Ep. 51: Regressive and Racist: A Chat About Taxes

EQ: How are taxes a social justice issue and what are smart people doing about it?

Guest: Alison Cheung, Guest from Channel 253 Adult Civics Happy Hour “The Case for Progressive Taxation”

Communications Hub Manager at Fuse Washington, a progressive political organization. Alison is a graduate of the University of Washington, where she worked on education accessibility and yelled a lot about racist housing covenants. She is currently working on tax reform. 

Alison drops some serious knowledge about Washington’s ass-backwards tax system and how it hurts people in poverty, especially people of color. Sub-topics include her effort to stop using the word marginalized (see UW Dream Project), the important work of Fuse Washington in tax justice issues, helping progressives tell a better story (via The Poet Salon and All in For Washington), working with communities that have been most impacted by our tax structure there, the systemic problems with our state tax structure (it’s regressive!), and possible solutions (a more progressive Real estate excise tax, ending Tax Breaks & loop holes - Washington State Budget & Policy Center, better distribution of wealth, and actually getting people to care about poor Black and brown communities). Additional reading includes (but is not limited to): How Racism Kept Black Tacomans from Buying Houses for Decades.

Champagne & Real Pain:

  • Champagne - we want to raise a glass for:

    • Ava DuVernay for her new Netflix creation, “When They See Us” about the Central Park 5. DuVernay is a queen of cinema and a national treasure. 

    • Roxanne Gay!! Redefining a type of voice a queer woman can have

    • EJ Ramos--model minority mix is erasing other Asians

  • Real Pain - we want to call one out for

    • Meghan McCain for hypocritically accusing Amy Klobuchar of exploiting her father John McCain’s legacy for political gain. That’s literally Meghan’s day job. 

Do Your Fudging Homework:

  • Annie: pressure your legislators to fix our broken tax system that hurts everyone except the wealthiest. Go on leg.wa.gov to find their contact information and turn up the heat. 

  • Hope: The Breakup Playlist on Netflix

  • Alison: Jeff Chang “We Gonna Be Aight” (check out the NerdFarmReads episode)

Ep. 31: Not Data Without Stories, Not Stories Without Data

EQ: Why is the work of the ACLU in the Washington important and relevant in 2018?

Guest: Vanessa Torres Hernandez, Youth Policy Director at American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. Nerd Farmer Guest Ep 27

The formidable and fabulous Vanessa Torres Hernandez joins us to talk about the intersection of education and the law. Vanessa shares the story of her early life in Guam, the culture shock of American college life, and her years as a teacher.

Highlights include:

  • We need to pay more attention to school safety  issues in Washington School Safety. Many instinctive responses to school shootings are wrong and not research based.  We need more preventative resources.

  • There is an absurd amount of racial bias in school suspensions and other forms of discipline

  • We need to question and re-imagine the role of law enforcement in schools

  • The importance of stories with data and data with stories in improving school safety - it can’t just be about numbers or feelings, we have to examine both

  • Equal Justice Works

  • Learn more about the Every Student Counts Alliance (ESCA), a new collaboration between organizations and individuals in Spokane working to end the overuse of suspension and expulsion in Spokane Public Schools and to eliminate disparities in rates of suspension and expulsion of students of color and students with disabilities.

  • Read more about WA state laws on suspension, including HB 1541 and Adopted Student Discipline Rules

Guilty Favesies

  • Hope: candles, especially if they’re on sale at Target

  • Annie: single-serving lunch snacks

  • Vanessa: celebrity gossip magazines


Do Your Fudging Homework:

  • Hope: What do you think about … Can the ACLU Become the NRA for the Left?

  • Vanessa: Attend Adult Civics HH; Flights and Rights (ACLU) in Seattle; issue oriented civic engagement--most important

  • Annie: clued in to what’s happening in legislature! Sign up for legislators emails