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For Seahawks and workers, 12 is a magic number

Commentary | January 28, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

12… 12… 12. It seems that everywhere we look, we see 12s. Windows, doors, cars, shirts, socks … 12, 12, 12. Which is as it should be, leading up to the second Super Bowl in a row for the Seahawks. So 12 is key to paving the way to the Super Bowl. It is also a key to decent pay in our state. In Olympia there is a movement for 12 as well, but it won't end on Sunday. It is a movement to establish $12 an hour as our statewide minimum wage.

Does the state legislature work for you or the 1%?

Commentary | January 16, 2015 | By John Burbank | Sky Valley Chronicle

The economy is doing well. But the reality of current state financing is that we just don’t have the money to pay for high quality education and good and appropriate public goods and services. If the economy is doing so well, where is that money?

Follow the money and fix the state budget

Commentary | January 14, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Now that the Washington Legislature is back at work, they need to confront a fundamental reality of current state financing: We just don't have the money to pay for high quality education and good and appropriate public goods and services. Yet the economy is doing well - so where is that money?

A higher statewide minimum wage means workers will earn more

Commentary | January 7, 2015 | By John Burbank | Real Change News

The stock market is going great guns. But let’s be clear about this money: it is the automatic effect of wealth creating more wealth. If you have money, you make money, creating more wealth, more privilege and more power. So what is the good news, if it isn’t the stock market? How about the 15 cent increase to our state’s minimum wage?

The stock market is doing great

Commentary | January 2, 2015 | By John Burbank | Sky Valley Chronicle

The stock market is going great guns! That’s supposed to be the good news for the new year. It is indeed for a very small slice of people, but not really for the rest of us. So what is the good news for 2015, if it isn’t the stock market? How about the 15 cent increase in our state’s minimum wage?

15-cent boost to minimum wage means a lot to workers, economy

Commentary | December 31, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

What is the good news for tomorrow? How about the 15-cent increase in our state's minimum wage? January's increase of 1.59 percent will directly benefit about 176,000 workers in our state. People you know will see a wage increase — your neighbor, your teenage kid, and the person who serves you coffee and donuts.

Dissecting the governor’s budget proposal

Commentary | December 23, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

Governor Inslee’s first draft budget devotes new resources to education and transportation, takes small steps at modernizing our outmoded and regressive tax structure, and takes a swipe at climate change. The draft budget is a good start, with a vision for a better future. But it doesn’t move us far enough toward providing all our state’s children and families with true opportunity.

If we can afford tax breaks for Boeing we can afford I-1351

Commentary | December 17, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

When Boeing wanted a new $8.7 billion tax exemption last year, the Legislature went into special session just to give it to them. That took one day. But these same legislators can't find it in their hearts to fund Initiative 1351, which will reduce class sizes in public schools. Indeed, there is a multitude of ways to figure out how to fund Initiative 1351.

Hope, peace, joy, love: Ingredients for a humane society

Commentary | December 5, 2014 | By John Burbank | Sky Valley Chronicle

Thanksgiving is in our wake, and Christmas is upon us, with a vengeance of catalogues, push e-mails, to-do lists and gifts to buy. It is American consumerism at its apex. We want a holiday season with hope, peace, joy, and love? Let’s try building a society upon those same values.

We would do well to live by Advent’s four ethics

Commentary | December 4, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

I know the advent not because I am a Christian, which I am not, but because my mother laid out the advent wreath and candles at Sunday dinner, and each Sunday we lit first one, then two, then three, and then four Advent candles, and then the center one for Christmas. These candles may shine a light on the humanistic values of the season, as opposed to the best shopping deals at Target.

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