Native Americans Influence Politics in WA

March 9, 2004

Source: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

On March 9, 2004 The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, "It's nearing four years since the fall of the so-called 'Indian fighter' from Congress -- a fall some political observers say largely was induced by a collective shove from Native Americans. Still, the defeat of Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., in 2000 loudly resonates today in Indian country: a "great victory," as one Native political activist put it, aided by one of the nation's smallest minority groups. Now, behind rising economic clout and grass-roots activism, Indian voters in the Northwest and beyond are gearing up for what they hope will be repeat performances at the ballot box. Bolstered by favorable outcomes of recent political races that Indian voters arguably influenced, tribes and Native advocacy groups say they're targeting contests nationwide in which the Indian vote figures to factor most. They're also mobilizing voter-registration initiatives, organizing fund-raisers and securing political donations like never before."