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Seattle Human Rights Commission prototypes a human rights scorecard for those seeking elected office



In January of 2021, Emma Kamb, Katie Pattenaude, Jack F Reinhardt, and Joey Uzarski started their journey as Fellows for the Seattle Human Rights Commission; under the supervision of Commission Co-Chair Ty Grandison. Their task was simple – create a framework that could be used to elevate electoral candidates through a human rights lens.


After six months of investigation and design, the team devised a framework and applied it to the mayoral candidates for the Seattle mayoral primary race. In the final report (available at https://bit.ly/HRScore2021), they present their preliminary framework that attempts to externalize and quantify the human rights positions of current and future office holders.


The team’s methodology involved: 1) deriving a tractable set of human rights dimensions that they used to evaluate each individual; based on the 30 Articles of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, 2) determining sources of evidence that allow the team to substantiate (or not) an individual’s supportive actions (or lack thereof) for each dimension, and 3) constructing a scoring framework that allows for, as consistent and fair as possible, evaluation and scoring, based on candidate actions, to occur.


The team hopes that this work helps move Seattle forward as it seeks to live up to its designation as a human rights city.


“It is our hope that this first attempt at a providing visibility and accountability into the human rights stances of the people who want to represent us will be a useful tool for Seattle citizens and a helpful component in the City’s toolkit moving forward” – Commissioner Dr Tyrone Grandison

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