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Burbank: Choked skies a whiff of what’s to come under Trump

Commentary | August 9, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

China, drowning in smog, is now the leader in solar and wind energy innovation, copying the American playbook from 50 years ago. While Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, the rest of the world is moving towards renewable energy and buying Chinese technology to implement it. If we allow the Trump administration to lower regulations on fossil fuels, we are not only losing environmental gains — we’re also giving China a competitive edge.

Burbank: Paid leave will be a boon when workers sick, injured

Commentary | July 26, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

None of us is immune from the ups and downs of health and wellness. That’s why the new family and medical leave law includes time off to recover from a serious illness or injury, or to care for a seriously ill family member. Because unexpected changes in our home or family situations is something we all face – and isn’t something that should cause financial distress.

Burbank: Paid family leave law a victory of bipartisanship

Commentary | July 12, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Just as Washington’s 1989 bill became the model for federal action, this new law is already being heralded as a template for legislation in other states and nationally.

Our successes were built on contributions of others

Commentary | June 28, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

You can’t get rich if you’re in bankruptcy from cancer treatments. You can’t succeed in business if your employees and customers can’t reach you. You can’t be a great employee – or come up with the next big business idea – if you don’t get a shot at a great education.

Refusal to re-balance taxes hinders schoolkids

Commentary | June 15, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

In the long run, the only realistic way we’re going to ensure educational opportunity is really a right for all children in Washington — and not a privilege for the lucky few — is with broad-based progressive tax reform that reduces taxes on low- and middle-income families, and increases them on the rich.

From start, kids should be learning two languages

Commentary | May 31, 2017 | Everett Herald

The clock is winding down on a second special session in Olympia, and legislators haven’t yet made serious progress on their paramount duty to amply fund K-12 education, despite an order from the state Supreme Court to do so. Meanwhile, newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal isn’t waiting around.

Lack of state income tax helps rich at kids’ expense

Commentary | May 17, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Seattle’s proposed income tax ordinance would mean new revenue for housing, education and other community needs. And it would help fix our upside-down tax code, where low-income workers pay a rate seven times higher than the richest households.

Just planting a tree can do a world of good

Commentary | May 3, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

It may seem counter-intuitive that we should focus on trees, when we live in the Northwest, surrounded by mountains and forests. But when you consider urban and suburban growth, trees have been losing out. Our forests are now on their third growth cycle, with smaller and less healthy trees. The giants are gone. So one way to take back a little of our natural heritage is to plant a tree.

Tax the rich? Seattle income tax lets the richest off the hook

Commentary | April 29, 2017 | Seattle Times

We have to start somewhere, said John Burbank, director of the Economic Opportunity Institute in Seattle, who is spearheading the plan. “Think of this as opening up a pathway to progressive taxation that could eventually include all those billionaires, the uber super-wealthy,” Burbank said.

Sound Transit 3 car tab rollback threatens light rail to Everett

Commentary | April 19, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

We all knew that our car tabs would increase a lot in 2017 to help fund Sound Transit. So when the first invoices arrived, the vast majority of people just paid their tabs. But a vocal minority, with big tabs from expensive cars, took their displeasure to Olympia, hoping that the Legislature would listen to their stories and disregard the will of the people. Now we have a bipartisan attack on Sound Transit, with both Republicans and Democrats offering proposals for defunding.

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