Women’s rights advocate joins District 3 race for Seattle’s new City Council

(Image: Morgan Beach)

(Image: Morgan Beach)

Morgan Beach, a women’s rights advocate and resident of the Portage Bay neighborhood north of Capitol Hill, announced she will enter the race to lead Seattle’s newly formed District 3.

“This is not about grandstanding, this is about governing. I am not running to make speeches,” Beach said in the statement (below) announcing her candidacy. “I’m running to get the five votes necessary to change city policy regarding gender pay inequities, full funding of maternity and parental leave, small business assistance, and housing discrimination (especially against families).”

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Beach, 28, moved to Seattle from Colorado in 2012 and now handles corporate partnerships and fundraising for the Seattle branch of the American Red Cross. She also sits on the Seattle Women’s Commission, which advises the mayor and City Council on issues impacting women in the city.

Beach told CHS that gender pay equity would be her top issue in the campaign against expected frontrunner, current City Council member Kshama Sawant. Last week, LGBTQ advocate Rod Hearne ended months of speculation and announced he was also entering the District 3 race.

“Council member Sawant wants a socialist revolution, I want gender equity,” Beach said. “I like working with other people more than anything else.”

Council member Jean Godden has long advocated for gender pay equity within the city and helped launch the Gender Equity Initiative last year. Beach acknowledged Godden’s work but said the city had yet to take concrete steps to address one of the worst gender pay gaps among major U.S. cities. If elected, Beach said she wanted to push for gender pay equity in the private sector, as well.

When the city was considering moving to district elections, proponents argued smaller campaigns would allow lesser-known candidates to enter races. That seems to be the case in District 3 — Hearne and Beach both told CHS that districts were central in their decisions to run.

Following the Hearne announcement, CHS asked readers for their priorities for District 3. You’ll note we lumped Portage Bay into “Elsewhere in District 3” in the survey. Perhaps a more notable oversight, we also did not include a specific item in the survey for “women’s rights.” Beach appears poised to put the issues of gender equity and discrimination more solidly on the table.

Here’s the full announcement from Beach:

Women’s Rights Advocate Morgan Beach Runs for Seattle City Council
Women’s rights advocate Morgan Beach announced today she is running for the Seattle City Council in Seattle City Council District 3.

“At the end of the 2015 elections, we could easily have only one or two women on the Seattle City Council. This is at a time when Seattle has the fifth worst gender pay gap in the country. These gender equity issues need to be addressed and that’s why I’m running,” said Morgan Beach.

Morgan Beach is currently a Commissioner and Chair of the Economic & Educational Opportunities Committee on the Seattle Women’s Commission. She also serves as a Legislative and Public Policy Advocate with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and as a blood drive coordinator with the Puget Sound Blood Center. She currently works at the American Red Cross.

“This is not about grandstanding, this is about governing. I am not running to make speeches. I’m running to get the five votes necessary to change city policy regarding gender pay inequities, full funding of maternity and parental leave, small business assistance, and housing discrimination (especially against families),” said Morgan Beach.

“I have a long-term vision of Seattle as the venture capital, incubator and  entrepreneurial epicenter for female owned businesses, particularly tech businesses including providing more STEM opportunities for young girls. We should be making an amazing, bold statement about our values and commitment to social justice as we cement Seattle as a central hub for the technology sector. The gender pay gap is simply unacceptable, I want us to start living up to our reputation as a progressive city” added Beach.

Morgan Beach lives in the Portage Bay neighborhood of Seattle.

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28 thoughts on “Women’s rights advocate joins District 3 race for Seattle’s new City Council

  1. I’m excited to see Morgan joining the race! I don’t know much about her, but am looking forward to learning more. I love the idea that it’s not about making speeches and is instead about governing. The priorities she sets out are great. Go get it!!

  2. I presume ““This is not about grandstanding, this is about governing. I am not running to make speeches. I’m running to get the five votes necessary to change city policy regarding gender pay inequities, full funding of maternity and parental leave, small business assistance, and housing discrimination (especially against families),”
    is a jab at Sawant for a perceived lack of legislation, when I don’t think anyone who has been watching the council would suggest that she has been lacking in sponsoring legislation. I also am interested to hear how replacing the only minority woman on the council with another women will get an additional vote for addressing gender inequalities, you’d think someone who feels that way would run against Tim Burgess at- large.

  3. Thankful someone is bringing up not only the issue of fair pay and gender discrimination in Seattle’s work force, but also that fact that no concrete actions have been taken to address the issue in council.

    No more studies. We have the data and the fact is we have a problem.

    Looking forward to hearing more.

  4. So wait, she says that there’s not enough women on the City Council…so her answer is to run against one of the only women there – and the only woman of color? Absurd.

    • This really confuses me too. Why not run against Burgess so that she can increase the number of women on the counsel? It would be like Rod Hearne running against Sally Clark because he wants more LGBT people on the counsel. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. (Also interesting that Sawant is 1 of only 2 people of color and the only sitting counsel member who represents Seattle’s growing foreign born population).

  5. I hate saying this as a fellow transplant, but I’m just not comfortable being represented by someone who’s only lived in Seattle since 2012.

  6. I want somebody to finally form a commission dedicated to promoting the rights and interests of the asexual Filipino midget lesbian bike-riding vegan community. The injustices suffered by this group should no longer be ignored. Let’s divdivefunding from that neofascist capitalist minded transportation department towards this cause. After all , shouldn’t a city government spending more of its time and taxpayer money on tthings that are entirely unrelated to running a municipality?

  7. I welcome Ms. Hearne into the race, if only because Sawant needs some competition to make the campaign more of a democratic process. But I hope she will advocate for more than the gender-pay issue. It’s an important one, but there are others equally important. And, from a practical point of view, a “one-issue candidate” is unlikely to gain much traction.

    • It’s Ms.Beach, who moved here in 2012 vs Rod Hearne, a 4th generation Seattleite with a personal and family record of civic engagement in equal rights issues writ broad, not special unit by special unit. A true commitment to equity for all.

  8. “Council member Sawant wants a socialist revolution, I want gender equity”

    I want a city that has a government that actually pays attention to the issues affecting the entire city, not just 50% of it, not grandstanding for a socialist revolution (LOL). But I suppose I’m not high enough in the Hierarchy of the Oppressed to have my voice heard in Seattle these days.

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