GSBA-endorsed initiatives win at the ballot

by Matt Landers, Public Policy Manager
| Nov 20, 2018

All three initiatives endorsed by GSBA were successful at the ballot this month! We are excited that majorities across the state agreed with our positions on these important issues.

Initiative 940: De-escalate Washington
After a complicated history in the legislative session, I-940 was resoundingly approved by 60% of voters. Law enforcement personnel will be given training on violence de-escalation, mental health, and first aid practices. The Initiative reforms our laws around the use of deadly force, and requires independent investigations when there is injury or death. A big congratulations to the De-Escalate Washington coalition on this hard-fought victory!

Initiative 1639: Safe Schools, Safe Communities
The latest gun control measure from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, and the only one on the ballot anywhere in the USA in November, I-1639 requires increased background checks, training, age limitations, and waiting periods for sales or delivery of semiautomatic assault rifles. It also criminalizes non-compliant storage upon unauthorized use. GSBA has been proud to support each of these gun control initiatives as an issue of importance to both the LGBTQ and small business communities. As with Initiatives 594 and 1491, I-1639 passed with a strong majority of the people's vote.

Seattle Prop 1: Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy
A supermajority of Seattle voters approved of the Proposition 1, which renews the existing Families & Education Levy and Seattle Preschool Levy, and adds the Seattle Promise program. About half of the $600 million levy will fund the expansion of Seattle's preschool program, $255 million will fund K-12 programs and resources, and $40 million will finance free community college for Seattle Public School graduates. GSBA has long advocated for increased investment in education at all levels, especially at the community and technical college levels. As the founders of the first LGBTQ scholarship fund in the country, we know the value of these educational programs for the next generation of leaders and small business owners.