500 Washington State Muslims from 40 Districts to Lobby Lawmakers on MLK Day 

WA-lobby-dayAnnual event at state capitol to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(SEATTLE, WA, 1/15/2014) -- On Monday, January 20, an estimated 500 Washington state Muslims from almost 40 state legislative districts are scheduled to meet with some 120 of their state lawmakers in Olympia as part of the annual "Washington State Muslim Lobby Day" organized by that state's chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA), the nation's leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.

WHAT: 5th Annual Washington State Muslim Lobby Day 
WHERE: Morning assembly at Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, WA. March to capitol, rally on capitol steps and legislative visits on capitol campus
WHEN: Monday, January 20, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Click here to read a detailed schedule.
CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, abukhari@cair.com

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Some 500 Washington State Muslims march with banners and signs from Olympia Center to the capitol; Muslims rally at capitol steps; Legislative appointments 11:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. (Media are welcome to accompany some groups to meetings, shadow groups, and/or to interview attendees. Meeting schedules available on request.) 

Click here to see photos from 2013 event.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN WA PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Groups from Spokane, Pullman, Richland, and Yakima will board tour buses to Olympia on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 19. Group members will be available for interviews before departing. 

Muslim voters attending the event will represent at least 35 of the 49 state legislative districts. They will provide information about recent anti-Muslim incidents and will urge their legislators to courageously speak out against Islamophobic rhetoric and hate crimes. Participants will also urge legislators to take action on other issues, including increasing state funding for low income housing.

"This event will provide an opportunity for Muslims from the majority of our state's legislative districts to make a measurable impact on state politics by urging lawmakers to support issues that affect not just Muslims but also the most vulnerable members of larger society," said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. "This year's attendees will represent more districts than were covered last year, so elected representatives will learn that their local Muslim communities are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about state politics, better organized and well-connected with other allied groups in their regions."

Those meeting their elected representatives represent one of the largest groups to have a lobby day at the Washington state capitol and will be part of the largest gathering of Muslims from across the state.

CAIR-WA's annual lobbying day has been held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year since 2010 and is designed to honor the legacy of Dr. King and his defense of civil rights through bold and successful  advocacy on issues that impact the most vulnerable in society. Last year's lobby day focused on two issues that resulted in legislative victories. State lawmakers expanded Medicaid coverage to cover a quarter million (250,000) more low-income adults in Washington state and the state's Republican-majority senate became the first in the nation to pass the religious freedom resolution. (Senate resolution 8652)

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, abukhari@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

 


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