Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends: We had a great July, hitting our 100,000 signature target (with over 6,000 to spare!) and making good progress on our fundraising targets as well. Details below, and to keep it going in August please check the signature-gathering calendars (in particular here’s Seattle RSVP and Bellevue RSVP forms), reach out to friends and family and neighbors, encourage young people or other folks you know to apply for a summer job working on carbon taxes, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter; volunteer to make phone calls from your home or help out around the campaign office or help with your local chapter, etc. Everybody can do something.

July signature totals and the path to the ballot

We wanted to get to 100,000 signatures by the end of July and our official end-of-July total was 106,338 signatures. Great work getting almost 60,000 signatures in July (see below for new additions to the 250 Club) and let’s keep it up for August!

The path to the ballot: The Secretary of State recommends a 25% cushion in order to get the necessary 246,372 valid signatures, so our target is 315,000 signatures by the end of the year. With a bit over 105,000 in hand, our plan is to hire a signature firm to collect 50,000 signatures, plus get 20,000 a month from volunteers and 20,000 a month from $1-a-signature hires (please continue sharing our job posting) for each of the next four months, for a total of 105,000 + 50,000 + (4 * 40,000) = 315,000 by the end of November. That’s going to take a lot of effort but it’s within reach!

July fundraising report and the path to the ballot

Here’s what we said last week: “Our plan to get on the ballot involves raising $120,000 by next week (and then an additional $30,000 a month for the rest of the year) in order to pay staff and finance paid signature-gatherers to supplement our terrific volunteer effort.”

Thanks to donations big and small, we raised $61,300 last week and $52,200 so far this week, for a two-week total of $113,500 and counting. That’s a bit shy of our target, but with strong leads and with your help we will continue to be in good financial shape. Thank you!!

A personal note

A couple of folks wrote to me to ask if we “extended July” because otherwise we wouldn’t have hit 100k signatures. The answer is No: we were on track for 100k even if we ended on July 31. The reason we extended July was exactly what we said it was: to provide an extra weekend for folks who wanted to hit their signature targets. (And, as a side benefit, we liked the idea of encouraging everybody to treat it as a “weekend on” rather than a “weekend off”… plus the thing about the Pope was fun!) I think the underlying question some of you may have more generally is whether we are on track to getting the signatures we need, and—even more generally—whether the campaign is being honest about where we stand and where we’re going. And I want to be clear that the answer to all these questions is Yes. This is a grassroots campaign, so honesty is incredibly important, and when we fall short or are at risk of falling short we’ll let you know. (See the fundraising update above for an example.) For now I’m happy to say that we have a strong path to the ballot and beyond. The truth is that if we continue to work hard and keep our eyes on the ball then we’ll almost certainly make it, and if we don’t then we almost certainly won’t… which is exactly the way it should be for a grassroots campaign!

250 Club

Speaking of a grassroots campaign, congratulations to our new members of the 250 Club (and please contact us if you don’t already have your CarbonWA t-shirt!): Heidi Cody in Vancouver, Gretchen Allison on San Juan IslandOmie Kerr and Bruce Bonifaci with Climate Action Bainbridge, five supporters from east King County (France Giddings, Court Olson, Marilyn Mayers, Laura Rivendell, Eric Hanson, and David Chapin), and five supporters in Seattle (Alex Lenferna, Fritz Wollett, John C, Sean K, and Chris Covert-Bowlds). They join previous 250 Club members from Olympia (Betty Hauser, Carole Richmond, Thad Curtz, Penny P., and Susan Sunshine) and Seattle (Anne Shields and Kyle Conyers) plus Dick Stockment in Port Townsend and Larry Lowther in Ellensburg. (Update: Also Dr. Chuck Foster and Eleanor Hungate in Yakima and Gary Piazzon on Whidbey Island!)

Double congratulations to folks who have hit 500 signatures: two members from Climate Action Bainbridge (Herb Hethcote and Alex Mezentsev,  joining Cheryl Hunter, Gerlind Jenkner, Mary Clare Kersten, and Erika Shriner), three supporters from Bellingham (David Gary, John Whitmer, and staffer Rheanna Johnston, joining Andy Day, Dave Hopkinson, Ben Larson, and staffer David Jackman), Aaron Tam at UW Seattle and four supporters elsewhere in Seattle (Alan Ness, John Lombard, David Foutch, and campaign co-director Duncan Clauson), plus Chom Greacen from Lopez Island (joining Ande Finley on Lopez Island) and Louise Stonington, Chris Diehl, and staffer Jason Puracal from east King County.

Quadruple congratulations to Brian Anderson of Climate Action Bainbridge, Mike Massa of Seattle, campaign co-director Kyle Murphy, and yours truly for giving Ben Pfeiffer, Bob Jeffers-Schroeder, and Seattle staffers Laurel Wolf and Ben Silesky some company in the 1,000-signature club! (And extra kudos to Ben Silesky for hitting 2,000 signatures and to Bob Jeffers-Schroeder for passing 3,500 signatures!)

Upcoming events

I’ll be partnering with Sharon Abreu on Orcas Island this Saturday Aug 8, doing two music-and-comedy-and-carbon-tax talks (from 11-12 as part of the Library Fair and then from 6-7:30 at Random Howse). Then we’re having a party in Seattle on Tuesday evening August 18, details TBD! And then I’m giving a comedy-and-carbon-tax talk in Olympia on W Aug 19 (at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, at 7pm, everyone is welcome to that and let me know if you also or instead want an invite to the house party fundraiser on Th Aug 20!). And details TBD about an event in Bellingham on Th Aug 27!


Nationally, the big news concerned the EPA’s final rule-making about the Clean Power Plan; Richland’s Jim Conca has a good summary in Forbes, but for our purposes the most important read is “Obama Climate Plan Revives Talk of a Carbon Tax” in the National Journal: “In a change from the draft plan, the final EPA rule now explicitly says states can use ‘fees’ (i.e., taxes) as a tool for meeting their emissions-cutting requirements.” Congrats to Brookings Institution economist (and CarbonWA Advisory Board member) Adele Morris for all her hard work on this, and check out her Twitter feed for details. (Also here’s the Washington Post on the EPA rule and carbon taxes.)

Here in Washington State the most important read is “Inslee’s carbon cap won’t happen soon” in the Bellingham Herald. And check out Bob Hallahan’s great LTE in the Whidbey News-Times, plus Thad Curtz’s LTE in The Olympian, plus this write-up in the Peninsula Daily News on a talk I gave at the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce. (Thanks to Olympic Climate Action for all their great work on the peninsula!) And here’s a NYT story on this year’s fire season that features Walla Walla, etc.

Tales from the Trails

This update has gone on long enough, so I’ll store up Tales from the Trails for next week. As always, comments are welcome via Facebook or Twitter, and please send your Tales from the Trails, good or bad, to me at (please cc: if you can).



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