Talk about the media’s liberal bias — Hill-based Seattle Gay News associate editor Shaun Knittel is organizing a rally and march starting in Cal Anderson Park Saturday to make sure that R74 doesn’t just pass but is the start of a new social effort.
“Right now we are building our coalition. This week we are reaching out to gain support,” Knittel writes. “SOSea will not disappear after marriage equality comes to Washington State. In fact, we are just getting started!”
SOSea — Social Outreach Seattle — is Knittel’s creation but is growing into a collaboration putting the talents of Seattle’s LGBTQ community — and friends — to work. Performance artist Aleksa Manila serves as the internal communications director. Actor and producer Daniel Hanks organizes “allied communities.”
Hundreds are expected at Saturday’s march but the numbers will really depend on you. SOSea, especially at this point, is grassroots, low-budget and community driven. Here are the details on Saturday’s events:
March for Marriage!
Saturday, October 6th, 11:30a-2p
11:30am: meet at Cal Anderson Park.
11:30am – 12pm noon: RALLY #1 with Rep. Jamie Pedersen confirmed as guest speaker.
12pm noon – 12:35pm: SOSea will lead a good ol’ fashioned MARCH down to WESTLAKE CENTER. Along the way marchers will chant, wave their flags, and so on.
12:35pm – 2pm: RALLY #2 with Shaun Knittel, Joshua Friedes,Marsha Botzer, George Bakan, and Sarah Toce confirmed as guest-speakers.
Organizers say the march is timed to coincide with the mailing of the first ballots for the fall election when “a strong showing of support is necessary.”
In the meantime, SOSea has also produced a series of videos that it is releasing on the Web including a video featuring local burlesque performers urging voters to approve R74.
We also asked Knittel to tell us more about SOSea:
Why form a new group vs. working with an already established organization?
I formed SOSea because I saw a need for an organization that works towards building a bridge between the LGBTQ and Allied communities so together we can tackle some serious issues that exist. Issues like finding more shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth, funding and building an HIV/AIDS Memorial in Cal Anderson Park, and so on. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done and I say the more the merrier.
I despise the us vs. them mentality that sometimes takes hold of our community. It’s so destructive to community building and outreach. Let me be clear: SOSea is not about tearing anyone down or going after some other organization’s mission to put them out of commission. On the contrary, we are all about community outreach, visibility, and pride. That’s why we are leading the charge for the Capitol Hill Rainbow Crosswalk Project. It is also why we our Approve Referendum 74 ads feature locals for the LGBTQ and Allied communities. We exist to do some good on the Hill, throughout the City, and the State of Washington. SOSea believes that a vote to Approve Referendum 74 is a vote to Approve Love. How could we ask people to vote to Approve Love if we speak hate? It’s really that simple. Besides, the wonderful people that work with me and helped me to get SOSea up and running are a great bunch of diverse folks. There’s nothing but love for the community and we are turned off by naysayers and doomsayers. I have no doubt that we will prove our worth in the coming months. SOSea is something the LGBTQ and Allied communities can be proud of.
How is SOSea funded?
Right now we operate on zero budget. I’ve paid for many things out of pocket and a lot of community businesses have donated space and more to our cause. Eventually we will have to raise some funds and that is fine. We do not have a paid staff and are an all volunteer organization. We are in the process of becoming a nonprofit. The point of SOSea is to fund projects, not someones paycheck. So just know that when you donate to SOSea that money is going directly towards a project that we are working on. And we’ve got a lot that we are going to put in place for 2013; Everything from a new film festival to a straight ally committee. It’s exciting. It does take money, but we aren’t talking about gouging the community. I don’t know when and where we got it into our minds that it costs millions of dollars to get something done. The video ads SOSea produced cost us nothing. That’s right, we filmed, edited, and produced them for free. The quality is there. The message is clear. And we didn’t ask the community for dime. It felt really good to give this to everyone without a price tag attached. Look, I’m not delusional, and you will hear SOSea asking for money for future projects, but I am of the belief that there are times when, if you can get it done for free, you should most certainly do that. This way the community will know that when we do ask for donations, it is because there was no other way of getting the project done.
What kind of help does SOSea need?
The community can help by showing support. Rally around us. Visibility is important for any new organization. Like us on Facebook, tell friends about us — stuff like that. It’s nice to feel the love so far. People have been wonderful to us. All of us involved are thankful for the vibrant and amazing LGBTQ and Allied communities that exist here. We are going to do great things together Seattle. Let’s roll up are sleeves and get to work!
Marriage equality isn’t the only important issues on the fall ballot but in the long timeline of Capitol Hill history, it’s an amazingly important vote. Local opportunities to play a larger part in how the vote goes have included the recent Capitol Hill Parties to Raise $20,000 effort. Here are a few more upcoming opportunities to support the cause. You can also by the Washington United for Marriage “action center” on E Pike to pick up signs or volunteer.
Upcoming Capitol Hill R74 Events
- SOSea March for Marriage – Oct. 6th:
- Capitol Hill Supports Marriage Equality! MME Fundraiser – October 7th
Cal Anderson — Calling ALL LGBTQ and allied communities in WA state: Social Outreach Seattle and defend the freedom to marry Saturday, October 6, 12 – 2 p.m. for the Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) MARCH FOR MARRIAGE!
Saint John’s, Solo Bar and Ghost Gallery have teamed up to raise money in support of marriage equality.
Join us on Sunday, Oct. 7th from 5-10pm for a celebratory fundraising event!
DJ’s Nitty Gritty (Sophisticated Mama), Mike Steve and Gin & Tonic!Silent Art, Jewelry and Gift Auction including fabulous pieces by Ellen Forney, Derek Erdman, Jody Joldersma, Jennifer Zwick, &c. Jewelry, Joan Hiller, Marc Tweed, Joey Veltkamp & TONS More!
Raffle for local Gift Certificates and other prizes!
Silent Auction will r
un from 5-9pm (plenty of time to outbid one another), with the winners announced at 9:30pm
***100% of proceeds from the raffle, silent auction and drink specials will go to MUSIC FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY!***
- A Night at Q for Marriage Equality – Oct. 10th:
Join Q Nightclub and Music for Marriage Equality in support of Referendum 74: Featuring Q resident DJs Riz Rollins (also of KEXP), Nark (Q creative director), and Almond Brown… with guest Terry Hecker (aka DJ TROUBLE), Emmy Award recipient for the “It Gets Better” Project. Bar hosted by Q & food provided by Cupcake Royale, Poquitos, Marination, Skillet, and Madison Park Conservatory. Ticket purchase covers entry, food, and drinks. Contact Mea with questions at email@example.com.