Campaign News

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Last year at the time we were crossing the signature-gathering half-way point: 180,000 signatures out of the 360,000 we eventually collected. Next year at this time we will be talking about the moon crossing in front of the sun, a total solar eclipse on M Aug 21 2017. (Prime viewing will be in Oregon at about 10:15am.)

But this year… this year we need to be crossing the street to talk to our friends and neighbors about I-732. And if you’re not keen on crossing the street then you can pick up the phone or help out in lots of other ways; just follow the link here for more options. This year–right now–this is our time! 

I confess that I personally have not yet done any phone-banking with CallFire… but now that it’s started to rain I’m going to get cracking. Please join me, instructions are here. Everyone can do something! (And see below because you can still win the Week of Phones contest 🙂


Endorsement update
We are thrilled to have a new endorsement from Cyrus Habib, who is leading the race to be our next Lieutenant Governor and is currently a state senator (D-48th, Redmond/Bellevue/Kirkland.) Thank you Senator Habib!

Editorial board update

We are busy conducting endorsement interviews with editorial boards across the state: in the next two weeks alone we’re meeting with the Everett Herald, the Yakima Herald-Republic, the Spokane Spokesman-Review, and the Spokane Journal of Business. And thanks to Nan McKay, Nancy Penrose, and Sheri Feld for their help transcribing the Seattle Times ed board interview from two weeks ago. Email me if you’d like to do the same for the Olympian ed board meeting that Thad Curtz and Greg Rock did last week. Or you can just enjoy some key excerpts and take-aways:

  • Here is Thad’s inspiring opening statement: “I’m Thad Curtz, I’m a retired Evergreen faculty member, I’m the chair of Olympia’s utility advisory committee. One of our jobs is making recommendations to the city council about sea level rise. I and 200 other local volunteers helped collect the 360,000 signatures that put I-732 on the ballot. 732 puts a tax on fossil fuels to make their prices reflect some of the costs of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere: the costs of wildfires, local snowpack, salmon loses, sea level rise, and so on. Like the successful revenue-neutral tax in British Columbia, 732 uses market mechanisms to sort out the cheapest and most effective ways to reduce pollution. It uses the revenue from the carbon tax to reduce other taxes, cutting the sales tax by 1 percentage point, giving a rebate of up to $1500 a year to 460,000 working families in the state, and eliminating the B&O tax on manufacturing. I’ve got two grandchildren: Everett is 6 now and Hazel is almost 3. I hope that when kids like them are my age the world is not going to be a much harsher and more difficult place to live in. I think we ought to be acting responsibly now to protect the climate, and the natural world that we’ve inherited, for future generations…”
  • Side note: That’s the kind of eloquence that everyone should be working on for Letters to The Editor and op-eds; email communications@carbonwa.org for help or more info! (And PS that’s actually not a side note; that’s the main point: it’s time for all hands on deck!)
  • In contrast, the speakers opposing I-732 had messages that were pretty muddled. Everyone agreed right off the bat that we have a moral responsibility to take action on climate change (even the representative from the Association of Washington Business, the group whose policy summit in 2 weeks has a keynote speaker who’s said that “I think it’s hot out there because the sun is hot”!) but when asked about the “better way” that they keep claiming exists, well, here’s the representative from the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy: “We have not taken an official position on the better way, though we also do not regard ourselves as obstructionists. I can tell you as someone who was directly participating in the drafting of the [Alliance] initiative that I referred to.. It’s extremely complicated… It was a very lengthy initiative… We were making significant strides, but I cannot sum up for you—I apologize—it’s not due to being obstructionists—but I cannot tell you in the nutshell what that looks like…”
  • Greg Rock emphasized how all of those groups have repeatedly failed to put forward a detailed alternative approach—either before, during, or after the January legislative discussions about possible “732B” options—and he also did an excellent job of covering some of the technical issues about I-732 without forgetting the big picture, namely that I-732 is a thoughtful approach to one of the major issues of our time, and we have a chance to set an example for the nation and for the world. Let’s do it!

Upcoming events

We’re hiring (Spread the word!)
We are now hiring fellows (in Seattle), canvassers (in Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties), and unpaid interns (everywhere). Details here, please help spread the word!

In the news
Congrats and thank you for LTEs (Letters to The Editor) from Linda Andrews in The Olympian and Ellyn Murphy in the Tri-City Herald. (Keep them coming, and please read these guidelines and/or contact communications@carbonwa.org if you need help or when you’ve submitted one!) Also, our very own Ramez Naam was featured on the Blabbermouth podcast hosted by Eli Sanders of The Stranger (start at the 12:15 mark). And the Peninsula Daily News has Clallam commissioner candidates differ on carbon tax”: (“A carbon tax “is quite essential for our future,” [Democrat Ron] Richards said. “It’s beyond me why we would not embrace that in Washington state.” His opponent “invoked [UW’s] Cliff Mass” to explain his skepticism about 732, but the first comment on the article is from Cliff Mass, reminding everyone that he is fact a big supporter of 732.) From the left side of the political spectrum, Portside chimes in favorably on 732; from the right side, Jeremy Carl has Why the Democrats Are Fighting the Biggest Carbon Tax in American History in the National Review Online. Elsewhere, Kelsey Thomas in Next City has Climate Change Could Cost Millennials $8.8 Trillion, Brad Plumer in Vox has California is about to find out what a truly radical climate policy looks like, and if you haven’t already seen it, check out https://theclimatesolution.com/. (Speaking of the importance of pricing carbon, NPR reports that “Gas consumption is at an all-time high”. Why? “[R]elatively low prices are the main reason gas consumption is up… low gas prices have encouraged people to buy SUVs and bigger cars again.”)

The week of phones competition!
There are still 3 days left to win prizes in the game of phones call-a-thon! If, by Monday at 8 pm, you can get over 500 calls done (about 5-7 hours worth) this week, you will win a prize of a sticker pack and gift card to a local restaurant. If you are the campaigns top caller for the last week, you will win the grand first prize: your photo on the wall of our office, Woodland Park zoo tickets, and a hat! And, everyone will get a shout out in our next email blast! Want to call near Seattle this weekend? You can join Kyle on Sat in the office from 11-2, or Quillan in the office Sun from 11-2 (email quillan@carbonwa.org to rsvp for either) OR you can call straight from home through our website where there are instructions and everything you need OR you can just go canvassing if you don’t like computers and you don’t like phones because that’s a great way to help too. (:

Let’s win!

Yoram and the Yes on 732 team