We believe it’s possible to build a better world than the one we’ve inherited. Strong communities come from a clear vision for socioeconomic justice; a vision that includes a fair tax code that pays for basic needs, robust cash assistance programs that help everyday Washingtonians make ends meet, and civil rights measures that ensure progress on racial justice.
When we neglect to tax the wealth of major corporations and a small cadre of exceedingly wealthy individuals, we leave money on the table that can strengthen our state. With a fair tax code, we could pay for cash assistance programs that have been proven to reduce wealth inequality, stimulate the economy, and help Washingtonians make ends meet.
In the summer of 2020, the largest wave of civil rights protests in American history sparked an ongoing public discussion about public safety. That conversation continues, as community partners like the A.C.L.U. and others are committed to make sure we don’t turn the clock back on police accountability.
What we’re doing about it
Facilitating access to the Working Families Tax Credit
In 2021 the Washington State Legislature took the step of funding the WFTC, which was first created during the Great Recession, giving folks who make around $50,000 access to a much-needed stipend to help with groceries, mental health services, utility costs, and more. We’ll continue to work with our legislative partners to see the implementation of the Working Families Tax Credit through to completion this year.
Creating and funding the Washington Futures Fund
The Washington Futures Fund is a baby bonds program to create savings for children in low-income families. This program would set aside $4,000 for newborns born under Apple Health, which will accumulate value until they will be able to access between their 18th and 31st birthdays to use to pay for higher education, buying a home, or starting a business.
Because wealth building opportunities are limited for Washingtonians without access to capital, this program will help interrupt the cycle of intergenerational poverty in a meaningful way.
Creating and funding a statewide Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) pilot
We were proud to contribute intent language to Rep. Liz Berry’s bill to establish a Guaranteed Basic Income in Washington State. Eligibility for the program would be open to all adult Washington residents whose income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. To reflect geographic variations in costs of living, the program would provide participants with a monthly payment equal to the cost of rent for a 2-bedroom unit in their area of residence.
This pilot program would provide monthly, unconditional cash payments to participants for greater freedom, dignity, and choice in caring for themselves and their families.
Continuing the Conversation about Public Safety
In Washington state, police are legally authorized to take any property that they determine is linked to a drug-related crime. Each year, police departments in Washington state keep millions of dollars in revenue from seized property, creating a profit incentive for police officers. Additionally, a proposal has been put forth for the 2023 legislative session to re-allow the use of police chokeholds. This would reverse the momentum started by the civil rights summer of 2020 and lead to disproportionate harm to BIPOC communities.
We’ve come a long way as a state in pursuing police accountability, but we still have a long way to go. This year, we will amplify and support the work of community organizers and activists who have been leading the charge on police accountability.
- Continue momentum of 2020 police accountability protests
- Implement innovative poverty reduction efforts and ensure that people can move past surviving into thriving
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