Racism continues to plague our society in the United States. The President himself dehumanizes and blames people of color. Institutional racism continues to erect barriers for people for color at nearly every turn. Women and the LGBTQ+ community face inequities and dangers to their safety and dignity. We must continue to work to move our society forward, toward a world that values all people. We must look at our policies with an intersectional lens and come to solutions that lift people up, rather than tear them down.

Communities of Color

We know that people of color experience harmful discrimination every day that directly threatens their ability to thrive and live safe and healthy lives. People of color are more likely to be experience incarceration, be exposed to air pollution, face gun violence, and still experience a significant wage gap compared to their white counterparts. Progressive policies must focus on our marginalized communities.

Noel supported:

  • HB 2514 – Removing discriminatory provisions (i.e. racial covenants) found in property deeds and other written documents related to real property. (CO-SPONSOR, PASSED)
  • HB 1294 – Requiring development of a model ethnic studies curriculum. (CO-SPONSOR)

What’s next?

To learn more about other work affecting communities of color, visit the sections on Child Welfare and Public Safety.

Native Americans

Right in the 36th Legislative District, we have a cultural gem in the Day Break Star Indian Cultural Center. I was pleased to secure funding in the 2017-19 supplemental operating budget to support the work of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation to educate and inform our community about the contribution of Native Americans to our community, both past and present, and honor the sovereignty of tribes throughout the state of Washington and beyond.

Noel supported:

  • HB 2818 – Making the role of religious coordinator more inclusive, with the support of more than a dozen tribes seeking to ensure their tribal members have access to their faith traditions while in the process of recovery and in preparation for re-entry into society (PRIME SPONSOR)
  • HB 1414 – Expanding access to dental services in tribal setting through the position of dental health aide therapist. (CO-SPONSOR, PASSED as SB 5079)
  • HB 2951 – Missing Native American Women. (CO-SPONSOR, PASSED)

What’s next?

To see other work affecting the protection of our air, water and native species, please visit the section on Environmental Conservation.

Immigration

Our immigrant communities are under heartless attacks from the federal government, including the separation of families seeking asylum. We have to act in Washington to protect immigrants and refugees and realize that cultural and ethnic diversity helps make Washington great.

Noel supported:

  • HB 1488 – Expanding access to the College Bound Scholarship to, and maintaining access to the Opportunity Scholarship Program for, students who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligible. (PASSED)

What’s next?

Noel will to continue to look for opportunities to protect our undocumented neighbors and friends as long as the federal government fails to fix our broken immigration system.

LGBTQ+

The fight for equal rights for our LGBTQ+ population is far from over. Our LGBTQ+ community deserve the same rights as all other people, including legal rights and access to health care.

In 2018 Noel supported:

  • HB 2753 – Banning conversion therapy. (CO-SPONSOR, PASSED as SB 5722)
  • SB 6037 – Uniform Parentage Act, providing clarity in claims to parentage when a child is conceived through surrogacy. (PASSED)

What’s next?

Passing legislation that expands healthcare access for our transgender friends and neighbors is long overdue. Noel also plans to look for opportunities to support culturally competent elder and end-of-life care for our LGBTQ+ communities.

Disabilities

Those who are differently abled deserve every opportunity to succeed, whether it’s additional educational support or ensuring that those with disabilities the same wages as their counterparts, we must ensure that our friends in the disability community are supported. Noel was honored with the Arc of King County Disabilities Award and will continue to be a champion for this inspiring community

In 2018 Noel supported:

  • HB 2037 – Extending higher education disability work group. (PRIME SPONSOR, PASSED)

What’s next?

There is still more work to do. In the next session I plan to introduce legislation to end the use of sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities. The Labor & Workplace Standards Committee will be holding an interim work session on this topic in Seattle by the end of 2018.

Women

While women’s rights have made considerable advances, there is still so much work to do. We must provide women who experience sexual assault or harassment avenues for support and legal action, expand opportunities in STEM for young girls, and increase the availability of affordable childcare so women can participate fully in the workplace.

In 2018 Noel supported:

  • HB 2661 – Prohibiting employment discrimination against survivors of domestic violence. (CO-SPONSOR, PASSED)
  • SB 5996 – Encouraging disclosure & discussion of sexual harassment & assault in the workplace
  • SB 6313 – Protecting workers’ rights to file complaints for sexual harass. in employment contracts
  • SB 6471 – Developing policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment.

What’s next?

For more information about the work we did to support women, please visit the section on Economic Opportunity and Healthcare Access.