NO on I-976 campaign logo
NO on I-976 campaign logo

With Labor Day behind us and most K‑12 schools in Wash­ing­ton State back in ses­sion, signs of fall are all around us. Sum­mer is almost over.

We are now less than six­ty days away from the 2019 Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion, which will take place mid­way through the autumn season.

This year’s gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot won’t look like those of years past. The front will be utter­ly dom­i­nat­ed by Tim Eyman mea­sures: one Eyman ini­tia­tive, one ref­er­en­dum to rein­state an Eyman ini­tia­tive, and twelve Eyman push polls (“advi­so­ry votes”.) We call it the “Eymal­lot” for this reason.

The Eyman ini­tia­tive, I‑976, is eas­i­ly the most destruc­tive of the bunch. It would wipe out $4.2 bil­lion in bipar­ti­san, vot­er-approved trans­porta­tion invest­ments over the next six yeas, accord­ing to the Office of Finan­cial Management.

Trans­porta­tion fund­ing in Wash­ing­ton at every lev­el would be reduced: state, region­al, and local. At the state lev­el, the mul­ti­modal account would be gut­ted, jeop­ar­diz­ing the future of Amtrak Cas­cades inter­ci­ty rail service.

The freight mobil­i­ty account would get wiped out, too, hurt­ing projects that would help farm­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers get their goods to market.

At the region­al lev­el, Sound Tran­sit would lose bil­lions in rev­enue, which would neg­a­tive­ly impact the agen­cy’s abil­i­ty to bor­row mon­ey to com­plete vot­er-approved light rail, com­muter rail, and bus expan­sion projects. Sound Tran­sit esti­mates I‑976 could cost tax­pay­ers as much as $20 billion.

And then there’s the local level.

Trans­porta­tion ben­e­fit dis­trict fund­ing relied upon by cities across Wash­ing­ton would be slashed too — from Washou­gal in south­west Wash­ing­ton’s Clark Coun­ty along the beau­ti­ful Colum­bia Riv­er Gorge, to Elmer City locat­ed upstream of the Grand Coulee Dam just beside the Colville Reservation.

I‑976 accom­plish­es all this dev­as­ta­tion by repeal­ing vehi­cle fees that were either pre­vi­ous­ly approved by vot­ers or by the elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives vot­ers elected.

The six­ty-two Wash­ing­ton cities that depend on vehi­cle fee rev­enue to fix pot­holes, widen roads, and repair bridges are grave­ly con­cerned — as they should be.

We do not want to see anoth­er crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture fail­ure like the 2013 Skag­it Riv­er Bridge col­lapse on I‑5 between Mount Ver­non and Burlington.

Thank­ful­ly, city coun­cils through­out the state are begin­ning to take note of I‑976’s destruc­tive poten­tial — from Van­cou­ver to Bain­bridge Island.

Tonight, Everett’s City Coun­cil adopt­ed a res­o­lu­tion offi­cial­ly oppos­ing Eyman’s I‑976, offi­cial­ly putting Wash­ing­ton’s sev­enth largest city on the record against the mea­sure. Everett is among the cities that would lose big if I‑976 goes into effect.

Moments before the res­o­lu­tion’s pas­sage, Coun­cilmem­ber Scott Mur­phy summed up his oppo­si­tion to I‑976 by stat­ing: “I‑976 takes a sledge­ham­mer and tries to solve a very spe­cif­ic prob­lem. What this issue real­ly needs is a scalpel.”

“It would be real­ly dev­as­tat­ing to our own eco­nom­ic agen­da,” added Coun­cilmem­ber Bren­da Stonecipher.

The coun­cil’s res­o­lu­tion men­tioned cuts to high­way patrol fund­ing, the State Mul­ti­modal Account, and Region­al Mobil­i­ty Grants as seri­ous concerns.

You can see the full res­o­lu­tion below.

A Res­o­lu­tion Oppos­ing Wash­ing­ton State Ini­tia­tive 976

WHEREAS the City of Everett strives to main­tain and con­tin­u­ous­ly improve its trans­porta­tion infra­struc­ture for the ben­e­fit of its res­i­dents and employ­ers; and

WHEREAS the City has long been com­mit­ted to keep­ing its streets in top con­di­tion through a robust street over­lay pro­gram; and

WHEREAS Everett res­i­dents have made a long-term invest­ment in Sound Tran­sit, includ­ing the deliv­ery of light rail to Everett, which will pro­vide fast, con­ve­nient, and reli­able tran­sit for Everett res­i­dents and work­ers to points through­out the Puget Sound region; and

WHEREAS the City Coun­cil and May­or rec­og­nize that Ini­tia­tive 976 would have extreme­ly neg­a­tive impacts on City, Coun­ty and State trans­porta­tion infra­struc­ture, includ­ing the loss of Everett’s Trans­porta­tion Ben­e­fit Dis­trict, which typ­i­cal­ly pro­vides more than half of the City’s $3 mil­lion annu­al street over­lay bud­get; and

WHEREAS Sound Tran­sit would lose approx­i­mate­ly $7 bil­lion for Sound Tran­sit 3 projects if I‑976 were to pass, which would put deliv­ery of light rail to Everett at extreme­ly grave risk; and

WHEREAS pas­sage of I‑976 would result in a near­ly $2 bil­lion loss of six years in State trans­porta­tion fund­ing for high­ways, the Wash­ing­ton State Patrol and oth­er crit­i­cal invest­ments, impact­ing Sno­homish Coun­ty and every cor­ner of the state; and

WHEREAS I‑976 would strip more than $1.4 bil­lion over six years from the State’s Mul­ti­modal Account, from which the City of Everett has received approx­i­mate­ly $13.3 mil­lion over the past 15 years for projects includ­ing the 41st Street Over­cross­ing, I‑5/41st Street Ramp, East Marine View Dri­ve improve­ments and the 41st Street Freight Cor­ri­dor; and

WHEREAS I‑976 would jeop­ar­dize $100 mil­lion in bien­ni­al fund­ing for State Region­al Mobil­i­ty Grants, which Everett Tran­sit has used to help pur­chase elec­tric bus­es and add Park & Ride stalls at Everett Sta­tion, and which also help fund side­walks, bike infra­struc­ture, Safe Routes to School projects and projects that ben­e­fit seniors and peo­ple with disabilities,


The City Coun­cil con­firm its oppo­si­tion to Ini­tia­tive 976, which will be on the statewide bal­lot in Novem­ber 2019, as it would cause extreme harm to the devel­op­ment and main­te­nance of our trans­porta­tion infra­struc­ture, there­by jeop­ar­diz­ing eco­nom­ic growth and qual­i­ty of life in Everett and through­out the region.

Passed and approved this 4th day of Sep­tem­ber 2019.

The Eco­nom­ic Alliance of Sno­homish Coun­ty, Sno­homish Coun­ty’s coun­ty­wide cham­ber of com­merce rep­re­sent­ing over four hun­dred enti­ties, is a mem­ber of the NO on I‑976 coali­tion (of which NPI is also a mem­ber) work­ing to defeat I‑976. Erik Ash­lie-Vinke, rep­re­sent­ing the EASC, made com­ments at the City Coun­cil meet­ing, mak­ing the point that TBDs con­tribute vital­ly to all sorts of pro­grams, from Safe Routes to Schools to pot­hole repair.

The Wash­ing­ton and North­ern Ida­ho Dis­trict Coun­cil of Labor­ers, through Bil­ly Wal­lace, also made a com­ment at the meeting.

Wal­lace empha­sized that there are appren­tices going through train­ing pro­grams that pos­si­bly will retire on the projects that ST3 funds, all the while mak­ing a sol­id fam­i­ly wage and build­ing an equi­table pen­sion to a respectable retirement.

For the gen­er­al pub­lic, Wal­lace not­ed it will also “take care of get­ting peo­ple home in time so that they can spend more time with their family.”

(Everett’s traf­fic, inci­den­tal­ly, was rat­ed worst in the nation in 2018.)

Wal­lace empha­sized we have to do what we can to get as much capac­i­ty as pos­si­ble out of the infra­struc­ture we can build, which is transit.

A few more notes from the res­o­lu­tion about Everett in particular:

  • Everett is one of the largest cities in the state with a Trans­porta­tion Ben­e­fit Dis­trict, which levies a vehi­cle fee as part of the $1,526,992 the TBD col­lect­ed in rev­enue in 2017 — over half of the City’s road­work bud­get, says the res­o­lu­tion. Road­work on Bev­er­ly Blvd, Sea­way Blvd, Col­by Ave, and Marine View Dr were all con­duct­ed par­tial­ly using TBD fund­ing in 2017. You can see the good work the TBD’s funds were used for in 2017 through this link. Addi­tion­al­ly, eleven out of the six­ty-two total com­mu­ni­ties in Sno­homish Coun­ty use TBDs for road maintenance.
  • When Link light rail reach­es Lyn­nwood in 2024, Sno­homish Coun­ty will be con­nect­ed to the net­work for the first time. Fur­ther exten­sion to Everett by 2036 was approved through ST3 but will be jeop­ar­dized by I‑976. Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Scott Bad­er made it clear: the region’s elect­ed lead­ers have made a com­mit­ment to vot­ers to deliv­er high-qual­i­ty tran­sit through­out the Puget Sound and they must deliver.

We can­not afford Tim Eyman’s I‑976. Learn more about the impacts before your bal­lot shows up by vis­it­ing the Keep Wash­ing­ton Rolling coali­tion web­site.

Then vote NO on I‑976 by Novem­ber 5th, 2019.

Adjacent posts

One reply on “City of Everett approves resolution opposing Tim Eyman’s destructive I‑976”

  1. Eyman’s destruc­tive Ini­tia­tive 976 is just anoth­er exam­ple of Trumpian eco­nom­ic poli­cies that want to take us back to the last cen­tu­ry. Vote NO on I‑976 this Novem­ber. We need to con­tin­ue fund­ing for trans­porta­tion projects across the state that would end if I‑976 passes.
    Thank you for post­ing on this mea­sure and help­ing to inform vot­ers of its destruc­tive impacts to trans­porta­tion projects across the state.

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