Posted on April 29, 2019

Washington Lawmakers Pass Initiative 1000, Ending a 2-Decade Ban on Affirmative Action

Joseph O’Sullivan, Seattle Times, April 28, 2019

In a last-minute move, the Washington Legislature on Sunday night passed Initiative 1000, a measure that overturns the state’s 20-year-old, voter-approved ban on affirmative action.

I-1000 repeals Initiative 200, a measure approved by Washington voters 20 years ago that blocked the government from giving preferential treatment to, or discriminating against, people and groups on the basis of sex, ethnicity, color, race or national origin.

Voting largely along party lines, Democratic majorities in the House and Senate propelled its passage in both chambers. The House approved it 56 to 42; the Senate passed it 26 to 22.


Outside the House and Senate chambers, meanwhile, a handful of protesters loudly protested, chanting, “Let people vote!”

Early this year, the I-1000 campaign submitted more than 400,000 signatures, more than any previous initiative to the Legislature.

Under such a proposal, the Legislature could approve the measure with no changes — making it law  — or not act, and let the measure go to voters on the fall ballot. The Legislature could also have approved an amended version, which would send both measures to the ballot.


But after collecting those signatures, the campaign also found itself deep in debt. It owed more than $1.3 million to the companies and people who assembled those petitions.