The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce today announced that it has endorsed Initiative 1000, the Washington state diversity, equity and inclusion act, an initiative to the Legislature that would amend Washington state law to allow the state and other government entities to use affirmative action in public education, public employment, and public contracting.
Marilyn Strickland, president and CEO of the Seattle Metro Chamber, said, “We are proud to support the reinstatement of affirmative action in our state through Initiative 1000. This is a business and economic opportunity issue: since the passage of I-200 in 1998, minority and women-owned businesses have lost out on of $3.5 billion in revenue.”
Strickland added, “Approving I-1000 will diversify public contracting and procurement, and lead to more inclusive prosperity by ensuring all qualified people and businesses, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disabilities, can fully participate in our economy. It’s good for businesses of all sizes, it strengthens communities, and it makes sense. As one of only eight states that bans affirmative action, Washington is at a competitive disadvantage. We urge the Legislature to pass this bill as written.”
The Chamber joins other business organizations such as Tabor 100, Greater Seattle Business Association, and the National Association of Minority Contractors, as well as civic leaders such as Governor Jay Inslee, and former governors Daniel J. Evans, Chris Gregoire and Gary Locke, in endorsing this initiative.
About the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (Seattle Metro Chamber) is the largest and most diverse business advocacy organization in the region. Founded in 1882 by local business leaders, the Chamber is an independent association representing 2,400 companies that employ a regional workforce of approximately 750,000. For more information, visit www.seattlechamber.com.