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Reject Referendum 88, Stop Divisive Initiative 1000

This fall, Referendum Measure 88 (R-88) will be on your ballot. It will be confusing when you see it, because of the way it is worded. Although R-88 will be the title of the ballot entry, you will be voting on whether to accept I-1000 or reject it. When you see the words R-88 or I-1000 on the ballot this fall, vote to rejectI-1000 divides us further. It separates us out by race and judges us by race. There is too much division in our society today.  We should minimize, not magnify our racial differences. That’s why all of us need to Reject Referendum Measure 88 (R-88).

What Is Initiative 1000?

During the final hours of the 2019 legislative session, the Legislature passed I-1000, an initiative repealing I-200, which banned discrimination and preferential treatment in Washington when it was approved in 1998 by around 60% of Washington voters. I-200 stated:

The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

What’s The Relationship Between Initiative 1000 and Referendum Measure 88?

I-1000 was passed on the last day of the legislative session in a last minute vote by the WA legislative without any input from voters. Referendum Measure 88 puts I-1000 on the November ballot for WA voters to decide whether I-1000 be passed. Referendum Measure 88 asks: “Should Initiative 1000 be Approved or Rejected?” If you are against racial preferences and want to protect veteran benefits, please vote “Rejected“.

Why Do WA Voters Need to Reject Initiative 1000?

Supporters of I-1000 claim it will stop discrimination, but in fact this Initiative will lead to new discrimination based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. If Initiative 1000 is passed, education/employment/public contracting will be preferentially granted by race, sex, color, etc, not by merit or need.

Veterans are major victims of I-1000. Under current law, veterans enjoy preferential treatments because of their service to our country. Under I-1000, veterans will be banned from receiving preferential treatment because veteran status would be considered a “sole factor”. Check out our “impact to veterans” section for more details.

What is Defined Preferential Treatment in I-1000?

I-1000 only bans “defined” preferential treatments, which uses “sole factors” (aka only one factor) such as race, sex, color, ethnicity, or country of origin. In other words, I-1000 allows preferential treatments if more than one factor is present. For example, I-1000 makes it legal to give (or not give) preferential treatment to “white men”, “female Muslims”, “Asian veterans”, “transgender individuals with a physical disability”, or “African-Americans from Kenya”. It opens the door to legal discrimination based on nearly any combination of factor(s). I-1000 sanctions will be a dangerous weapon in the hands of those who seek to discriminate legally.

Does I-1000 Only Affects One/Some Groups?

I-1000 can affect anybody. Any race. Any ethnicity. Any color. Any sexual orientation. People with disabilities. Veterans seeking employment. Children applying for gifted and talented classes. College students who apply for student loans. Anybody could be discriminated against.

Will I-1000 Lead to Quota System?

Its supporters claim otherwise but all aspects of I-1000 will lead to a quota system. Resources, contracts, and opportunities will be reallocated to achieve the impossible goal of equal results, not equal opportunities. Remember that Preferential Treatment based on more than one factor will be permitted under I-1000. Instead of awarding resources, contracts, and opportunities based on merit, I-1000 encourages individuals to compete primarily on the basis of their membership in self-identified subgroups. It creates a race to the bottom.

I-1000 Increases Government Power and Use Taxpayer Money

I-1000 requires the governor to establish a committee, who will decide which subgroups can legally enjoy preferential treatments (with 2+ factors qualification, as mentioned above). The committee will take power from WA citizens, and spends millions of tax payer dollars.

The Difference between I-1000 and I-200

  • I-1000 can be summed up in one sentence: It would abolish the standard of equality for all, regardless of race, as required by I-200, and replace it with a system that uses different rules for people of different races.
  • A student applying for a college education would have her race used as a factor in deciding what school she could get in.
  • A small business owner would find that his or her race would be used as a factor in deciding whether they would receive a government contract.
  • An applicant for a government job would find that her or his race could determine whether they are hired.
  • While claiming to oppose preferential treatment, I-1000 actually allows it by changing the definition of preferential treatment! Under I-1000 “preferential treatment” only happens when race or gender is the “sole” factor in choosing someone – a nearly impossible standard to prove. Bluntly put, if I-1000 is passed, the government can openly and legally discriminate against you in employment, contracting, and college admissions..
  • Legislative staff acknowledged in an April 18 joint hearing that I-1000 will remove the preferential treatment that honorably discharged veterans have earned with their service to our country
  • I-1000 seeks to repeal I-200, a voter approved initiative. Voters approved I-200 by 60% of the vote in 1998. It’s time for voters to have their say, again!
  • Shouldn’t we all be protected from discrimination based on our skin color?

Facts about I-200

  • I-200 does not end all affirmative action programs. It does not end outreach programs, it does not end affirmative action based on helping people who are lower income or economically disadvantaged.
  • I-200 prohibits only those programs that use race or gender to select a less qualified applicant over a more deserving applicant for public job, contract or admission to a state college or university.
  • The Attorney General’s office issued an opinion in 2017 saying, “Initiative 200 does not categorically prohibit all uses or race- or sex- conscious measures in state contracting”.
  • The measure allows the use of measures that take race or gender into account in state contracting without elevating a less qualified contractor over a more qualified contractor
  • The most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics show that, among total post secondary student population in Washington in 2016, 62.9% were white, 13.0% were Hispanic, 10.1% were Asian-American, and 4.8% were African-American. During that time, 69.7% of the state’s general population was white, 12.6% were Hispanic, 8.0% were Asian-American, and 3.6% were African-American.
  • The Seattle Times also recently reported that the UW campus in Bothell was “among the highest in the U.S. for its student body that demographically reflects the state’s share of black young adults” and “The UW campuses in Seattle and Tacoma also earned high nods for black student enrollment.”
  • Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises(OMWBE)’s own data shows that percentage of OMWBE certified Asian/Hispanic/African American firms increased in the last 20 years, after I-200 was passed in 1998. In other words, I-200 does protect minority opportunities among OMWBE firms.

What do people say?

  • Seven in 10 Americans say merit should be only basis for college admissions
  • 65% disagree with Supreme Court decision allowing race to be a factor
  • By 50% to 44%, blacks favor merit, not race