About the Economic Opportunity Institute
Mission and History
Our mission is to build an economy that works for everyone by advancing public policies that promote educational opportunity, good jobs, healthy families and workplaces, and a secure and dignified retirement for all.
We are an independent, nonpartisan, and not-for-profit (501c3) organization. Working with grassroots organizations, community coalitions and elected officials, we publish research, encourage public debate, and catalyze policy initiatives that make Washington a better place to live, work, raise a family, and do business.
Since 1998, our efforts have focused on promoting affordable and accessible high-quality education (particularly in early learning and higher education), modern work-life standards (such as paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave and a strong minimum wage), universal access to affordable health care, a secure retirement, and progressive tax reforms that support public investment in the common good.
We believe that our local, state, and federal governments must promote the common well-being of current and future generations and broad participation in democratic processes. They must establish rules for our economy and society that recognize the contributions of all labor and promote equitable opportunity and security for all of Washington’s children, individuals and communities throughout all the uncertainties of life.
We believe every individual has the right to dignity, genuine opportunity and self-determination and freedom from discrimination based on the circumstances of their birth; and that the well-being of each of us is dependent on the well-being of all of us. For our democracy, state, and nation to thrive, public policies and institutions must dismantle entrenched racism and other inequities and empower all individuals and communities to participate and share their wisdom and experience.
Racial Equity Commitment
We recognize that we cannot be successful in building a just economy for all without directly addressing institutional and structural racism, which creates devastating economic, educational, and health disparities. EOI seeks to apply a racial equity lens to our public policy research, communications, and advocacy work. We strive to include the voices of communities most impacted by racism.
We also strive to dismantle institutional racism in our internal governance policies, hiring practices and workplace culture. We are committed to nurturing an equitable and diverse work environment where all employees feel safe, included, valued, and supported. We will practice our anti-racist values within EOI and continue to learn, reflect, and act with courage, openness, and humility.
For our work
We seek a future grounded in economic security, racial equity, sustainability and a high quality of life for all. We want every Washington resident to have affordable, high-quality health care; access to affordable early learning and care and higher education opportunities; equitable opportunity and rights at work; time for care and the pursuit of happiness; and a secure and dignified retirement. We want our state’s communities to thrive as we transition toward a sustainable economy.
We seek to transform existing power relationships, so that all residents, workers, and communities have the right to organize and an equitable voice in making collective decisions regarding our shared economic future. We want state and local governments to utilize fair and just public revenue systems which support robust investments in public services that promote strong families and healthy communities.
We will take a collaborative, evidence-based, and outcomes-focused approach to our work and create an environment where race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity are fully respected. We want the Economic Opportunity Institute to be known not only for our accomplishments, but also for our strong partnerships with grassroots organizations and coalitions.