Welcome to WA Possible, a podcast about what is possible for economic justice in Washington state. This podcast is created by the team at the Washington State Budget and Policy Center. We dream of a brighter future where everyone has a home to rest in, families can afford child and elder care, and people have enough money to buy the food and resources they need.
On WA Possible, we talk with partners, advocates, and staff who are helping make this vision a reality. We know that economic justice is possible here in Washington state because we are building toward it together.
Check out the episodes and resources below. If you want to support the podcast, please give us a review and share the podcast with your friends!
Our logo was designed by Seattle-based artist Eileen Jimenez.
Our theme music was created by Spokane Beatmaker Revanth Akella.
WA Possible is sponsored by Economic Security Project, Washington State Council of Firefighters, AARP of Washington, Byrd Barr Place, United Way of King County, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.
Why the capital gains excise tax is awesome for Washington
In this special bonus episode of WA Possible, Communications Specialist April Dickinson is joined by Senior Fellow Andy Nicholas to talk about why the capital gains excise tax is awesome for Washington.
In a decisive 7-2 ruling in March 2023, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld the state capital gains excise tax against efforts by self-interested millionaires and billionaires to overturn it. We’re thrilled that the revenue generated by this new tax on the wealthiest Washingtonians will help support kids and families across the state and we are so proud of every person and organization involved over the years for making this victory for tax justice happen.
The effort to pass a capital gains excise tax is part of a larger movement to fix our inequitable, worst in the nation tax code. We’re so excited to talk about what is possible for the people in our state as we’re starting to make progress on making our tax code for work everyone.
Episode one: How racism shapes the tax code
In this episode, Budget and Policy Center Communications Specialist April Dickinson speaks with our friend Mike Mitchell, Director of Policy and Research at the Groundwork Collaborative, a national organization committed to advancing a vision for strong, broadly shared prosperity, and true opportunity for all.
Mike talks about the racist history of taxes in the United States, what inspires him in his work, and the vision that he has for his kiddo’s future.
Episode two: Creating an equitable future with Black Women Best
In this episode, Budget and Policy Center Communications Specialist April Dickinson talks with the co-chairs of the Black Women Best working group, Kendra Bozarth and Azza Altaraifi. Together, they collaborated with over 40 Black women to develop An Economy for All: Building a Black Women Best Legislative Agenda, a congressional report inspired by the Black Women Best economic framework.
Kendra and Azza share details about the framework and talk about the powerful transformational shifts that the framework makes possible for the future of policymaking.
Episode three: On the path to abolishing legal system fines and fees in Washington state
The Budget and Policy Center is part of a statewide coalition that seeks to not only reform Washington state’s system of legal financial obligations (LFOs, or fines and fees), but to eventually abolish it. Leading this work on our staff is Senior Policy Analyst Evan Walker.
In this episode of our podcast, Evan speaks with two members of Washington state’s LFO coalition: Chanel Rhymes, the Director of Advocacy for the Northwest Community Bail Fund and Prachi Dave, Managing Director of Policy and Advocacy at Civil Survival.
Their conversation explores ideas of justice, the rippling effects of LFO debt, and the short- and long-term goals of the LFO coalition. This episode also asks all of us to consider how we might start to build a system that provides people with the resources they need and that makes true accountability possible.
Episode four: Why cash policies are essential and what’s next in Washington state
In this episode, Working Families Tax Credit Campaign Manager Emily Vyhnanek spoke with coalition member Alizeh Bhojani, who was Policy Counsel at OneAmerica at the time of this recording, both of whom are dedicated advocates for the enactment of state level policies that give cash back to the people who most need it. They talk about their experiences advocating for the Working Families Tax Credit, Unemployment Insurance for undocumented workers, and the Washington Immigrant Relief Fund.
Episode five: Why the state budget must reflect community values
In this episode, we share a Budget 101 presentation that Policy Analyst Tracy Yeung gave recently to the Racial Equity Team, a group of lobbyists who advocate on issues related to racial, social, and economic justice at the Washington State Legislature. Tracy shares why the state budget is important, what the budget entails, and how it’s passed through the legislature. You’ll also hear a brief Q&A from the meeting.
This presentation includes references to the legislative process, which we cover in detail in our last episode. And it refers to some slides that were shared during the presentation. We will include links to helpful resources below.
Episode six: Inside how the Washington state legislature works
In the final episode of the season, Communications Specialist April Dickinson talks to Denisse Guerrero, the membership and policy manager of Washington Community Alliance, a statewide coalition of organizations and tribes led by and working in communities of color.
She shares her experience of working with the legislature, some of the challenges with the current system, and she talks about some reforms that we all could support that will improve our democracy.
And April speaks with our executive director at the Budget & Policy Center, Misha Werschkul, about her reflections about her career so far advocating for state policies that support the well-being of people in our state.
But before those conversations, we share a little explainer from the Washington State Legislative Information Center about what legislative session in Olympia looks like.