I am a committed advocate for racial, social, and economic justice. As a student, I fought for farmworker housing rights in Olympia. Race is a lens through which I view all my work. We know that people of color are disproportionately criminalized, and deprived of good jobs, quality education, and healthy housing. In my own life as a woman and a person of color, I faced race and discrimination. As your Senator, I am committed to tackling the underlying and intersectional roots of the problem.
Our elected leaders must work with community advocates to change laws that discriminate against people of color. We need targeted investments in education, economic development and safety net services for low-income families and families of color to overcome historic institutional barriers. Raising the minimum wage and paid family and medical leave is a definite start. In 2018, we made further strides by passing HB 2587 to ban the source of income discrimination for housing, and banning the box for employment SB 6110 and higher education!
We must continue this momentum and repeal I-200 - a law which prohibits the government from considering race or gender in the development of programs. We know that we live in a society where race and gender affect the arcs of our lives. Allowing the government to acknowledge this and design fair programs that deliver our opportunity for all of us is vitally important.
We need to improve our community policing programs. Police must be better trained to avoid racial profiling. We also need to set priorities for the police based on community needs. That’s why I was so glad to see the community support - from advocates and law enforcement - to improve policing by enacting I-940 De-Escalate Washington, and its companion bill SB 3003, into law in 2018. This will go a long ways toward ensuring everyone in Washington feels safe and protected.