We are finalizing our ballot language and will have signature-gathering trainings / kick-offs in Seattle on Saturday April 11 and in Bellevue on Sunday April 19 (register here!); we’ve got a new research post showing that the CarbonWA proposal will be the biggest improvement to the progressivity of the Washington State tax system since the 1977 ballot measure that exempted groceries from the sales tax (!!); and a review of our winter deliverables produces an overall grade of B-plus: good progress but improvement is possible, especially with pledges for signature-gathering (hint hint)!
It will be another week or so until we get final ballot language, but here’s the preliminary ballot title (the 30-word summary that will appear on the ballot):
Initiative Measure No. [ ] concerns taxes. This measure would impose a carbon emission tax on certain fossil fuels and fossil-fuel-generated electricity, reduce the sales tax by one percentage point and increase a low-income exemption, and reduce certain manufacturing taxes. Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ].
This language is not everything we could have asked for, but we think it’s a fair description of our policy and we’re excited to get this finalized so that we can print petitions and start gathering signatures! Folks in Seattle can come to signature gathering training / kick-off events in Seattle on Saturday April 11 and in Bellevue on Sunday April 19 (register here!). Stay tuned for more news and everybody please check out these two training videos (one, two, both posted previously) from Katherine Bragdon of Active Roots Consulting here in Seattle; ignore the specific issues and focus on the goals and strategies.
Now that spring has officially begun let’s look back at our winter deliverables:
As extra credit I’d like to flag some accomplishments that weren’t part of our winter deliverables: We hired Kyle and Duncan as campaign co-directors (stay tuned for more hiring news soon!), we opened a campaign office (1914 N 34th St Suite 407, near Gasworks Park), and we worked with Justin Bare in UW Computer Science to finalize the carbon tax swap calculator (now serving both households and businesses). Great work!
And I’d like to offer up my favorite story from the winter. It came from one of our Steering Committee meetings, which during the winter took place on Thursdays at 5:30pm. One of those Thursdays happened to be on January 1st, but our determination to push forward with the campaign was stronger than New Year’s sentimentality, so we agreed to meet as usual on the UW campus at 5:30pm. A series of text messages then revealed that UW buildings were locked, so we moved the meeting to Big Time, which turned out to be closed, so we moved the meeting to Starbucks, which closed at 6pm, so we moved the meeting to Cafe on the Ave… which matched our persistence by staying open. We ended up having a great meeting (Kyle, Duncan, Carter, Dani, and yours truly) so the moral of the story is Don’t Give Up the Fight!
We’ve got a half dozen volunteers who have offered to host a fundraiser/friendraiser house party, but there’s room for more, so email firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP if you want to host a fun event in April or May. You provide the space, we’ll take care of the details!
The most important reading of this week is “The Conservative Case for a Carbon Tax”, by Jerry Taylor, formerly of the Cato Institute and now the President of the Niskanen Center. Don’t just read the blog summary, read the entire thing; you’ll be glad you did. The second most important reading of the week is “Carbon taxes are even better than you think (Part III: Social justice)”, our new research report showing that the CarbonWA proposal will be the biggest improvement to the progressivity of the Washington State tax system since the 1977 ballot measure that exempted groceries from the sales tax (!). Other readings include “Inslee’s carbon tax absent from House Dems’ budget” (we’re still trying to figure out what the implications of this are for CarbonWA’s “relief pitcher” role, but for one perspective check out Patrick Mazza’s post via 350 Seattle) and the text of Bill Nordhaus’s presidential address to the American Economic Association on “Climate clubs”.
Talk to your friends and neighbors about I-732