Central Washington Home Builders Association and Progressive Majority taking The Lead in Yakima on Candidate Transparency(Yakima, Wash.) – The Board of Directors of the Central Washington Home Builders Association (CWHBA) made the decision this week to modify its candidate endorsement policy to include mandatory background checks for anyone seeking election support going forward. Also joining the bandwagon is the Progressive Majority.The background checks are free and self-authorized by the candidates. The CWHBA and Progressive Majority are partnering with Candidate Verification, a non-profit 501C3 organization based in Seattle to make this requirement possible. Once the candidate has had the opportunity to review his or her background check, Candidate Verification will then post it online for the public to see.
“As one of our region’s most active political advocacy organizations, it seemed a natural fit to make background checks a pre-requisite for our endorsement,” said Joe Walsh, Government Affairs Director for the CWHBA. Added Progressive Majority Director, EJ Juarez: “We are excited to join the CWHBA and other groups who care about improving public trust in Yakima and across the state. We believe this is a good year to introduce CandidateVerification in Yakima County.”
Already implementing mandatory background checks is the Western Washington advocacy organization, Stand for Children and the Spokane Home Builders Association. Others encouraging candidates to comply, but not making it mandatory, include: the King County Municipal League, King County Republican Party, Snohomish County REALTORS Association, and Democrats for Education Reform.
“Our hope is that our bipartisan approach to encouraging participation will inspire other groups from both sides of the aisle to follow our lead,” added CWHBA’s Walsh. “This is a very non-partisan issue, so we have started the process of reaching out to political, labor, and business organizations which support and endorse candidates and asking them to join us in making candidate transparency a priority. We are calling on the Yakima Herald Republic to join-in as well.”
“Independent third party reports can prompt unexpected support for the candidate,” said Juarez. “The voters of Yakima County will have the facts. Organizations like ours will have greater assurance of the candidate’s qualifications. Background checks provide the entire community the transparency that is currently missing.”