30-member LGBTQ task force will take on Seattle hate crime with focus on Capitol Hill

From the #caphillpsa campaign (Image: Carissa Leeson via Flickr)

From the #caphillpsa campaign (Image: Carissa Leeson via Flickr)

Mayor Ed Murray, a Capitol Hill resident and the first openly gay mayor of Seattle, announced Thursday morning the members of a new task force to address anti-LGBTQ hate crimes in Seattle.

At 30 strong, the group — you’ll find the roster, below represents a mix of community activists, business leaders, and public officials. Capitol Hill is, of course, well represented.

The task force is being formed to “develop recommendations to create a safer environment for LGBT people in Seattle and to specifically address ongoing issues on Capitol Hill.”

“There are still people in this world who believe LGBT people should be denied the most basic human right, the right to live without fear of violence because of who you are or who you love,” Murray says in the statement announcing the new group, below.

Earlier this month, city officials and advocates gathered at a Capitol Hill forum to talk about ways to curb bias crimes. This week, a 25-year-old man said he was attacked in Georgetown in a gay bashing. While there are clearly criminal elements involved in the bias, some like City Council member Kshama Sawant point at problems of economic disparity that underpin hate crime. Meanwhile, in recent counts, officials found LGBTQ youth make up a disproportionately large percentage of the county’s homeless population galvanizing the call for new shelters for young people.

Mayor Ed Murray Names Capitol Hill/LGBT Task Force

Mayor launches task force to address community concerns about issues of public safety for LGBT people on Capitol Hill

SEATTLE (March 19, 2015) Mayor Ed Murray announced a task force today to develop recommendations to create a safer environment for LGBT people in Seattle and to specifically address ongoing issues on Capitol Hill. 

LGBT people have reported increased violence, verbal harassment, and bias crimes on Capitol Hill and other Seattle neighborhoods. Hate crime statistics from SPD show a rise in bias crimes between 2013 and 2014.

“Capitol Hill is an eclectic neighborhood that is attracting more businesses, residents and visitors every day – and it’s the neighborhood I’m proud to call home,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “I am eager to hear their recommendations to improve safety on Capitol Hill and citywide while making everyone feel welcome – regardless of who they are or who they love. This issue is important to me both as the Mayor, and as a longtime resident of Capitol Hill.”

The Task Force will look at how the City of Seattle can constructively work with community members, businesses and organizations to increase safety and LGBT visibility in Capitol Hill and citywide – as well as to honor the history of the neighborhood.

The Task Force will be made up of the following people:

  • Louise Chernin, GSBA
  • Michael Wells, Capitol Hill Chamber
  • Marxa Marnia, LGBT Commission Co-chair
  • John Bailey, Amazon
  • Kelly Stonelake, Facebook Creative Shop
  • Raven E. Heavy Runner, Northwest Two-Spirit Society Acting Co-Chair
  • Luzviminda “Lulu” Carpenter, LGBT Commission
  • Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation
  • Brady Walkinshaw, Legislative Representative, 43rd District
  • Elayne Wylie, Gender Justice League
  • Shelley Brothers, Wildrose
  • Kristen Wieliczka, Director of Civic Engagement for Seattle University Student Body
  • Mineth Elman McClain, Director, Public Safety, Seattle Central Community College
  • Josh Castle, Community Organizer
  • Jim Ritter, Seattle Police Department
  • Michael Renner, Seattle Police Department
  • Sina Ebinger, Seattle Police Department
  • Jared Brayton Bollenbacher, Social Worker
  • Marcos Martinez, Entre Hermanos
  • Jesse Gilliam, Ingersoll Gender Center, Council Staff
  • Shannon Dority, Northwest Network
  • Monisha Harrell, Equal Rights Washington
  • Lauren Mathisen, Capitol Hill Community Council
  • Danni Askini, Gender Justice League
  • Jarreau Greene, Square Arts Program
  • Darrell Goodwin, Dean of Students at Seattle University
  • Melinda Giovengo, Youthcare
  • Shaun Knittel, Seattle Gay News
  • Co-Chairs are Josh Castle and Monisha Harrell.

“The group we have assembled has a proven track record of success,” Mayor Ed Murray said. “We have not seen a coalition like this since the marriage equality campaigns. Clearly our work was not finished when we won in November 2012. There are still people in this world who believe LGBT people should be denied the most basic human right, the right to live without fear of violence because of who you are or who you love.”

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6 thoughts on “30-member LGBTQ task force will take on Seattle hate crime with focus on Capitol Hill

  1. Justin, just curious about your statement about Murray being the first openly gay mayor of a “major US city.” I believe Sam Adams was openly gay and mayor of Portland long before Murray became mayor of Seattle. Was this language taken from a Murray press release? Census bureau shows the 2013 estimated Seattle population as 652K and Portland as 609K. Quite similar.

  2. Pingback: Pike/Pine party art and anti-LGBTQ violence protest respond to a changing neighborhood | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle