Economic Justice

In This Section


Tax Reform: Currently, the wealthiest 1% of Washington residents pay less than 3% of their income in state taxes, while the poorest 20% pay 17% of their incomes in state taxes. We support progressive taxation, including closing corporate loopholes and implementing a state income tax so that high income earners pay their fair share.

Financial Reform: Bonuses to executives at the nation’s 6 largest banks totaled $140 billion in 2009, a sum equivalent to the total of all state budget deficits combined. These same institutions caused our economic collapse through risky, profit-seeking investments. We must create strict rules for financial institutions so they start to work for Main Street, not Wall Street.

Jobs: No one who works a full-time should live in poverty. While billionaire CEOs are making record profits, everyday workers are struggling to get by. We believe that every worker, regardless of what they do should earn a living wage with full benefits. We need our lawmakers to stand with working families to ensure job quality for all workers, not just the 1%. 

Current Work:

Washington CAN! is currently fighting to hold big banks accountable. Wall Street got bailed out when the recession started and now the big banks are recording record profits; while our communities and families are struggling. Since January 2013 we have been leading the fight to reduce foreclosure rates in Seattle, which have devastated communities of color since the beginning of the housing crisis.

Washington CAN! has also been working around closing corporate tax loopholes and making corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share. We are part of a national coalition working on these issues, called The New Bottom LineWe’ll be continuing our narrative of closing corporate tax loopholes and making everyone pay their fair share on the state level during the legislative session in Olympia. 

Past Successes:

• Worked with progressive organizations, labor unions and Occupy groups to Occupy the Capitol during the Special Session. Events took place each day the first week of the Special Session advancing the demands of the 99%. Washington CAN! mobilized for the second day of the session which focused around people’s stories. Take a look at photos/stories from the day!

• Released Facing Race: How Budget Cuts Are Increasing Racial Disparities; a report which documents how the 2011-2013 biennial budget cuts disproportionately impact communities of color and increase racial disparities.

• Organized a week of action in Olympia that urged our lawmakers to close corporate tax loopholes. Actions included a 5-day, 50-mile march to fight against budget cuts to programs for low and moderate-income people, immigrants and people of color, and culminated in a 12,000 person rally at the Capitol

• Released The Color of Cuts, highlighting the impact of the proposed budget cuts on communities of color

• Organized and mobilized our members to advocate for HB 2078 (which would fund k-3 class size reductions by ending a tax preference for banks)

• Launched the Take Back Washington Pledge to get people’s money out of big banks

• Educated our membership about the tax benefits big banks and large corporations receive


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