Promoting racial equity in legislative policy Racial Equity Team

The Racial Equity Team​ (RET) is a People of Color-led network of community leaders,
activists, and lobbyists who work to empower Communities of Color across Washington
state and uplift their political voice through legislative advocacy. The team’s purpose is
to promote equity of opportunity for all children, families, and communities. The team
works to provide a forum for community leaders to collaborate with lobbyists in Olympia
to promote racial equity in legislative policy.

Started by EEC Board Member and Co-Founder Tony Lee, and EEC Board Member Bernal Baca, the Racial Equity Team shares core values with EEC. Currently Bernal Baca chairs RET, and Velma Veloria, Community Organizer for EEC, is RET’s Community Liaison. EEC is a participating Community Organization, and works closely with RET to ensure the best for students of color.

Washington State legislators play a crucial role in ensuring there is equitable
opportunity and shared prosperity for all residents. Each legislative session, a number
of bills are introduced (and passed) that deepen racial disparities despite the good
intentions of our well-meaning legislators. RET works to actively
oppose legislation that negatively impact Communities of Color and encourage the
passage of legislation that advances social, racial, and economic justice.

The Racial Equity Team engages regularly with allies and Members of Color in the
legislature to provide racial impact analyses on bills. The Racial Equity Team also works
closely with community groups across the state to include their voices, concerns, and
legislative priorities to ensure these racial impact analyses are as complete as possible.
People of Color are disproportionately represented in low-wage jobs that do not provide
any kind of benefits. They face many disadvantages, but disparities in family income,
health care and access to equal rights are often exacerbated and perpetuated by
unhelpful legislation.

The Racial Equity Team’s goal is to dismantle institutional and systemic racism in
Washington State through the passage of equitable legislation.