Marchers call for social change at commemorative MLK march

Marchers marching down to Mount Zion Baptist Church on 19th and Union on Tuesday, August 28. (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)

Marchers gathered in Central District not only to commemorate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington, but as a rally to bring affirmative action back to the state.

“Now here we are 55 years later still fighting for jobs and justice for our community,” said Jacquie Jones-Walsh vice president of Regional Coalition of Black Trade Unions.

Jones-Walsh and others called for support for Initiative 1000, which aims to restore affirmative action to state education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

I-1000, which would be considered by the Legislature, is meant to counteract voter-approved Initiative 200, which banned “preferential treatment” in the state when voters passed it in 1998.

I-1000 would define affirmative action as providing equal opportunities for women, veterans, minorities and people with disabilities, and define “preferential treatment” as the hiring of someone less qualified solely based on race or gender.

Speakers connected the local affirmative action push with the Civil Rights struggle. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington featured his famous “I have a dream” speech.

Speakers also talked about Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s role in the local Civil Rights movement and issues such as an effort to put NFL pensions in black-owned banks.

“We have the opportunity to build our future by supporting Initiative 1000,” Jones-Walsh said.

The Initiative 1000 campaign aims to collect 300,000 signatures across the state by January.

Marchers carried the casket to “bury” I-200, which effectively ended affirmative action in 1998. (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)
Honor guards and marching band leading the marchers down to Mount Zion Baptist church on 19th and Union. (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)
Marching band leading the marchers down to Mount Zion Baptist Church on 19th and Union. (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)
Marchers marching down to Mount Zion Baptist Church on 19th and Union on Tuesday, August 28. (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best speaks with community members before the march. (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)
Eddie Rye Jr. introduces Nesby Glasgow, Western Region Vice President, National Football League Players Association who started the NFL revenue sharing program.  (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)
Former State Rep. Jesse Wineberry speaking on the importance of Initiative 1000. (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)
Mount Zion Baptist church members Ola Jackson and Clifton Marshall inform marchers the effects of I-200 on people of color and women in the state. (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)
Jacquie Jones-Walsh vice president of Regional Coalition of Black Trade Unions says why I-1000 is important for the community. ( Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)
Rev. Dr. Phillis Beautmonte welcomes marchers to Mount Zion Baptist church. (Photo by Rahwa Hailemariam)

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