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September 17, 2005

Gearing Up to Fight 912

It’s time to get serious about defeating 912, an ill-conceived plan to make government far less workable by repealing the Transportation bill that the legislature, business and community leaders, and the governor worked so hard to enact at the end of this last session.  That’s all it is.  The proponents of 912 don’t care about the gutting of the much-needed transportation projects.  They are of a kind with the political hacks at the national level, and those that appointed them, who neglected the real needs of emergency preparedness when they took over FEMA. 

Our own right-wing conservatives want to hamstring the legislature, the governor and the progressive movement in this state.  If this initiative is passed, it will be much harder for the legislature to take up critical issues that raise taxes of any kind.  It will be much more difficult for them to govern in a way that looks to the future. 

So, it’s time to raise the awareness of the importance of defeating 912 and take the steps necessary to doing so.  Here are some starters:

1)       Become knowledgeable about the impact of the defeat of 912 – on your county and on the counties of family members and friends.  The list is extensive and includes both useful transportation projects and absolutely necessary projects similar to those that might have saved the levees breaking in Louisiana:

·         Washington Defense has a list of the 274 transportation projects that would be impacted by the passage of 912, listed by county

·         The Association of Washington Cities has a county-clickable map with the same information.  They also have put up the parts of that Transportation bill that deal with accountability.  It is substantial and reassuring.

·         The state Dept. of Transportation has a slightly clunkier version of the above.  

2)       Get involved in the emerging campaign to defeat 912:

·         Talk to friends, family and neighbors, especially those in the redder counties about the very read need to defeat this initiative

·         Write letters to the editor and add you support to blog writers by commenting on our supportive posts

·         Volunteer with Washington Defense and/or contribute money to them.  This is a grassroots organization that has sprung up in the absence of any organized business, Democratic Party or community group.  If “Get Washington Rolling”, the business organization that formed to defeat 912 ever begins to take action, Washington Defense will happily join in with them.

3)       Put pressure on State leaders – Democrats, Republicans, and business and community leaders to come out against 912:

·         Write Paul Barendt, Chair of the state Democratic Party.  The Party has come out with a letter opposing I-330, another ill-conceived initiative regarding medical malpractice suits.  They can take action on this far more important issue.

·         Write Governor Gregoire and your legislators.  Gregoire worked very hard to put together the agreement for that Transportation bill and she has come out publicly against 912 but she needs to pick up the pace of opposition.  All our government officials need to step up to lead on this issue, as citizens, understanding they are not allowed to as government officials.

·         Talk to your local business and community leaders and ask them to speak out

·         Put pressure on Dino Rossi to weigh in against 912, as Goldy suggests.  Rossi has not done so which puts him on the side of the folks who wish government to fail.

I want to end with a quote from Seattle PI columnist Robert Jamison about the destructive nature of initiatives such as 912:

The Spirit of Eyman wears down the infrastructure of society.

We do need seismically sound roads and bridges and reliable communication networks. We do need properly equipped fire and police personnel as well as adequately funded cities and small towns.

The importance of these services becomes even more painfully evident during an epochal crisis.

Anti-tax types don't like this kind of talk.

Katrina ought to shake common sense into people who buy into the mindset that less government is more. They'll get their less government, all right -- just when they need it the most.

For New Orleans, the wake-up call was last month's big hurricane. 

For Seattle, it will be the catastrophic earthquake that seismologists say is coming.

Posted by Lynn Allen on September 17, 2005 at 11:16 AM in Ballot Initiatives | Permalink

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