Seattle Candidates, meet Democracy Vouchers

How Seattle’s new public campaign funding system helps you run for office.

Would you run for office, if you didn’t have to raise big money from one percenters to do it? The Honest Elections Seattle Initiative is a pioneering local initiative that would provide a whole new path to office, a path through dozens of house parties and grassroots outreach, not posh downtown offices and hours of dialing for dollars. If it works in Seattle, it may spread to other places.

Last time, I described how the law’s innovative Democracy Vouchers  …  read more »


Weekend Reading 4/17/15

Rewilding our language of landscape, the cost of gun violence, a podcast for the foodie, and more.
Original illustration by Nina Montenegro of


“We increasingly make do with an impoverished language for landscape. A place literacy is leaving us,” writes Robert Macfarlane in a sumptuous essay in the Guardian on the multitudinous words he’s gathered from across the United Kingdom for features of nature. His project is writerly, of course, but it’s also subversive. By fastening words to visible nature, he hopes to re-particularize our perceptions of landscapes and, from that, know them, love them, and protect them better. My favorite word  …  read more »

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Three Things to Know About CarbonWA’s Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax

Washington’s relief pitcher is ready to put a revenue-neutral carbon tax on the 2016 ballot.

Washington House Democrats recently threw a ball by failing to include badly needed carbon revenue in their proposed budget. There may still be time to get carbon revenue back on the table, but a relief pitcher is warming up, just in case. In March, CarbonWA, a grassroots group, filed ballot language with the Secretary of State, and now supporters are out gathering signatures and raising money to put it on the 2016 ballot.

CarbonWA’s Initiative 732 is modeled after British Columbia’s successful carbon tax: it would tax pollution and use all the revenue to cut other state taxes. The CarbonWA tax would start at $15 per ton, rise to $25 per ton in year two, and then slowly and steadily increase by inflation plus 3.5 percent each year. Read more »


Listen In: Oregon’s Proposed Polluters-Pay Bills

Two radio interviews on Oregon’s proposed carbon pricing bills sum up the facts.

No time to sit down and read our Cashing In Our Carbon series? That’s okay! I recently gave some radio interviews to help make sense of the carbon pricing bills wending their way through the Oregon legislature. So if you’re curious, maybe you can squeeze in a listen.

The recent Oregon legislative hearing about carbon pricing sparked interest in the possibilities. I spoke with Jefferson Smith on with Oregon Climate’s Executive Director Camila Thorndike last week about a proposed  …  read more »

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Seattle Voters, meet Democracy Vouchers

How Seattle’s public campaign funding program will work.

Coal, Oil, and Gas Spent $2 Million on Oregon Politics in 2014

A look at the fossil fuel industry's methods of buying influence.

Myths and Facts about Capping Climate Change Pollution

You’ve heard some unsubstantiated rumors. Here are the facts.

Failure to Report

A pattern of secrecy by major oil train hauler puts public at risk.

Weekend Reading 4/10/15

Dolly Parton and oil trains, mycologist superstar in Seattle, and more.

Oregon has a climate law implementation question. HB 3470 has an answer.

The Climate Stability & Justice Act would empower Oregon to meet its existing climate goals.