Washington Electric Vehicle Advocacy PAC
The WEVA PAC will:
- Support key upcoming EV issues that need focus. Just one example, continuing the WA EV sales tax break beyond June 15, 2015
- Be completely transparent with all spending; documented with the state and explained to supporters
- Be strictly non-partisan, the goal is not to fight general politics but to promote the EV cause
- Be expensive, I believe we will need at least $25,000 in funds to make the kind of impact I would like. But that is just 25 people willing to donate $1000. This goal is a difficult challenge but I hope not an impossible one. We have preliminary statements of support that could take us close to $10,000 if they are followed through
- The vast majority of time, the goal of the PAC should be to work well with the current legislators (i.e. support incumbents). EV should be an easy sell in WA. WA has the most EVs per capita in the country. And with Hydro Electric power in abundance we are the perfect state to lead EVs and sustainable transport
- Occasionally the WEVA PAC will use its funds to play hard ball and work to remove an incumbent who is a true road block to the EV cause
- Existing EV advocacy groups like Plug In America, the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association and others are doing a great job in general education (ex: National Plug in Day) and informing our legislatures of the wisdom of EV friendly laws
- But the recent overwhelming votes in Olympia to pass the dealer protection act (93-3 and 47-0) convinced me of the power of money and a strong lobby. I would like a PAC to provide money to back up the enthusiasm of EV owners (ex: great turn out of Tesla owners in Olympia on short notice to support EVs).
The WEVA PAC is involved in helping to create a legislative agenda that promotes electric vehicles in the state of Washington. We have roughly 3 phases of work across a year (though they overlap)
- Fund Raising We try and focus our key fund raising from roughly March through July. This roughly corresponds to the time from the end of the Legislative session to the beginning of election season. We of course take donations any time.- Election Season and Contributions From August through November. For the most part, because of limited resources, the WEVA PAC only participates in the general election not the primary election.
- Lobbying during the Legislative Session In January and February. While the WA legislature is in session we work to try and influence legislation that is supportive of Electric Vehicle policy and good for our State.
Since being formed in April of 2014 the WEVA PAC has raised over $10,000. To date the contributions have come solely from generous individual WA voters. Next year we will likely spend some time and try to get additional support from EV manufacturers and enlightened dealers who sell EVS. Given the short fund raising season this year and having to start from scratch we are happy with these results. While more is always better, this is a good start. We are not actively fund raising at the moment, but donations are always welcome. We especially welcome small ($10+) donations from voters that expand our reach for lobbying efforts. You can donate on-line at wevapac.com in just a minute using paypal/credit card.
Election Season and Contributions
We have donated to about 25 campaigns so far leading up to the general election. Contributions have been made to candidates based on their support of EV policy, regardless of political party. Candidates have been selected based on public statements of support for EV, sponsoring past EV bills, positive responses to questionnaires sent to their campaigns, recommendations of contributors and EV advocates, etc. It is not too late to get involved. You can vote for candidates that support EVs. In addition you can write email@example.com and recommend candidates for the WEVA PAC to contribute. All of our contributions and donations are tracked at the WA State Public Disclosure Commission.Lobbying during the Legislative SessionWe have begun to finalize our agenda for 2015 legislative session. Our top priority is to extend the Electric Car Sales Tax Exemption beyond its current expiration date of July 1st, 2015. At the bottom of this post you will find a very quick overview of our current focus.
Call to Action The WEVA PAC can always use help:
- Donate (small donations are very welcome)
- Offer your feedback on candidates, legislative agenda, people to contact who might support our efforts, etc
- Volunteer to help us run the PAC or lobby in Olympia (we are considering hiring a part-time lobbyist to help in our first legislative season)
Key Policy Areas supported by WEVA PAC:
1) We support extending the electric car sales tax exception beyond its current expiration on June 30, 2015.
– Current policy has led to the highest per capita electric car sales in the country
– The Nissan Leaf (all electric car) is now the best selling Nissan model in Seattle
– The WEVA PAC would prefer a simple extension of the sales tax exemption for new electric cars. But if modifications to the bill would allow it to gain broader appeal we would be supportive. For example, limiting the sales tax exemption to the first $50,000 in cost of the car.
2) We support a bill allowing Electric Vehicles to use Car Pool lanes.
– Allowing electric cars to use car pool lanes is now permitted in eleven states
– This is a proven way to support a transition to sustainable transport with a minimal cost to the state
3) We support the state of WA joining the zero emission alliance of states.
– 8 states are now part of the zero emission alliance including our west coast neighbors Oregon and California. Those states represent 23% of the US car market.
– One critical benefit of joining the alliance would allow Washingtonians to have access to many additional electric car models. Many, so-called compliance, electric cars are only available in states like CA and OR.
– The WEVA PAC would prefer WA to simply join the zero emission alliance as 8 other states have done. But if compromise would allow more people to support this effort, the WEVA PAC would be supportive. For example, our main goal is to get a full range of electric car models for sale in Washington. We would not necessarily need to support vehicle credits or carbon offsets as part of this effort.