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 aims 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 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 impacts 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 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.