Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

2015 Annual Report

The Economic Opportunity Institute’s 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 dignified retirement for all.


Paid Sick Days

We began 2015 celebrating a victory: Tacoma passed the first paid sick days ordinance of the year in the nation, assuring 40,000 workers the right to earn sick and safe leave. With the Healthy Tacoma Coalition, EOI galvanized community support, provided key policy expertise, and contributed strategic communications during the three year campaign.

Just 12 months later, Spokane passed the first paid sick days law of 2016, also with EOI strategic support. Through the last months of 2015, EOI provided critical data and policy analysis in developing the language for Raise Up Washington (I-1433), filed in January 2016. If passed by voters this fall, I-1433 will raise the minimum wage to $13.50 statewide and give Washington the strongest statewide paid sick and safe leave policy in the country.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

EOI was instrumental in helping Washington State win a U.S. Department of Labor research grant in September 2015. Data from the study will help build momentum for passage of statewide Family and Medical Leave Insurance – we hope in 2017! Our years of local and national coalition work, creating partnerships with policymakers, and communications initiatives have contributed to a real cultural change.

In 2015, local governments around the country, including Seattle and King County, and large corporations have announced new family leave benefits for their employees. But only a truly universal system of Family and Medical Leave Insurance that allows everybody to nurture a new child, care for an aging parent, or recover from a serious illness will provide the support families need while attacking the roots of gender, racial, and economic disparities.

Economic Mobility

EOI’s latest report on economic mobility, Uneven Ground: How Race and Origin Impact Economic Opportunity in Washington, highlights the disadvantages facing people of color and immigrant families here in Washington and across the nation. Children of color and those in immigrant families are more likely than white or native-born children to live in poverty, face academic challenges in school, and be suspended or expelled.

Our report concludes: “Unless we reject policies that – intentionally or not – hamper opportunity for families of color and immigrant families while lifting up White and native-born families, lines of class, race, and ethnicity will harden and continue to divide us generation after generation.”


Financial Summary*

2015 expense snapshot

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2015 revenue snapshot

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*Preliminary figures, subject to CPA review; represented on an accrual basis for fiscal year 1/1/15 to 12/31/15.

annual-report-staff-photoThank You!

“Plain and simple: you power the work of EOI. Your support and engagement – as a donor and an ally – makes our research, education, and advocacy for a more just economy possible. From paid sick days to access to higher education, revenue reform to retirement security, you’re helping advance progressive public policies that help build an economy that works – for everyone. On behalf of all of us, thank you for your support.” ~John Burbank, Executive Director, and Marilyn Watkins, Policy Director

3 Ways You Can Make An Impact

You can help build an economy that works for everyone.

  • Support EOI with a donation, one time or monthly. Ask your employer if they’ll match your gift – many do! Visit
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