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Fact-checking Olympia’s Initiative 1 proposal to fund tuition through an income tax

News Coverage | October 31, 2016 | The Olympian

Supporters and opponents of an unprecedented income tax initiative in Olympia are working hard to spread their message to voters ahead of the Nov. 8 general election. But are both campaigns sticking to the facts?

Report: Wash. Families Still Struggle Under Improved Economy

News Coverage | October 26, 2016 | Public News Service

Jobs are coming back and incomes are improving across Washington state, but families still are struggling to pay for the basics, according to a new report. Study author Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute, believes voters should pass Initiative 1433 this November and raise the minimum wage for workers.

Wealthy King County donors bankroll Olympia ballot proposal

News Coverage | October 17, 2016 | The Olympian

Initiative 1 calls for creating a public college tuition fund that would be funded by a 1.5 percent tax on all household income within Olympia city limits that exceeds $200,000 a year. The Economic Opportunity Institute of Seattle drew up the blueprint for Initiative 1 and has been a driving force behind the initiative.

Report: At Current Rate, Women Won’t Close Pay Gap Until 2059

News Coverage | September 27, 2016 | Public News Service

If the gender pay gap continues to close at its current rate, women will reach pay equity with men in 2059, according to a new report from the American Association of University Women. Called The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, the report finds full-time working women are slowly closing the disparity, making about 80 percent nationally of what their male counterparts make. Marilyn Watkins, policy director at the Economic Opportunity Institute, said the issue isn't just that women are paid less for the same job title. Often, as in the technology field, they are shuffled into lower-paying positions.

Study Grades WA Workplace Accommodations for Expectant Parents

News Coverage | August 31, 2016 | Public News Service

The Evergreen State has room for improvement when it comes to protecting working families, according to a new report. The National Partnership for Women and Families gave Washington a "B-minus" grade in a recent study assessing states’ workplace policies to protect expectant and new parents - including paid family leave and workplace accommodations for pregnant women.

Petition calls for taxing Olympia’s wealthiest households to create college fund

News Coverage | April 15, 2016 | The Olympian

A new proposal calls for creating a 1.5% tax on household income in excess of $200,000 in Olympia, WA. If it passes, every public high school graduate and GED recipient living inside city boundaries would be eligible for money to pay for the first year of tuition at any community college, or an equivalent amount can be applied to tuition at any public university in Washington.

Tech leaders support move to let workers openly discuss their pay, in push for gender equity

News Coverage | March 1, 2016 | Geekwire

“This bill doesn’t say bosses must share everyone’s pay with everyone else, it’s just giving women the opportunity to ask if they are being paid less,” Rachel Senn said. “When I grow up, I don’t want to live in a world where women are paid less, and I really don’t want to live in a world where women don’t know if they are paid less, and they can get fired for exercising their first-amendment right of free speech.”

Tech leaders support move to let workers openly discuss their pay, in push for gender equity

News Coverage | February 28, 2016 | Geekwire

Changes in a bill to ensure equitable pay actually happens are contested, as Legal Voice and the Economic Opportunity Institute, both advocacy organizations with interests in pay-inequity matters, say the revised version does too much to negate it.

Report: Job Growth Slow, Steady, but Not Stable Enough

News Coverage | December 16, 2015 | Public News Service

Jobs for college-educated workers are growing at a faster pace than for those without higher education, a trend also evident in the Seattle area. But nationally, nearly one-third of all workers now are in temporary, part-time or freelance jobs. Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute, said that's a real concern.

Zillow expands its family leave policy

News Coverage | November 12, 2015 | KIRO TV

It seems like every week, there’s a new tech company expanding its family leave policies. Zillow is the latest. Last week, it was Amazon.
Before that it was Microsoft and Netflix. Marilyn Watkins from the Economic Opportunity Institute hopes this rash of tech companies expanding family leave benefits will catch on with lawmakers.

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