Elections matter! And that point gets driven home each year as we watch the results come in. Although some races and issues are still too close to call, we can say clearly that Tuesday’s election had some highs and some lows. Here is an update on where things stand with Initiative 976 and Initiative 1000/Referendum 88.
Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976
Unfortunately, it is clear that Tim Eyman’s destructive Initiative 976 has passed. We know that I-976 will have serious negative consequences for our environment and communities, and now we will be working to navigate those impacts.
We are extremely disappointed by this result. Transportation is responsible for nearly half of Washington’s climate pollution. I-976 repeals funding for building voter-approved projects and expanding sustainable transit and transportation services across the state. It’s true: I-976 will lead to more congestion and pollution.
We knew this was going to be a tough fight, but we are not giving up. The No On 976 coalition, made up of business, labor and environmental organizations, community leaders, tribes, and civic and disability advocacy groups, worked extremely hard to fight for Washington’s ability to keep moving. And we are still here to keep the fight going.
What’s next: Across Washington, cities, counties, and the Legislature will need to make difficult, near-term decisions to cut critical funding for transit and transportation services, while figuring out how to rebuild funding. We will be working alongside and in coalition with many others to advocate the protection of our environment, reduction of climate pollution, and increase of equitable transit infrastructure.
This will be hard and the coalition that worked together to try and stop the Initiative now has a chance to stand together in fighting for a new, more equitable way to fund and address our longstanding needs around transportation. That means focusing our policies on moving people, not cars, around our state and cleaning up how that happens overall.
Initiative 1000/Referendum 88
Right now the results for Initiative 1000, which was on the ballot as Referendum 88, are too close to officially call. We want to thank you for supporting APPROVE I-1000, an important policy that would ensure veterans, small business owners, women, and people of color seeking to succeed in public employment, contracting, and university admissions are given the consideration they deserve without the use of caps or quotas.
We know the same forces that pollute our environment also prevent equitable access to public employment, contracting, and university admissions. WEC is proud to support the approval of I-1000. Washington needs the talents of veterans, small business owners, women, and people of color to build solutions that create a clean, healthy environment, and everyone deserves to have access to those opportunities.
Thank you for all you did to fight Tim Eyman’s I-976 and to approve I-1000. Together we will keep the momentum going for a healthier and more equitable Washington state.