“Every year we aim to create tangible change in our community,” organizers wrote about the 2019 MLK Day events and Monday’s march. “This year we are backing I-1000 which would redefine affirmative action in Washington, providing equal opportunities through recruitment, hiring, outreach, training, goal-setting and other methods designed to increase diversity.”
— Alex Garland (@AGarlandPhoto) January 21, 2019
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If Monday’s march message resonates in Olympia, I-1000 could change state law to allow the use of “affirmative action that does not constitute preferential treatment” to address discrimination in public employment, public schools and government contracts. The legislative initiative can be taken up by state lawmakers or sent to the voters on November’s ballot.
Organizers submitted more than 387,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office in support of the initiative last week. Around 260,000 signatures are required to qualify an initiative.
Monday’s march left Garfield High School around 12:30 PM in the midst of a day of rallies and events around the MLK Day holiday. The march stretched up 23rd to Union where it was met by the Seattle Womxn’s March coalition and continued to 12th Ave, and across Capitol Hill down E Pine to Westlake.
Packed house at Garfield High School for today’s @MLKSeattle celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
— Rep. Adam Smith (@RepAdamSmith) January 21, 2019
Meanwhile, Seattle MLK Day organizers were also recognizing the passing of two important figures in the city’s black community:
It is with heavy hearts we dedicate the 2019 march to the memory of two trailblazing Sheroes. The Central District legend and business owner, Charlene “DeCharlene” Williams and The first woman to chair the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, Verlene Jones Davis Since the inception of the Seattle MLK march and rally these leaders have been key in bringing diverse organizations and community members together to create an all inclusive event that fostered legislative change. From chairing different sub-committees to increasing participation from the community they supported the coalition in so many ways!
The annual MLK Day march and events are supported through volunteer efforts and fundraising. If you would like to help cover the expenses, you can donate here to the Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition.