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The ad Sound Transit doesn't want to runMay 5, 2012 @ 6:07 pm (Updated: 9:11 pm - 5/5/12 )
The ACLU of Washington has joined a lawsuit against Sound Transit, which has rejected an advertisement about low-wage airport worker jobs.
The ad (below) features champagne being served in the first class section of an airplane, coach class where most of us fly, and Hosea Wilcox representing the "poverty class." He's been a skycap at Sea-Tac airport for 31 years making minimum wage, according to the ad.
Ad photo courtesy ACLU of Washington
The ad is sponsored by a group called Working Washington. It's described as a "non-profit coalition of individuals, neighborhood associations, immigrant groups, civil rights organizations, people of faith, and labor groups united for good jobs and a fair economy."
The group spent $6,300 seeking to display the ads on Sound Transit trains running between Westlake Center and the airport, but the money was refunded last month after the ad was rejected.
Sound Transit said it tries to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for riders on the trains. Ultimately, the ad was rejected because Working Washington violated a rule requiring sponsors to be clearly identified in the ad.
The transit authorities's guidelines include "political" messages among the 18 categories of restricted materials. They define political ads as anything that "promotes or appears to promote any candidate for office, any political party or promotes or implies position on any proposition, referendum, proposed or existing laws, or other ballot measures."
The ACLU says Sound Transit's refusal to run the ad is censorship.
"The Working Washington ad does not fit any of the grounds Sound Transit gives for prohibiting political ads. In rejecting it, the agency is mis-applying its own policy," says the ACLU's Sarah Dunne in a statement.
The civil liberties group also points out that Sound
Transit has run a wide variety of ads on issues of public
interest, including ones by Working Washington in 2011
with taglines "Our Bridges Need Work. So Do We." Sound
Transit also has approved an ad by Planned Parenthood
promoting condoms that said, "Where Did You Wear It? Be
Proud to Wear Protection."
Ironically, the Port of Seattle, is running the advertisement inside Sea-Tac airport.
By LINDA THOMAS
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