Category Archives: Announcements

NPI congratulates Sound Transit on East Link tunnel breakthrough in downtown Bellevue

AnnouncementsStatements & Advisories

Construction on Sound Transit’s vitally important East Link light rail extension reached an important milestone this week when contractors digging a tunnel under downtown Bellevue broke through to daylight at the future site of the station that will serve the city’s central core. The hole-through was expected to take place at the end of 2018, but construction has gone so well that it happened five months ahead of schedule.

Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve congratulated Sound Transit on the breakthrough, noting that expansion of the region’s light rail spine is crucial to the realization of a future that will enable Puget Sound residents to enjoy greater freedom of mobility.

“As a future East Link rider, I’m thrilled to see the progress that Sound Transit and its contracting teams have made on this vitally important project,” Villeneuve said.

“Light rail will revolutionize not only cross-lake travel between Seattle and the Eastside, but also commutes and trips between Eastside neighborhoods. It’s truly reassuring to see girders and columns rising up along each part of the alignment, from Judkins Park to Mercer Island to Bellevue to Redmond, NPI’s hometown.”

East Link (which was approved in 2008 as part of Sound Transit 2) may be on track and headed for completion, but other communities are at risk of losing the voter-approved Link expansion they voted for, Villeneuve warned.

“Two years ago, our region decided to invest in transit options that we know will give people an alternative to sitting in traffic. We voted to expand light rail in four directions as well as add more express bus, commuter rail, and bus rapid transit service,” Villeneuve said. “Sadly, Tim Eyman and other Sound Transit 3 opponents do not respect the will of the voters and are seeking not only to sabotage Sound Transit 3, but to wipe out funding for Amtrak Cascades plus local roads, sidewalks, and bus service with Initiative 976.”

“At NPI, we are mobilizing to fight this threat to our transit investments. Implementation of I-976 would cause catastrophic damage to every part of Washington State — from Spokane to Kelso and Battle Ground to Prosser,” Villeneuve said.

“Every Washingtonian would lose under this initiative, whether they live in a rural community, a suburban neighborhood, or the big city. That’s why the team at the Northwest Progressive Institute is accelerating our work to unite Washingtonians in support of Amtrak Cascades, Sound Transit 3, and essential local projects, so that we get the transportation improvements that we sorely need.”

In the past, initiatives similar to I-976 have benefited from a lack of vigorous, year-round opposition. But those days ended with the establishment of Permanent Defense.

“An inclusive economy requires an inclusive, multimodal transportation system that gives people choices. Thanks to great work by our elected representatives and sound decisions we’ve made at the ballot as a people, we are moving away from an auto-centric transportation system and towards a human-centric one,” Villeneuve said.

“But communities that are anxiously awaiting vital transit and road improvements are at risk of not getting them if we don’t neutralize threats like I-976. So while we are thrilled to celebrate today’s big East Link breakthrough, we are mindful of the need to protect all the projects that are still on the drawing board or undergoing final design.”

On Monday, July 23rd, NPI will unveil a new NO on I-976 website meant to help voters understand the threat that this destructive initiative represents, and enable concerned citizens and organizations to join the coalition opposed to the measure. The site’s availability will be announced through NPI’s publications as well as via news release.

NPI’s Permanent Defense: Proudly safeguarding the future of transit since 2002


In just a few short weeks, Permanent Defense will celebrate its sixteenth anniversary. In honor of that milestone, and in honor of the spectacular and fortuitous implosion of Tim Eyman’s I-947 — the disgraced initiative promoter’s most recent failed attempt to “stick it to Sound Transit” — we’ve created a series of digital banners depicting Link light rail trains at Sound Transit’s newest station (Angle Lake in SeaTac) with the tagline Safeguarding The Future of Transit Since 2002.

These banners signify our unyielding commitment to protect projects that will give Washingtonians much-needed freedom of mobility.

Here’s the first one:

All aboard for a reliable commute!

The photo in this banner was taken on the day that the Angle Lake Station opened to the public. The vantage point is from the plaza below the elevated station.

Here’s the second:

Our Link to what's next

The photo art in this banner shows the Angle Lake Station from the other side. The image used to create the artwork was taken prior to the station’s opening day.

And the third:

The freedom to travel light is a beautiful thing

This stunning image was taken at sunrise about a year after the Angle Lake Station opened. The vantage point is the parking garage that adjoins the station.

For now, it appears that Tim Eyman has given up on “sticking it to Sound Transit”. But that doesn’t mean the projects we voted for are safe. NPI’s Permanent Defense will continue to be vigilant and ready to spring into action to ensure threats to our light rail lines, bus service, and commuter rail are quickly countered.

Happy New Year 2018!

Permanent Defense reaches a major milestone: Photos from the Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration


On February 15th, 2017, Permanent Defense turned fifteen. To celebrate the milestone, we held a special celebration at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent. Here are a collection of photographs from that event, courtesy of NPI’s sister project In Brief.

The celebration of Permanent Defense’s big milestone continues through the end of the month. Now is the perfect time to make a donation to Permanent Defense PAC today to ensure that destructive right wing initiatives get the vigorous and immediate opposition they deserve.

Join us for a very special event to celebrate Permanent Defense’s fifteenth anniversary!

Permanent Defense: Fifteen Years
Proudly celebrating fifteen years of fighting right wing initiatives and beating Tim Eyman

On February 15th, 2017, NPI’s Permanent Defense will be turning fifteen (15 on the 15th!)

We’ve been opposing right wing initiatives and fighting Tim Eyman since the early days of the Bush error. And we’ve been victorious in most of the fights we’ve taken on.

We invite you to join us to celebrate this huge milestone and learn about our 2017 work against Eyman’s latest scheme and the plot to take away transgender rights at a very special gathering in the heart of King County.

This is a “pay what you can” event — no admission will be charged, but we’ll be gladly accepting donations to Permanent Defense PAC.

Here are the details:

Permanent Defense Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration

  • What: A special event to sustain PD’s work and celebrate its fifteenth anniversary
  • When: Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
    • Reception begins at 6:30 PM; short speaking program at 7:30 PM
  • Where: Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum: 5917 South 196th Street, Kent, WA 98032
  • Who: Join hydroplane legend Chip Hanauer and the Northwest Progressive Institute team + special guests to be announced
  • Why: Because our Constitution and common wealth can’t defend themselves

Refreshments will be served.

NPI would like to thank Chip Hanauer — one of the speakers at our inaugural Spring Fundraising Gala in 2008 — for his help and generosity in putting this event together.

“Fidalgo” is here: Welcome to the new Permanent Defense, circa 2016!


Today, after many months of hard work, the team at NPI is pleased to unveil Permanent Defense 9.0, codenamed “Fidalgo”.

As you probably noticed from the moment you pulled up, the site looks a lot different than it used to, and that’s no accident. “Fidalgo” is nothing less than a sweeping, thoughtful top-to-bottom redesign.

The previous incarnation of the site, codenamed “Camano”, lasted for more than six years, which in Internet years is more like a century. We figured the time was ripe to give Permanent Defense’s online home a visual overhaul.

Unlike with “Camano”, however, not much has changed under-the-hood. Six years ago, when we migrated Permanent Defense to WordPress, we were confident we’d picked the perfect content management system for the project, and not a day has gone by since when we’ve regretted that decision. Because we already had a rock-solid backend to work with, we were able to concentrate on giving Permanent Defense a beautiful, polished new exterior that’s responsive, mobile-friendly, and pleasing to the eye.

“Fidalgo” isn’t merely eye candy, though. There’s also a plethora of new and improved content. Missing or incomplete pages from bygone years that weren’t previously imported from the archives are now part of the site, and there are a number of new pages, too. Here’s a summary of highlights of this new version:

  • Brand new responsive design. Whether you’re visiting from a smartphone, tablet, notebook, or desktop with a big high-resolution monitor, you’ll be able to browse a website that’s accessible, visually appealing, and neatly-organized.
  • Streamlined navigation. The new mobile-friendly Permanent Defense navbar makes it easy to move between pages and posts. It’s a modern replacement for the flat, antiquated set of buttons found in prior versions.
  • Breadcrumbs to aid in wayfinding. In addition to the new navbar, there’s also a breadcrumb widget providing contextual navigation assistance.
  • Updated graphics. Everywhere you look, you’ll see new graphics, with the notable and worthy exception of the timeless Permanent Defense logo that dates back to the site’s inception. The bigger your display, the more you’ll be able to see of Mount Baker, which graces the site’s nameplate.
  • Modern charts. The new Permanent Defense utilizes JavaScript and HTML5 to render charts instead of Adobe Flash, which is an insecure, dying technology.
  • New intuitive page hierarchy. Permanent Defense’s more than one hundred pages are now organized into an intuitive hierarchy, which simplifies browsing.

New pages include:

  • Current Campaigns. Learn about the right wing initiatives we’re presently fighting.
  • Think Before You Ink. What to be on guard against when approached by a petitioner.
  • Archive. Useful landing page for exploring old content.

And finally, be sure to check out our completely redesigned Dangerous Initiatives reference, which contains comprehensive, in-depth profiles of right wing initiatives that have appeared on Washington’s ballot during the Eyman error.

We took great care in redesigning the site not to break anything.

For the most part, PD’s permalinks have not changed, so you shouldn’t run into errors while following external links. Any permalinks that did change due to modifications to the site’s hierarchy were given redirects. Sadly, that’s something a lot of mass media outlets completely neglect to do when they launch new incarnations of their websites. We dislike broken links and link rot as much as you do, so we’ve done our best to ensure existing URLs continue to resolve properly.

We hope you enjoy the new Permanent Defense!

NPI’s Villeneuve files Petitioning Industry Accountability Act


This morning in Olympia, Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve filed a new statewide initiative called the Petitioning Industry Accountability Act. The intent of the initiative is to require that signature gathering companies pay their fair share in business and occupation taxes to our state.

“Qualifying initiatives to the ballot has become a big business in Washington,” said Villeneuve. “On an annual basis, millions of dollars may be spent to force public votes on legislation, particularly when people with wealth desire to make changes to our state’s body of laws. The companies that do the work of gathering signatures for these campaigns ought to be complying with our worker protection laws and paying their taxes like any other business. But we have discovered that most of them aren’t.”

“For far too long, this industry has operated underground. It’s time we started the process of changing that. This is the very first draft of this legislation, which we would be happy to see become law either through the initiative process or the legislative process. For the time being, this idea is in the research phase. We look forward to refining and improving it in response to the feedback we receive from our supporters, the public, and the press.”

Permanent Defense Tenth Anniversary celebration for volunteers and supporters a success


On February 13th, 2012, Permanent Defense celebrated its tenth anniversary (February 2002 – Februry 2012), commemorating a significant milestone: one decade of maintaining Washington’s first list of defense against harmful right wing initiatives, especially Tim Eyman’s.

Our work is far from finished, but we had many successes to celebrate, including our recent victory over Eyman’s I-1125 last November. NPI’s staff, board, and contributors met for a special dinner celebration to mark the occasion, joined by many supporters. A brief recap of the event was published on NPI’s Cascadia Adovcate.

Nine Years: Statement from the Founder

AnnouncementsThreat Analysis

Today and throughout this month, Permanent Defense celebrates its ninth anniversary, marking the conclusion of one hundred and eight months of continuous operation. PD now begins its tenth year of existence. Remarkably, in fifty-two weeks, it will reach the end of its first decade.

When Permanent Defense first went live on February 13th, 2002, it was devoted to a single purpose: defeating Tim Eyman’s Initiative 776, which sought to prevent Sound Transit from constructing Central Link by taking away one of ST’s two principal sources of revenue. Unfortunately, PD’s first mission was unsuccessful: Initiative 776 passed narrowly despite the best efforts of a well-organized opposition coalition.

But unlike the NO on I-776 campaign and other campaigns against Eyman initiatives from years past, PD did not go away, dissolve, or close its virtual doors after that disappointing election. Rather, it was strengthened by the loss. In the spirit of its name, it became a permanent campaign against right wing initiatives.

And it has made a difference. Prior to Permanent Defense’s formation, Eyman had gotten an initiative past voters for several years running. After Permanent Defense’s first year, Tim Eyman’s streak of consecutive victories ended. Since I-776, voters have approved just three Eyman initiatives: I-900, I-960, and I-1053.

Unfortunately, Eyman needs to be successful only occasionally to remain relevant, as the last election showed.

There’s no question this last year (PD’s ninth) ranks as the toughest in its history. We fought five right wing initiatives, and regrettably, two of them, including Eyman’s I-1053, got through… and by sickeningly large margins.

Eyman has already announced he intends to run I-1053 again in 2012. Thankfully, it appears that his initiative factory has run out of money for a spell, and consequently, he doesn’t have an initiative in the works for this year (2011). But that doesn’t mean Eyman won’t be trying to cause mischief.

And it doesn’t mean Permanent Defense can go on hiatus. There may be other right wing initiatives to fight, and we need to begin laying the groundwork to stop Eyman’s I-1053 clone in 2012. It will take a Herculean effort to show voters that nullifying majority rule goes against everything our country and our state’s founders believed in. They gave us a system of representative government which has endured for centuries. I-1053, like I-960 and I-601 before it, are purposely intended to wreck that system.

The campaign against I-1053 failed because it came together too late. Resources were not committed until the very end, and by that point, the battle had already been lost. We at Permanent Defense are committed to making sure this never happens again. We’ll be spending our tenth year in infrastructure-building mode, so we have greater resources to commit early and often against Eyman and his schemes.

We’re taking a critical step forward today by forming a Rapid Response team, which will respond and react to right-wing misinformation in the media through comments and letters to the editor on an ongoing basis. If you’d like to be part of the team, you can sign up on our volunteer page.

Although we endured some significant setbacks during the past twelve months, there were some bright spots. A few days after our last anniversary, we gave PD’s virtual home its biggest overhaul to date with Version 8, codenamed “Camano”, transforming it from a collection of static web pages to a powerful, database-driven site. has never looked better, and it’s much simpler to implement changes, thanks to the ease of administration offered by WordPress.

We’re also proud of, the combined campaign site we built to provide information about the corporate fronts behind each of the five right wing initiatives on the 2010 ballot. Three of them (I-1082, I-1100, I-1105) were overwhelmingly defeated by voters; the other two (I-1053, I-1107) passed, as mentioned previously. Some of the features and tools we built for will probably be incorporated into Permanent Defense itself, to help activists, voters, and reporters better track and understand right wing initiatives.

Finally, we’re thankful that Tim Eyman was unsuccessful in his efforts to prevent records of who signed his initiatives from being turned over to interested citizens. Our state has a tradition of open government, and open government doesn’t just mean accountable elected leaders. People who sponsor and sign initiatives are not entitled to anonymity. The process of citizen lawmaking must be transparent, and we’re glad the courts have recognized that.

Significant obstacles lie ahead on the path towards a better quality of life for our state and our country. There really hasn’t been a better time to get involved. If you are not already, consider becoming a volunteer.

Your voice and your ideas are Permanent Defense’s greatest asset.

“Camano” is here: Welcome to the new Permanent Defense


Last week, Permanent Defense celebrated its eighth anniversary, which means the project is only twenty four months away from being a decade old. As we were contemplating the significance of the occasion a few weeks ago, we decided it would be fitting to begin PD’s ninth continuous year of operations by giving it a new virtual home. To that end, we’ve completely reengineered and rebuilt this site, giving it a new engine, new transmission, new body, and a new coat of paint.

We’ve kept the content and what we consider to be the key, distinctive elements of the old site’s identity, but other than that, everything has been overhauled.

Version 8, or Camano, is by far the most ambitious reorganization and relaunch Permanent Defense has ever undergone. It’s also the most solid: we’re pretty confident that we’re not going to need to retool on this scale for a long time, if ever, because the free software stack we’re using makes it easy to implement and roll out improvements to the functionality and to the look-and-feel.

In its Web 1.0 incarnation, Permanent Defense was a collection of static content that had to be updated manually. As the site grew, maintenance became a big chore for us, and it became hard to keep everything accessible and functional. But in the future, maintenance won’t be so time-consuming, because Permanent Defense is now powered by the best content management system ever created… WordPress!

(Yes, we’ve finally gone Web 2.0!)

With WordPress now responsible for storing and serving content, we no longer need to worry about archiving old pages and posts to a separate subdomain to keep the primary Permanent Defense site manageable. What we’ll use the archives for is to preserve the visual identity of the old site, and show what it looked like at various points in time. The archives will basically be a series of time capsules.

Although we’re launching Camano today, we’re not done with the new site yet. We still have many more posts and pages to import, and it’s slow going, because we’re cleaning up the code as we go so it’s lean, mean, and compliant with W3C standards. Expect to see some empty placeholder pages in places for some time to come, but rest assured we’re working on finishing what we’ve begun. We want to be consistent and thorough… it just takes time!

Finally, here’s a quick overview of some of the biggest changes:

  • As should be evident, the site has a brand-new look-and-feel. We kept the navigation menu and the main logo the same, but pretty much everything else has changed. The site is now rendered in a larger gray Georgia font, which looks more readable and professional than the smaller red Tahoma we were using. Tahoma is still in use on sidebars, but it’s gray too… not red. The footer is also totally revamped. It contains shortcuts to Media Center categories, a tag cloud, links to other NPI projects, site search, and an image selected at random from one of our pages.
  • We’ve added a rather comprehensive biography of Tim Eyman, which presents a history of his activities beginning in the late 1990s. It’s required reading for any progressive in Washington who isn’t familiar with what Tim has been up to.
  • Research and Reports now houses our investigative work, which we’ll be doing more of in the future. Tim Eyman’s Failure Chart is there, along with our in-depth report on the demise of I-917 and our analysis of propositions on the 2004 primary ballot.
  • We’ve combined the Press Box, Release Center, and the Journal into the Media Center. The Media Center is Permanent Defense’s blog and news feed. It contains the statements and advisories we send out, along with occasional analysis of right wing initiatives that we’re fighting. All of our prior releases going back to 2002 can be found in the Media Center.
  • Finally, Essays & Position Papers is where our “big picture” analysis from years past can be found (as opposed to the news-style posts in the Media Center, which usually chronicle or react to some development that falls within the scope of the project). All essays going back to 2002 will eventually be restored to their original home here.

That about sums it up. We’re excited about this overhaul and we hope it makes the site more readable and useful for voters, supporters, and reporters.

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Permanent Defense works to protect Washington by building a first line of defense against threats to the common wealth and Constitution of the Evergreen State — like Tim Eyman's initiative factory. Learn more.

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