NONPARTISAN - PEOPLE OVER POLITICS
The Middle Class Alliance is a non-partisan organization. We are an organization of regular people standing up for a stronger voice in today's politics. We're standing up for the middle class and standing up against political extremism.
Our non-partisan priorities for reform are the focal point for our legislative activity and they guide our political discussion in support of the middle class. Independents, Democrats, Republicans and people with other or no party affiliation are welcome to join and participate in the discussion and activities that support our principles developed around, "More Jobs, Less Poverty, Cleaner Government."
While we respect and honor an individual's right to a political party affiliation, our political strength is in our non-partisan voice. We strive to allow all individuals interested in growing and strengthening the middle class to participate in this non-partisan discussion. While the Middle Class Alliance will listen to all political candidates we will only support legislation, legislators, or legislative candidates, as an organization, who have been vetted as supporters of our priorities for reform and endorsed by the Middle Class Alliance. Our meetings and activities are focused around our priorities for reform and endorsed legislators who support our priorities.
What does this mean?
- All incumbents and candidates are welcome to speak at MCA meetings with the approval of the MCA leadership.
- The MCA name will only be used to support those candidates or incumbents endorsed by the MCA.
- Support by individuals for incumbents or candidates not endorsed by the MCA will not be allowed at MCA meetings, activities, or events.
WE BELIEVE IN A HEALTHY AND DIVERSE COMMUNITY
Our Nonpartisan Priorities These are common-sense centrist issues with broad support from the public. We stand for the best educated, strongest economy in the world, and powerful American leadership, without abandoning the poor and the vulnerable. We support reasonable, common-sense candidates. And we are giving a voice to regular people who feel disenfranchised by today’s politics, by empowering and organizing them.
In keeping with those principles, the Middle Class Alliance members have identified the following Nonpartisan Priorities for 2013-2014.
Item A. Protect Career and Technical Education, Skills Centers, Industry Mentors, and Student Internships.
Education is the way up, and we must have an effective and well-funded system of basic education to have a stronger middle class and a better economy. In 2013, career and technical education and industry internship/mentorship programs were repeatedly threatened with cuts or elimination. These are the backbone programs for upward mobility for low-income and middle class students, because they connect them with real-world employers and real-world career opportunities. In 2013-2014, protect and grow these vital programs that offer a pathway to rewarding lives for our students, and highly-needed skills for our economy. All students have value, and all jobs have dignity.
Item B. Grow the Middle Class.
Make middle class job creation the primary measurable goal for corporate tax exemptions, company recruitment, and other economic development activities. Close loopholes that are not measurably creating middle class jobs. Redirect the savings to help veterans find good-paying civilian jobs and to reduce the cost of college for middle class families.
Item C. Preserve the Social Safety Net.
Preserve the social safety net and improve its outcomes, and protect programs for people with disabilities and the poor. For example, the former Disability Lifeline programs are a flashpoint for the idea that government should not abandon the poor and vulnerable. These programs for people with disabilities have been repeatedly cut and are now broken into multiple smaller programs such as Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) and Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD). Every year, they face complete elimination in extremist state budget proposals. The best synopsis comes from the Faith Action Network: “The devastating cuts to Disability Lifeline will hit hard. Thousands of disabled Washingtonians are on the Disability Lifeline program which provides cash and medical assistance to people unable to work and who don’t qualify for federal Social Security Insurance programs. They suffer from severe injuries, chronic medical and mental illness, and substance abuse; many are also homeless.”
Item D. Increase Student Achievement.
In the last five years, with very little fanfare, Washington’s community colleges have implemented a performance incentive system called the Student Achievement Initiative. It pays community colleges for the results they achieve for their students, rather than paying for the number of students enrolled, regardless of results achieved. The impact has been clear: degree completion went up by 31%, and math skills improved by 17%. (More information is available here: http://www.sbctc.ctc.edu/college/_e-student-achievement-2006-07.aspx.) Importantly, it was the colleges and the college instructors themselves who designed the system, not bureaucrats in Washington DC. This is a homegrown success story for Washington State, and it has five years of proven success. Protect the Student Achievement Initiative at our community and technical colleges, and expand it to our high schools and universities. Paying for outcomes, not just enrollments, simply makes sense.
Item E. Protect Voting Rights In Washington.
The Middle Class Alliance works to give voice to voters who feel disenfranchised by today’s politics. The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, enabling states to reverse decades of progress ensuring the right of all voters to vote. Support state legislation or a constitutional amendment to proactively ensure Washington will not erode the voting rights of its people, and support state laws making voter registration more convenient, and recognizing that areas where minorities are concentrated should not be gerrymandered to dilute their vote into multiple legislative districts.
Item F. Reduce the Influence of Money and Gerrymandering In Politics.
Let’s face it, money will always influence politics. The question is, how much? Support Washington joining the 16 other states who have already passed a resolution calling on Congress to overturn Citizens United. (Oregon is the 16th and most recent.) Support federal legislation requiring nonpartisan redistricting, so partisan gerrymandering has less impact on Congressional districts. Congressional gerrymandering creates more extreme districts and fewer moderate districts, leading to divisiveness instead of unity.