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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 4 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 40
Civil rights, community leaders affirm their support of Murray
Section One
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Civil rights, community leaders affirm their support of Murray

In response to false and divisive statements made at a press conference earlier this week by surrogates of Mayor McGinn, a group of Seattle civil rights and community leaders issued the following statement regarding mayoral candidate Ed Murray's commitment to racial and economic equality for all people.

We are longtime leaders and advocates in the struggle to achieve racial and economic equality who have always fought together to advance racial and economic justice. We reject the attempts to use the Mayor's race as a platform to divide us. Each of us is supporting Ed Murray for Mayor because of principled and positive interactions with him over the years for working people, people of color and minority communities. We simply would not support a candidate who does not have a strong commitment to racial justice.

We are deeply concerned by false statements made recently by the Mayor's campaign that imply that Senator Murray has not supported issues for communities of color. We support him precisely because he has a consistent and strong voice for equal rights and justice in our state and he has spent his career of fighting for ALL people. His record speaks for itself, including:

o Publicly and consistently opposing I-200, the anti-affirmative action initiative;

o Co-sponsoring legislation, along with African-American and API leaders, to protect affirmative action in the wake of the passage of I-200;

o Sponsoring landmark anti-bullying laws to protect youth from discrimination;

o Prime-sponsoring the Washington State DREAM Act, to support undocumented students;

o Ensuring funding for the New Americans Citizenship Program for naturalizing eligible immigrants; for medical interpreters; and for refusing to exclude people for health benefits based on their immigration status;

o Doubling the State Housing Trust Fund and securing the first state funding for farmworker housing in Eastern Washington;

o Ensuring funding for critical human services, including domestic violence;

o As transportation and capital budget chair, standing up for minority and women-owned businesses and contractors and fighting for funding for capital projects of nonprofit organizations that serve communities of color in Seattle;

o Championing a bill for marriage equality, which benefited many people of color as well; and

o Earning one of the top scores on the Racial Justice Scorecard (put out by Washington CAN and sponsored by a number of other racial and economic justice organizations) for multiple legislative sessions.

Our city faces serious challenges. It's time to stop dividing our communities through attack and divide politics. The Mayor is one person, but we are a community - all working toward the best possible future with justice for all.

We are supporting Ed Murray for Mayor because we know that he will bring his compassion, skills and attention to addressing core racial and economic justice issues that we care about, such as supporting immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs and communities, tackling the opportunity gap for kids of color, increasing the minimum wage for workers who deserve better, and building a united, diverse, and affordable Seattle.

That's what this race should be about and we look forward to a civil, fact-based conversation about that future we all are working to create.

[signed]
Rep. Eric Pettigrew
City Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Former King County Executive Ron Sims
Former City Councilmember Martha Choe
Former City Councilmember David Della
Former Rep. Dawn Mason
The Rev. Dr. Robert Jeffrey
Grace Huang
Pramila Jayapal
Robert L. Jeffrey Jr.
James Kelly
Patricia Carrasco Lally
Fé Lopez
Lee Newgent
Carlos Padilla
David Rolf
Joan Yoshitomi

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