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The Clash Of Views On Government

Commentary | April 16, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

We expect a lot from our government – protection from bad actors and natural disasters, high quality education and infrastructure, far-sighted leadership that still represents us. But we also want to be able to do as we please and pay as little as possible in taxes.

Democracy: An on-Going Process That Requires Us All to Participate

Commentary | April 13, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | Rainer Valley Post

Recent headlines highlight what conflicting attitudes we Americans tend to hold about government. The still-unfolding tragedy in Oso, the debates over school and transportation funding, and the Supreme Court ruling on campaign contributions all underscore just what a messy process democracy is.

Time for opponents to support ACA

Commentary | April 9, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The promise of the Affordable Care Act has been a long time coming — but it’s finally here. Now that the initial health coverage sign-up period has ended, it’s a good time to take stock of actual impacts.

Getting Educated on Education

Commentary | March 21, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

As divided as Americans seem to be about the role of government, we’re pretty united around the notion that quality public education should be accessible to all. Businesses and our economy can’t operate without an educated workforce – and educated customers. Democracy itself depends on citizens who can reason and understand the issues they vote on.

A Pragmatic Approach to a Fair Minimum Wage

Commentary | March 17, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | Rainer Valley Post

People who toil away at jobs we all depend on shouldn’t live in poverty. But would a $15 minimum wage work in Seattle? Here’s a look past the rhetoric at what the research shows.

We simply need to lower tuition

Commentary | March 12, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

There is a new study out that shows that low income students who get free tuition are more likely to go to college. That piece of common sense stood up to the investigation of six academic researchers. They could have just asked their neighbors.

It’s Time: A 3-Step Path to Funding the Education We SHOULD Have

Commentary | February 23, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | Rainer Valley Post

As divided as Americans seem to be about the role of government, we’re pretty united around the notion that quality public education should be accessible to all. Businesses and our economy can’t operate without an educated workforce – and educated customers. Democracy itself depends on citizens who can reason and understand the issues they vote on.

Wage should approach value of labor

Commentary | January 29, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Last week Snohomish County state representatives Mike Sells and June Robinson, D-Everett, Cindy Ryu, D-Shoreline, Derek Stanford and Luis Moscoso, D-Shoreline, and Mary Helen Roberts, D-Edmonds, joined Jesslyn Farrell, D-Seattle, in proposing to increase our state’s minimum wage to $10 in 2015, $11 in 2016, and $12 in 2017. It is about time. Our minimum wage has steadily fallen away from its high point in 1968. That was 35 years ago. And yet, worker productivity has almost doubled since then.

Can we all benefit from the economy?

Commentary | January 15, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The slow recovery from the great recession has heightened stark inequality in Puget Sound. Corporate profits and the stock market are soaring (think Boeing) but wages are stagnant, workers have lost their company pensions (think Boeing) and job growth is still lagging. Even with the 777X, think of Boeing again — they pushed 1,500 engineering jobs out of our state last year. The middle class is besieged.

Seattle: A Tale of Two Cities

Commentary | January 11, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | Rainer Valley Post

The stark inequality in our nation is on display here in Seattle – high-end restaurants and food banks, shops full of pricey designer gear and homeless folks. A few enjoy prosperity and seemingly boundless opportunity, while in nearby neighborhoods people struggle for the basics.

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