2021 will be remembered as a painful year, but also a year of remarkable and lasting change. This is due in great part to your advocacy - every letter to a legislator, sign-in at a hearing, and heartfelt testimony contributed to meaningful reforms that will tip the scales towards justice in the years to come.
Here are a few exciting wins from this legislative session:
Washington will fully fund the Working Families Tax Credit.
After 13 years of organizing, our lawmakers have finally funded the Working Families Tax Credit (Recovery Rebate), which will put much-needed cash back in our pockets. Direct cash assistance will help working people make it through the hardships we are facing this year and beyond. This historic win will especially benefit our communities of color, including undocumented immigrants.
Watch our thank you video:
Our legislators passed a capital gains tax.
Lawmakers passed a tax on large profits from trading stocks and bonds, which will make sure that the wealthy few are also paying their share to invest in our communities, childcare, and early education systems. For too long, the top 0.3% of earners in our state have gotten away with paying less of their income in taxes than the rest of us. As the wealthy few who would pay this tax are disproportionately white, this tax is a huge step towards racial equity in our tax code.
Gov. Inslee will sign both the capital gains tax and the Working Families Tax Credit into law TODAY - tune in to the signing ceremony at 2:15pm, featuring art and stories from our advocates:
Watch The Bill Signing
The COVID-19 immigrant relief fund will bring aid to our undocumented neighbors.
Our legislature approved an additional $340 million to a relief fund for Washingtonians who did not receive federal stimulus checks because of their immigration statuses. This makes our state's fund the second largest in the country! This is a necessary step to make sure our recovery includes everyone, especially our essential workers and families who are undocumented.
Our state passed several bills to increase police accountability.
Washington has banned the use of some aggressive policing tactics that have harmed our communities, and created a new standard for use of force and de-escalation. While not revenue-related, these are good steps towards safety for our Black and brown neighbors. Just as important as where our states’ money comes from is where that money is invested - we hope that Washington will next start investing in our communities rather than funding police.
And finally, Washington invested in environmental justice.
The Clean Fuel Standard and the Climate Commitment Act will help our state keep our air and climate healthy for generations to come. We know that health problems from pollution and the harm from climate change falls disproportionately on people of color. These changes will bring new opportunities for jobs in clean energy and lead our state towards our goals of environmental justice.
As we wrap up a truly historic year, we recognize that we still have a long way to go. Until we achieve true economic justice for our BIPOC communities, we will keep fighting on! Thank you for all your advocacy this year in the midst of hard times - these wins belong to you.