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Beginning this year, new paid sick and safe leave law goes into effect

Commentary | January 10, 2018 | By Marilyn Watkins | Real Change

Without the protection of paid leave laws, workers in restaurants, retail and construction have been the least likely to have access to sick days, putting not only their own health at risk, but customers and coworkers as well.

Report: Wash. Families Still Struggle Under Improved Economy

News Coverage | October 26, 2016 | Public News Service

Jobs are coming back and incomes are improving across Washington state, but families still are struggling to pay for the basics, according to a new report. Study author Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute, believes voters should pass Initiative 1433 this November and raise the minimum wage for workers.

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.

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.

Study Grades WA Workplace Accommodations for Expectant Parents

News Coverage | August 31, 2016 | Public News Service

The Evergreen State has room for improvement when it comes to protecting working families, according to a new report. The National Partnership for Women and Families gave Washington a "B-minus" grade in a recent study assessing states’ workplace policies to protect expectant and new parents - including paid family leave and workplace accommodations for pregnant women.

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.

Creating equity for minimum wage workers

Commentary | April 20, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

What is the value of work? Is it what you get paid? Economists trained to embrace the private market simply equate the value of your work with your wage. It's simple, easy to understand…and wrong.

Work to create future of better wages, benefits

Commentary | December 31, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Is the future something that will happen to us? No, because as citizens in a democracy, we can make choices and put forward ideas that actually shape that future. So in anticipation of 2016, here are some ideas about how we as a people can shape our own future.

How to truly commemorate Women’s Equality Day

Commentary | August 25, 2015 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

Winning the right to vote was a landmark achievement, but it was never the only goal of women activists and their male allies. And we aren’t going to get the rest of the way to equality by politely waiting around for a convenient time when it won’t interfere with corporate profits or the priorities of male leaders.

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