Initiative 735 Wins with 63% Approval
Washington Now 18th State to Call for Amendment!
Washington State voters passed Initiative 735 with 63% and now Washington is the 18th state calling for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, establishing once and for all that constitutional rights belong only to people, money is not free speech and political contributions need to be made public and allowed to be regulated.
I-735 Election Recap
Initiative 735 won 30 out of 39 counties, 47 out of 49 Legislative Districts and all 10 Congressional Districts! This will send a strong message from the voters of Washington to our elected officials both here at home in Washington State, but also in Washington D.C. (For a full county breakdown for I-735, here's a link to the Secretary of State Election Results for I-735 page.)
I-735 received 8 newspaper endorsements, 70 endorsements from elected officials and candidates, and over a hundred organization endorsements. There were also over 25 letters-to-the-editor published around the state, several video endorsements and incredible support on social media from volunteers and endorsers around the county, including 735’s sister initiative in California, Prop 59, who won with 52% approval!
The Initiative 735 spent only a fraction of what initiative campaigns normally spend, which was just over $707,000 total between WAmend and Fix Democracy First for I-735 raised during the signature gathering and election campaign. About $200,000 was raised in 2016 for the election campaign, with over 5000 individual donations averaging around $35 each.
Here is a graph from a KUOW article illustrating what was spent on I-735 and the other initiatives in 2016, which includes both the signature gathering and election campaigns. This illustrates what a dedicated, frugal, grassroots campaign can do with minimal funding when they put their efforts behind it.
Ultimately, it was the committed grassroots volunteer base and leadership team who were instrumental in pulling off a successful campaign, and could not have been done without that kind of dedication. There was also coalition support from many local and national organizations who helped with fundraising, communications to their members, volunteer recruitment, social media, outreach, canvassing, etc. This could not have done this without the thousands of supporters across the state and country!
In order to get feedback and idea for focus going forward and gain input from volunteers and the leadership team, WAmend put out a Next Steps Survey. It’s important to know how what issues people are interested in working on and how to support the movement going forward. Complete the Next Steps Survey by midnight Wednesday, December 14th.
One important decision being considered is a merger between WAmend (Washington Coalition to Amend the Constitution) and Fix Democracy First or FDF. This is an important decision and needs to be fully explored. The leadership teams for both organizations will be meeting on December 17th to discuss the possible merger. The benefit would be the opportunity to create a stronger, sustainable, pro-democracy organization to be able to tackle the issues needed to create a true fair and free democracy.
Statewide Retreat Being Planned - WAmend and Fix Democracy First are also planning to do a statewide retreat to discuss next steps and organization focus sometime early next year, hopefully in January or early February. This is still in the planning stages and more details to come.
There is a lot of energy towards democracy and lots of great ideas about how to support it. It's important to continue to build upon the momentum created with I-735 and continue the work for a 28th amendment, as well as other important pro-democracy issues.
Congratulations and a BIG thank you to all involved in helping pass I-735 and for your commitment to free and fair democracy!