The Washington Policy Center
special to SJCRP
by Kelley Unger
Director of Development Operations, Discovery Institute
Washington Policy Center
Washington Policy Center (WPC) is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) research and educational organization that promotes sound public policy based on free-market solutions. They are a statewide organization with offices in Seattle, Olympia, Spokane and the Tri-Cities.
WPC improves lives of Washington state’s citizens by providing accurate, high-quality research for policymakers, the media and the general public. Headquartered in Seattle, WPC publishes studies, sponsors events and conferences and educates citizens on the vital public policy issues facing our region. Broadcast, print, and online media throughout Washington and across the nation cover WPC’s work regularly and seek out its policy experts for analysis and commentary. In addition, lawmakers routinely invite WPC to testify before legislative committees.
Through its research centers, Washington Policy Center focuses on seven core areas of public policy:
- Education: The Center for Education conducts research and makes recommendations to improve Washington state’s ability to educate every child by giving parents, principals and teachers more control over the spending of public education dollars.
- The Environment: The Center for the Environment brings balance to the environmental debate by promoting the idea that human progress and prosperity work in a free economy to protect the environment.
- Government Reform: The Center for Government Reform’s mission is to partner with stakeholders and citizens to work toward a government focused on its core functions while improving its transparency, accountability, performance, and effectiveness for taxpayers.
- Health Care: The Center for Health Care develops patient-centered solutions to reduce costs and improve the availability and quality of health care for businesses and individuals, providing the only detailed, independent critique of health care issues available in the Northwest.
- Small Business: The Center for Small Business focuses on improving Washington’s small business climate by working closely with business owners and policymakers. The Center provides accurate information and analysis on the state’s regulatory climate, tax structure, health insurance systems, and more.
- Transportation: The Center for Transportation researches and analyzes the best practices for relieving traffic congestion by recapturing a vision of a system based on freedom of movement.
- Agriculture: WPC’s Initiative on Agriculture puts the knowledge and experience of those who work the land at the center of agriculture policy by using free-market incentives and local solutions. This new Initiative encourages policymakers to reduce the burden of excessive and unproductive regulation on family farmers and taxpayers.
Finally, though WashingtonVotes.org: WPC operates the premier website for tracking bills in Olympia, finding objective, plain-English summaries of legislation, and offering quick access to your legislators’ voting records. This is a great resource throughout the year, but is especially useful in the elections season when evaluating the past performance of current legislators.
WPC believes ideas, supported by sound research and promoted through publications, conferences and the media, over time, create an environment in which policymakers and citizens make sound public policy decisions. For more information and to subscribe to newsletters from the Washington Policy Center go to their website at www.washingtonpolicy.org.