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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

County Council To Governor: Restore Race – And Gender – Conscious Affirmative Action

The King County Council recently offered its unanimous support in asking Governor Jay Inslee to sign an executive order rescinding Governor’s Directive 98-01 implementing I-200 and restore race- and gender-conscious affirmative action practices in the state of Washington. The motion also affirms King County’s commitment to ensuring equitable county contracting processes. 

“I-200 eliminated many of our tools for advancing racial and economic justice,” said prime sponsor and King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay. “It has had devastating impacts on women and communities of color, especially Black Washingtonians. The time has come for the Governor to restore race- and gender- conscious practices in Washington state and King County, so that we may right this economic injustice that has disadvantaged Washingtonians for more than two decades.”

In addition to asking for state-level action, the motion also calls on the King County Council to:

• Work to reduce racial disparities and inequities in awarding county contracts by implementing recommendations of the King County Auditor;

• Support County Executive Order CON-7-28-EO for Pro-equity Contracting;

• Support exploring the benefits of reestablishing a county minority and women business enterprises office or program to eliminate ambiguities regarding the county’s commitment to eliminating racial disparities and inequities in awarding county contracts; and

• Support setting measurable countywide goals for spending with minority and women’s business enterprises.

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