Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

2013 Annual Report

“In 2013, your support helped spark local and national action toward building an economy that works – for everyone. Here’s to new momentum, action and progress in 2014.” 

– John Burbank, Executive Director

The Economic Opportunity Institute’s mission is to restore the promise of the middle class by advancing public policies that promote educational opportunity, good jobs, healthy families and workplaces, and a dignified retirement for all.

Educational opportunity

2013 Highlight – As the student debt crisis grew, EOI’s “Pay It Forward” tuition-free higher education plan catapulted to national attention when Oregon unanimously passed legislation to study and develop a Pay It Forward pilot project.

Current Action – Partnering with local lawmakers, EOI is now helping pass, study and develop Pay It Forward pilot programs in 25 states. We’re also working closely with U.S. Senator Merkley to pass federal legislation for Pay It Forward start-up costs.

Good jobs

2013 Highlight – EOI hosted U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi to rally support for a national economic security platform for women. We also published new research on uneven economic growth during Washington’s recovery from the Great Recession and the economic impacts of Paid Sick Days in Seattle.

Current Action – We’ve released a new study on economic mobility in Washington state. Throughout the year, we’ll be hosting events around the state on a women’s economic security agenda for our state.

Healthy families and workplaces

2013 Highlight – Citizens and advocates in Tacoma made headway on a citywide paid sick leave ordinance similar to legislation EOI spearheaded in Seattle in 2011. Portland, Oregon, New York City, Jersey City and Newark followed Seattle’s lead by passing paid sick leave laws.

Current Action – Under EOI’s leadership, the Washington Work and Family Coalition championed statewide Paid Sick Days. The bill, which passed the state House of Representatives in February, stalled in the Senate. A Tacoma City Council vote on Paid Sick Days is expected soon.

A dignified retirement for all

2013 Highlight – In partnership with AARP, Small Business Majority, and local labor organizations, EOI developed legislation to create and implement START (Save Toward a Retirement Today), a public-private partnership to offer low-cost retirement savings accounts to small business owners and their employees.

Current Action – START successfully passed the House of Representatives in February. EOI is also partnering with the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action to produce a sequel to the “Just Scrap the Cap” YouTube sensation: a country music video called “Work ‘Til I Die.”

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