NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

Visualize how Tim Eyman’s I‑976 would harm Washington with our new I‑976 Impact Map

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!

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