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Workers have earned a better wage, paid sick leave

Commentary | September 23, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The campaign for president is getting most of the media attention this year, but we have other important decisions to make as voters this November: about giving workers, especially low wage workers, respect, dignity and a fair chance.

Closing our stubborn gender wage gap begins and ends with us

Commentary | September 8, 2016 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

The 2016 elections could go down in history as one of the watershed moments in American history. We could keep up the public agitation and elect a President, Congress, and state legislators who will pass equal pay and paid family leave, fund quality childcare and preschool, end mass incarceration, reform our immigration system, and rebuild our national infrastructure. Or we could let fear and division prevail. It’s really up to us.

Burbank: Anthem’s words add depth to football player’s protest

Commentary | September 7, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

As fans, we all stand up for the national anthem. Is that the right thing to do? We can join Kaepernick, if we think this is an effective (or ineffective) protest against injustice in our country, and if we agree (or disagree) with Kaepernick. We could also reframe the question: Why should we stand up for our national anthem, in which the words themselves embrace slavery?

Better wages would fill in gaps in economy’s growth

Commentary | August 25, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

This is the tale of at least two cities: one humming with Amazonian energy and money, another with many people completely left out.

Top two primary often leaves out one party or the other

Commentary | August 11, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

We have created a monopolistic farce out of this election, rather than a real choice among candidates of different parties. Needless to say, this leaves a lot of voters disenfranchised. So what's the solution?

You hold a lot of local power with a pen and ballot

Commentary | July 28, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The franchise to vote is open to all citizens who have registered to vote. Use it. Our democracy depends on your vote, not just for the big decisions, like president, but for the little ones that affect your everyday quality of life, like fire levies, state legislators, and local judges.

I-1464’s would put campaign cash in voters’ hands

Commentary | July 14, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

There is an intimate connection between campaign contributions, lobbying and legislators’ decisions on bills to support and to oppose. But our elected legislators are not supposed to publicly acknowledge these connections. Is there a solution to this not-so-subtle corruption of public decision making? Yes!

Democracy, equality a work in progress for our country

Commentary | July 7, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

These days, the Fourth of July seems mostly to be about barbecues, beer and fireworks – all for the celebration of freedom. That’s the popular narrative for the birth of our country. But the truth is, the United States had many parents.

Lack of choice in state races discouraging

Commentary | June 15, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

We should be bracing ourselves for highly visible and well argued elections throughout our state. But as is turns out, in two-fifths of all these elections, either the Republican party or the Democratic party has failed to field candidates.

Raising wages statewide is a job for We The People

Commentary | June 10, 2016 | South Seattle Emerald

Growing economic inequality compounds racial and gender inequities and deepens divisions in our society and democracy. We all lose – with less innovation, economic vibrancy, and cultural richness – when so many are denied the opportunity to reach their full potential and pursue their dreams. It doesn’t have to be this way.

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