Monday, January 29, 2018

Sen. Rebecca Saldaña Earns "Legislator of the Week" Award

Senator Saldaña (D-Renton) Is Leading Efforts to Strengthen Our Democracy

Fuse Washington named Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Renton) as the "Legislator of the Week" for her swift action to ensure that Washington’s government remains of, by, and for the people.

Sen. Saldaña was the primary sponsor of The Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA), SB 6002, that passed with bipartisan support in the state Senate last week. Rep. Mia Gregerson’s (D- SeaTac) companion bill, HB 1800 is now being considered by the House. The Washington Voting Act modernizes outdated election rules and is a critical step towards a healthier democracy. The Act empowers people at the local level to work with their elected representatives to ensure all voices are heard throughout the electoral process.

"The Washington Voting Rights Act is long overdue and is an important step toward electing local representatives that fully reflect the community in dozens of cities and school districts across the state,” said Jamielyn Wheeler, Campaign Director of Fuse Washington. "The WVRA ensures that no community is excluded from being heard in their local elections. In this day and age, the notion of one person, one vote must be protected and enforced at all levels of government.”

Sen. Saldaña’s bill came at an important moment when more citizens are becoming politically engaged and local jurisdictions are finding the need to update their election system, but have no authority to do so. In 2015, the city council of Yakima was forced by a Federal judge to update their citywide election system to a more representative district-based system after it was found to violate the Federal Voting Rights Act.

“Senator Saldaña has a rich history as an activist and community organizer, and she’s brought those skills and values to the Washington State Legislature,"said OneAmerica Executive Director Rich Stolz. "We applaud Sen. Saldaña and the hundreds of advocates who have tirelessly worked to enact the Washington Voting Rights Act and ensure that no community gets left behind in local elections.”

Previous winners of the "Legislator of the Week" award include Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place) for her work supporting veterans and Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) for her work to ensure equal pay for women.