Candidate photo

Elect Debi Wagner
Washington State Senate
34th Legislative District
An Independent Candidate

Hello Residents, Businesses and voters of the 34th Legislative District;

My name is Debi Wagner. I am the only candidate for this position who has served as an elected government official. I will bring this knowledge of government, skills and experience to the legislature.



Community Service:


I grew up in West Seattle and raised a family in Burien. I have lived, worked and volunteered in this district for nearly 50 years and know it well.† I have owned a franchise that served Vashon Residents and lived in Burien for over 20 years.† I have worked tirelessly to protect human health and the environment from airport impacts and see the current expansion plan of Sea-Tac as one of the biggest threats to the quality of life of the Puget Sound region.† I was twice elected President of the grassroots organization CASE (Citizens Against Sea-Tac Expansion) who fought the third runway expansion, wrote a book on this organization and its work and co-founded a national environmental organization.† During my service on the Burien City Council and South County area Transportation Board I consistently voted for responsible government and policies that put people ahead of politics.†As a Burien City Council Member I voted against all tax increases. I will bring these skills, experience and knowledge to the State Legislature.


Head tax, Soda tax, Mileage tax, Carbon tax, Sound Transit tax, Puget Sound overtaxed for State School funding, skyrocketing property taxesÖhad enough? Socialist Progressives want your money for their pet projects but provide little spending accountability.† These taxes increase homelessness, hurt low-income Seniors, businesses and cost jobs.† In interviewing people, many say they donít align with any party.† They are frustrated with partisan wrangling that ignores the real issues.† As an Independent, I will reach across the aisle and bring leaders together to solve problems that affect us all.

I will work for you and for:
  1. A State Homelessness model patterned after Utahís
  2. An effective, sustainable DOT model that reduces current and future traffic problems and eliminates cost overruns
  3. A†smart growth management plan that addresses the problems of densification
  4. A State mandated and promised new airport site to relieve the disproportionate noise and air quality impacts from SeaTac that damage health
  5. Environmental and Economic Justice for close-in airport communities
  6. Election reforms-campaign contribution lids, increased funding for PDC enforcement and added campaign regulations
  7. Continued open public records for all elected officials/public agencies and
  8. Enforcement of laws applied to gangs, drugs and crime.

I would appreciate your vote.

Issues that I have voted and stood for and will continue to stand for:

I would greatly appreciate serving you and I ask for your vote.

Debi Wagner

I can now accept donations via PayPal

Thank you for your support, and please be sure to vote.

If you would like to donate or volunteer for this campaign please call, write or email me at:

Email: <Debi Wagner>

Mailing address:

Friends to Elect Debi Wagner
PO Box 238
Seahurst, WA 98062

(206) 241-1553


Your support in my campaign for the State Legislature is greatly appreciated. Please help spread the word, and if you can make a financial contribution as well use the PayPal button above or make a check payable to Friends to Elect Debi Wagner and mail it to the address above. The maximum amount I can accept from any individual donor is $1,000.

Position Statements


As a City Council member I was a proponent of the Housing first model used in Utah with over 90% success for the chronically homeless. This effort was a partnership between the State, counties, cities, agencies and faith based community. This support network and skillful coordination of service providers across all sectors was instrumental in its success. Some important features of this program that have not been duplicated locally is; 1) knowledge of the homeless population by category, 2) knowing the number of homeless in each category in each county/city and obtaining oversight and information sharing from jurisdictions, 3) tracking the progress of each person who is required to pay a portion of the cost of rent, 4) treating the problems of the chronically homeless including drug/alcohol treatment and mental health evaluation, counseling and treatment. After spending hundreds of millions of dollars with a city by city attempt to address parts of the homeless crisis without a plan, coordination or use of a successful model has been overly expensive and largely unsuccessful. Locally, we have one of the fastest growing homeless populations in the country. Local cities overwhelmed by the cost and need can use a fresh, comprehensive approach with a proven record of success. I regularly volunteer in Burien for the local organizations who serve the needs of the homeless, elderly, poor and needy with meals, food pantry, laundry, shower, medical/dental, referrals etc. I am proud of the work this organization does to meet many needs, working with dozens of volunteers and primarily through donations. It has been a valuable experience to get to know them as individuals. Utah reduced chronic homelessness by 91%


Having served for four years on the South County Area Transportation Board I am keenly aware of our regions transportation challenges and the programs/policies and planning that attempts to address major congestion. Dot needs a thorough examination to look at planning, financing and construction. A sustainable and effective DOT model is one that uses a multi-faceted multi-modal integrated approach for transportation solutions. The systems connections to each mode is antiquated and uncoordinated. We have the highest US tax ever passed for a light rail system with a 1960ís style park and ride lot. If itís full every time I try and park to ride, how many times should I keep trying before I give up? I understand planners are trying to make me give up my car but if I canít get to the light rail any other way what do I do? Expensive first mile, last mile transit funding would have been unnecessary with four or five storied parking structures at the rail stations. These systems are continuously built half way done to ensure continued consulting, construction and planning. Road improvements that are decades too late are overly expensive and obsolete before being finished. There is a direct relationship between densification of core areas and transportation problems. Proper growth management comes with necessary infrastructure to handle the growth either in place prior to development or built by the developers.


Smart growth management is making sure the services match the growth and the growth is divided equitably between districts. Some areas in the county are regularly targeted to take the bulk of affordable housing units which are often a stressor for services. Densification can deplete a city of resources when this stress on the system for things like parking, schools, safety, storm water, etc. start to cost more than the types of growth provide in revenue becoming unsustainable. Setbacks, lot size, parking and environment are compromised to satisfy density need and a balance has been lost. Road capacity used to be an issue of concern when planning multi-family dwelling units. Either planners donít have any idea of how damaging this is for small cities with little services available or donít care. The growth management act governs this process. As a council member I became familiar with comprehensive planning and the importance of a balance that is necessary between growth and economic benefit vs. quality of life, environment and service needs. As the region rushes to meet the demand for new residential, there needs to be assurance all types are equitably distributed with transportation and infrastructure in place to meet the needs of increased demand on the systems.


Since 1992, the state has recognized the need and planned for a new airport site acknowledging the poor location of Sea-Tac Airport in dense population, constraints in size, tremendous cost in expanding and damage to the environment. This process has been started and stalled many times over the past several decades. PSRC conducted a regional site search in 1994-1996, legislation was passed in 2005, and current efforts are underway. Meanwhile, the Port of Seattle is planning yet another overly expensive and unsustainable expansion to double passenger and triple cargo operations. The cities surrounding the airport are already over-burdened by noise, fumes, soot and quality of life and health impacts, yet these effects are not in the forefront of the discussion. Planning the growth of aviation movements outside of the constrained corridor will not only provide the past-due relief for local citizens suffering from airport impacts, it will also alleviate significant road congestion impacts. For the past 25 years I have studied this problem and have a very good idea of some helpful working solutions. Besides building a new airport with a proper buffer to protect the environment and human health, a hub and spoke system could bring passengers closer to their destination. Noise complaints have increased by 30% over the past several years. People from Shoreline to Federal Way, Beacon Hill, West Seattle and even Vashon residents have had enough of their quality of life impacted. It is time to take the process of siting another airport seriously.


Environmental Justice consideration is needed for people living around Sea-Tac Airport due to the disproportionate impacts of cumulative noise and emissions. The State Department of Health has discovered higher cancer rates and statistically significantly higher rates of asthma in areas adjacent to the airport and in flight paths. This is a unique situation in relationship to President Clintonís Executive Order 12898 which was intended to protect predominately low-income and minority residents from disproportionate environmental impacts. These areas are eligible for EJ consideration under the law but something has already affected their health and wellbeing. The illness rates have been known since at least the 1990ís but nothing has been done to discover the cause. The UW recently began a study of ultrafine particulate from overhead jet traffic and suspected to contribute to respiratory illness. See MOV-UP study. The law clearly requires improvement at this point for those living in the environmentally degraded area yet the Port is planning to make it twice as bad with their expansion plans. It is unjust to further harm people when they are less able to defend themselves.

The fastest growing contributor to climate change emissions within King County is Sea-Tac Airport. At 5.4 million metric tons per year and climbing and 25% of the county total, with plans to double this inventory by 2034, this rising inventory threatens to undo and overcome all reduction efforts in every other sector. Yet the current legislation exempts the airport. Due to the lack of will to address this at the national level, the only workable offset at this time is trees. It would take 248 million mature trees to absorb this amount of carbon dioxide. The south county already has 60% less trees than the north and the Port of Seattle is engaged in a program to remove another 3,000 for their expansion plan. With the prospect of eroding environmental protection, Washington State can pass, regulate and enforce environmental protection without the federal mandates. Representatives talk big about valuing our beautiful green Pacific Northwest, but have done very little to assure we all have an equal right to a healthful environment. EPAís tool EJ Screen shows serious risk, exposure and negative health outcomes from Seattle to Tacoma. Especially serious are the cities surround Sea-Tac Airport. Sea-Tac emissions are currently not regulated, monitored or controlled and equal to or greater than a coal fired power plant, steel mill, refinery, incinerator.

Election Reform

It is no surprise that candidates with the most money frequently win elections. But there is concern we have a rigged system where well-funded campaigns can easily afford to break the rules because the fines are so small. There have been recent reforms implemented to aid enforcement of the rules, however staff shortage at PDC makes this difficult. It is time for lids on campaign contributions, accountability to the law in a timely manner, fines that actually deter abuse and equitable non-partisan enforcement.


Crime in Burien has been the primary concern of residents in all recent surveys. Our district needs a comprehensive analysis of the nature and cause of increasing crime so the police can effectively do their job. Although the increase in property crimes may be related to societal problems such as drug addiction, there are also serious gang related shootings and assaults. As the area grows, so do the problems. Policing needs to keep up with the demand for service but unfortunately, as the need arises, so do the costs. Police service takes up the majority of the city of Burien budget and is difficult to expand. Police staff is below standard and below most other cities in the county. As more county resources are funneled to social projects, increasing public safety resources are left behind. As a council member, I voted to add police officers and we managed to do this without increasing taxes, through careful planning and a reduction in some areas of the budget. A top priority of citizens for public safety needs must be a top priority of government.

To view information about my position in the 2013 election for City Council and to see how we've done, please see our 2013 Burien City Council election page.

You can also see an archived version of the page for the 2017 Burien City Council election.

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