Campaign News

Hello carbon tax friends: This week we’ve got great news from Ron Sims, great news from our April fundraising and signature-gathering totals, a joint statement with the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, and some fun Tales from the Trails.

Ron Sims endorsement

We can’t say it better than 12-year King County executive Ron Sims: “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.”

A giant thank-you to Ron for his endorsement and for his incredible accomplishments and visionary leadership of our region! And stay tuned for more big endorsements next week 🙂

April fundraising total: $28,000

Thank you to the 119 supporters who pushed our crowdfunding campaign over its $10k goal! Combined with our other fundraising in April, we raised over $28,000 for the month. (Our April expenditures, mostly wages for our terrific 8-person campaign staff plus rent and expenses from printing 17,000 petition sheets, totaled $27,500, so we even came out $500 ahead for the month 🙂 We intend to do even better in May, when our target is $30,000. Stay tuned for more details, holler if you want to host a fundraiser or attend a fundraiser, and of course we are grateful for your donations of any size! (As a political campaign we cannot participate in today’s Give Big campaign, but we are grateful for everyone who Gave Big anyway!)

April signature total: 8,600 signatures

Thank you for collecting signatures from your friends and neighbors, for being part of the 2-a-day plan pioneered by Erika Shriner of Climate Action Bainbridge, for gathering at Earth Day events, at Town Halls, and at grocery stories and more, and for everything else you did to bring in 8,683 signatures for the month of April. Impressive as that number is (especially because we really only had half of the month) we’re aiming considerably higher for May, so please sign on for signature-gathering if you haven’t already and please keep it up if you’re already pounding the pavement for the campaign (and please send your Tales from the Trails, good or bad, to me at yoram@carbonwa.org). Thank you!

Joint statement with the Alliance

In the past few weeks some rather strange accusations have been leveled at us by representatives of a new group called the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy that is being led by Climate Solutions and Washington Environmental Council. These accusations—some of them downright silly, some of them more in keeping with the kind of politics we have all come to abhor—are not what one would expect from fellow climate activists. We attempted to ignore these attacks because we have more important work to do gathering signatures and raising money to support our staff, but we kept hearing from local activists around the state who were puzzled about what was going on and/or upset by the Alliance’s tactics. So we met with leaders of the Alliance and have created a joint statement that attempts to spell out a productive working relationship going forward. Although we are not currently endorsing each other’s efforts, both organizations want to make it clear that we respect each other’s work and are not opposed to individuals or organizations supporting either CarbonWA or the Alliance (or both). Speaking on behalf of Carbon Washington, I want to emphasize that we respect the organizations in the Alliance and are happy to have received assurances that the accusations that were leveled at us won’t be repeated. We take them at their word but we also respect the idea of “trust but verify”, so if you encounter any friction going forward please contact me directly at yoram@carbonwa.org. And on behalf of Carbon Washington let me say that we are tremendously proud of the work that CarbonWA volunteers and staff are doing across the state and that we will continue working to spread our positive message and build our campaign for bipartisan climate action!

Readings

I’ve been a bit busy collecting signatures to provide much in the way of reading material, but here’s a great quote from Philip Wallach of the Brookings Institution: “[A] politically sustainable climate change strategy uniformly opposed by one of the country’s two major political parties is unimaginable given any sense of realism. It is not too late to chart a very different course, one that could get a significant number of Republican supporters (if probably not most): most notably, a carbon tax. Alas, digging deeper trenches remains the far more popular course for now.” His Brookings colleague Adele Morris (who is on our Advisory Board) is behind a new federal carbon tax bill, is the co-editor of a new book about carbon taxes (see this review from Irwin Stelzer in the conservative Weekly Standard), and is the author of a great new quote: “A carbon tax has gone from a policy that only an economist could love to #carbontax.”

Tales from the Trails

* Campaign co-director Duncan Clauson reports on many people signing his petition who stated that they ordinarily do not sign petitions on the street but were signing I-732 because they recognize the importance of this issue and appreciate us taking action on it.

* Seattle staffer Laurel Wolf relates how she got a signature from a climate denier: “I said ‘Hello sir, will you sign our initiative for climate action’ and he said ‘Young lady, you don’t know the science: there is no climate change!’ So I said ‘Well, if you sign then you’ll get to vote against it’ and he said ‘Alright, I will!'”

* While gathering a whole mess of signatures on the ferry on the way to a wonderful fundraiser on Bainbridge Island, I encountered (on three separate occasions!) an argument I’d never heard before: “Is this for an income tax? No? Well, then, I’m against it! We need an income tax!” (Falling on deaf ears was my argument that our measure includes an Earned Income Tax Credit and that overall our measure 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.)

* Ian James of Issaquah says: “I am still working on my perfect pitch, but I was amused to discover that telling them “I am a volunteer getting signatures to put Initiative 732 on the ballot next year” without actually saying what I-732 is, made a lot of people stop and ask. Another thing I discovered was that some of the most unlikely looking people actually turned out to be signers – so never let appearances fool you!”

Please send your Tales from the Trails, good or bad, to me at yoram@carbonwa.org, and as always comments are welcome on the blog, or via Facebook or Twitter.

Regards,

Yoram

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