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A Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax Ballot Measure Campaign for Washington State

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Hello carbon tax friends: If this is your first email newsletter, welcome, and be sure to check out yeson732.org, visit our FAQ page, or join a chapter near you to be a part of the movement! 

The dust is settling.

One of our long-standing goals at CarbonWA has been to move the issue of climate change away from hyper-partisanship and towards a discussion of solutions, even if it requires shaking up the political arena. As the political dust begins to settle around who is supporting and opposing I-732, we think we can earnestly say the political arena has been successfully shaken.

In a disappointing but not surprising move, the Association of Washington Businesses, whose membership includes many of the largest carbon emitters in the state, joined the the ranks of those saying ‘no’ to climate action in 2016, ‘no’ to reducing the regressivity of our tax code, and ‘no’ to the major job creation that will occur under I-732 (Check out this REMI study showing I-732 will create a net of 5,000+ jobs, and see our official response to AWB). They join SHIFTWA, some of the groups affiliated with the alliance for jobs and clean energy, and of course climate deniers in trying to stall our initiative and with it the movement to price carbon. As Paul Solmon from PBS put it when covering I-732, our effort is “creating some strange bedfellows”.

On our side, this week we just received the endorsement of Representatives Joan McBride (D, 48th) and Jeff Morris (D, 40th). If these are your representatives, please send them a thank you note. They join a growing list of solution-oriented Republicans (thanks again Senator Steve Litzow!), Democrats, individuals, business leaders, and regular folks saying Yes to I-732.

We expect to see this trend continue as interest groups from all partisan backgrounds dig-in to defend the status quo while we work hard to rally more individuals, political leaders, organizations, and donors who are ready to do something bold right now. As the opposition to I-732 coalesces and activates; we are going to need reinforcements. We are going to need backup. We are going to need you to get in the game.

I am asking you to step up and be a leader.

Let’s wage a campaign we can tell stories about afterwards. One that will make our friends, families, and kids proud of us. Let’s tell the truth, raise the collective consciousness about the urgency of climate change, call-in everyone regardless of their background or partisanship. Let’s out-work our political opponents Russell Wilson style, WIN BIG, then invite everyone back to the table to make sure climate policy is working for them.

First, we have to win.

WILL YOU HELP US RIGHT NOW?

  1. Jump on the phone to call voters in your area or a key county. Just click here to get started
  2. Walk your neighborhood on your own or join a local team in passing out flyers and having conversations with your neighbors about I-732. 
  3. Write a thank you note to your legislator if they have endorsed (see the most recent list here) or ask them to join you in supporting I-732 if they haven’t.
  4. Make a financial gift to the I-732 campaign. Our median donation is about $50, so no amount is too small, but we will need your support to stay competitive. 

IN THE NEWS and LTE Shout out.

This week the Sequim Gazette published an excellent op-ed by I-732 supporters Mike Doherty, Phil Lusk, and Bob Sextro. And the Mercer Island Reporter pubilshed Sen. Steve Litzow endorses pollution reduction initiative. And we’ve had a bunch of terrific Letters to The Editor published in papers across the state: by Herb Hethcote in the Bainbridge Island Review, by Rod Hanson in the Olympian, by Ed Griffith in the Longview Daily News, by Mary Stevens and Janet Alderton in the Islands Sounder, by Kirk Rappe in the Tacoma News Tribune, by Bill Severson in the Mercer Island Reporter, and by Bart Preecs in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. Great work! (And we need a steady stream of these to land across the state so please get started on one and email us a copy, get drafting help, or let us know if its printed by emailing communications@carbonwa.org.) In other news, KPLU has “Wildfires And High Temperatures Scorch The Western U.S.”, the Washington Post has an article on how the Wall Street Journal finally accepted ads calling out the WSJ editorial board for their lousy treatment of climate change, and global CO2 levels are soaring past 400ppm. And there’s news about our fellow west coast states: David Roberts in Grist writes about troubles with cap-and-trade in California (see also Reuters) and in Oregon we have $3 billion corporate tax measure heads to November ballot and also this from Meredith Connolly of Climate Solutions: From India to the Northwest, the Urgency for Climate Action is Heating Up”.

 Volunteer spot: This could be you! 

This weeks volunteer spot is shared across the state with three groups. The first is our Seattle Solstice Parade Team (including Phil, Julia, and Kyle C. led by the indefatigable Ben Silesky) for powering through the rain, engaging a few thousand voters and signing up 100 new pledges (check them out on Twitter!) The second shout-out goes to Eleanor and Sara for pulling together a great Yakima campaign kickoff last week with yours truly (find us on Twitter too!). The third shout out goes to Kirk and Cathy in Tacoma for relentlessly hitting doors and getting the ball rolling in Pierce County. 

Let’s win!

Kyle and the Yes on 732 team