- Economic Security: CENSUS: Rise in Poverty Levels Off, But Still Alarmingly High (Sept. 20, 2012)
- Healthy People and the Environment: Infographic: Four Reasons Why Medicaid Expansion is a Good Idea (Oct. 9, 2012)
- Education and Opportunity: Maybe When You're Older: Prosperity and Young Adults in Washington State (Sept. 28, 2012)
Hope for the Future
The Progress Index is an innovative framework for analyzing the state budget based on four widely-shared values: Education and Opportunity, Healthy People and Environment, Thriving Communities, and Economic Security.
The report describes these values in detail and outlines goals for state investments to make long term progress toward a just and prosperous state. The Budget & Policy Center will use this framework to analyze ongoing state budget decisions.
A Shared Vision
- Broadly available education and opportunity is fundamental to the future of our state. Education opens doors to better job opportunities, higher wages, and greater job security. Success in today’s competitive, knowledge-based economy will require more than a basic education. Our children need schools that provide sophisticated, high-quality learning environments so they can graduate with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the global marketplace.
- Public investments that maintain our state infrastructure and protect our natural resources create thriving communities. Public structures such as transportation, communications, justice, and the arts keep our state economy in motion, our neighborhoods safe, and our cultural life vibrant. To create thriving communities we will need to do more than address short-term needs.We will need thoughtful, long-term planning and sustainable use of resources.
- Quality of life in the state depends on healthy people and environment. Good health allows people to participate in the social, economic, and cultural opportunities of their community. A healthy environment ensures food, water, and recreation without fear of pollution or toxins. Efforts to promote a healthy state are part of our shared responsibility and benefit all of us.
- We all need public supports and services that provide avenues to economic security. Supports such as child care and health care are often needed to make employment practical and possible. And for those who can’t work or have lost their jobs, help is sometimes needed to meet basic needs. The resilience of our communities and our state depends on how well we ensure economic security for all.
With these values in mind we can begin to make progress and achieve the vision we share for a just and prosperous state.
A Framework for Progress
The four broad values represent common ground on which Washingtonians can agree. They highlight the importance of opportunity, community, good health, and prosperity.
The next step is to use these values to inform a set of concrete goals. Then, we can pursue strategies and investments that will achieve meaningful improvements. Along the way, measuring our progress will provide us with a map of where we are and help us understand where we are headed.
The Progress Index is a long-term project to:
- Build consensus around a shared vision
- Assess goals and strategies
- Measure our progress