Seattle tech and business leaders form racial justice coalition, demand police reforms

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Frances Dewing, CEO of cybersecurity startup Rubica. (Rubica Photograph)

A whole lot of Seattle-area enterprise and know-how leaders shaped a coalition this week to push for racial fairness at their firms and in metropolis authorities.

The Washington Coalition of Companies for Racial Justice despatched a letter to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Tuesday urging her to implement police reforms beneficial by Seattle’s Group Police Fee.

The calls for embody opening up disciplinary hearings to the general public and eradicating limitations, deadlines, and different obstacles to investigating police misconduct. The group can also be asking town to implement reforms that curb the facility of the Seattle Police Officers Guild.

“Mayor Durkan, you might have a singular alternative proper now to convey the enterprise neighborhood and broader neighborhood behind you by main the motion round police reform slightly than reacting to it,” the letter says.

The coalition acknowledged that many activists are “calling for defunding the police altogether” and provided the reforms instead that the police union “could be clever to take proper now.”

The coalition was shaped by Frances Dewing, CEO of the Seattle cybersecurity startup Rubica.

“Dozens of neighborhood organizations have accomplished the onerous work round racial justice and policing reform – the analysis, research, crafting coverage – and have been advocating for particular adjustments to Washington legal guidelines for years,” Dewing wrote in a letter to enterprise leaders. “These are confirmed finest practices. All we have to do is get the politicians to pay attention. They usually hearken to companies.”

A number of hundred enterprise leaders have joined the coalition, in accordance with Dewing. Greater than 80 signed the letter to Durkan, together with the CEOs of Apptentive, Remitly, Amperity, Algorithmia, Glowforge, and different well-known Seattle startups. It’s the newest present of assist from the tech trade for activists who’ve been protesting police violence in cities throughout America for weeks.

Regardless of the rhetoric, the know-how trade has been confounded by variety challenges for many years — and has largely been unsuccessful at transferring the needle. Lower than 1% of staff at U.S. software program firms are black, in accordance with Labor Division statistics masking 2019. Black professionals held simply 3.3% of all senior or government management roles within the U.S. in 2018, and there are simply 4 black CEOs of Fortune 500 firms.

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