Capitol Hill’s monthly art walk brings a dose of political action in May. Tonight from 6 to 9 PM at E Mercer’s Generations gallery, NARAL Pro Choice Washington will host an event with artist Mari Shibuya and State Rep. Nicole Macri.
“I’m doing this event with NARAL to promote access to reproductive health care, and I am very glad to support them,” Macri said. “What they’re aiming to do at this event is to make sure we keep and elect legislators both in the House and the Senate in Olympia who will be strong pro choice voices.”
NARAL Pro Choice Washington is an organization with the mission of protecting people’s access to abortion. During election season, NARAL identifies candidates they believe will be champions for reproductive rights, which they define as a candidate who will advocate for reform in the full scope of issues within NARAL’s reproductive rights blueprint, including birth control, abortion access, paid family leave, and pregnancy discrimination. The money from NARAL’s fundraiser Thursday night will be given directly to pro-choice candidates across Washington.
According to Elissa Goss, NARAL’s political director, the funds generated at the event will be used as an “equity measure” to “support candidates in rural areas and candidates who don’t have access to wealthy donors, a wide network, or may be the only pro choice candidate running.”
This fundraiser give NARAL supporters in Seattle the opportunity to stretch their impact beyond the city as portions of the money raised will support candidates such as Emily Randall in Bremerton (26th legislative district), and Claire Wilson in Federal Way (30th legislative district). Randall and Wilson have both been identified as champions for reproductive rights, as Randall works at Planned Parenthood, and both Randall and Wilson would be the first openly queer women in the Washington Senate.
Representative Macri, who Goss describes as “a strong champion for choice, providing an intersectional lens making her the exact kind of candidate NARAL is excited to back,” will be speaking in support of Randall, Wilson, and Tanisha Harris, a pro choice candidate from the 17th legislative district. Macri will also discuss previous impact of the senate pro-choice majority, allowing the Reproductive Parity Act, a bill requiring insurance companies to cover abortion care and birth control, to pass after previously not reaching the floor of the senate for years.
Macri will also address the link between affordable housing and reproductive rights, as she believes the two issues are intertwined, since displacement caused by lack of affordable housing to single mothers, especially single mothers of color, results in these women being unable to consistently access reproductive health services.
Artwork by artist Mari Shibuya will be part of the night. Her art explores the multiplicity of fields influencing the human experience and connects with NARAL’s mission because of Shibuya’s emphasis on identity, experience, and personal truths, Goss notes. “I would say each person’s truth is their own,” Goss said. “Choice is exactly that; it’s your individual choice and her art speaks to people’s individual journeys and perceptions of themselves. That kind of approach is what we love to see in art and activism: speaking your truth, speaking your own identity, then collaborating with a multitude of people.”
The NARAL ART/ACTION event takes place Thursday starting at 6 PM at Generations, 507 E. Mercer. Guests are asked to make “a meaningful donation.” You can learn more at prochoicewashington.org.