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Vote for an opportunity economy

Commentary | October 22, 2016 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

You got your ballot in the mail. Now what? Vote! Our votes up and down the ballot will help shape our state and nation for decades into the future. Among the many important issues and candidates, Initiative 1433 and the Sound Transit measure allow us to directly boost economic opportunity and vitality in our communities.

Voting, and what it means to be an American

Commentary | October 21, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

When your ballot arrives later this week, take a pause and before you vote, consider, what does it mean to be an American? As Americans, we are all in this election together. We are in this country, this economy, this culture, and this government together.

Our immigrant ancestors built their lives and our nation

Commentary | October 6, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

My friend invited my wife and me to celebrate her husband’s 70th birthday. We enjoyed an evening of great food and wine, stories of the past and hopes for the future. The stories of the past were such powerful American anecdotes that we all thought that my friends should write up their family histories. But they are too busy or modest for that. So I am taking a stab.

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!

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