affirmative action | KNKX

affirmative action

In this April 18 file photo, former Washington governors (from left) Dan Evans, Chris Gregoire, and Gary Locke sit together before testifying in favor of Initiative 1000 before a joint Washington state House and Senate committee in Olympia.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

In 1998, Washington voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 200, which effectively ended affirmative action in the state.

Now, 21 years later, voters in the Nov. 5 general election will once again have a chance to weigh in on the issue. The vote will test whether attitudes about affirmative action have changed over the past two decades.

When the test scores came out, Lucas Siqueira, 27, was really excited. His high mark on the Foreign Service exam earned him a coveted position at Brazil's highly competitive Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"They hire 30 diplomats a year and thousands of people sign up," he says in fluent English from his home in Brasilia, the capital.

It was, he says, a great day.

Siqueira considers himself to be mixed race, known in Brazil as pardo, or brown.