As an education equity advocate and a Spokanite, I find it incredibly important that we pass Substitute House Bill 1140 to protect young people’s constitutional rights. The legislature should support the success of Washington’s youth and their right to counsel by passing SHB 1140.
Providing youth with access to counsel when it counts improves public safety. Respecting a youth’s rights helps them and their community build trust in the system. Individuals who trust the system are more likely to comply with it. It is a small and important step to building a strong, safe, and healthy community.
As Chesa Boudin, district attorney for San Francisco, so eloquently said regarding their ordinance providing youth with access to counsel: “[it] makes our community safer and has not diminished my office’s ability to prosecute serious and violent crimes.”
Kenji Linane-Booey, League of Education Voters