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500 Washington State Muslims from 35 Districts to Lobby Lawmakers on MLK Day

CAIR-Seattle-2013-Lobbying-dayMuslim civil rights group's 6th annual event at state capitol to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(SEATTLE, WA, 12/30/2014) — On Monday, January 19, 2015, an estimated 500 Washington state Muslims from more than 35 state legislative districts are scheduled to meet with some 100 state lawmakers in Olympia as part of the annual “Washington State Muslim Lobby Day” organized by that state's chapter of theCouncil on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA), the nation's leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.

Those taking part in the lobby day will seek to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by advocating passage of legislation that helps the most vulnerable in the state by urging legislators to invest $100 million in the 'Housing Trust Fund' for funding of low income housing as part of the biennial budget.

WHAT: 6th 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 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Detailed schedule available on request.
CONTACT: CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari, 206-367-4081 or 206-931-3655, abukhari@cair.com

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Some 500 Washington State Muslims of all ages attend breakfast/training in Olympia Center 9:30-10:30 a.m., march with banners and signs from Olympia Center to the capitol 10:45-11 a.m.; Muslims rally at capitol steps 11-11:15 a.m.; Legislative appointments 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m. (Media are welcome to accompany select groups to meetings, shadow groups, and/or to interview attendees. Meeting schedules available by Jan. 15 on request.)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN WA PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Groups from Spokane, Pullman, West Richland, and Yakima will board tour buses to Olympia on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015. Group members will be available for interviews before departing. Western Washington city residents will board buses to Olympia from their cities at approximately 7 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 19.

Click here to see photos from the 2014 event.

Muslim voters attending the event will represent more than 35 of the 49 state's legislative districts. In addition to urging the full funding of the Housing Trust Fund with an investment of $100 million, they will also provide information about recent anti-Muslim incidents and will urge their legislators to speak out against Islamophobic rhetoric and hate crimes when they happen in their districts.

“This event will provide an opportunity for Muslims from the majority of our state's legislative districts to benefit society by urging lawmakers to champion issues that affect millions of our state's residents of all faiths,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. “This year's attendees will likely 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, well-connected with other allied groups in their regions, and Muslim communities are utilizing these assets to give back to society and promoting the common good.”

Those meeting their elected representatives represent one of the largest groups to have a lobby day at the Washington state capitol. This event is also the second largest Muslim lobby day in the country (Illinois Muslims have held lobby days in Springfield that have brought more than 1,000 Muslims from across their 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.

The 2013 WA Muslim Lobby Day helped achieve two 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 proposed by local Muslims. (Senate resolution 8652). The 2014 WA Muslim Lobby Day supported the passage of the WA Dream Act/Real Hope Act.

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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