar energy infrastructure and electric buses.” Source 

Policy Outline: “”We must strive to achieve net-zero carbon pollution by midcentury, create a 100 percent clean-energy grid, and deploy new strategies and massive investments to transition off fossil fuels and decarbonize transportation, buildings and industries.” Source


Civil Rights

LGBTQ Rights & Marriage Equality: “Inslee is a proponent of LGBTQ rights and backed legalizing same-sex marriage in his state.” Source

Transgender Rights: In 2016, when North Caroling passed a law prohibiting schools from letting transgender students use restrooms that match their gender identity, Inslee banned non-essential state travel to that state. Source 

Banning Conversion Therapy: “A measure banning licensed therapists from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity was signed into law Wednesday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Inslee signed the bill joined by lawmakers and other LGTB supporters, including Democratic Sen. Marko Liias, the bill’s sponsor, and Chad Griffin, the president of the D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign.” Source 

Women’s Issues: “Inslee today appointed attorney Michelle Gonzalez to direct Washington’s new Women’s Commission, which will advise the governor, the Legislature and state agencies on issues important to women. … The nine-person Women’s Commission, created by the Legislature this year, aims to improve the well-being of women by identifying and developing policies to address critical issues affecting women, such as domestic violence, child care and support, sexual harassment, equal compensation, access to government services, and barriers for women of color.” Source 

Death Penalty: “During his first term as governor, he instituted a moratorium on the death penalty (the state’s supreme court struck down capital punishment last year).” Source

Criminal Justice Reform: “In the realm of civil rights and justice reform, after the state legalized marijuana possession, Inslee launched the Marijuana Justice Initiative to pardon thousands of adults with single marijuana misdemeanor convictions.” Source


Gun Reform

Gun Reform: “He has been outspoken in favor of gun control, and after the shooting in Parkland, Fla., last year, he confronted President Trump on live television, denouncing Mr. Trump’s suggestion to arm schoolteachers.” Source 

Assault Weapons/Background Checks: “Among other measures, he wants to expand background checks and restrict some semiautomatic weapons. His advocacy on the issue goes back many years; he lost his seat in Congress after voting for the 1994 assault weapons ban.” Source

Gun Control Enforcement: “Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and state attorney general Bob Ferguson are urging gun dealers in their state to abide by the terms of a gun control initiative that voters passed by a wide margin last fall. Inslee and Ferguson, both Democrats, sent a letter Thursday to 262 gun dealers who operate in counties where sheriffs have indicated they will not enforce the so-called Initiative 1639, which passed with 60 percent of the vote.” Source 

Arming Teachers: “Inslee stood and promoted Washington’s extreme-risk protection order law as a national model. He then launched into a criticism of Trump’s endorsement of encouraging schoolteachers to carry guns as a response to the recent massacre at a Florida high school.” Source 


Voting Rights

Voting Rights: ““I am proud to support the Washington Voting Rights Act bill. It will help ensure that local democracy is accountable and fair. … It is crucial that all voices are heard and all neighborhoods are represented in local government. This bill would make a positive impact across the state and ensure that our government is truly of the people, by the people and for the people.” Source

Native American Voting Rights: “Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed the Native American Voting Rights Act, which allows the residential address portion of a voter registration form to be filled out with a nontraditional address. The new law will “allow tribal members to help us form a more perfect union and make good decisions about our destiny.” Source

Voting Rights Legislation: “Besides the Voting Rights Act, Inslee signed into law a measure that will allow 16 and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. Another bill allows for same-day voter registration. The fourth measure lets automatic registration for people getting state ID cards or enhanced driver’s licenses.” Source


Economic Inequality

Taxes: “While he has not released a federal tax proposal, he recently introduced a plan in Washington State that would increase several taxes and institute a 9 percent tax on some capital gains.” Source 

Minimum Wage: “Inslee supports increasing the minimum wage, which is currently $12 in Washington state and will rise to $13.50 in 2020.” Source 

Equal Pay: “Inslee signed into law a guaranteed paid family leave plan in 2017, granting eligible parents 12 weeks paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child or for a serious medical condition. He also signed an Equal Pay Opportunity Act that requires employees receive equal pay and work opportunities regardless of gender.” Source

Jobs: Inslee doesn’t see the issue of climate change as separate from other big issues. “During his time as congressman, he co-wrote the book Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean-Energy Economy about a program to fight climate change and boost the nation’s economy through clean energy innovation and job creation.” Source

Jobs: “In 2017, he launched the initiative Career Connect Washington to expand access to high-paying jobs after high school through alternatives to a four-year college degree, including apprenticeships and technical training programs.” Source


Foreign Affairs

Russia: “Govs. Jay Inslee and Andrew Cuomo sent a letter early today to President Donald Trump asking him to denounce Russia’s interference with U.S. elections and strengthen sanctions. The governors say Russian interference is “an imminent national security threat that transcends party lines” and it falls to the states to ensure “that every vote is protected and counted.” Source

North Korea: “Governor Inslee is hopeful that President Trump can be “more mature and rational” and find a diplomatic solution. ‘The sanctions actually was a success,’ Gov. Inslee said. ‘The international community agreed to these sanctions. We should let the sanctions speak rather than incendiary rhetoric. Teddy Roosevelt said, ‘speak softly and carry a big stick,’…we’ve got the big stick, it’s time for a little more mature rhetoric.'” Source

China: “Inslee opposes the Trump administration’s trade policies. He has said that “any punitive tariffs to the Asian markets are felt deeply” in the state of Washington. Inslee believes in a positive working relationship with trade partners and open access to foreign trade markets.” Source

Iran: As a U.S. Congressman in 2011, Inslee signed the Iran Threat Reduction Act. Source


Campaign website: Inslee For America

Check out all of our 7 Issues Guides: Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, John Delaney, Joe Biden, Eric Swalwell


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6 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Today I bring you the 8th installment of TokyoSand’s excellent series, The 7 Issues Guide, helping us get to know a bit about the platforms of the democratic candidates running for the office of president next year. Jay Inslee is on deck today, and I didn’t know much about him, other than that he is the Governor of the State of Washington, but I like what I see here. Thank you, TokyoSand, and your diligent volunteers, for helping us get to know Mr. Inslee!

  2. Reblogged this on Bennet Kelley's Clippings & More and commented:
    Political Charge’s latest edition of its 7-issues guide with WA Governor Jay Inslee.

  3. Hi there! Just wondering if we could also add in Inslee’s work on welcoming refugees and fighting the Muslim ban and his making WA state the first to protect Net Neutrality?

    • Thanks for letting us know, Kaiya. In order to keep the guides as consistent as possible so voters can compare candidates against the same set of issues, I’ve stuck with these 7 issues. That said, the comments are open and people are free to add the good work that these candidates have done around other issues. Thank you for adding this great information for Gov. Inslee.

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