2020 Voters GuideDistrict 5 Rep 1
Prefers Democratic Party
Current State Representative, Ramos previously served as Issaquah City Councilmember from 2015 – 2018. He owns an Issaquah-based business and previously worked for the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration as a Community Planner, and the US Forest Service in North Bend as Director of Forest Management, Recreation and Public Services, and Ecosystem Management. He has a BS from Humboldt State University with certificates in Forest Engineering from Oregon State University and Recreation Management from Utah State University.
Responses to Tribe's Questions
To read about this candidate’s responses to the Snoqualmie Tribe’s questions, click through each question below.
Q1: What do you know about the Snoqualmie Tribe?
I lived in the Snoqualmie Valley and watched the Tribe fight and successfully gain Federal Recognized Tribe status. This was a major feat and unfortunately had to be done. The Tribe was signatories of the Point Elliot Treaty and should have always had their sovereign recognition. I have watched them grow and develop an economic base for their nation and people. They are an integral part of our community and provide services and opportunities for all.
Q2: What is your experience working with Tribes?
I have been an advocate for tribes as a representative and during my many years spent in the US Forest Service and the Federal Transit Administration. In the Forest Service I worked with Tribes to protect and expand their huckleberry gathering areas. We did this by prescribing natural resource management plans to recapture lost areas and protect or expand existing huckleberry fields.
During my time with the Federal Transit Administration, I was the Tribal Liaison and worked to develop the Tribal Transit program in four states. I worked with the Snoqualmie to set up and fund the Tribal public transit system in the Snoqualmie Valley in conjunction with others, Snoqualmie Valley Transit.
In this program I worked with 56 Tribes to bring public transit to Tribal lands.
Q3: What does the ideal government-to-government relationship with tribes look like to you?
My ideal relationship is one where the Tribes sovereignty is never questioned. The resources they are supposed to be provided by the government, are done so. They truly are treated with the respect deserved of a Tribal Nation.
Q4: If elected, what would your Indian Country-related goals be?
As the current State Representative, and as part of the House Tribal Caucus, I have worked with many Tribes in passage of legislation that helped Indian Country. I have stood up against those that have fought against the Snoqualmie through racism and fear. Indian Country should have all the benefits and access others have, health care, safe roads etc. Their voice should be heard in protection of their cultural lands and traditions, and all our natural resources.
Q5: What is your knowledge of tribal treaties and trust obligations?
My knowledge is greater than most, but I find I am always learning more every day. Having been the Tribal Liaison for the federal government and worked to develop and implement the National Tribal Transit Program, I have worked with 56 Tribes in not only Washington but also in Alaska, Oregon and Idaho. Through this process and my own background as a Latino, my understanding of sovereignty, treaties and trust obligations has grown. I will continue to support full enactment of these rights.
Q6: Do you support increasing funding to tribes for services such as health care, cultural resources, and education?
Yes, all that is agreed upon and expected as treaty rights and obligations and agreements of the federal government should be fulfilled. These have never been fully funded as expected and this should be done.
Where the State needs to step up, it should too.
Q7: What do you know about free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC)? If elected, would you advocate for these principles to be included in legislation and policy?
Yes, I understand the principle of FPIC, and I incorporate this mentality whenever I am working with Tribal Governments. I will continue to provide our Tribes with a voice in the Legislature.
Q8: What protections do you believe Tribal cultural resources and sacred sites should have?
There are many protections currently in law. Unfortunately, they are not always enforced. I will work to assure all these protections are put in place. Also, I know there is the rightful fear of letting others know where these sites are and the possible desecration of them. I will work with Tribes to get as many as possible sacred sites under their control so we can eliminate that concern. In the meantime, we must find other ways to protect other sites on public or private land, that are not under their control.
Q9: What do you believe is the best role of government in the fee to trust process for tribes to gain jurisdiction over their traditional lands?
I do not know the exact process to make the needed change from fee to trust lands. But I will work with you or anyone else who needs to make that change. I will bring my influence to help in any way I can.
Q10: What do you know about the Snoqualmie Tribe's sacred site, Snoqualmie Falls? Do you support the Tribe's right to have a say in any future decisions made on its sacred site, including hydropower licensing?
I do know that the Snoqualmie Falls is a sacred site for the Snoqualmie. I lived in the Snoqualmie Valley and I know the site well and its recent history. I support the Snoqualmie purchase of the adjacent land as well, and have fought the local government’s fight against it, as well as passed legislation to extend the date so this land is treated as other Tribal lands and is tax exempt.
I support the Tribes right to have a say on any future decisions regarding the Falls, and now that it is the neighboring landowner, they have additional rights to their existing rights. I will support the Tribe in its effort to further protect this sacred site from further desecration.
Q11: What role, if any, do you feel the State of Washington plays in Treaty Rights disputes?
Where the State has local control and has the authority and funding to act, it should do so. They should also be an advocate for the Tribes to the federal government.
Q12: Do you support the Snoqualmie Tribe as a signatory of the Treaty of Point Elliot having equal rights to its fellow treaty signatory tribes?
Yes, I do.
Prefers Republican Party
A former business development executive with Virgin Atlantic Airways and Evergreen International Aviation, Moninski is now the owner and President of Global Aircraft Services and Safeair Media. He has a BA in Business Administration from University of Alaska, Fairbanks.