Hello fellow Democrats! Tina is on spring break with her family this week, so you’re getting the Friday email from a new person today! My name is Alex Bond, and I’m the new communications director for the Washington State Democratic Party. I’m a lifelong Washingtonian who’s been working to elect Democrats in this state for many years now - I’ve probably met many of you at some point or another, and I’m excited to electronically-meet the rest of you!
Like many of you, right now I’m watching the last two weeks of the legislative session with a ton of interest. Last week Tina wrote to you about the major police accountability bills that were passed. This week, I’m excited to see our progress on tax reform and what happens next with the capital gains tax proposal. We know that Washington has the most upside-down tax code of any state in the nation, where the rich can avoid contributing their fair share to the vital services we all count on like health care, schools, affordable housing, and more. Taking action on the capital gains tax is long overdue.
We should all be glad to see that the Working Families Tax Credit is moving forward in the legislature, with HB 1297 now having passed both the House and the Senate. This bill would provide direct cash assistance to lower-income families to help folks pay their bills or cover emergency expenses. Passing this bill, sponsored by Rep. My-Linh Thai (LD 41), would be a big step forward for a fairer tax code.
These kinds of direct cash benefits - which poverty experts say are some of the most effective ways to help folks in need or on the edge - are also a big part of the American Rescue Plan at the federal level. Beyond the direct stimulus checks, our own Senator Patty Murray helped get into the bill the new Child Tax Credit, which will get money directly to families with children. The New York Times did a great story about Senator Murray’s work on the issue - I encourage you to check it out.
Balancing our upside-down tax code is a key part of this year’s advocacy agenda from our state committee, and it’s good to see legislators taking the issue seriously. It’s looking like 2021 is going to be a historic year for a fairer tax code in Washington state and across the country. These needed changes will lend a helping hand to working families that have been struggling for a long time, strengthen the public goods and institutions we will depend on even more as we recover from the pandemic, and allow our elected officials to enact good policy with a focus on the country’s long-term best interest.
WA Dems Communications Director
Something to do: We’re working with the DNC to collect stories from Washingtonians about how the American Rescue Plan stimulus package has affected your life! Whether it’s being able to get vaccinated, a stimulus check helping you pay your bills, or other things like helping to keep a small business afloat or your school district being able to do a better job for students, we want to hear about it!
What we’re asking for - a short film that you can record on your phone, or have someone hold the camera for you, and film from the waist up, with the picture vertically aligned “selfie-style.” Record between about 30 seconds to a minute, and try to film in a well-lit area and with a neutral background.
Your script could be something like, “I’m Barbara from Tacoma, Washington, and I’d like to thank Joe Biden and our members of Congress for passing the American Rescue Plan. This bill has helped me and my family by… [add your story here]”
You can submit the videos here. Thank you for your help!
Something to read: As we work to build the Democratic party’s strength in rural areas, it’s important that we make sure rural voters know what Democrats are delivering for them. The American Rescue Plan passed by Democrats in Congress has huge benefits for rural areas, andthis article from The Daily Yonder includes a great deep dive into how the ARP will combat child poverty in rural America. We’re asking all of our rural Democratic party organizations to please share this article on social media with your friends, neighbors, and constituents. Make sure to remind them that Republicans Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse, and Jaime Herrera Beutler all voted against this massive boost for poor rural families… despite representing most of the rural areas in our state!
Thanks for reading, and thanks for all your help and support! This is a big year for Democrats, and we appreciate all you are doing to help support our progressive causes and candidates.