July 7th, 2017
Statement on the confirmed demise of Tim Eyman’s I-1550 and Kaeley Haver’s I-1552
This afternoon, backers of a discriminatory initiative that sought to roll back transgender rights in Washington canceled their 3 PM appointment to turn in signatures to the Secretary of State at the last second, joining disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman in admitting defeat. The demise of their measure (I-1552) and Eyman’s I-1550 — which sought to eviscerate property tax revenue that funds essential public services — means there will be no right wing initiatives on Washington’s ballot for the second year in a row.
Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve, who founded NPI’s Permanent Defense project in February of 2002 to provide a year-round first line of defense against threats like I-1550 and I-1552, made the following statement after the demise of both initiatives was confirmed.
“Washingtonians have so much to celebrate today and to be grateful for. For the second consecutive year, we will all get to enjoy a November general election ballot free of destructive right wing initiatives that threaten our quality of life and our civil liberties. This is the future for our great state that I envisioned when I founded Permanent Defense more than fifteen years ago. It is the future that our team at the Northwest Progressive Institute has been working tirelessly to realize. And it’s here.”
“The philosophy underpinning Permanent Defense works: through persistent, year-round imaginative advocacy, we can better protect Washington from attempts to sabotage our Constitution, our commons, and our cherished freedoms.”
“I want to thank Seth Kirby and all of our friends at Washington Won’t Discriminate for their efforts to build a strong opposition campaign during the I-1552 signature drive. The key to defeating initiatives like I-1552 is to get an early start.”
“When we rise up together and unify around our finest traditional values, we make it a lot harder for the opposition to succeed in advancing their agenda. It was truly heartening to see all of the ‘No on 1552’ signs during Pride weekend last month. People understood the danger that I-1552 represented, and they were working to educate their fellow citizens about that danger. That made a difference.”
“I also want to thank King County Assessor John Arthur Wilson. John headlined Permanent Defense’s Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration in Kent back in February, and spoke to the immense devastation I-1550 would cause were it to be implemented. While Tim Eyman ended up not being able to convince his wealthy benefactors to underwrite a signature drive, we knew we had to be prepared for that scenario. We deeply appreciate John’s leadership in helping to analyze I-1550’s destructive impact and identify how to explain that destructive impact in simple language that everyone can understand.”
“Lastly, I want to thank NPI’s hardworking board and staff: Rick Hegdahl, Diane Jones, Garrett Havens, Gael Tarleton, Ralph Gorin, Robert Cruickshank, Essie Hicks, Mario Brown, Rennie Sawade, Dominic Barrera, Greg Evans, Christian Cahua, Kaylinne Shaffer, Alonso Conrad, and Sanjay Satish. They and our alumni have been instrumental in helping me develop NPI into a more effective organization that raises up our region.”
“We have successfully defended our state against right wing initiatives for two years in a row, but there’s more work to do. As progressives, we believe in going on offense and staying on offense. We don’t accept the status quo. Action is needed on priorities like revenue reform and police accountability. We will do our part to ensure those priorities are addressed, not further neglected.”