Hello carbon tax friends: Executive Committee member Joe Ryan likes to say that we’re so close to getting the signatures we need that he can smell it. I prefer to say that we’re so close that I can feel it… see below for my explanation, plus a great read on how CarbonWA advances social justice and details on our events this coming week in eastern Washington. And after you finish all that please help us get across the finish line in the next two months: check the signature-gathering calendars (in particular here’s Seattle RSVP and Bellevue RSVP forms), share our signature-gathering job postings with students and others who need a bit of cash, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, volunteer to make phone calls from your home or help out around the campaign office or do data entry from home, help with your local chapter, etc. We’re so close I can feel it!
The reason I say this is that, as part of my organizing efforts, I’ve touched pretty much every one of the thousands of the petition sheets that you’ve worked so hard to fill out. (Ten sheets in a folder, one hundred folders in a storage box, so that’s 1000 sheets per box—up to 20,000 signatures per box—and we’ve got 10 full boxes and counting.) The end is in sight, but we’re not done yet: as noted previously, we’ve hired a signature-gathering firm to collect 50,000 signatures for us, so over the next two months we’re aiming to get 40,000 more signatures from volunteers and 40,000 more signatures from students and others who need a bit of cash. That’s totally do-able if we all continue to put our hearts and minds and energies into the task, so thanks for all you’ve done and thanks for engaging however you can in this last push over the next two months!
Many of you have already collected dozens, hundreds, even thousands of signatures—I’ve collected over 1,000 myself, and 13 of you have collected even more that than—but I’m committing to 100 more by the end of October. I hope you will join me in committing to 100 signatures more by the end of October (or better yet the end of September 🙂 so that we can turn our signatures in, begin to prepare for Phase 2, and celebrate!!
I want to take a few moments to talk about why we’re doing this, and how we’re doing it. Climate change hurts everyone worldwide. It hits our ecosystems, our food, our water. And it hurts the poorest people around the world the most. Fossil fuel pollution, including both carbon emissions and air pollution, hits the poorest members of our community the hardest. Lowering carbon emissions and reducing fossil fuel burning makes the world a more just place.
We’ve worked hard to make I-732 fair and just in how it works. In addition to cutting sales taxes, I-732 uses some of revenue to boost and fund the Working Families Tax Rebate. This amplifies the most powerful anti-poverty tool in the US: the Earned Income Tax Credit. We’re committed to I-732 increasing the justice of our world and easing the burden of climate change and fossil fuel pollution on people of all incomes, and especially those of lower incomes who are hit the hardest by fossil fuel pollution.
Communities of color and low-income communities in Washington have a key leadership role to play in fighting climate change, right in the front and center. And you’ll see us reaching out more down the road, both to describe how I-732 benefits communities of color and low-income communities and to engage more members of those communities as we push forward in fighting climate change. This fight is big, and it needs all of us.
As part of that, Executive Committee member Ramez Naam has written a terrific piece on How I-732 Fights Climate Change and Helps Low-Income Families. Check it out, and spread the world on all that I-732 delivers, because we all know that social justice is a critical element of fair and effective climate policy!
I’ll be in eastern Washington this coming week (joined for some of it by Executive Committee member Greg Rock and campaign co-director Kyle Murphy) for an evening talk in Wenatchee on Sunday Sept 20, a house party fundraiser in Yakima on M Sept 21, a talk at WSU on T Sept 22 (co-hosted by the College Republicans and the WSU Sustainability Alliance!), and a busy day in Spokane on W Sept 23 (morning talk with a business group, early afternoon at Gonzaga, mid-afternoon editorial board meeting, and evening talk at Whitworth!). Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details on any or all of this, please help spread the word, and hope to see you there!
As always comments are welcome on the blog, or via Facebook or Twitter, and please send your Tales from the Trails, good or bad, to me at email@example.com (please cc: firstname.lastname@example.org if you can).
Talk to your friends and neighbors about I-732