The heat is on! The weather is warming up and so are the ballot initiative campaigns seeking to qualify for the November ballot. They need to turn in more than 300,000 each by July 8, so you can expect lots of clipboards with petitions to sign coming your way.
We put together this simple guide to the major ballot measures that are collecting signatures this summer to help you separate the winners from the duds. We hope these recommendations will help you make informed choices about which initiatives to support.
DECLINE to sign Initiative 1515 - discrimination against transgender people
For 10 years, Washington's non-discrimination laws have protected our transgender and gender non-conforming friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors from discrimination on the job, in housing and in public places. Initiative 1515 would take away these basic protections. A similar discriminatory law in North Carolina has led to lawsuits, business boycotts, and a loss of federal education funding.
Washington's commitment to fairness, respect and equal treatment under the law make our state a great place to work, live, start a business, go to school, and raise a family. No one should be discriminated against or denied the use of a public bathroom because of their gender identity. Decline to sign the discriminatory I-1515.
SIGN Initiative 1433 - raise the minimum wage and pass paid sick leave
People who work hard and play by the rules should be able to afford a roof over their heads. Yet too many working people, particularly women and people of color, must hold down two or three jobs and still struggle to afford rent or food for their family.
Initiative 1433 would raise the state minimum wage for the nurses, teaching assistants, and others who earn it to $13.50 over four years and allow workers to earn up to seven days of paid sick and safe leave per year. It would also allow counties and cities - like Seattle - to pass more progressive measures. Sign I-1433 to support hard working people and their families across Washington!
Are you interested in doing even more? Sign up to collect 5 signatures for I-1433.
SIGN Initiative 1491 - prevent gun violence
The vast majority of people who commit a mass shooting or suicide show signs of their intentions. Families are often the first to see those signs, but under our current laws family members are powerless to remove firearms from individuals who show signs of violence.
Initiative 1491 will empower families to prevent tragedies by temporarily preventing people in crisis from accessing firearms. I-1491 allows families and law enforcement to ask a judge for an Extreme Risk Protection Order if there is a demonstrated risk for violent behavior. Enthusiastically sign I-1491 to help keep our communities safe!
Are you interested in doing even more? Sign up to collect 5 signatures for I-1491.
SIGN Initiative 1501 - protect seniors from fraud
Seniors are one of the most common targets for unscrupulous telemarketers and financial scams. Initiative 1501 will discourage identity theft and consumer fraud against seniors and other vulnerable residents by increasing penalties and preventing the state from releasing personal private information about vulnerable people and their in-home caregivers. Sign Initiative-1501 to protect the privacy and safety of seniors!
Seattle Only: SIGN Initiative 124 - keep hotel housekeepers safe
Initiative 124 would protect hotel housekeepers from sexual harassment and improve working conditions. More than 80 percent of hotel housekeepers are women, and a majority are immigrants or people of color. They are consistently subject to threats while working alone in hotel rooms. I-124 would provide hotel housekeepers with a "panic button" they could press for help in a dangerous situation. The initiative would also limit workloads to reduce injuries, which housekeepers suffer at higher rates than coal miners. Sign I-124 to support and protect hotel housekeepers in Seattle!
Seattle Only: SIGN Initiative-125 - enforce our minimum wage and sick leave laws
Seattle passed strong laws to raise the minimum wage to $15 and allow workers to earn paid sick leave. Unfortunately, not all employers are complying with the rules and the City of Seattle doesn't have the funding necessary to enforce the law on the books. Initiative 125 would provide a small amount of funding to ensure workers are actually paid the minimum wage and get credit for the sick leave they earn on the job. Sign I-125 to enforce our laws supporting working people in Seattle!