Our 2015 Priorities Decided at our Virtual Legislative Conference

On Nov. 22nd about 75 of us representing 22 Washington congregations gathered online to discuss and vote on the priorities for the coming year. Most of the group had reviewed the video interviews to get up to speed on issues. Here are our priorities:

  • The Governor's carbon proposals combined with the Carbon Tax Initiative, if the proposals fail
  • Fossil fuel transport and permitting
  • Increasing the state minimum wage
  • The WAmend initiative that calls for an end to corporate personhood
  • Budget priorities that make preserving what is left of the social service safety net combined with increasing revenues through closing loopholes in corporate tax breaks.
  • A second tier of priorities include the Family Unity Act (immigration) and ending the death penalty.

The first three issues plus any bills that address increasing revenue are the ones that we will lobby hard from the beginning of the session. The final bullet point represent issues that we will work on if they survive the assigned committees. Both of them represent issues that we have worked on for several years.

 

We will refine our budget priorities and strategy on February 28, 2015 when we once again gather within our congregations to connect virtually and learn more about the state budget situation. We hope to have video interviews with progressive budget policy experts, marginalized communities and legislators.

At our Legislative Conference we also elected two new board members, Julia Cochrane of Quimper of Bill McPherson of University. We will have more information and photos under "about" up shortly. We are delighted to add their skills and strengths to the board.

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commented 2014-12-18 09:05:45 -0800 · Flag
My main concern with C&T is that it has a history of abuse by polluters that again negatively affects communities of color and other marginalized communities. We should look carefully at the plan for poor communities. I was much struck with the statistic cited by the policy person from Seattle Public Utilities at the conference last Saturday. She said that a person who lives in South Seattle will on average live 13 fewer years than one in North Seattle, due in large part to pollution.
commented 2014-12-18 09:02:26 -0800 · Flag
Great question, Bill. I was just thinking about that yesterday when I read a summary of the plan. Bauman said in his interview with us that he would introduce the Carbon Tax Initiative only if the C&T didn’t pass. Since C&T is supposed to raise revenue and C&T is revenue neutral, it should be a powerful argument to reluctant legislators to support the Governor’s proposals, unless they don’t think the initiative would pass. Seems that we have a strong enough recent history of progressive initiative passing to make the initiative a real threat.
commented 2014-12-18 08:29:02 -0800 · Flag
With the release of Gov. Inslee’s proposals, we now have a good idea of what to support in the legislative session. We will need to look closely at the positions of different legislators to see what the prospects are. Will we want to discuss the carbon tax initiative as an alternative with legislators?
Washington Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice posted about Our 2015 Priorities Decided at our Virtual Legislative Conference on Washington Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice's Facebook page 2014-12-09 14:58:35 -0800
Our top 2015 priorities: Governor's #carboncontrol bills; #CarbonTaxInitiative; #fossilfueltransport; #minimumwage
Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice - Washington
We empower Unitarian Universalists to give voice to our values in the political arena.