SEATTLE—The Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance today released the Road Map to Liberation, its agenda of priorities for the Washington State Legislature’s upcoming session.
Priorities include pushing for policies that protect and liberate Black Lives through investments in Black arts and culture, economic freedom and generational wealth, fully funding public education, access to health, affordable housing and equity in criminal justice.
“Over the past six months we have witnessed hundreds of thousands of people across Washington state take direct action, whether it be in marches, law suits, strikes, or contacting their local and state elected officials to demand action for the liberation of Black Lives,” said Ebony Miranda, WA BLM Alliance steering committee member and board chair of Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. “These priorities represent a mandate of the people; Washington state must dismantle its anti-Black infrastructure and policies across the board.”
The Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance is a non-partisan, statewide coalition launched by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. Members from organizations across the state work to eradicate anti-Black racism and all forms of oppression so that Black people and all people can thrive. Its Steering Committee includes leaders from Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, NAAP Spokane and Seattle King County NAACP, the Puget Sound Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Eastern Washington University, Byrd Barr Place, and more.
“This Alliance allows for organizations across Washington state to identify priorities and co-create the future we want to see for Black Washingtonians moving forward,” said Kiantha Duncan, steering committee member and president-elect of the Spokane NAACP.
As the pandemic enters its second year, racism continues to worsen its health and economic effects. WA Black Lives Matter Alliance’s agenda demands a statewide declaration that racism is a public health crisis.
Additional priorities include:
- Protect and invest in Black expression, arts and culture;
- Ban the Box on tenant applications of disclosure of convictions, evictions, and bankruptcies;
- Police tactics and accountability;
- End youth incarceration; close Naselle;
- End money bail and pre-trial detention;
- Ensure anti-racist LGBTQIA+ health services for Black and IPOC Washingtonians;
- Create access to culturally relevant mental health services; ensure Medicaid parity so clinicians are appropriately compensated and services available;
- Remove barriers to access to culturally responsive care for our elders;
- System-wide reform of cannabis industry;
- Restoring voting rights for incarcerated people;
- Repealing I-200 and protecting affirmative action;
- End state-sanctioned trafficking of Black children; preserve, reunify, and support families;
- Ensure Black communities have food access and security for all;
- Extend the evictions moratorium until 2025; fully fund dispute resolution services;
- End systematic racism in welfare eligibility and delivery;
- Creating a capital gains tax to fully fund education.
“In 2020, people took to the streets for Black Lives,” said Dr. Shari Clarke, steering committee member and university administrator at Eastern Washington University. “With this road map, those streets lead to Olympia. We’re turning that energy into action for policy that can bring seismic change for Black Lives across the state.”
“Our fight is about the whole of Black Life—our labor, our education, our health, our economic security,” said Kevin Allen, steering committee member and executive board member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Puget Sound Chapter. “This is our voice. This is our power.”
About the Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance
The Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance is a non-partisan, statewide coalition of Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. It is led by a steering committee of Black leaders representing organizations from across the state.