Recommended: De-Escalate Washington
I-940 has been officially announced as an initiative to the legislature, collecting signatures for 2017. This initiative would require law enforcement officers to receive mental health and de-escalation training as well as require officers to render first aid and CPR. Read the full text of this initiative and join De-Escalate Washington to collect signatures or volunteer for the campaign.
Recommended: Automatic Voter Registration
We have been informed that the campaign for I-902 has suspended signature gathering and will instead be focusing their efforts on a state voting rights initiative.
Decline to Sign: I-1552, I-1555, I-1568, and I-894
I-1552 is another anti-trans “Bathroom Bill” initiative. This would override our state’s existing anti-discrimination laws, and also encourage costly lawsuits against public schools which choose to make sure that their trans students feel welcome and safe. Read more about our stance on these types of bills and initiatives.
I-1555 is a misguided attempt to ban legal cannabis. In 2012, the state legalized recreational cannabis (in a record-turnout election) via I-502, which now generates revenue for health care and substance abuse prevention and education. State law already prohibits unlicensed growing or sale of cannabis.
I-1568 is an initiative against immigrants and people of color, and calls for withholding state funds from municipalities which choose to focus on enforcing local laws and avoiding costly wrongful arrest lawsuits.
I-1547 and I-894 are Tim Eyman’s bigoted “civil rights” initiatives. By reading the title of each initiative, “Washington State Civil Rights Initiative,” you may be thinking it’s a no-brainer. Unfortunately, what Tim Eyman is attempting to do is destroy affirmative action in private businesses and non-government institutions by adding “or business” to the existing anti-discrimination law which only applies to the state.
I-1552, I-1555, I-1568 and I-894 failed to make it onto the ballot for 2017.
All 2017 State Ballot Initiatives
Municipal Ballot Items
Support Spokane Prop 6 – Safer Spokane
This proposition would dramatically reduce the risk of catastrophic oil train explosions in Spokane by requiring oil be stabilized and coal loads be covered. Read more on the Safer Spokane website.
Decline to support Seattle’s Soda Tax Initiative
This proposed initiative would unfairly tax working class consumers while ignoring more expensive higher sugar content drinks sold by coffee shops and pressed juice cafes. Seattle DSA provided a detailed write-up of this proposal in Fabruary.
About Washington’s State Ballot Initiative Process
Washington has a strong ballot initiative process, allowing citizen activists to fully or partially bypass the legislative process to create laws. In 2016, we helped lead initiatives such as I-735 (WAMend) and I-1433 (Raise Up WA) to landslide victories.
There are two types of initiatives
Initiatives to the People, if certified to have sufficient signatures, are submitted for a vote of the people at the next state general election.
Initiatives to the Legislature, if certified, are submitted to the Legislature at its next regular session in January. Once submitted, the Legislature must take one of the following three actions:
- The Legislature can adopt the initiative as proposed, in which case it becomes law without a vote of the people;
- The Legislature can reject or refuse to act on the proposed initiative, in which case the initiative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election; or
- The Legislature can approve an alternative to the proposed initiative, in which case both the original proposal and the Legislature’s alternative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.