Tiffany Smiley is currently a candidate for US Senate representing Washington State.
We had a chance to talk with her during a recent stop she made in Burien. The Gem of the Sound is focused on Burien, so we asked her this question, “What policies and changes do you intend to promote should you become the next Senator for Washington State that will specifically help small towns like Burien thrive and flourish?”
“The backbone of small towns are small businesses. Small businesses have borne the greatest impact of the current economic downturn. The 9.1% inflation rate has been especially painful to the small shop owner, the small manufacturer, and the small restaurant owner. They do not have reserves to cover the added cost,” said Smiley.
Smiley brought up Alignable’s June Rent Report, which revealed that 35% of small businesses in the U.S. could not pay their rent in full or on time in June. “This is a picture of what small businesses in small towns are up against. The current economic policies penalize these small businesses and therefore small towns disproportionally,” according to Smiley.
“It is not only the economic policies that hurt businesses; it is also the mounting regulations.
These are workable for the large company with a large staff, but the small businesses do not have those resources. It can be a significant burden on the small business owner… a burden much greater than large companies bear!” added Smiley.
Smiley often talked about courage. Her husband, Scotty, was blinded by an IED in Iraq in 2005. This changed their whole life. Smiley became the caregiver for the whole family (her husband and 3 kids). She encouraged her husband to stay in the Army. Scotty became the only blind active-duty soldier. Smiley noted several times with sadness that Scotty would never see their 3 children.
This adversity seems to fuel Smiley…not with anger but with resolve! As a nurse and spouse, Smiley saw and experienced the dysfunction regarding the way the military dealt with returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.
This moved her to advocate for those that did not have someone like her in their lives. Smiley has spent significant time working with the government bureaucracy through Scotty’s challenges and, since that time, in being an advocate for others. However, she is light on governmental office experience.
Smiley believes that is a bonus. She notes that no one owns her. She has not taken special interest group funds.
Smiley’s campaign says that 71% of donations come from within Washington State, which separates her from her opponent.
In closing, as “Burienites” fill out their ballot, Smiley encouraged us to ask this question, “Are Burien and the small businesses that support our life here better off now than they were two years ago? And what policies have the current Senator moved forward to help? Is it time for a change?”
Gem of the Sound reached out to Senator Patty Murray’s office for an interview but has not received a response.
Gem of the Sound welcomes interviews with any candidate from the races on the Burien residents’ election ballot.