Who We Are:
Carbon Washington wasn’t founded by politicians or wealthy executives, it wasn’t created in high-rises, board rooms, or in Olympia. CarbonWA was created in classrooms and living rooms, by students, activists, academics, and concerned citizens. We realized we couldn’t wait any longer for someone else to address Climate Change, we realized we were the ones we had been waiting for all along. We believe that ordinary citizens have the power to change things, and we hope that you do too. Take a look at our team so far, and we hope that you will join us!
We looked to the north to British Columbia, which had quietly implemented one of the most effective climate policies in the world. We also looked at Washington State, which has the most regressive tax code in the nation. Then we put our heads together and came up with a policy that will replicate the success in British Columbia while making our tax code fairer at the same time.
By implementing a $25 per ton tax on Carbon Pollution, we make polluting more expensive, thereby creating incentives for everyone to reduce their carbon emissions. All of the revenue raised by the tax goes to reducing existing taxes. Most of it goes toward a 1 percent reduction in the sales tax for everybody. But we also virtually eliminate the B&O (business) tax for manufacturers and fund a tax rebate for low income families called the Working Families Rebate. The average family will pay a little bit more for carbon fuels but also pay less for everything else! Check out our website for more on our policy, and the tax swap calculator to see how it would pencil out for your family!
How We Get There:
We need to collect 315,000 signatures from April-December of 2015 to get our policy on the ballot in 2016!
2016 is a presidential election, and as such is a ‘can’t miss opportunity’. Voter turnout among young people and people of color is significantly higher in presidential elections and people of color and young people are among the strongest supporters of climate action. Our voters will be at the ballot already - let’s give them a pitch they can hit and make Washington a leader on Climate Change!
How will we collect signatures?
We have chapters across the state and hundreds of volunteers eager to begin gathering signatures. We are using paid staff to train, recruit, and organize volunteers. Ultimately though, we will qualify for the ballot the same way we have built this campaign, through the hard work and dedication of volunteers.
Why are we fundraising?
Many initiative campaigns get on the ballot by raising a million+ dollars, then hiring firms to collect the signatures for them. But CarbonWA has never been about following the crowd. We are going to get this policy to the ballot the old fashioned way: with grassroots democracy. We are going to use our amazing volunteers to gather signatures in their own communities, building relationships and educating the public about our initiative along the way.
However, our volunteers cannot do this alone. They have families, jobs, and other commitments that keep them busy. So we have hired a talented regional staff to train, coordinate, and support our volunteer network. But many of our staff are part time and there are still gaps across the state where we do not have staff. We need to keep fundraising to add additional staff time across the state, and to keep our incredible team in place for the rest of the year. Every dollar we raise goes toward paying our staff, printing petitions, or to the campaign's infrastructure (our office, internet, etc.).
Let's take a swing at the ball!