You may have never heard of Washington CAN! but you will have heard of who endorses them. Once you know, you'll be as excited as we are (sarcasm) for the Monday event in Tri-Cities the group announced on its website.Washington CAN! bills itself as the largest grassroots community organization in Washington State boasting 35,000 members. On Dec. 10 the group plans to release its "report card" on the state legislature.

The report titled, "Facing Race: 2012 Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity,"  assesses the performance of the state senate and house.

Washington CAN! claims there have been 712 bills passed since 2010 and asks the following questions in a press release:

"Did they vote for legislation that promoted fundamental values like fairness and opportunity for all? Or did they vote for laws that, intentionally or not, widen race-based gaps in education, health, criminal justice, housing, economic stability, and other areas?"

Washington CAN! is an outgrowth of a 1970's Seattle-based community action group. The group's political lobbying helped achieve Washington's high minimum wage. They also claim to have spearheaded the largest voter registration drive in state history. From the press release:

"Washington CAN! fights for progressive social change (bolded for emphasis) at the local, state, and national levels, with a focus on issues that most directly affect the lives of Washington residents. Our mission is to achieve economic fairness in order to establish a democratic society characterized by racial and social justice, with respect for diversity, and a decent quality of life for those who reside in Washington State."

They plan to release their "Facing Race" report at five locations around the state including Pasco at 417 West Lewis Street. A search on Google Maps street view reveals this is a business. Other locations include Seattle, Spokane, Olympia and Tacoma.

What is interesting is the number of "endorsing organizations" listed for Washington CAN!  They include the Arab American Community Coalition that is outspoken defending the Gaza Strip; the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS), which has actively lobbied against Hanford and traditional energy sources; and SEIU (Service Employees International Union).

SEIU is well-known for being one of the most "strong-armed" of unions when it comes to politics. Numerous members and officials have been accused (and some charged) with assault and intimidation. The list of some 50 organizations also includes Got Green?, a controversial green jobs advocacy group for youth, and a voter registration group that was recently accused of illegally concealing its finances and violating public disclosure laws.

Check out the chosen venue for this upcoming press conference:

(courtesy Google maps-street view)