Archives: Washington Policy Watch

How a Children’s Book is Fighting the Gender Pay Gap

Sabrina portrait

Melanie Mazza | April 10, 2018

When Emily Kim graduated from law school in 2011, the job market was bleak. She was thrilled when she landed her first position and she took the salary offered, fearing that negotiation might cost her the job. A while later, Emily assumed a role managing the office’s budget. In comparing past years’ payroll e

Your Property Tax Hikes Are Charity for an Important Protected Minority – The Very Wealthy


Matthew Caruchet | April 5, 2018

This week, the Seattle Times published an article detailing the travails of people who are leaving the region after the recent property tax increase because taxes have become too high. King County is seeing a nearly 17 percent property-tax increase on average, with Snohomish County seeing 16 percent, Kitsap C

We Associate Racism with the South, but Washington Has It Too.


John Burbank | April 4, 2018

My sister-in-law retired from the Auburn University Library in Alabama this past Friday and we travelled there to celebrate. Despite the beautiful weather, I can tell you is was not “Sweet Home Alabama.” On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. I saw that white racism, mixed with

NAFTA should work for everyone – not just investors


Economic Opportunity Institute | April 3, 2018

In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump all recognized that workers and communities have lost trust in the NAFTA approach to globalization. They all said we should manage globalization differently. Over the last few months, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. have had seven meetings to

After Busing Ended, Seattle’s Racial Achievement Gaps Worsened


Melanie Mazza | March 30, 2018

Traveling from Rainier Beach to Ballard through the Central District and Queen Anne feels more like passing through four cities rather than through four pockets of the same one. Each neighborhood contributes to what we call Seattle, but there are stark, invisible lines demarcating one place from another. Seat

Washington Launches Marketplace to Help More Retire Securely


John Burbank | March 20, 2018

Yesterday the Washington State Department of Commerce launched the new Retirement Marketplace, allowing workers and employers to save for retirement with ease. With over 2 million employees in our state unable to save for their retirement through their employers, this marketplace can be a big help. Almost hal

Legislators Respond to Women’s Activism


Marilyn Watkins | March 14, 2018

Washington’s 2018 legislature passed a number of measures that will protect women’s health and promote economic opportunity. Most of these bills have been bandied around for several years, but the political climate of 2018 highlighted their urgency and created the momentum to finally pass them. Each of the bi

Washington Adds Enforcement Teeth to Equal Pay Law


Marilyn Watkins | March 7, 2018

Just in time for International Women’s Day on March 8, the Washington State Legislature today passed an updated Equal Pay bill which will make it easier for women to identify cases of discrimination and hold companies more accountable for them. Both houses approved it with a bipartisan supermajority: 36-12 in

It’s February 28. You can now get the flu and not miss a paycheck.


Marilyn Watkins | February 28, 2018

Washingtonians who’ve worked full time since January 1 have earned a full day of sick leave, something previously unavailable to too many residents outside of Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane. In 2016, voters approved Initiative 1433, increasing the minimum wage and setting a statewide minimum standard of one hour

The Republican Plan for Paid Family Leave: Cannibalize Social Security

social security cut

Aaron Keating | February 22, 2018

That so-called “pro-family” agenda of today’s Republican party? Not so much. Their latest idea: cannibalize Social Security to fund paid family leave, and have parents work longer into old age (or take lower benefits). It’s a backdoor attempt, both shrewd and crass, to privatize and cut Social Security — one

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