Legislative Preview 2021

Wednesday, November 4, 2020
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2021 Legislative Preview

The moment for Washington leadership is now:
The pandemics of COVID-19 and police violence have brought into sharp focus the need for bold, transformative leadership in Olympia willing to tackle deeply rooted racism that prevents our public health and public safety systems from delivering justice, equity, and liberty to all. The 2021 legislative session presents lawmakers an historic opportunity to position Washington on the leading edge of advancing racial justice in a re-envisioned approach to public safety, ensuring equitable access to health care and basic needs, and defending individuals’ liberty and privacy in the digital age. The ACLU of Washington looks forward to supporting the leadership of legislators who advance innovative, equitable, and transformative policies that make Washington stronger for all. America can't wait. The moment for Washington's leadership is now.

Advancing Racial Justice through a Re-envisioned Approach to Public Safety

Transforming Policing: Requiring de-escalation, reining in use of force, and removing barriers to accountability.

Decriminalizing Poverty: Ending debt-based driver’s license suspensions that punish people for their limited access to wealth and income.

Ending the War on Drugs: Taking the next step in shifting our response to substance use disorder from punishment to public health by ending the criminalization of personal possession and use of drugs, connecting people with substance use disorders to people who can offer meaningful help, and redirecting cannabis tax revenues currently going to the general fund to programs and services that address the inequitable results of decades of enforcing racist drug war strategies.

Promoting Student Success & Safety: Replacing campus police with counselors, who are proven to be more effective at promoting student success and safety.

Transforming Sentencing & Reentry: Promoting justice, health and safety, preventing recidivism, and saving money by reforming outdated sentencing laws.

Stopping Solitary Confinement: Ending the use of extreme isolation that exacerbates or even causes mental illness and undermines rehabilitation and reentry.

Restoring the Right to Vote: Promoting successful reentry by restoring the right to vote, fundamental to our democracy, immediately upon release from confinement.

Ensuring Equitable Access to Health Care and Basic Needs

Protecting Patients’ Access to Care: Assuring that patients who are miscarrying are not denied access to medical care in their communities due to religious restrictions and that communities do not lose access to necessary health care due to corporate hospital mergers.

Focusing on Equity in Economic Recovery Investments: Pushing for broadband access for all, improving public education student supports, and preventing catastrophic cuts to social programs that push problems downstream and inflict long-term damage.

Keeping Washington’s Workers Healthy: Ensuring that all living and working in Washington, regardless of immigration status, can access and afford quality medical care.

Defending Liberty and Privacy in the Digital Age

Protecting Privacy Online: Putting people in control of their data while giving clear guidelines to companies on how to innovate and provide a gold-standard level of privacy.

Fighting Face Surveillance: Providing meaningful protections against racially biased facial recognition systems.

Regulating Automated Decision Systems: Bringing fairness and transparency to government use of systems that replace human decision making in hiring, housing, health care, policing, and more.