What Should Be the Next Big Goal for Washington Liberals?

Comments

1
Enact laws and initiatives to counter and block future Tim Eyman initiatives.
2

Hydrogen Infrastructure.

That and more Charter Schools and super majorities for tax increases.
3
Abolish state sales tax, institute income tax. Duh.
4
Getting from Spokane to Seattle is a long slow process. Getting from Seattle to PDX is a long slow process. Getting from West Seattle to Ballard is a long slow process. Getting from bad antiquated transportation to high speed dedicated rail is a long slow process.
5
Education might naturally solve some of the other items, like single-payer and equality.
6
Fix the initiative process.

(Trans equality would be nice, but Ontario, Manitoba, and the freakin' Northwest Territories already beat you to the punch. So now you just need to wait 11 years, like you did with marriage equality.)
7
Global warming? It's hell getting anything done at a national or international level, but let's go all eco-nazi on our carbon emissions.
8
single-payer health care AND education reform.
9
None if this matters until we can drink in strip clubs.
10
But yeah, fixing the initiative process would also be nice. We shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water (it's how we got marijuana legalization, after all), but some strict spending limits need to be put in place - especially for out of state organizations like NOM.
11
But I want more than one of these! In particular, I want a state income tax dedicated to funding single-payer healthcare and education.
12
@2: I know basic physics and chemistry is WAY out of your league, but hydrogen is not a fuel. Hydrogen is not a fuel source. You have to make it. It is extremely difficult and resource-consuming to move or store it.

How do we create Hydrogen? FOSSIL FUELS.

People have tried long before you were born, and they will be trying long after you die. Why do they fail?

HYDROGEN IS NOT FUEL.

HYDROGEN IS NOT A FUEL SOURCE.
13
State bank / "infrastructure bank"
14
Other: Repeal the death penalty.
15
All of the above - including @14... Not that I got a say of course but wtf...
Also, you still let your state kill people? Wow you must really trust politicians, courts and rulers :)
16
Education is very important, but the term "education reform" means different things to different folks. The folks who voted for 1240 were voting for "education reform".
17
All of the above but not what @14 said

And Inslee is a liberal?
18
@1

I don't think we'll have much luck with initiatives to stop Tim Eyman since his most recent initiative got nearly two thirds of the votes. I think we need to get used to the people voting on tax increases. The challenge for liberals is to generate enough support for their programs to get people to vote to fund them.
19
i was just about to post what @16 said. education reform means so many different things to different people. do we get rid of standardized testing? or is it more that we get charter schools and get rid of "underperforming" teachers. single payer healthcare, on the other hand, seems pretty simple and universal in what it means.
20
Other: Rights for working people! Right now, Washington follows the at-will rule of employment--unless you have a contract, you can be fired for any (non-discriminatory) reason. The at-will rule undermines anti-discrimination enforcement and labor organizing, because an employer can just say the employee was fired for something other than being gay (for instance) or a "troublemaker." We should work on getting a statute like Montana's which requires employers to fire employees only for cause.
21
Let's get a statewide single-payer health care plan together, somehow.


THIS is the best one. But structure it in such a way that Washington based businesses can and would want to also buy into it.

1. Single payer option.

2. Make it attractive to businesses based in Washington.

3. Make it economically desirable for businesses based elsewhere but with a presence here to shift local employees to it.

4. Make it a non-profit by charter, like a mutual insurance company or co-op. Like Group Health.

5. Try to figure out if there is a way to make it cost efficient for people even with their own corporate insurance to switch to it.

6. Make damn sure the plan is more HMO style versus PPO style, perhaps: co-insurance is the devil. While it was inconvenient in some ways when I was once under Group Health, it was wonderful that any and all costs were always so flattened in-network. Need a physical? $20. Need to set a broken bone and cast it? $20. Need to deliver a baby? $200 and you take home a kid. Need a heart bypass? $200. Need to go out of network? Get the OK/referral and the costs are higher but reasonable.

In the PPO world, it's actually wonderful having ludicrous freedom to go anywhere to any doctor. But having to pay 10%-20% of all costs for required medical procedures beyond routine well care is bank breaking. I grew up in the HMO world. Living in New England until I moved here in 2006 (wife is a native) I landed in a job with a choice of PPO or HMO. I went HMO and was happy there. We recently had to change to PPO, and I like it enough, but wish I still had my HMO world.

The plan should be HMO or offer the choice of HMO or PPO. Seriously, I can't imagine why we can't make this gloriously robust and profitable.

A) move ALL state employees onto the plan. There are 60,000. That's a huge cost negotiating force right there.

B) make it beyond logical for cost reasons for all counties and municipalities to move employees onto it. What's that--another 50,000 at least? A & B also then reinvest state tax funds right back into the state.

C) Transition and merge all the other state health plans into it, Apple Care, etc. Make one awesome streamlined one.
22
Some of them do need priority. I think Washington should work on these items in this order.

Education, Single-payer health care, Transgender equality, strip corporations of personhood status.

For corporate personhood, I say copy either Montana's I-166 or Colorado's Amendment 65 or a mesh of the two from this election and get an initiative on the ballot for next year's election.

I also like the suggestions above from 7, 6, and especially 1.
23
Another vote for climate change action.
24
We still have the most regressive state taxes in the country.
25
Income tax.
26
Reform the initiative process by allowing people to sign *against* an initiative. Signature gatherers would have to accept both *for* and *against* signatures.
27
@12: Speaking of "basic physics and chemistry [being] WAY out of" one's league...
28
@24: Yes, let's say we make it a goal to move from the MOST regressive tax system in the country to just #3 or #4 on that list. Maybe 10 years from now, we can be better than Alabama. Or Mississippi. WA is such a weird, selective kind of liberal place.
29
Women make 77c on the dollar. Let's fix that shit.
30
Income tax, like everyone else said.
31
I'm with Doug.
32
Agree that we should throw something environmental on this list. It's easier to get the squishy Eastsiders to vote for social than economic liberalism, though; which is why I picked sex work.
33
Income tax/fix our regressive tax structure. I've already written to my state congressmen and senator. One in particular seems frustrated that he can't tax with sales and sin taxes.
34
@29 hell fucking yes. What happened to the Paycheck Fairness Act?
35
As the great philosopher Dan Carlin says often on his amazing podcast, Common Sense (http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/cs), there is little or no chance of getting anywhere on any other problems until we can fix the governmental corruption problem. What the U.S. and Washington State needs is Election/Campaign Finance/Campaign Media/Redistricting reform. Until We The People can have transparent and fair elections in fairly drawn districts and can be heard over the noise generated by Corporations, Billionaires, and their Lobbyists, there will be no way to even have an honest discussion on any of the problems facing us, much less address them.
36
Can't believe there are so few votes to repeal citizens united! The Super pacs spent nearly 2 billion dollars inundating us all with negative ad campaigning through this election!

THAT IS 2 BILLION DOLLARS IN ADVERTISING FOR THEIR RESPECTIVE CANDIDATES - USUALLY IN THE FORM OF NEGATIVE PROPAGANDA NOT EVEN APPROVED BY THE CANDIDATE.

The people of the corporation may or may not share their views and because of that, they should not count as personhood. Corporations are not People, People are People!
37
+1 to Sargon Bighorn @4.

In response to folks like redemma @7, I don't quite see how Washington state can effectively address climate change on its own, but we can put ourselves in a position of strength if/when there are real national and international efforts to address climate change, and as fossil fuels for transportation become increasingly expensive. The best way we can do that is to continue building rail infrastructure.
38
@ 36,

Citizens United was a US Supreme KKKourt decision, so it over-rules anything that we try at the state level. Montana specifically tried to end it on its own and the fascist-packed US Supreme KKKourt shot them down.
39
Here's another vote for tax reform. Eliminating the sales tax and instituting a tiered state income tax would do a LOT to solve some of the other problems on that list. It would reverse the regressive taxation of the poorest members of our state, would bring shoppers back from Portland to spend money in the state, and would allow us to start from scratch with a tax base able to properly fund schools, roads, etc.
40
clothing optional beaches. yeah
41
Yes to all of the above on tax reform. We do have the most regressive tax structure in the nation, which is why our otherwise well-managed state is now a fiscal basketcase reeling from one self-induced crisis to the next.

The wealthy pay about 3% of their income in taxes, while the poor pay like 18%. Reform the tax structure and other items on the wishlist, like single-payer and education reform, become possible. It will take tremendous leadership, and so far our state Demonrats don't seem capable of it.
42
Universal Health Care for Pets. Mandatory Third-Trimester Abortions. Government-Subsidized Coffee. Free Scarlet A with Drivers License.
43
@42) Some sort of anti-troll legislation...
44
Run fucking charter schools out of the state.
45
what #3 (and I'm sure others) said.
46
The city council was elected by district in the dusty past. It was changed due to it resulting in corruption, sneaky alliances, and an overly powerful mayor. But i fear this misbegotten effort will be tried again and again until it will finally succeed; then at least the memory of why it's a bad idea will be refreshed -sigh-
47
My vote is for statewide universal healthcare, with full coverage for treatment for transgender patients (including surgery!). Other than that, I'm not sure what trans equality issues remain in state law. Not that there aren't still societal problems even in WA, but I don't see how to address those through legislation.
48
Let’s seriously look at each of these issues. It’s impossibly not to invoke my personal feelings, but I’ll trying keeping these to “professional (???) opinions” on the feasibility and impact of each of them.

What can Seattle actually do that will have impactful ramifications across the country?

• Education. All kinds of education, from preschool to grad school, needs serious reform, and Washington should do it now.

Of all the proposals, this is the vaguest. How would you reform education? What does “reform” mean? How would that reform impact the rest of the nation? Granted, it is a national problem, but unless someone proposes a genius model to replace the current one (school funds coming from property taxes), I don’t see this happening.

• It's time to strip corporations of their personhood, and enact laws that ensure corporate responsibility.

Could WA pass a law stripping corporate personhood that would actually effect corporations? I believe the (growing) national movement is hoping that a couple justices retire from SCOTUS, Obama’s appointment aren’t corporate hacks, and Citizen’s United is overturned, paving the way for the whole ‘strip corporations of personhood’ thing.

• State income tax.

Though WA needs a state-income tax, the idea is neither bold nor nationally impactful. There will be another initiative for a state income tax with some changes from the last one (the number escapes me at the moment) that will pass. It's just a matter of time.

• Changing the initiative process.

WA needs to change the initiative process to keep Eyman from running another one –er, keep corporate interests from buying our democracy, but again it’s neither bold nor would it have an effect on the rest of the country.

• We need to ensure transgender equality.

I would love to ensure transgender equality, but I don’t see how this would have major game-changing ramifications across the country. Look how far the LGBT rights movement has made in the last few years; in a generation, people will be able to switch genders and no one will care.

• Let's get a statewide single-payer health care plan together, somehow.

A couple options here: follow MA’s health-care model (which wouldn’t be the whole point of turning WA into a liberal lab for other states to follow); develop a new model that is both BETTER than MA or Obamacare. Once Obamacare is enacted fully, WA could be the first state to offer the public option. I don’t know much about health care policy, but given the 1) difficulties of enacting health care reform policy, 2) the corporate interests to keep the status quo (the status quo being health insurance companies), I think this might be difficult.

• Legalize prostitution. Washington should make sex work safe and taxable.

I actually think this one has potential. Current laws amount to prohibition; we (as a nation) know how prohibition worked with alcohol, and we’re slowing realizing that prohibition doesn’t work with drugs, either. There are some strong arguments for legalizing prostitution, and the US is an anomaly in its strict prostitution laws (few countries have laws as strict as we do). A campaign to legalize prostitution could have broad support, from conservative libertarians, free-market conservatives, some feminists (though not others); furthermore, the LGBT movement has shown (if not caused) a lot of people are opening their minds to other people’s sexual activity (whereas before it was judgmental: “I don’t like what you do sexually” to “I don’t care what you do sexually). WA could pass a law like I-502 legalizing prostitution; other states to follow; voila, national impact!

Just some thoughts, but I really just want to be able to drink alcohol in strip clubs.
49
TAX REFORM!!!! We need a state income tax so funding for education, social programs and infrastructure are not completely tied to the whims of consumer spending. The fact that it would be less regressive is icing on the cake.

I would also vote for a Roman-style proscription against Tim Eyeman.
50
Oh, Washington. You're so cute when you're being radical. Now how about taking a baby step like maybe a progressive income tax?
51
For those who are proposing that WA eliminate at-will employment, you're advocating for the single biggest job-killing initiative there is. If you remove this freedom for employers to hire and fire at will, and also for employees to quit and leave at will (everyone seems to forget that part), then you will slam the brakes on job growth and recovery here in WA state. Studies have shown that adding exceptions to, never mind eliminating, at will employment can cause a drop of 5 percent in employment.

As for legislation repealing Citizens United, you do realize that of the 10 PACs that spent the most money, seven of them were supporting Democrats. So as much as you may want to end this, the Dems don't really want to lose access to all that cash and will fight you every step of the way.
52
How about local voting rights for legal US residents?
Not only would it provide more immigrants with some leverage to fight for their rights, it should help further other liberal issues (taxation, education, healthcare).
53
Education covers all of these issues. Produce intelligent, critical-thinking human beings, and they'll create a smart, tolerant, livable society.
54
@35: though I agree with you that political corruption (technically "money in politics") problem is a huge issue and needs to be addressed at the state and federal level, I disagree that there isn't a way to address other issues in the meantime. R-74 and I-502 proved that occasionally, with the right financial backing and a competent political strategy, progressive movements can win.
55
PS- a friend posted an interview with David Cay Johnston about the monopolies of cable (internet)/telephone companies, resulting in "Americans paying super high prices for slow speeds and low quality". We should do something about that!
56
I voted for Education but we probably have to revise our taxing system to be able to fund our basic education mandate let alone expand education.
57
Legalizing prostitution will not make it safe. There is no evidence to support this, and quite a bit of evidence to support the opposite contention -- that legalizing makes it easier for trafficking in girls to occur. There are no easy answers.

My own proposal would be to make it HEAVILY illegal to patronize a prostitute, but not to do the prostituting. The johns and pimps belong in jail, not the girls.
58
How about repealing the death penalty? Or mandatory labeling of GMO foods? Both failed in California, but we might be able to pass it here.
59
Let's take a baby step towards an income tax and only apply a tax on capital gains in excess of $25,000 on any assets other than your primary home.
60
I'm not the first person to say it but I definitely agree that Washington needs to reform its initiative process before it tackles any more big issues. Figure out how to cut off people like Tim Eyman from making money off the process, and how to keep giant asshole lobbies from sending in gobs of money from elsewhere in the country to fight our local battles, and for fuck's sake don't make us run a goddamn referendum on every single civil rights issue we try to reform because at some point we have to recognize that people's personal rights are more important than the "right" of scared old bigots to resist change that doesn't even affect them.
61
@57

Er, you do realize that quite a lot of prostitutes aren't female, yes?
62
Serious question: can someone tell me which rights are being denied to transgendered people in Washington, but extended to gays and other minorities? Are trans people not protected by hate crime laws, or covered in anti-discrimination laws, or what?

I don't doubt there have been omissions, but which trans rights should we be fighting for?
63
@61, yes, but there is extensive documentation of worldwide trafficking in girls. Women are heavily oppressed in much of the world, including in the developed West, and underage girl prostitutes are held in slavery right here in Seattle, Vancouver, Portland. Amsterdam is rife with them, mostly from the collapsed states of Eastern Europe, but also Africans and Asians.

I don't think there's a network like that for boys; I dunno, maybe there is. If there is, it's hardly an argument for legalization. Legalization tends to make it easier, not harder, for these networks to operate. People like to think that prostitution is "victimless" and originates from self-agency but it usually does not.
64
I wanna vote for all of the above!
65
@63

There is definitely organized human trafficking in young boys for purposes of prostitution, in various parts of the world, but for some reason, the American media doesn't get into quite the same hyperventilating froth about it as they do over White Woman Slavery.

Righteously vehement male concern over this wildly overstated (though of course real) problem is frankly a little creepy, in the same way though not quite to the same degree as the creepiness that was Nicholas Kristof actually going out and buying two teenage sex slaves from a Cambodian brothel.

You're right that legalization wouldn't completely eliminate criminal interest and activity in the industry, mainly because unlike the drug trade, legalization probably wouldn't have any effect on prices, and thus profits.

But you're on some pretty shaky ground when you suggest that some amount of continuing criminal oppression of women would somehow render any benefits of legalization unacceptable.
66
Free birth control, anti-conception and no-questions asked abortions for every woman (and girl).

And single-payer health care, of course.
67
It's a toss-up between (1) a progressive tax system and (2) a true non-profit single-payer health-care system that's progressively funded, has no deductibles, has only nominal copays at most, and that pays only for evidence-based, cost-effective treatment.
68
Income tax! Single payer! Unicorns! Magic ponies!

I guess only us moderates will still be happy with the way things are in 2016.

"I've already written to my state congressmen and senator"

That'll show 'em!

"while the poor pay like 18%"

So if you make, say, $10K a year, you're paying $1800 in sales tax? That's a lot of shopping!

"full coverage for treatment for transgender patients (including surgery!)."

Look, a unicorn!

"Let's take a baby step towards an income tax and only apply a tax on capital gains in excess of $25,000 on any assets other than your primary home."

Sure, just get 2/3 of the legislature to vote for that and you're a winner!

BOY, YOU GUYS SURE ARE GONNA BE DISAPPOINTED, YOU'RE ONLY GETTING COAL IN YOUR STOCKINGS FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS!
69
"""full coverage for treatment for transgender patients (including surgery!)."

What do they want? Apparently not their dick and balls.
70
Another vote to repeal the death penalty here.
71
The top two results of this poll are telling. Our state has always valued education and health care more than anything else. its part of our self-identity as a state to have a highly educated and healthy populus.

i propose the following:

1) Every public assistance recipient int he state shall be mandated to attend school or lose their eligibility for benefits. The tuition, books, and costs of living and transportation to and from school will be borne by the state, but the student must maintain at least a 3.0 average throughout. A drop to a 2.0 average in permitted for one quarter/semester or during a leave of absence predicated by the loss of a family member or similar tragic event which would distract the recipient from study, nut this leave of absence must be adjudicated and granted by a faculty adviser before leave is to begin. All tuition will be paid for up to and beyond the doctoral level if need can be established. Yes, housing and food and clothing are basic human rights to which you are entitled, but must contribute to society. If you cannot do so with your body, you must do so with your mind. Let every homeless person who comes to WA leave with a PhD.

2) Universal single payer healthcare.

3) Establishment of a state income tax to fund both schemes. Eligibility is established by proof that one pays taxes into the system. Even if all you can get while you are in college is a part time workstudy position, everyone must contribute something. From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

Do this, and within a decade we will have the longest lifespans of anybody in North America and the best economy in the Union.