Seattle income tax: Public records edition
Sep 19, 2017

Based on the 1st installment of public records (322 pages) from the Seattle City Council on communications about the city income tax, it looks like this process started back in 2016. The Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) approached councilmembers at least as early as January 2016 (more than a full year before it signed a $49,500 contract with the council to help develop the income tax ordinance).

Read the entire blog
Workers say WEA union is unfair to workers
Sep 18, 2017

As Washington families well know, executives at the powerfully-entrenched WEA union are fond of calling strikes to close schools, generally timing their strike action to inflict maximum pain on public school families and children.  In recent years the union has closed school house doors to thousands of children.

In the photo above, staff workers hold a demonstration against WEA union executives calling for a fair contract.  

Now staff workers are planning a strike against WEA union executives themselves.  Members of the WEA Staff Organization (WEASO) have been working without a contract, and are calling on union executives to provide them with basic respect and a fair contract.  If union executive do not meet their demands, WEASO says, the staff organization will go on strike against the union.

The situation is ironic; employees are planning to strike against a union because they are being treated unfairly.  WEA executives already face similar stresses from public school employees.  The WEA diverts about $35 million in public funds from school budgets every year and funnels it to private union bank accounts, based on mandatory monthly withdrawals from teacher paychecks.  WEA executives take about $1,000 from each teacher every year.  Led by union president Kim Mead, WEA executives are known to bully teachers who object, and Mead makes it clear that any school teacher who does not pay will be fired.




Read the entire blog
Bill that defends Washington drivers against unfair tolls passes US House
Sep 18, 2017

On September 6th, US Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, who represents Southwest Washington, passed an amendment to a US House of Representatives funding plan for the US Department of Transportation to “prohibit Oregon’s proposal to establish tolls on I-5 and I-205.”

Nine state legislators joined Rep. Herrera Buetler in her efforts, noting in a recent letter to Governor Jay Inslee that 74,000 Washingtonians cross the border to work in Oregon every day, 61% of them from Clark County. These are workers who also pay Oregon's income tax. 

As Rep. Herrera Buetler stated in an earlier letter to Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Oregon DOT Director Matthew Garrett, “Oregon has no right to make Southwest Washington an unwilling piggy bank for Oregon’s infrastructure projects.”

Read the entire blog