43rd District Dems draw big crowd for town hall updates on progress in Olympia

Rep. Chopp, Sen. Pedersen, and Rep. Macri

Constituents of Seattle’s 43rd District packed every pew in Harvard Ave’s First Baptist Church and half the choir-lofts for a town hall meeting on Saturday.

“This is the biggest crowd in our history, let’s say a thousand people,” said Speaker of the House Frank Chopp.

Sen. Jamie Pedersen and Rep. Nicole Macri joined Chopp to discuss the most recent legislative session outcomes in Olympia. Moderator Maxima Patashnik shared questions on carbon tax, education and gun violence protection among the chief concerns from the crowd. Armed with good news and plenty of reasons for the bad, the Democratic lawmakers addressed state gun violence protection measures first. Continue reading

‘This is the time’ — Group raising funds to form LGBTQ+ credit union

Banks can fly Pride flags but a group trying to create a new credit union traditional banks are not meeting the special financial needs of LGBTQ+ customers (Image: CHS)

LGBTQ+ activists Andrew Tasakos and Philip Endicott are heading into pioneering territory just days away from their first major fundraiser to create a credit union they will call Equality Financial. Tasakos and Endicott started their effort to build a financial center serving LGBTQ+ communities four years ago.

Their next move begins Friday, February 16th with a “Party for Equality” fundraiser. The rallying cry of the movement is “Equality for All.” “You don’t have to be a gay, you just need to believe in equality to be a member,” Tasakos says.

“I’ve been very fortunate to live in a region that does not discriminate, but 37% of our community live in the South,” he said. “If we can teach our community to tithe back to ourselves, and teach each other, then we can have a safety net in this country.”

Community organizer and financial advisor Noemi Chaparro agrees. “It’s time that we show-up and stand-up, and create a physical manifestation of this portion of society,” she said. Continue reading

After 20 years of LGBTQ film on Capitol Hill, Three Dollar Bill Cinema director seeks new role

Plourde takes in the scene on 15th Ave E (Image: Michelle MacKinnon for CHS)

Executive director Jason Plourde is bidding farewell to Capitol Hill’s Three Dollar Bill Cinema 20 years after his first day as a volunteer usher.

“It’s a little emotional,” he admits. Looking back, Plourde remembers moving to Seattle during a period he describes as “the coming of age of queer filmmaking.”

Three Dollar Bill is a 12th Ave Arts-headquartered nonprofit dedicated to films “by, for, and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and their families.” The organization is the producer of the annual Twist: Seattle Queer Film Festival, the Translations transgender film fest, and the summertime movie series in Cal Anderson Park. All of these grew and thrived under Plourde’s direction and, hopefully a few times along the way, with him getting a chance to enjoy the show.

The goal of Three Dollar Bill Cinema, board of directors president Joey Burgess says, is “to increase queer visibility, facilitated by arts and film. “Jason has been a wonderful curator of that mission and goal,” he said. Continue reading