April 18, 2019
WASHINGTON ASIAN AMERICANS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS CALL ON OUR STATE LEGISLATURE SUPPORT EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
To the Members of the Washington State Legislature:
APACE, in solidarity with a broad contingent of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations in Washington state, unequivocally supports equal opportunity.
We stand united in strongly advocating for policies that correct injustices against victims of institutional racism. We recommend the passage of I-1000 through the state legislature in 2019, with further improvement in 2020 to achieve a full repeal of I-200.
Washington AAPIs continue to face disadvantages from centuries of institutional racism. Robust political efforts must be made to bring justice for our communities. Repealing I-200 is one way to reinstate protections in higher education, public employment, and public contracting.
Since the passage of I-200 20 years ago, we have witnessed disturbing trends:
- Minority- and women-owned businesses have lost over $3.5 billion in state contracts.
- State agencies and higher education contracting and procurement dollars declined from 10% to 3% with certified minority and women-owned businesses.
We support fairness, equity, and opportunity for our community on the shoulders of strong leaders who have advocated for us year after year. Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos has pursued legislation to repeal I-200 for years; Rep. Mia Gregerson has pursued legislation establishing a state office on equity.
A group called Washington Asians for Equality has stated in a press release that I-1000 is a “serious threat to the Asian American everywhere and the principle of equality under the law.” This group does not represent the views of most Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. APACE and signatories of this letter firmly stand behind the principles of repealing I-200.
We refuse to be used as a wedge to split Asian and Pacific Islander Americans from other communities of color. ALL communities of color benefit from equal opportunity for historically discriminated groups.
Executive Director, APACE & APACEvotes
Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Seattle
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC)
Chinese Information and Service Center (CISC)
Chinatown-International District (CID) Coalition
Filipino Community Center of Seattle
Friends of Little Saigon
Interim Community Development Association
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Seattle
Korean American Coalition (KAC) Washington
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) Seattle
Rainier Valley Corps (RVC)
Southeast Asian American Education Coalition (SEAeD)
United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance (UTOPIA)