Here at the Yes on 732 HQ, we are delighting in our own version of a ‘Purple Haze‘ after a rush of new endorsements (yes, we are giving a shout out to that famous Jimi Hendrix song, but do know that our purple haze is a little more family friendly than Jimi’s). In a streak of blue – we’ve got new endorsements this week from Mercer Island Democrat Mayor Bruce Bassett (on top of Democrats Sharon Wylie [D-49th, Vancouver] and Tana Senn [D-41st, Mercer Island/Bellevue], and many others in recent weeks), and in a streak of red from State Senator (R-30th, Algona/Auburn) and current candidate for State Auditor Republican Mark Miloscia (who provided a fantastic quote, see it at the bottom of this weeks email). We are proud to be making progress on our goal of making climate change less of a red/blue wedge issue and more of a survival/responsibility-to-our-kids issue that can generate support across party lines.
We’ve got the first carbon tax initiative on the ballot in the nation because enough of us made the leap. We left the house. We got out from behind the computer. We gave what we could, in signatures and dollars, to make this happen. We became participants in our democracy. We stopped waiting for someone else to get it done.
Now our scrappy initiative campaign has arrived at the place we worked so hard to get to, not without our bruises but very much in the hunt. There are 57 days left until ballots are mailed out. That means we have 57 days to reach as many voters as possible before voting begins. The most useful thing you can do is to help us educate voters or donate money to help us hire the help to educate voters. When we contact voters, our data shows us that 65% of them are indicating to us they will vote yes (this roughly matches our polling when voters are given a simple explanation). So, our task is clear, the work is simple and fun, but you need to help us do it. If we talk to enough voters, we will pass the first carbon tax in the nation, and maybe, just maybe, change the whole political game around climate change. Now is not the time to back down, or take a break, just because some liberal interest groups missed the urgency memo and turned their nose up at I-732, or because some conservative interest groups have ramped up the fear-mongering (you can check out the latest Facebook opposition ads from ShiftWA to see what we mean).
We need you to make the leap from watching to doing. Here are 7 ways you can help us pass I-732:
To kick off the home stretch of the campaign, we are hosting a BBQ for everyone at Gasworks park from 6:30 – 8:30 pm on August 30th. Join Yoram and other executive committee members, staff, Bjorne the dog, and our whole network. RSVP to the Facebook event or on our events form (please do RSVP to help us with planning). Family and friends are welcome. We will do our best to provide a BBQ and some refreshments, but RSVP to get a reminder with a list of things you can help us by bringing!
Our second round of yard signs is in, as well as the first round of bumper stickers! Now we need your help getting them in the field and replenishing our materials budget:
Just make your donation, check the box ‘yard signs’ and expect a follow up or email Quillan@carbonwa.org directly to arrange a pickup.
Thanks to the generosity of our own donor network we have launched a program to hire a handful of canvassers in King, Snohomish, Pierce and Spokane County to educate voters in targeted neighborhoods about I-732. If you or someone you know is available for 15-20 hours per week and wants to pass the best climate policy in the nation – send them the job posting!
Congrats and Thank Yous to WSU student Isabella Acevedo for her great LTE in the Vancouver Columbian, and also to David M Scheer in the Bellingham Cascadia Weekly, Virginia Lohr in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Bourtai Hargrove in the Olympian, and Thad Curtz in the Aberdeen Daily World. Elsewhere, the Washington (DC) Monthly has a story (“A model carbon tax”, by Michael Purzycki) that begins like this: “This fall, voters in Washington State could become the first in the country to pass a carbon tax.” And FYI our Seattle Times editorial board interview was on Thursday, and although it will be a few weeks before their editorial comes out you can watch the interview on TVW this Sunday. (We’ll also send out a link when it’s online.) And UW meteorologist (and I-732 supporter) Cliff Mass will be giving a lecture in Port Angeles on W Aug 17 on “How will Pacific Northwest weather change under global warming”. On a related front, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports that “Zillow says rising seas threaten to swamp thousands of Seattle houses.”
Nights Watch: (2,500 call club!) Megan Conaway joins Aaron Tam, Allie Bull, Quillan Robinson
After the Sightline series on I-732 came out (see parts 1, 2, and 3 again right here), a number of our endorsers came back to us with the desire to re-double and strengthen their support for i-732 by providing a quote. We were overwhelmed with 7 new responses. You can read them all below!
“I strongly support the Carbon Washington revenue-neutral carbon tax ballot measure. It is a bipartisan approach that will reduce carbon emissions, make our state tax code less regressive, and protect manufacturing jobs. We are running out of time to address the growing threat of global climate disruption. Let’s all work together to pass Initiative 732.”
“We need effective, efficient, and ethical environmental policies to address our climate change problems. I am supporting I-732 because science and experience show that it uses the most effective and efficient mechanisms for reducing pollution. As an accountability professional, I appreciate the utilization of proven market-mechanisms rather than using unproven regulations and government programs that waste money. I also support I-732 because it creates a more ethical and balanced tax code rather than just increasing taxes. As State Auditor, I plan to use audits to insure that I-732 and all other environmental programs remain effective and efficient. It is time to take the politics out of the climate change debate—only a robust audit accountability program can help lead the rest of the nation towards this common sense solution. Vote Yes on I-732!”
“I-732 is not only our best option for our state to take action on climate change, it is our only significant option for the public to ensure we take a major step forward in meeting carbon reduction goals in Washington State. I have reviewed the assumptions behind claims that the initiative will significantly reduce state revenues, and found them to be contrary to the language of the initiative and principles of statutory interpretation.”
“Like many in Washington I have political concerns about how we will raise the new revenue our State needs; but that is a separate battle. We can’t let the politics of money prevent us from acting on climate. This November an opportunity for long over-due action sits before us in I-732. An opportunity to reduce carbon pollution, while making the most progressive change to our tax code in 40 years. We should take that opportunity! – Vote Yes On I-732.”
“Climate action faces both policy and political challenges. This year we have seen many political groups attempt to discourage support for a great climate policy. I am thankful that the experts at the Sightline Institute have provided such an in-depth analysis of I-732 as it is one of the most important policies of our time. Please help me spread the word – Vote Yes on 732!”
“Sorting through the contenders for political office in a confusing year like 2016 takes a lot of time. One handy shortcut is the I-732 endorsement list – that’s where you’ll find the serious, thoughtful candidates who take environmental issues seriously.”
“I-732 is a worthy policy to put Washington on the road to lessening the effects of pollution, encouraging clean energy while low-income families would benefit from lower taxes!”
Talk to your friends and neighbors about I-732