Schmudget Blog

Invest in Washington State’s Future, Invest in Communities of Color

Posted by michaelm at Apr 08, 2013 06:10 PM |

Washington state’s growing diversity can be one of its greatest assets – but only if we invest in it. The budget passed late last week by the Senate does not, instead it weakens our state economy and undermines a strong and prosperous middle class.

A number of budget cuts proposed by the Senate would disproportionately harm people of color and people with low-incomes:

  • $183 million in cuts to the WorkFirst program hinders opportunities for people to find and keep a job. Communities of color make up nearly 25 percent of the working age population, yet make up over thirty percent of the adult WorkFirst population
  • Elimination of cash assistance for disabled adults unable to work due to mental or physical incapacity. Adults of color account for nearly a third of program participants.
  • Full elimination of funding for services designed to help low-income families build wealth in order to develop long-term economy security. Asset accumulation in communities of color drastically trails that of white households. Nearly 36 percent of non-white households are ‘asset poor’, meaning they do not have the resources on hand to build future prosperity – such as investing in a home, paying for college or saving for retirement.

Nearly forty percent of children under the age of 17 belong to communities of color (see graph). Investments that move families and children out of poverty are not only critical for communities of color, but for all Washingtonians. This must become a high priority as demographic shifts will place a heavy economic price on continued racial inequities.


We cannot invest in strong communities, economic security, and healthy people without new revenue.   Policymakers must choose to take a balanced approach to the state budget that involves closing tax breaks, broadening our sales tax, and extending current taxes.

Document Actions

We need your feedback on this website!

We will soon be redesigning the Budget & Policy Center website, and your input is critical to helping us ensure our new site is a valuable, go-to resource. We want your suggestions for making our website as effective and useful as possible. Please complete our brief survey by April 23, 2018. 

We are hiring

We currently have two job opportunities available to join the Budget & Policy Center’s awesome team: a policy analyst position and the Betty Jane Narver fellowship. We are also looking to bring on new members of our board of directors.

Check out Budget Beat

Learn about the pros and cons of the final supplemental state budget on our recent Budget Beat webinar, "Legislative Session 2018 Wrap-up." 

Our policy priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance.

Testimonies in Olympia

Misha TVW
Watch our 2018 legislative session testimonies on TVW: