+1 (218) 451-4151 info@writersnest.org

Affirmative Action in Seattle
Present efforts to repeal affirmative action are based on several general
misconceptions. One is that our society, having reached a point of true equality,
no longer needs programs that help government recruit and hire qualified women,
people of color, and persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, there is abundant
evidence — from Census Bureau data and academic studies, to news accounts and
everyday experiences — that we still have a long way to go to achieve equality
of opportunity for all social groups.
Another misconception is that affirmative action is based on quotas, and
that, as a result, the government is hiring unqualified candidates. This view
fundamentally misrepresents the reality of affirmative action in the City of
Seattle. The City’s affirmative action program does not establish numerical
quotas for hiring decisions, nor does it result in the hiring of unqualified
candidates on the basis of gender or race.
What the City of Seattle’s affirmative action program does is very
simple: first, it gives City managers and personnel officers a snapshot of the
labor market, so that they are aware of the availability rates for different
groups for a given job classification. Through these availability rates, the
City can determine whether or not women, people of color, or persons with
disabilities are underrepresented in a given job classification within the work
force; second, the City’s affirmative action program encourages managers and
personnel officers to make special outreach efforts into groups and communities
that are underrepresented in our work force, in order to increase the number of
qualified candidates in the potential hiring pool;
Third, the City’s affirmative action program directs that when there are
two fully qualified candidates for a given position, preference should be given
to the candidate that will make our work force more reflective of the labor pool
and the broader community.