Economic Justice Working Group

Connecting with FAN’s Economic Justice Working Group

To enable our communities to thrive, FAN’s Economic Justice Working Group advocates allocating programs and taxes more equitably across low-income and high-income households and diverse racial and ethnic groups.

Please join the Working Group by sending an email to economicjustice@fanwa.org with your name, address, best phone number, and home address to figure out your legislative district. Be sure to also sign up for FAN emails so you can stay up-to-date on E-alerts, and FAN can link you to the Economic Justice group in our database. You will receive periodic emails about education and advocacy events. If you have questions about the working group, email the group’s co-leaders, Jane Sisk or Steve Clagett. The Working Group partners with a multi-organization coalition, Balance Our Tax Code, to improve our tax code and provide revenue for important programs, such as education and mental health.

Early Impact and Success: The Economic Justice Working Group formed in 2016 and immediately began gathering signatures to put Initiative 1433, requiring a $13.50 minimum wage state-wide, on the November ballot. The Group’s efforts allowed FAN to submit over 9,000 signatures, more than any other non-labor organization in the state. The measure made the ballot, passed, and boosted low-income wages across the state, with additional increases annually through its inflation adjuster.

How Bad is Washington State’s Economic Injustice?

Washington State has the most upside-down state and local tax system in the country, with low- and middle-income families paying a much greater share of their income than the highest-income families: in Washington, the poorest families pay six times the rate of the richest families, the greatest imbalance across the country. See this Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy ranking for more.

Can We Raise Revenue Without Increasing The Poor’s Tax Burden?

Absolutely! As this excerpt from Governor Inslee’s proposal for the 2017-2019 budget shows, Washington’s overall tax burden is declining over time and is declining relative to the national average for all states, despite Washington having one of the greatest business growth rates in the country.

We can and should reduce the tax burden on lower-income families using measures such as closing our capital gains loophole. Washington is one of only eight states that do not tax capital gains, a tax that falls primarily on the wealthy. The top 1% of Washingtonians would pay more than 90% of capital gains tax revenues. See this information and argument for adding a capital gains tax. Other proposals create tax exemptions and rebates for poorer households, and close tax exemptions for corporations.

Get active with us. Learn how we can make a difference together. Attend town hall meetings and legislative hearings, and write and email your legislators and local newspapers.
See our Advocacy Toolkit for more on how to begin.

Together, we will help all to thrive, so all contribute only their fair share
and can access education and assistance that change their lives!