SAUL SPADY

Spady: I-1000 passage is another example of politicians refusing to listen

May 2, 2019, 12:44 PM | Updated: 12:55 pm
Affirmative action...
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The midnight passage of I-1000 without any debate, public comment, or testimony continues the disturbing trend of local politicians not listening or giving voters a chance to make their voice heard.

The initiative allows affirmative action without the use of quotas in the state of Washington. This means that characteristics such as race, sex, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status can be used as factors when considering a person for education or employment opportunities.

Despite the initiative being on financial thin ice, and a controversy around un-paid signature gatherers, the bill was passed into law and you weren’t given an opportunity to give feedback yet again.

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As an initiative to the Legislature, lawmakers are legally within their rights to vote it into law if they don’t make any changes to the language. But what bugs me about this is the act of intentionally avoiding having a debate on the initiative. The act of not allowing our voice to be heard is becoming so prominent in our region and it must stop.

I have spoken with many politicians to urge them to start responding to those who live in their district – to start listening to you the voter. If we elect politicians that are transparent and willing to start having a conversation with those in their district, we will see results. We will see problems getting solved.

We, as voters, need a new baseline for selecting our politicians, and I don’t think it should be based on social issues like pro-choice vs. pro-life, or where they stand on gay marriage. We have way more serious issues that are bubbling up in our state. There are issues like addiction, mental health, and family homelessness. If our politicians don’t start listening, then we have to come together, we have to have the hard conversations, and we have to vote.

Across the board from the Seattle City Council to Olympia, your elected officials seem more interested in fulfilling the desires of special interests groups instead of taking in your input. The “Head Tax” playbook has continued in Olympia and will do so for perpetuity unless we, the “rational opposition,” push back with our vote and our voice. This is why we will not stop, we will not relent until our politicians understand that listening equally is not only important – it is the foundational core of our representative democracy.

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Spady: I-1000 passage is another example of politicians refusing to listen