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Rather than being a job killer, a minimum wage boost increases them

Commentary | March 22, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

It should be no surprise that increases in the minimum wage result in job increases. It is a matter of actual human behavior in the private market, not an imaginary economic model.

Democracy is a participatory process

Commentary | March 16, 2017 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

Washington’s Legislature is more than halfway through its 2017 session and a lot of good bills have gone to the chopping block. The issues that have made it this far in the process are still alive because individuals and organizations spoke up, identified real life problems, and urged legislators to make the system more fair for people like them.

In praise of Nordic skiing and immigrants who brought it here

Commentary | March 8, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Immigrants planted the seeds for cross-country skiing in the Northwest. They included Norwegians, Swedes and Finns, who came over to our country with the same hopes and dreams of today’s immigrants, and, just as more recent immigrants do now, added their cultures, their knowledge and their work to our American democracy.

Coalition wants to ‘Trump-proof’ Seattle with income tax

News Coverage | February 28, 2017 | Seattle Times

The Transit Riders Union, Economic Opportunity Institute and other local organizations are launching a campaign called “Trump Proof Seattle” to start a city income tax on wealthy households.

Tax breaks for Boeing have helped send jobs out of state

Commentary | February 22, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Are there ways to stop the hemorrhaging of Boeing jobs from our state? Last year, state Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett, proposed a simple equation: Boeing, if you want your tax break, you keep jobs in Washington; if you reduce employment by 5,000 jobs or more, you lose your tax break and that money goes into education funding.

In taking D.C. post, state senator isn’t doing either job justice

Commentary | February 8, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

If you’re a public official, it’s all the more important to keep a bright line between your personal interests, and the interests of those you’re elected to serve. Unfortunately, there’s a real-life example of what happens when that line fades right here in Washington.

Paid family leave does right thing for working families

Commentary | January 25, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

It’s not too early to say that the first few moves from the new Trump administration don’t bode well: In just a week, Trump has already issued executive orders that threaten working families, from taking the first steps toward unravelling affordable health care to cancelling a reduction of mortgage rates for first-time homebuyers. I can only hope that these are just the opening moves, and that working families will ultimately win the game. But we can’t sit back and watch, hoping. Because that sort of passivity invites despair. What we can do is uphold our promises to working families in our own neck of the woods.

Washington lawmakers introduce most progressive paid family leave bill in the country

News Coverage | January 23, 2017 | Think Progress

Marilyn Watkins, policy director of the Economic Opportunity Institute and an advocate who has long been involved in pushing for paid leave in the state, noted that just days after the Democrats’ bill was introduced, a second one sponsored mostly by Republicans was introduced that would provide mostly universal family leave. “This is an issue that has some real legs this year,” she said.

Podcast: Paid Parental Leave – Panel Discussion

News Coverage | January 14, 2017 | Seattle Public Library

Listen to a panel discussion and learn about the paid family leave policy that will be considered by state legislators in 2017. Panel guests include Marilyn Watkins of the Economic Opportunity Institute; Rich Fox, President of the Seattle Restaurant Alliance; and Danielle Hulton Co-Owner of Ada's Technical Bookstore and Cafe.

Repeal of Obamacare will affect more than you might think

Commentary | January 11, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The thing about the Affordable Care Act is that if you pull one string, the whole blanket will fall apart….and there goes health coverage for millions. Should you be afraid of what the Republican Congress and Senate and Trump are planning to do? No matter who you are, you should be.

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