Hello carbon tax friends: We’re two weeks from qualifying I-732… see the signature countdown below, plus a financial donor update and lots and lots of readings.
Our goal is 330,000+ signatures, and last week we were at 310,960. We are now at 316,950, so we’ve got 13,050 left to go to hit our minimum goal… and you know the drill: check the signature-gathering calendars (in particular here’s Seattle RSVP and Bellevue RSVP forms), share our signature-gathering job postings with students and others who need a bit of cash, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, volunteer to make phone calls from your home or help out around the campaign office or do data entry from home, help with your local chapter, etc.
Our latest tally of donations is $33,565 towards the $50,000 Executive Committee matching challenge that will double your donations now through Saturday Nov 21 (tomorrow!). You can donate online or via check. Everybody does what they can, so thank you! (And if you can’t donate or collect signatures but you can do data entry from home please help us transcribe signature sheets so that we can get an accurate tally of registered voters, duplicates, etc. To help just click the link here and follow the instructions.)
Join us Friday, December 11th at 7:00 PM at the Hillman City Collaboratory (5623 Rainier Ave S in Seattle) for a celebration of our success thus far and kicking off the next steps of the campaign. Please RSVP to come to the event here and stay up to date with new details through the Facebook event. Contact Laurel@carbonwa.org with any questions.
As an addendum to last week’s thank-you to financial contributors I want to give a special shout-out to folks who hosted or co-hosted house parties for us, so thank you to:
Plus thanks to our Events Fundraiser Ellen Lockert and interns Dominique Atherley and Emily Draayer… and if you’re interested in hosting a CarbonWA house party in the new year please email Ellen at ellen@carbonWA.org.
In case you missed it last week, check out “These could be the first U.S. states to tax carbon — and give their residents a nice paycheck” by Chelsea Harvey in the Washington Post. Elsewhere, the American Sustainable Business Council issues a call for a carbon tax. (So does Thomas Friedman in the NYT, and while you’re there see also David Brooks: “As anybody with legislative experience knows, nothing can be passed unless Republican interests are rallied along with Democratic interests…”) And Inside Philanthropy has an article about deep-pocketed carbon tax supporters. (Yes, we’re doing our best to reach out to them! Maybe some of them are the CEOs surveyed in this WSJ article: “Corporate Managers Back Carbon-Pricing Mechanisms, Survey Says”.) The NYT also has this: “An Oil-Soaked Globe as Production Keeps Climbing and Demand Falls”. And The Atlantic features “The Republican Solution for Climate Change”, which notes “the recent spike in the share of Republicans who acknowledge that climate change is occurring: from 47 percent to 59 percent in the latest University of Texas Austin poll, and from 47 percent to 56 percent in the latest University of Michigan one. Among younger Republicans and political independents —two key swing groups—support is considerably higher.”
Also relevant to this Readings section, there’s been quite a stir about Danny Westneat’s column (“Eyman tax measure could be blessing in disguise for state”) that suggests passing CarbonWA’s I-732, which cuts the sales tax by a point, in order to address Eyman’s recently passed I-1366, which threatens to cut the sales tax by a point if the state legislature doesn’t act on a state constitutional amendment to require a 2/3rds supermajority to raise taxes. Point #1 is that we need to keep our eye on the ball, which is getting the signatures we need to qualify for the ballot and raising the money we need to fund our campaign. Point #2 is that there are major timing issues with the specific idea of matching I-732 and I-1366: our sales tax reduction phases in over two years starting in 2017 while Eyman’s would take place immediately in 2016. Point #3 is that there are major political issues with the idea as well: Eyman and his supporters presumably want a 2/3rd supermajority requirement, not a revenue-neutral tax shift. Point #4 is that there are constitutionality questions about I-1366: see here and more recently here. Point #5 is that the broader message in Danny Westneat’s column is that there’s a lot to be said for reforming our regressive tax system to make it fairer and more sustainable… and that’s what Carbon Washington is all about! (See also this post from John Burbank at the Economic Opportunity Institute: “Eyman has it partly right: Lower the sales tax. The rest…needs some work.” And, in less measured tones, see Ron Judd, who says our sales-tax-heavy tax system is “ill-devised, unfair, outrageous, immoral, obscene, distasteful, anachronistic, predatory, dysfunctional and borderline criminal.”)
As always, comments are welcome on the blog, or via Facebook or Twitter, and please send your Tales from the Trails, good or bad, to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (please cc: email@example.com if you can).
Talk to your friends and neighbors about I-732