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National veterans’ group backs I-1000 to expand opportunity

SEATTLE (Oct. 8, 2019) — VoteVets, the nation’s first and largest progressive veterans organization, on Monday announced its endorsement of the campaign to approve Washington state’s Initiative 1000, which would expand employment opportunities to veterans and other communities at the state and local level. I-1000 (Referendum 88) is an important measure on this November’s ballot to restore fairness for veterans, small business owners, women and people of color seeking to succeed in public employment, contracting, and university admissions.

“Washington’s veterans will directly benefit when voters choose to approve Initiative 1000 this November,” said retired U.S. Army Major General Paul Eaton, VoteVets Senior Advisor and resident of Fox Island, Wash. Eaton served more than 30 years in the U.S. Army, including combat and post-combat assignments in Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia. He added:

“Veterans face unique challenges in transitioning out of military service, joining the civilian workforce and finding roles that allow them to directly apply their military experience to new opportunities. I-1000 expands the number of entry points veterans would have in public employment, contracting and university admissions. Opponents of I-1000 have worked to confuse Washington voters at the expense of veterans, who they see as political tools — VoteVets will work to make it clear that veterans across the political spectrum support this ballot measure. We look forward to joining the diverse coalition working to communicate directly with Washington State voters and pass Initiative 1000 this November.”

Founded in 2006, the mission of Political Action Committee is to elect veterans to public office, and hold public officials accountable for their words and actions that impact America’s 21st century troops and veterans. Though PAC is non-partisan, the candidates and campaigns it backs must support’s core mission and beliefs.

At the kickoff event for Washington Fairness, the campaign to approve I-1000/R88, multiple speakers explained why I-1000 would restore opportunities for women, veterans, small businesses, and people of color in government contracting and employment, and provide a level playing field for all Washingtonians in public university applications. They included Daniella Young, a veteran and military spouse, who said that veterans face unique challenges re-entering the workforce after serving our country and I-1000 would provide more opportunities for them.

(From left) April Sims, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Danielle Hall, and Washington Fairness Communications Director KD Hall at the Sept 12 press conference.

“As a state, we have an obligation to do everything we can to help our veterans once they come home,” Young said. “I-1000 will do a lot. It will open more points of entry for veterans in family-wage jobs, in government agencies, help them be successful in university admission processes, and open more opportunities for success in bids for public contracting.”

“This has been a priority for the Washington State Labor Council and our state’s labor movement for years,” said April Sims, Secretary Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “Our coalition is committed to restoring fairness and opportunity in Washington state by asking voters to approve I-1000.”

For more information about Washington Fairness, visit and follow its Facebook page.

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