We are the Civic Alliance for a Progressive Economy (CAPE), a political organization fighting to put Washington’s people back at the center of Washington’s economy. Founded by Working Washington, OneAmerica Votes, and Civic Action, CAPE is guided by the principle that economic justice is the primary cause of economic growth—that the more people we fully include in our economy, from every background and from every walk of life, the faster and more prosperous our economy will grow.
Created to combat the unlimited corporate dollars flooding into local campaigns, you can think of CAPE as an economic “Justice League” fighting against the trickle-down “Chamber of Doom.” But we’re not superheroes. We simply fight for policies that put people first, and against policies that put the interests of corporations and the super-rich above everybody else.
CAPE supports candidates who both reject the discredited trickle-down narrative that has long dominated our politics and our policymaking—and who demonstrate a strong commitment to economic policies like these that build inclusive, compassionate, affordable, and high-wage communities throughout Washington state:
High Labor Standards. Washington is leading the nation on minimum wage, overtime protections, paid sick leave, paid family leave, secure scheduling, collective bargaining, and other progressive labor standards—and our economy is booming as a result. When workers have more money, businesses have more customers and hire more workers. That’s why CAPE supports candidates who defend worker power, and who will fight to build a higher-wage economy for all our people, including immigrants and refugees, people of color, women, and LGBTQ communities who have historically been denied access to opportunities for advancement.
Diverse and Affordable Neighborhoods. We are facing a housing affordability crisis throughout the state that is forcing low-wage renters and many small businesses out of the communities they call home, and that is segregating our neighborhoods and schools by income and race. But diversity is an economic strength, not a weakness. That is why CAPE supports candidates who promote land-use reforms, affordable housing investments, and other policies that reduce homelessness, that increase housing affordability at all levels of income, and that prevent displacement of people and small businesses.
High-Quality Public Services. Our economic competitiveness depends on building a broadly inclusive middle class, but this is not possible without providing access to affordable and high-quality housing, healthcare, childcare, education, and transportation. That is why CAPE supports candidates that bring new energy and ideas to providing these services in all our communities, and who support the tax reforms necessary to fund them.
Progressive Taxation. None of the public investments and services mentioned above are possible without an adequate and stable source of public revenue—and that can only come from taxing the wealth and income of Washington’s richest households and corporations. Washington currently has the most regressive tax structure in the nation, with our lowest-income households paying over 17% in state and local taxes while our wealthiest households pay less than 3%. That is not only grossly unfair, it is bad for the economy. That is why CAPE will only support candidates who promise to fight for progressive taxation in order to pay for services and investments the people of Washington want and need.