Adopted by the general membership on June 9, 2021.
Resolution urging Governor Inslee to Sign “EQUITY NOW!” EXECUTIVE ORDER
WHEREAS in 1998, Washington voters passed Initiative 200 (I-200) which clearly stated in the November 3, 1998 Washington State Voters Pamphlet, that I-200 does not end all affirmative action programs, but only prohibits those programs which use race and gender to select a lesser qualified applicant over a more deserving applicant for a public job, contract or admission to a state college or university; and
WHEREAS then Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire’s 1998 official I-200 ballot statement explained: “The effect of the proposed measure would thus depend on how its provisions are interpreted and applied.”
WHEREAS Since 1998, Washington state has implemented Governor’s Directive Number 98- 01 which for 23 years has grossly misinterpreted Initiative 200 (I-200), now codified as RCW 49.60.400, by erroneously stating that neither race nor sex could ever be used as factors to select candidates for public college or university admissions, public employment or a public contract; and
WHEREAS in 2017, a Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Disparity Study found concrete evidence that women and contractors of color suffer discrimination barriers to fair assess to federal and state-funded construction contracts across Washington’s multi-billion-dollar transportation industry; and
WHEREAS in 2019, the Office of Minority and Women Business Enterprises (OMWBE) Disparity Study concluded:1) women and people of color do not enjoy equal access to all aspects of State contracting opportunities; 2) the lack of remedial market intervention in the wake of Initiative 200 perpetuates this inequality; and 3) remedial action is necessary to end discrimination in State contracting activities; and
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the 34th Legislative District urges Governor Jay Inslee to reaffirm Washington state’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by immediately signing the “EQUITY NOW! EXECUTIVE ORDER” rescinding Governor’s Directive 98-01 and correctly implementing I-200 (now RCW 49.60.400) to eliminate systemic inequities for all Washingtonians; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that Chair Carla Rogers shall email this resolution directly to Governor Jay Inslee’s Chief of Staff, Jamila Thomas before June 19th.
Submitted by King County Conservation District Supervisor and State Party Rep Chris Porter.