MY POSITIONS on 2016 GENERAL ELECTION INITIATIVES and PROPOSITIONS
I-732: Revenue-neutral Carbon Tax: Support (but qualified)
- This will implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax in Washington State. Revenue from the carbon tax will be used to lower other taxes (e.g., the sales tax) and for rebates to low and middle income families.
- There are two problems with this initiative: it appears to be revenue-negative rather than revenue-neutral; and it does not meaningfully deal with issues of climate justice.
- Nevertheless, I support the initiative because a price on carbon is critical, and passing this initiative will support the ultimate goal of a national price on carbon (not just state programs).
I-735: Supports Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Decision: Support
- The Citizens United decision (bestowing upon corporations the attributes of individuals and allowing them unrestricted political spending rights) is an unmitigated disaster.
- I support all efforts to repeal this decision.
I-1433: Raise the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020: Support
- In an era of all-time highs in income inequality, it is imperative to raise the minimum wage for lower-income workers.
- This has been done successfully in Seattle (and elsewhere), and it is now time to extend it statewide.
I-1464: Reforms the state campaign finance system: Support
- This allows qualified candidates to apply for voucher-based public funding. It also regulates the revolving door problem.
- The primary objective is to increase voter participation and influence in elections, and decrease the influence of corporations, political actions committees, etc.
- This is patterned off of I-122 (Honest Elections Seattle) from 2015, which passed overwhelmingly.
I-1491: Extreme Risk Protection Orders: Support
- This is a gun control measure that enables the state to block access to firearms for high risk individuals.
I-1501: Consumer Protections: Support
1. Improves identity theft and consumer fraud protections for seniors and other vulnerable individuals
Regional Proposition 1: Sound Transit III: Support (but qualified)
- This is a $50+ billion measure to “build out” the region’s Sound Transit system, from Tacoma and Federal Way (in the South) to Everett (North) to West Seattle and Ballard (West) and to Redmond (East).
- Transit investment is critical to our region – for employment access for commuters, to facilitate the effective management of density, to reduce carbon emissions, etc.
- The magnitude of this expenditure and the property tax impact for homeowners is a legitimate source of concern. Nevertheless, I support the proposition.