FUSE, an organization that describes itself as “the state’s largest progressive organization – people creating change online, on the ground, and on issues that matter”, has gone silent on Initiative 1240.

According to their website:

“Fuse is bringing Washington residents together to support progressive causes and leaders.

We envision a world where people power our government and the common good drives our public policy.

Our mission is to build a bigger and stronger progressive movement, increase leadership and accountability in politics, and improve peoples’ lives. Combining the power of the Internet with real world action and stronger communications, we bring people and groups together to drive progress forward in Washington State.

So where is FUSE on Initiative 1240?

Do I hear crickets?

In their voter’s guide that was recently released, there is no stand on I1240. Two Parents Across America members took note of this and wrote letters to FUSE.

I asked if I could post them because they are quite eloquent and to the point.

Hi Aaron and Jim,

It was very disappointing to see that FUSE chose not to take a position on I-1240.  There are few issues WA Democrats are more unanimous on than their opposition to charter schools and I-1240. And, the progressive side of the party is even stronger in its opposition.

The state Democrats recently voted virtually unanimously to oppose I-1240 and every county and district Democratic group that’s voted on the issue has voted overwhelmingly to endorse a NO vote on I-1240 (none has endorsed a yes vote). And, while the No campaign is endorsed by a long list of groups including those of teachers, principals, administrators, schools boards, community groups, civil rights groups, and parent groups (including the WA state PTA), the yes side is endorsed by the business community and a handful of billionaires (and the advocacy groups they prop up).

Since when did privatizing public education become a progressive cause?   Since when did undermining democratically elected oversight of public education become a progressive cause?   Since when did increasing segregation become a progressive cause?   Since when did neglecting special needs students become a progressive cause?   Since when did undermining worker’s rights become a progressive cause?  Since when did giving power to private corporations over public goods become a progressive cause?   These are the realities that charters have brought in other states.   That is why progressives overwhelmingly oppose I-1240 and why FUSE should as well.

Please reconsider your position in the FUSE voter’s guide and recommend a strong NO vote for I-1240.

Thank you,


To the Progressives at FUSE,

Your (lack of a) position on I-1240 is not only disappointing but misleading and, ultimately irresponsible.

You state in the beginning of the I-1240 section that “Most progressive organizations are opposing I-1240. Because there are progressive education advocates on both sides of this initiative, we asked each of the campaigns to present their case.”

Exactly which progressive education activists are in support of I-1240? Do you mean LEV?  I noticed that they belong to FUSE (Judging by the banners to the left on your website).  LEV is not a progressive organization.  Their positions on matters of education run lock-step with the likes of Stand For Children and Democrats For Education Reform.  These folks don’t want to improve public education, they want to dismantle it so that they and their backers (Gates, Walton, Broad et al.) can make a profit off of our children by taking our money.

This Charter School Bill is an incredibly bad idea for Washington for so many reasons that I am astounded that an organization that claims to be Progressive would not be at the forefront of the opposition.

Did anyone at FUSE actually read the entire Initiative? Has anyone at FUSE been paying attention to the fight for the future of Public Education that is raging throughout this country?  If you haven’t focused on this issue I recommend that you spend some time doing so, maybe before the weekend is over so that you can revise your non-stance and provide the same caliber of guidance on this issue as you have on the other issues and candidates coming up for a vote in this election.


John Cummings

Post Script:

Word has it that the results on the poll that was done by FUSE regarding charter schools received an overwhelming “No” on Initiative 1240 from responders. The results of the poll were never published.