Hello, CarbonWA friends: Happy holidays and read on for some climate action updates!
Carbon tax in Governor’s proposed 2017 budget
Governor Jay Inslee has released a proposed 2017-2019 Washington State budget that includes a capital gains tax, new funding for education and other priorities, and a $25 per ton carbon tax with a 3.5% annual increase. This budget would have to be passed by both the Democrat controlled State House and the Republican controlled State Senate to go into law, and a major education deficit still looms over the state, so there is good reason to believe this budget proposal will face significant challenges. Even so, we are excited to see climate action at the heart of the legislative discussion.
Carbon tax friends, be proud of what we’ve accomplished
Together, we accomplished something historic by putting the nation’s first statewide carbon tax before the voters. We showed that there is a strong desire for common-sense climate action in Washington State, and we influenced the national conversation on climate policy. We ran an honest, transparent, and positive campaign focused on addressing the climate and equity problems facing our society. We did all of that thanks to you.
The votes are still being counted, but we’re on track to get well over 1 million votes in support of a policy that would have created one of the strongest carbon prices in the world and been the biggest improvement in the fairness of our state’s tax system in 40 years. We led the biggest voter education effort on climate change ever in the state. We knocked on over 100,000 doors, made over 1 million phone calls, and published more than 140 letters to the editor in every type of media outlet. Our campaign raised more than $1.5 million from thousands of donors with a median donation of $50.
We formed a terrific partnership with Audubon Washington and with grassroots organizations across the state, especially chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (both in Washington State and as far away as Hawaii!); regional climate action groups like Climate Action Bainbridge, Cascadia Climate Action, Olympic Climate Action, Oregon Climate (now Our Climate), and Divest UW; faith organizations including the Climate Action Ministry at Eastshore Unitarian, Interfaith Works, and Washington UU Voices; clean energy groups like Seattle Electric Vehicles, Seattle Transit Blog, and Solar Installers of Washington; and many others, including Carbon Tax Center, Conservation Hawks, the American Sustainable Business Council, AIA Seattle, and the American Planning Association’s Washington Chapter. (more…)
Carbon tax friends, we have a good shot at winning…
Last week the Elway Poll showed a “significant gain in support” for I-732. This week we’ve got a KCTS poll showing 51% Yes, 44% No, 4% Undecided. (Note that they pushed pretty hard on Undecided voters, many of whom still don’t know what I-732 is all about or or that it will be the most potent carbon tax in North America!
And in just the last few days we’ve gotten a boost from the Washington Post editorial page, from Leonardo DiCaprio (for comic relief see also this classic headline in the Tacoma News Tribune), and from the folks at Years of Living Dangerously. (more…)
Since Tuesday we’ve had 80 donations totaling $14,827 towards our final $20k matching challenge to fund the awesome “Nod Yes on 732” TV ad. (Our partners at Audubon Washington are also doing ad buys, so we’re all trying to do our part!) Thank you for your contributions, and if you haven’t yet donated you can do so — DONATE. (more…)
Hello carbon tax friends! With our noses to the grindstone it can be easy to forget the big picture, so go read the New York Times editorial board commentary on I-732: “Washington State’s Ambitious Carbon Tax Proposal”. And while you’re at it read the Bloomberg View editorial about our left-wing opposition: “When Climate Campaigners Miss the Point”. And also Noah Kaufman of World Resources Institute, writing at the Huffington Post: “A Climate Change Policy that Benefits the Poor”. Also Ramez Naam, writing in The Stranger: “To Fight Climate Change and Poverty, Vote YES on Initiative 732”. And here’s our national press release on BusinessWire: “Nation’s First Carbon Tax, Initiative 732, Goes before Voters in Washington State”.
Then send these articles to all your friends, with a special note about this part from the NYT ed board: “The Washington proposal would be the first in the country and could well set an example for other states.” (!) And then encourage them all to donate to the campaign.
It’s a trifecta! First go read the Seattle Weekly, including not just their endorsement (“Few who care about climate change deny how urgent the crisis is… [and] reducing the sales tax and funding an unfunded state tax credit is nothing to sneeze at”) but also their cover and their amazing full-page cartoon explaining I-732.
Then go read Seattleish, which is written by millennials who after starting off with: “Ok. So. This one is…tough. Though taxing carbon emissions is an effective and immediate way to take action on climate change, and waiting any longer is simply not an option.” But the conclusion is what counts: “[W]e’re going to go ahead and say vote yes.”
Then, provided you’ve got the stomach for foul language, finish with the fabulous endorsement from The Stranger. Here’s a PG-rated excerpt: “If you could do something right now to fight climate change, and that something was endorsed by more than 50 climate scientists at the University of Washington, you’d do it, right? Of course you would. You’d also do it because we told you to. But mainly, you’d do it because filling in the “yes” oval for Initiative 732 is one thing—not everything, but one important thing—that we all can do right now to keep this planet livable.”
We can win!
Let’s recap where we are right now – it’s late in the fourth quarter (ballots will be mailed out tomorrow!!) and the most recent October 7 KOMO-4/Strategies 360 poll showed 42% Yes, 37% No, 21% Undecided So, the best guess is that we are down by 8 – (that’s just a touchdown and a 2 point conversation the Seahawks fans out there). We can win. Say it out loud with us “we can win”, “we can win”, “we can win”. OK, 8 points, that’s do-able but no cake-walk because the defense is good (check out the latest No on I-732 ad). But, we can win, especially because of a generous and surprising $100,000 donation from a local economist (!) that is going straight toward our field effort for the rest of the campaign! We can win because we have a secret weapon that most campaign consultants overlook as they focus on TV ads and fancy mailers – we have a huge network of dedicated, earnest, wonderful supporters. You are our secret weapon. We need you on the field, making plays, winning votes, and helping us get to the endzone.
We’re hitting our fundraising targets
Thanks to everyone who helped us meet our $57k matching challenge! Between your generosity and the generosity of the donors who put up the match, we raised $116,782 from 355 donors between the start of our challenge on Sept 24 and the close of our challenge on Sunday. Great work (!) and if you missed out, well, it’s not too late to donate 🙂 Your contributions enable us to drive the biggest voter education on climate change the state has ever seen, and underscores that our most single most important priority is saving the planet!
On August 17 an Elway Poll on Initiative 732 showed 34% Yes, 37% No, 30% Undecided.
On October 7 a KOMO-4/Strategies 360 poll showed 42% Yes, 37% No, 21% Undecided, a gain of 8 points for Yes (and 0 points for No). So we are moving in the right direction (!)… and there are still 21% of voters who are undecided. The shift in polling confirms what we’ve said repeatedly—that the more people hear about our policy the more they like it—so we just have to keep pushing!
We are over TWO-THIRDS toward our match goal of $57,000 so GIVE NOW!
We knew it would be a lift to raise $57,000 in 9 days, but we came close enough to convince the donors behind the match to give us an extension until October 9th! We’ve raised nearly $37,000 and we need to rally another $20,000 in 5 days to take full advantage of the match. If you haven’t given recently now is the time to re-up your commitment and if you have thank you and now is the time to take to make the case to your friends that they need to join you in giving to I-732!
Your financial support now allows us to hire the support needed to expand our field program to target swing voters and to purchase targeted advertising.
Talk to your friends and neighbors about I-732