February 13th, 2007
Five Years: Statement from the Founder
Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense proudly celebrates five years, or sixty months, of political activism in Washington State, fighting Tim Eyman’s senseless initiatives, working to reform the state’s tax structure, and promoting the value of public services. Launched in early February of 2002, Permanent Defense has remained in continuous operation for half a decade. It became a project of the Northwest Progressive Institute in 2003.
The last twelve months, our fifth year, presented many challenges, but was arguably our most successful ever. The following is a brief recap of our amazing accomplishments:
- Throughout the spring of 2006, we monitored right wing signature drives, allowing citizens to report on their experiences with petitioners – many of whom lied or fabricated information in order to get a signature.
- We worked with our allies at Washington Won’t Discriminate to fight Referendum 65, a right wing effort to legalize discrimination masterminded by Tim Eyman. We won a huge victory in June of 2006 – it never made the ballot, and the amended civil rights law remains in place.
- We organized and mobilized to fight Initiative 917, Tim Eyman’s attempt to repeal sorely needed transportation funding enacted in 2005 by the state Legislature. When I-917 failed a random sample check of signatures at the end July, we sent representatives to Olympia to observe the full signature check. I-917 ultimately failed to make the ballot a month later and we won another huge victory.
- We teamed with broad based coalitions to beat two other right wing initiatives that did make the ballot – Initiatives 920 (repealing education funding) and 933 (pay or waive: land use mayhem). We were victorious again in November of 2006 as both were overwhelmingly defeated.
- We renewed our efforts to urge the Legislature to enact initiative process reform in early 2007.
We also witnessed two courts issue rulings which we support – in June of 2006, Initiative 747 was ruled unconstitutional, and in December of 2006, the state Supreme Court ruled Sound Transit may continue to collect its motor vehicle excise tax so it can repay critical bonds.
We met all of our goals and responded to all the challenges laid before us in this last year – successfully. 2006 was nothing short of remarkable.
Despite our victories last year, Tim Eyman isn’t going away. We will continue our opposition to his senseless onslaughts on our government, our communities, and our quality of life. We will fight against his “Minority Rules” initiative to cripple representative democracy until it is defeated.
As we pledged last year, we will continue our work to map out a long term plan for fixing Washington’s tax structure, including the development of a property tax homestead exemption as well as alternatives to the state sales tax and the obnoxious “business & occupation tax”.
In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out numerous improvements and additions to our website, as we have in years past.
After our successes last year, we are confident we can overcome any challenges in our path and make Washington State a better place to live, work, and visit.
Thanks for your involvement during the past 365 days – here’s to another year of triumphs and successes!