Non-profit

Washington Community Action Network

Website:

www.washingtoncan.org

Location:

SEATTLE, WA

Tax ID:

91-1206728

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $1,790,714
Expenses: $1,888,094
Assets: $415,477

Formation:

1970s

Type:

Community Organizing Group

Executive Director:

Mary Le Nguyen

Washington Community Action Network, also referred to as Washington CAN, is a left-leaning nonprofit advocacy group that promotes a variety of left-progressive economic and social policy positions. [1]

Washington Community Action Network is a member of the radical-left influenced State Power Caucus, a network of left-of-center state-level organizing and advocacy groups. [2]

Founding and History

Washington Community Action Network was founded in the 1970s forming out of the Seattle/Tacoma Light Brigade, which during the 1980s became the left-wing advocacy group Washington Fair Share. From the 1990s until 2006 the group was called Washington Citizen Action and now is the Washington Community Action Network. [3]

Economic and Labor Policy

Washington Community Action Network promotes left-leaning social policy issues. The group promotes higher minimum wage laws, immigrant rights, voter registration, left-wing-favoring election policies, and housing issues.

The group boasts about propelling Washington state to rank as the nation’s highest inflation-indexed minimum wage state. [4] It also served on the committee for Raise Up WA, which worked to increase minimum wage and to create paid sick leave for every worker. Washington Community Action Network also co-chaired the $15 for Seattle Coalition, which advocated for higher minimum wages. [5]

Washington Community Network advocates for the left-leaning policy of supporting labor unions. The group participated in protesting a grocery store’s grand opening because the of the store’s alleged anti-union polices. [6] Members of progressive left organizations and labor unions across Washington state attended Washington Community Action Network’s leadership conference with left-leaning workshop topics such as, “Holding Banks Accountable, Knowing Your Rights with Police and ICE, and Building a Movement for Jobs.” [7]

Washington Community Action Network organized a movement of churches, immigrants, and community members to push lawmakers to pass an Inclusive City resolution. This resolution worked in opposition of what the group claimed was President Trump’s mission of targeting immigrant communities and misusing local police departments against immigrants. [8]

In an effort to control landlords and housing practices, the group worked to pass legislation that would cap the move-in costs landlords could charge tenants and required landlords to accept payment plans for move-in costs. [9] In addition, Washington Community Action Network supports the idea of state-mandated rent control. [10]

Election Policy

The group led the largest voter registration drive in Washington state history. [11] Statistically, people of color, those with liberal views, and those who are less religious vote Democratic during elections. [12] Washington Community Action Network was the lead plaintiff in a successful lawsuit in 2006 that fought against federal laws of voter “matching” requirements, claiming it was unfair to people of color and low-income people whose information did not match the state records. [13]

Washington Community Action Network openly criticizes President Trump. The group faced controversy in 2016 when, after President Trump’s election into office, it began recruiting employees who would oppose his policies. Washington Community Action Network ran an ad on Craigslist titled, “Fight the Trump Agenda! We are hiring Full-Time Activists! (Seattle). According to Rosalind Brazel, communications director for Washington Community Action Network, “His values and agenda go against what we fight for.” There was a national response and the group received angry calls and messages. Craigslist removed the ad, however, there was subsequent ad posted using different verbiage, “Organize to stop Trump Agenda! Be Civil, but Don’t Back Down.” [14]

Honest Elections Initiative

To empower left-leaning voters to become involved in democracy, the group pushed the “Honest Elections” initiative, creating “Democracy Vouchers.” This was a program in 2015 that distributed publicly funded $100 vouchers to citizens who could then ‘donate’ that money to the candidates they supported. The program is funded by various groups and businesses, but also property owners are forced to pay an additional $30 million in property taxes over a 10-year period, or the City Council would appropriate the money from the city’s general fund. [15]

Washington Community Action Network contributed more than $313,000 to this program. [16] Under election law because Washington Community Action Network and some other groups supporting this campaign aren’t political committees they did not have to disclose their donors, which prompted opponents to criticize the program claiming outside interests were funding the program and using the city as a guinea pig. [17] As of 2017, research showed that the Honest Elections Seattle campaign did not encourage citizens to be more engaged than in years past. [18] The voucher program was available to both U.S. citizens and green card holders. [19]

While participating in the Honest Elections initiative, Washington Community Action Network also worked to implement new campaign finance regulations to reduce businesses’ political involvement. [20]

Fundinh

Washington Community Action Network is a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt corporation. The corporation reported $1,790,840 in revenue and $1,888,094 in expenditures in its 2017 fiscal year. [21] The organization reported 110 employees, with 655 volunteers. [22] The executive director of the group, Mary Le Nguyen, received $69,644 in compensation in 2017, with an additional $3,057 in other compensation. [23]

It was reported Washington Community Action Network received $714,758 in grants from Washington Community Action Network Education and Research Fund under the terms of its grant agreements and an additional $100,146 under its resource sharing agreement. Washington Community Action Network paid Washington Community Action Network Education and Research Fund $36,000 in occupancy expenses for its use of building space owned by Washington Community Action Network Education and Research Fund. [24]

Washington CAN received $5000 from a local of the Service Employees International Union in 2018. [25]

References

  1. “About Us, Vision and Values.” Washington Community Action Network. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.washingtoncan.org/vision ^
  2. Lliss, Jon. “Toward a Movement of 40 Million Strong.” Portside, June 24, 2019. Accessed January 19, 2020. https://portside.org/2019-06-24/toward-movement-40-million-strong. ^
  3. “About Us, Our History.” Washington Community Action Network. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.washingtoncan.org/vision ^
  4. “About Us, Our History.” Washington Community Action Network. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.washingtoncan.org/vision ^
  5. “About Us, Our History.” Washington Community Action Network. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.washingtoncan.org/vision ^
  6. Metzger, Katie. “Mercer Island New Seasons Runs into Controversy in New Community.” Mercer Island Reporter. November 15, 2016. Accessed January 24, 2020. https://www.mi-reporter.com/news/mercer-island-new-seasons-runs-into-controversy-in-new-community/ ^
  7. Christian, Danisha. “Washington Community Action Network’s Sunny Summer Conference.” Alliance for a Just Society. July 27, 2011. Accessed January 25, 2020. http://allianceforajustsociety.org/washington-community-action-networks-sunny-summer-conference/ ^
  8. “About Us, Our History.” Washington Community Action Network. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.washingtoncan.org/vision ^
  9. “About Us, Our History.” Washington Community Action Network. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.washingtoncan.org/vision ^
  10. Wilson, Katie. “Who’s Afraid of Rent Control.” Crosscut. January 6, 2020. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://crosscut.com/2020/01/whos-afraid-rent-control ^
  11. “About Us, Our History.” Washington Community Action Network. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.washingtoncan.org/vision ^
  12. Lauter, David. “Democratic, Republican Voter Bases are More Different Than Ever.” Las Angeles Times. March 20, 2018. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-voter-groups-20180320-story.html ^
  13. “About Us, Our History.” Washington Community Action Network. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.washingtoncan.org/vision ^
  14. Gutman, David. “Craigslist Yanks Seattle Group’s Ad for Activists to Fight ‘Trump Agenda’.” The Seattle Times. November 11, 2016. Accessed January 25, 2020. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/craigslist-yanks-seattle-groups-ad-for-activists-to-fight-trump-agenda/ ^
  15. Beekman, Daniel. “I-122: Big Money Helping Wage Anti-Big-Money Campaign.” The Seattle Times. October 26, 2017. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/i-122-big-money-helping-wage-anti-big-money-campaign/ ^
  16. Beekman, Daniel. “I-122: Big Money Helping Wage Anti-Big-Money Campaign.” The Seattle Times. October 26, 2017. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/i-122-big-money-helping-wage-anti-big-money-campaign/ ^
  17. Beekman, Daniel. “I-122: Big Money Helping Wage Anti-Big-Money Campaign.” The Seattle Times. October 26, 2017. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/i-122-big-money-helping-wage-anti-big-money-campaign/ ^
  18. Norimine, Hayat. “Nonvoters Aren’t Participating in the Democracy Voucher Program.” Seattle Met. December 5, 2017. Accessed January 23, 2019. https://www.seattlemet.com/news-and-city-life/2017/12/non-voters-aren-t-participating-in-the-democracy-voucher-program ^
  19. Norimine, Hayat. “Nonvoters Aren’t Participating in the Democracy Voucher Program.” Seattle Met. December 5, 2017. Accessed January 23, 2019. https://www.seattlemet.com/news-and-city-life/2017/12/non-voters-aren-t-participating-in-the-democracy-voucher-program ^
  20. “About Us, Our History.” Washington Community Action Network. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.washingtoncan.org/vision ^
  21. Washington Community Action Network, Return of Corporation Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Part I Line 18. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/911206728/03_2019_prefixes_84-92%2F911206728_201712_990O_2019030816161228 ^
  22. Washington Community Action Network, Return of Corporation Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Part I Lines 5 and 6. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/911206728/03_2019_prefixes_84-92%2F911206728_201712_990O_2019030816161228https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/236282844/02_2019_prefixes_23-23%2F236282844_201805_990PF_2019020116056121 ^
  23. Washington Community Action Network, Return of Corporation Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Part VII. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/911206728/03_2019_prefixes_84-92%2F911206728_201712_990O_2019030816161228https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/236282844/02_2019_prefixes_23-23%2F236282844_201805_990PF_2019020116056121 ^
  24. Washington Community Action Network, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2017, Schedule R, Part VII. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/911206728/03_2019_prefixes_84-92%2F911206728_201712_990O_2019030816161228 ^
  25. SEIU 1199 Healthcare Northwest (DOL File No. 516-569), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2018, Schedule 15 ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1984

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,790,714 $1,888,094 $415,477 $49,596 N $1,613,525 $77,000 $0 $162,739 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $2,276,109 $2,175,960 $562,604 $99,469 N $1,947,331 $326,949 $9 $200,653
    2015 Dec Form 990 $2,094,166 $2,212,375 $557,377 $162,243 N $1,815,922 $278,990 $7 $110,601 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $0 $0 $0 $0 N $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,608,162 $1,879,398 $602,493 $32,805 N $1,318,320 $289,054 $171 $119,957 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $2,073,958 $1,945,405 $864,565 $23,667 N $1,763,465 $303,732 $258 $194,477 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,884,966 $1,817,699 $741,980 $29,654 N $1,770,216 $114,441 $309 $100,222 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Washington Community Action Network

    1806 E YESLER WAY
    SEATTLE, WA 98122-5748