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I-1634 protects workers

Shawn Vestal’s Sunday column (“I-1634 perverts initiative process,” July 15, 2018) takes aim at the financial backers of the “Yes! To Affordable Groceries” campaign. It makes sense to recognize who’s behind the campaign, but glancing at the financial disclosures fails to articulate what the effort is about and who supports it.

Taxes on food and beverages hit the people and businesses who can least afford them. I-1634 locks in a restriction on local taxation of the most important items we put in our grocery carts.

Many workers are involved in the production and distribution of our groceries. When we target their products, we target their jobs – jobs with good pay and benefits. I-1634 will protect those jobs and keep consumers from abandoning neighborhood shops as happened in Philadelphia and Seattle when they implemented a beverage tax.

Vestal says no city (except Seattle) has proposed these taxes, however, last year, Spokane Councilman Beggs introduced the idea. The council quickly walked it back after the ensuing backlash, but the door was left open.

Better Spokane is proud to stand with a bipartisan coalition of I-1634 supporters, including: the Washington Farm Bureau, Korean Grocers of Washington, Brotherhood of Teamsters and many small business owners and families from around the state.

Michael Cathcart, Better Spokane



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