The following are five areas of focused research conducted by State of the State over the past year. Click on the underlined links to proceed to more detailed reports.
  • Voting rights and political representation. As the Legislature debates the Washington State Voting Rights Act, we find vast under-representation of Latinos in local government statewide. Electoral reforms, bilingual outreach, and leadership development hold the promise of change for Latinos and other minority groups as well as all who believe in democracy.
  • Safe communities. Latino residents in Walla Walla, Tri-Cities, and Yakima tell us they fear for their own and their families’ safety because counties are cooperating with federal immigration control authorities. County jails should only allow federal detention of those arrested on criminal charges.
  • Access to human services. As Washington residents tighten their belts in this tough economy, we hear inspiring stories of neighbor-to-neighbor connections that help people access help they need. They also say our state needs to keep vital utility, food and medical services from being slashed.
  • Culturally accepting schools. Our Legislature has identified improving schools’ abilities to handle cultural difference as a key strategy to reduce the achievement gap. Cultural competency training and strong leadership from principals are the keys to making schools work for all kids and families.
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