It has been a whirlwind of a campaign. I-1631 has been the hardest-fought ballot measure campaign in Washington history, featuring a home team of more than 600 diverse Washington organizations, businesses, and tribes standing up for our environment and our children’s future against unprecedented spending and shady tactics by out-of-state oil companies.
From the beginning of this effort four years ago, we knew that in order to win on climate action we would need a much bigger tent. We have learned that climate change isn’t just an environmental issue – it’s a worker, health, economic, and racial justice issue. And because it touches all of us, we need to be in this together – to create solutions based on shared values, to envision the future we want for our kids and our state, and to fight for that future together.
What is so exciting about this historic campaign is how it grew from core partners – environment, labor, communities of color, faith, health, businesses, and tribes who started the effort – something so much larger.
When a single law gains the support of Bill Gates and Puget Sound Sage; REI and the Teamsters; the Washington Medical Association and Microsoft; shipbuilder Vigor Industrial and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians; Poverty Action Network and Pearl Jam; the American Lung Association and United Food and Commercial Workers – you know the conversation has changed!
The Yes on 1631 campaign combined the best of traditional campaign tactics like paid voter contact through TV, digital and mail, with the superpowers of our broad coalition like massive grassroots organizing and mobilizing infrequent voters.
Here are some quick highlights of Yes on 1631 ads and earned media:
- Governor Inslee countering Big Oil’s lies and inspiring voters on what we can do
- Holding polluters accountable for a better future for our kids
- Observations of a 12-year old girl who can’t yet vote
- New York Times endorsement: Best Way to Fight Climate Change? Put an Honest Price on Carbon
- Seattle Times editorial columnist: Vote yes on I-1631: Forget ‘Big Oil’ scare tactics
- King 5 debate against the No campaign
And while Big Oil has had a seemingly endless supply of dollars to mislead voters, the campaign has mobilized people power in the most impressive grassroots campaign in Washington state history. As of today, the I-1631 campaign has knocked on over 250,000 doors, sent over 400,000 texts, and contacted another 320,000 voters by phone for both persuasion efforts and to Get Out the Vote. Over 6,500 people have volunteered with the campaign!
It is likely that we won’t know the outcome of I-1631 on Tuesday night because of the way ballots are counted in this state. And because of how our base tends to vote, we expect our numbers to improve in the days to come.
Win or lose, the journey has been remarkable and I want to thank you for standing with us through the twists and turns of the last four years.
Initiative 1631 is such an important first step, but we know we have many more steps to take together. WEC and our coalition partners have a deep commitment to continuing this work together.