Washington strides toward affirmative action laws

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Washington strides toward affirmative action laws

The Easterner

The Easterner

The Easterner

By Karolyn Wambold, Reporter

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The Washington State Legislature is in the process of passing I-1000, which would add affirmative action laws and policies in employment, education and contracting.

According to the Ballotpedia website, “I-1000 explicitly allows the state of Washington to implement affirmative action laws and policies while continuing to ban discrimination and preferential treatment,” based on certain characteristics, such as race, sex and age.”

“To look at things from a bigger picture, EWU seeks to attract students from underrepresented and underserved populations, but does not have an affirmative action process for student recruitment and reviewing of application,” Director of Recruitment for Admissions Jana Jaraysi said in an email to The Easterner. “We continue to welcome and admit all students regardless of whether I-1000 becomes law or not.”

According to Annika Scharosch, associate vice president for civil rights, compliance and enterprise risk management, EWU is closely tracking I-1000 to see if someone gathers enough signatures to require a referendum.

According to the Ballotpedia website quoting the initiative, an affirmative action is a policy where “an individual’s race, sex, ethnicity, national origin, age, presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability and military status are factors considered in the selection of qualified women, honorably discharged military veterans, persons in protected age categories, persons with disabilities, and minorities for opportunities in public education, public employment and public contracting.”

“With respect to employment on campus, EWU is already required by federal law to have an affirmative action program,” Scharosch said. “EWU seeks to increase its employment of people from historically underrepresented groups, but it does not grant preferential treatment to anyone on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or any other protected status.”

According to the Washington State Legislature website, I-1000 passed in the House 56-42 on the third reading. It then passed in the Senate 26-22 on the third reading as well.

“The on-campus jobs will not change if Initiative 1000 goes into effect,” Scharosch said. “With respect to off-campus jobs, there may be some impact, but this would be up to individual businesses (and) agencies.”

The affirmative action policy was passed by the House and Senate on April 28 and if there are not enough signatures on the petition to veto the bill, I-1000 will be in effect by July 28.


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