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Indivisible Bainbridge Island Newsletter

Jan. 29, 2021
Guided by Indivisible Guide 2.0
 
We are focused on federal, state and local progressive legislation in the areas of social justice, climate and the environment, healthcare, immigration reform and strengthening our democracy. We support the election of progressive candidates locally and nationwide.

Paraphrasing Ezra Levin at the Washington Indivisible Town Hall Podcast, by wining the presidency in 2020, we have only won the opportunity to defeat Trumpism. (Watch the full video here.)

So, let's keep going!

What's in this newsletter:
  • Emergency Action: Contact Democrats in states with Republican senators and urge them to contact their senators and vote for conviction.
  • BINKI Forum - No forum this week, but we'll meet on Feb. 8.
  • Postcarding - Currently writing to California's 25th Congressional District. Put cards in the mail by Jan. 31.
  • Topic of the Week - The Proposed Excise Tax on Capital Gains
  • Meeting Notes - Kathy attended a Zoom meeting about Puget Sound Energy's deceptive practices
  • Our Calendar - Events coming up this week or soon
  • Just a Click Away - A few easy things to do
  • Daily Actions - Every week, we suggest five daily actions directed at our members of Congress. Do one or more!


Emergency Action

This is something you can do from home on your own time from 9 am to 9 pm EST.

Call voters in Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio ask them to contact their Republican senators and urge them to convict the former president.

Start at www.hubdialer.com/agent/?fill=1&campaign_id=27869&pass_code=901610

Fill in and submit the form. You will get a phone number to call to get directions and start making calls.

The script will guide you through the process and also connect the person to their senator's office.

Here's what Debbie Hollyer says: "I’ve been calling Americans in Ohio, Nebraska and Iowa this morning. As always very interesting conversations. I find people out that way tend to be more polite and at least willing to talk.

"Every half hour dedicated to reaching out makes a difference.  Please know that calling individually takes the HubDialer time to connect with people.  Be patient.  As soon as you are connected start talking, as there is always a bit of delay.  The person on the other end will have picked up before you hear them."


BINKI Forum

No forum this Monday, Feb. 1. We'll be back on Feb. 8 with a Zoom meeting with State Representatives Drew Hansen and Tarra Simmons.

Last week, Rep. Derek Kilmer joined us for his thoughts on the events of Jan. 6 and his plans for this year's session. Watch the video of the meeting here. Send him an email here.


Postcarding

We are writing to voters in California's CD-25 who have the misfortune to be represented by Mike Garcia, who voted to overturn the election for Trump on Jan. 6. Email Kathy if you'd like to help complete this campaign!

Right now, PostcardsToVoters.org, has no campaigns.

We are keeping an eye out on House incumbents we want to flip. Top of the list: California Trump-enablers Reps. Devin Nunes and Mike Garcia, both of whom voted to overturn legally cast votes on Jan. 6.

Republicans are defending 20 U.S. Senate seats while Democrats are defending 14 U.S. Senate seats. Here are the seats of interest:
  • Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. In 2016, Johnson said he would not seek a third term, but now he says he hasn't made up his mind. He already has an opponent filed and ready to go: Democrat Tom Nelson, a county executive and a former state Assembly majority leader. Pres. Biden won this state in 2020 by .6 points in 2020.
  • Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said he does not plan to run for re-election in 2022. This open seat could be filled by Trumper, Rep. Jim Jordan. Democrat Tim Ryan is considering filing for it. Trump won Ohio by 8 points in 2020.
  • Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said he is not running for re-election in 2022. Biden won this state in 2020 by 1.2 points.
  • North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr said back in 2016 that his current term would be his last, and he is sticking to it. Trump won this state by 1.3 points in 2020.
We will also want to support Democratic incumbents up for re-election in 2022:
  • Raphael Warnock in Georgia; Biden won Georgia by .2 points.
  • Mark Kelly in Arizona; Biden won Georgia by .3 points.
  • Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada; Biden won Nevada by 2.4 points.
Sen. Patty Murray is up for re-election in our state, which went for Biden by 19.2 points.


Topic of the Week - Excise Tax on Capital Gains (SB 5096)

Our state has the most regressive tax structure in the country.  Lower income Washington taxpayers pay 17.8% of their income in sales and property taxes, while those in the top 1%  pay only 3% of their income in taxes. That is the very definition of a regressive tax structure.

The taxes we do have are too high.

Washington state has the fourth highest sales tax rate in the country. Of Kitsap County's 9% sales tax rate, 6.5% goes to fund state government. When recessions hit, people buy less and state revenue falls at a time when help from the state is needed most.

Compared with other states, our property tax rate is "medium" at .92% of assessed value, which would be great if our houses were cheap, but they are not, and prices continue to go up. In 2019, Washington ranked fifth in a study of most expensive states in which to buy a house.

Our Business and Occupation tax is too high, especially for small businesses. It discriminates against independent contractors, who have to pay B&O tax, while employees pay no income tax at all.

SB 5096 is an effort to correct our regressive tax structure that is actually holding our economy back. Without more revenue, we can't build the infrastructure we need to have a fully thriving economy. Revenue is needed to clean up Puget Sound, save the orcas and salmon, fund public schools, reduce homelessness and food insecurity, flight climate change and fund public transportation.

The only way to relieve our high property, sales tax and B&O tax rates is to create a new revenue stream first. Once that new revenue is in place, we can pass legislation to lower property, sales and the B&O tax.

SB 5096 would set a 9% tax on capital gains earnings from the sale of stocks, bonds and other assets above $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for couples. 

SB 5096 does NOT apply to salaries nor wages, nor to gains created by the sale of

  • residential property even if that property is an investment property
  • stocks and bonds held in retirement accounts
  • a sole proprietorship business 
  • farms
  • timberland

SB 5096 is expected to affect the very wealthiest (the top 1.9% of households) only. Based on 2018 data, the average total income of affected households would be almost $750,000. Gov Inslee predicts the bill will raise an estimated $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023 and more than $2.4 billion from 2023-25. And he will sign it if the legislature passes it.

Please express your support for SB 5096:

  • Go to leg.wa.gov and click "Bill Information" in the left column.
  • Type 5096 in the bill number box and click "Search."
  • Click the "Comment on this Bill" button.
  • Fill in the fields and click "Submit."

Here's a very short (but complete) document of how to find bills at leg.wa.gov.

Want to take it up a notch? Sign up for the Take Action Network (TAN), tell TAN which topics you're interested in, and receive email alerts when bills or other actions come up. Sign up here.


Meeting Notes
Kathy attended "How to Spot and Respond to Deception, Manipulation and Misinformation," the first in a series of five Zoom presentations by 350 Seattle entitled the "Puget Sound Energy Community Empowerment Series."

A few notes:
  • To promote the LNG facility in Tacoma, PSE claimed that gold fish "don't mind" swimming in LNG even though to remain a liquid, LNG is chilled to -260F.
  • A common trick to demonstrate the harmlessness of LNG is to pour some LNG on top of a water-filled glass and drink it. "See! It's harmless!" The key is to allow enough time for the LNG to evaporate before drinking.
  • PSE, through its membership in Partners for Energy Progress, pays social media influencers to promote "natural" gas.
More notes here.

Take Action:


Calendar for Sat., Jan 30 through Fri., Feb. 5

Wed., Feb. 3, 6:30 pm tp 8 pm, Seattle Indivisible February Meeting
Join Seattle Indivisible on Zoom for their February meeting. The focus is on immigration. Register for the Zoom event.

Thurs., Feb. 4, 6 pm to 7:15 pm, Financial Flaws
This is the second in a series of five events presented every Thursday at 6 pm through Feb. 25. The series, called the "Puget Sound Energy Community Empowerment Series" is hosted by a coalition of environment and climate advocates and uncovers ways in which Puget Sound Energy is an obstacle to progress on climate change in our state. RSVP for the Zoom link here.

Upcoming events
Monday, Feb. 8, 5 pm to 6:30 pm, BINKI Forum
Indivisible Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap Indivisible welcome our 23rd LD state representatives, Drew Hansen and Tarra Simmons. They will give us an overview of the 2021 session and answer questions as time permits. Please register here.

Tues., Feb. 9, Impeachment Trial Begins

Tues., Feb. 9, Bainbridge Island School District Special Election. Check your voter registration status here and make a plan today for how you will vote. Register or update your registration online or in-person by Feb. 1. If you miss the deadline, you will not receive a ballot by mail, but you can register in person at the Poulsbo Voting Center or the Kitsap County Administration Center in Port Orchard any time up to 8:00 PM on Election Day. Learn more at the County Auditors website. Ballots will be mailed 18 days before Election Day. If you need your ballot mailed to an address other than your registration address, contact your local election official for next steps. Look up their info here.

Wed., Feb. 10, 2 pm to 3 pm, meet over Zoom with staffers for Sen. Murray and Cantwell
This is a BINKI (Indivisible Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap Indivisible) event. We will talk about the response to the virus and how things look in the Biden administration. Please come with your own questions and concerns. Register here.

Tues., Feb. 10, 7 pm to 8:30 pm, BI Climate & Energy Forum – 2021 State Climate Legislation
Learn  about climate action in the 2021 Legislative session from:

  • Governor Jay Inslee (Invited)
  • Christine Rolfes, State Senator, 23rd District
  • Drew Hansen, State Representative, 23rd District
  • Tarra Simmons, State Representative, 23rd District

More information here. Register here.

Thurs., Feb. 11, 6 pm to 7:15 pm, Undermining WA Climate Progress
This is the third in a series of five events presented every Thursday at 6 pm through Feb. 25. The series, called the "Puget Sound Energy Community Empowerment Series" is hosted by a coalition of environment and climate advocates. PSE is not helping with climate change. In fact, PSE is an impediment. RSVP for the Zoom link here.

Mon., Feb. 15, 5 pm to 6:30 pm BINKI Forum
Indivisible Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap Indivisible (BINKI) will meet on Zoom to talk about the most important health care and climate/environment bills currently being considered by the state legislature. We'll also talk about how to use the Take Action Network (TAN) to use your power to express support for and opposition to bills being considered by the legislature. Email Carollynn for the link.

For other events, see the Indivisible Bainbridge Island calendar.


Just a Click Away

 

This newsletter was prepared by Holly Brewer and Kathy Wallace of Indivisible Bainbridge Island.
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