Guest Speaker Highlight for November – Kat Holmes

Last month, the 31st LD Democrats passed a resolution calling for rejection of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976, which, if implemented, would cut billions of dollars in transportation funding over the next few years; however, it appears that the measure will pass. A look at the election returns shows that the measure was approved by a nearly 2:1 margin in Pierce County, home to 2 out of 3 precincts in the 31st LD.

A lawsuit was filed last week seeking to overturn I-976 in King County Superior Court. The plaintiffs include the City of Seattle, Port of Seattle, King County, Association of Washington Cities, and the Washington State Transit Association. The plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction to bar I-976 from going into effect.

If that’s granted, then I-976 will be put on hold for the time being. A final decision on I-976’s constitutionality (or lack thereof) is many months away. In the meantime, the Legislature must begin working on contingency plans in case the measure is not struck down. Even if I-976 does go away, we know we have work to do on tax reform.

Our guest this month will be Kat Holmes who serves as Field Director for Washington Conservation Voters (WCV), a Washington State organization that opposed I-976 and supports programs and candidates dedicated to protecting our natural environment. She will help us understand how to move forward with environmentally friendly transportation projects in the wake of the passage of I-976.

Kat, the daughter of an Air Force Veteran and a Japanese immigrant, grew up in Kent, Washington, explored tide pools at Salt Water State Park as a kid and graduated with a degree in Biology/Ecology from Western Washington University. She ran a small business in Bellingham for 20 years before returning to Seattle to be closer to family.

She fell in love with field work as an Organizing Fellow with Fuse Washington and is excited to develop grassroots power for the environment and work for climate justice throughout Washington state. An educator and community builder at heart, she spent 15 years teaching martial arts and leading volunteer projects with Starbucks in Bellingham. After moving back to Kent, she became active with 350 Seattle and WCV and is ready bring a racial justice lens to environmental advocacy. Kat loves coffee, food, farmers, poetry and can be found training and playing outside in her free time.

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