Eighteen months ago, our team at the Northwest Progressive Institute began working to organize opposition to Tim Eyman’s I‑976, a measure currently before Washington State voters that would wipe out billions of dollars in funding for bipartisan, voter-approved transportation investments.
At that time, I‑976 wasn’t really on anybody else’s radar. Eyman hadn’t qualified anything for the ballot in years. But we could see that Eyman had strung together enough funds to hire signature gatherers, and we assessed I‑976 would likely qualify for the ballot. So we began working to defeat the measure.
We knew at the outset that stopping I‑976 wouldn’t be easy. Eyman is a cunning snake oil salesman with a gift for manipulating other people. Eyman measures are deceptively alluring schemes that promise voters what amounts to a mythical free lunch: lower taxes with no consequences whatsoever.
In the real world, there are two sides to every equation. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Things worth having that benefit all of us, likes roads and bridges, or parks and schools, cost money. Taxes are how we raise the money to pay for those things. Taxes are really membership dues in our state and country. Without taxes, society as we know it wouldn’t exist. Civilization wouldn’t exist.
In the past, opposition campaigns to many of Eyman’s initiatives have not done a very good job of spelling out the costs and the consequences for voters, allowing Eyman to essentially win by default. We didn’t want that to happen this time around, so we’ve been working tirelessly to create and sustain a public dialogue about the destructive impacts of Eyman’s latest measure, I‑976.
Today, in support of that goal of creating public dialogue about the harms I‑976 would inflict, we’re excited to announce the release of our Initiative 976 Impact Map. This first-of-its kind voter aid was created to allow Washingtonians to visualize potential cuts to already-approved projects and services that we’re counting on to expand freedom of mobility for both people and goods.
Take a look:Initiative 976 Impact Map
The best way to view the map is in full screen mode. Tap or click the button with the four arrows to expand the map so it temporarily fills your screen.
Designed by the talented Oran Viriyincy in partnership with our team at the Northwest Progressive Institute, this unique large format color map uses elements from common road signs to convey how Washington is threatened by I‑976.
Examples are further illustrated with a series of captioned photographs that surround the map at its perimeter. Many of the photos are from NPI’s image library, and were taken by Northwest Progressive Institute staff.
As this map is a project of NPI’s Permanent Defense PAC, we’ve set up a page over at Permanent Defense’s site with a guide to how to make use of the map, including a breakdown of the assumptions underpinning our assessment of the risks to our bipartisan, voter-approved transportation investments from I‑976.
We unveiled the map to the public and the press this morning with events at Auburn Station in South King County and King Street Station in Seattle.
At Auburn Station, we gave commuters traveling through the city’s multimodal transportation hub an opportunity to inspect the map and take a brochure that makes the case for voting NO by November 5th.
And at King Street Station, we held a press conference to introduce the map to our state’s mass media outlets. We were honored to be joined by representatives from the Sierra Club, All Aboard Washington, Transit Riders Union, 500 Women Scientists, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.
From now until November 5th, the I‑976 Impact Map will be on tour, as NPI and allies work to equip voters with the information they need to cast a responsible, informed vote on this destructive measure.
If you would like to help with the tour, please contact us to inquire about getting a large format copy of the map. The printed version of the map is available in two different sizes. One is suitable for display on easels and the other is suitable for carrying around or perusing on a tabletop.
We hope you enjoy looking at the map as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Remember to vote NO on Tim Eyman’s I‑976 by November 5th!