State Rep. Valdez emphasizing hate crimes, gun safety, justice, transportation in 2021 legislature

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Rep. Javier Valdez D-46
By Evan Smith

State Rep. Javier Valdez is concentrating on justice, hate-crime and transportation issues in the legislative session that started Jan. 11.

Valdez is chairman of the committee on state government in the state House of Representatives and a member of the Transportation Committee and the committee on civil rights and the judiciary.

“As the new chair of the State Government and Tribal Relations Committee, I am looking forward to passing a bill to allow the restoration of felony voting rights,” he said last week. 
“In our justice system, people of color are disproportionately convicted of felonies. Restoring voting rights to felons is vital to an inclusive democracy and an unbiased criminal justice system.
“We have a lot to do to make Washington safe, just, and equitable for everyone who calls it home. Hate crimes have alarmingly risen in our country and in our state. Washington State ranks number three in the amount of reported hate crimes in the United States. That’s unacceptable. 
"Meanwhile, our federal administration has emboldened white supremacists over the last four years, and our state policies often ignore problems facing immigrants and communities of color. I am sponsoring House Bill 1071 that addresses hate crimes and makes Washington more inclusive.”

Valdez said that he is also sponsoring House Bill 1164 to limit the sale of high-capacity magazines, something that he said would protect communities from violent tragedies.

HB 1164 would prohibit the manufacture, possession, distribution, importation, sale, purchase or transfer of large capacity magazines.

He said that on the Transportation Committee, he is working on a proposal to help women- and minority-owned businesses get better opportunities with the state’s transportation projects.

“We conducted 90 listening sessions last year with transportation stakeholders, and we’re using what we heard to invest in projects that support frontline communities, enable economic recovery, and aggressively pursue carbon reduction,” he said.

Valdez is a Democrat representing the 46th Legislative District, including Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and northeast Seattle neighborhoods such as Lake City.

Evan Smith can be reached at


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