Gender Justice League announces founder Askini to step down — UPDATE

Askini at this year’s Trans Pride Seattle march

The Gender Justice League, a nonprofit with an important presence on Capitol Hill providing support and advocacy for transgender and gender diverse people, has announced executive director Danni Askini has stepped down from the organization she helped found:

Gender Justice League has been rapidly growing in size, budget, and influence. However, under our current model, we will not be able to sustain this rate of growth indefinitely. We are taking this opportunity to undergo a strategic restructuring of our organization.

Askini’s legal situation, meanwhile, is fraught. Continue reading

15 things CHS heard at Rep. Jayapal’s Capitol Hill town hall

7th Congressional District Rep. Pramila Jayapal spoke with over 100 constituents Thursday evening at The Summit on Pike as part of her ongoing efforts to get out the vote and boost campaign donations across the nation ahead of the November 6th midterm elections.

The Democrat spent the previous four days in four different states stumping for candidates challenging Republican incumbents including Ohio’s Aftab Pureval, the first Tibetan American running for U.S. Congress, and Kara Eastman in Nebraska. Jayapal was planning next to visit Los Angeles and New Mexico, among other places, to try to help boost chance of a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives following the critical midterm vote.

Jayapal said she was asked if she was exhausted. “I said ‘yeah, maybe, I haven’t really given myself the time to think about it’ because you know what, I will be more exhausted if we don’t flip the house,” Rep. Jayapal said. “So I’m going to do everything I can to flip the house.”

15 Things CHS heard at the ‘Don’t Agonize, Organize’ town hall

  1. Rep. Jayapal does not think of her platform as progressive. “These are centrist ideas in that they serve the center of the country,” she said. “Why should centrist mean serving the top 10 percent?”
  2. When prompted by an attendee, Rep. Jayapal said “I love the idea of a federal jobs guarantee,” referring to the idea pushed by progressives across the nation that every American should be entitled to a job that pays $15 per hour and includes benefits, such as health care and child care. Continue reading

Mayor says Seattle Police won’t be part of any legal pot crackdown

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says her police department will not be part of any crackdown on the city’s legal pot businesses as reports spread of a plan to rescind a federal policy that has been key to state legalization.

“Let’s be clear: Our Seattle Police Department will not participate in any enforcement action related to legal businesses or small personal possession of marijuana by adults,” Durkan said in a statement released Thursday morning in anticipation of the planned move by Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“Federal law enforcement will find no partner with Seattle to enforce the rollback of these provisions,” Durkan said in the statement. “I have full confidence that Seattle, our Attorney General, and our Governor will lead to ensure our businesses, residents, and visitors are protected from this overreach.” Continue reading

‘Java with Jayapal’ in a Broadway cafe: Trump, GOP banking on resistance fatigue

(Images: Alex Garland)


Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) met up with the Capitol Hill community Wednesday morning for some intimate updates and Q&A. The session inside Broadway’s Espresso Vivace showed the representative is busy doing the best she can to block Trump-esque bills with little time to push her own agenda through Congress.

“I mean, in reality, on the floor, our game is unfortunately a lot of opposition,” Jayapal said Wednesday. “We don’t get the opportunity to put bills forward the way they should be, or even craft them. There used to be hearings where you could offer amendments and reasonable people on both sides of the aisle would support a sensible amendment. That really happens hardly at all.”

As a result, Jayapal says she puts her priorities elsewhere. She explained to the gathered group that her focus remains on constituent services, getting more people involved, changing the makeup of who is involved, and being present in communities.

Jayapal is still able to find a way to move some efforts forward. Continue reading

Jayapal talks health care, climate change, fake news, battling Trump

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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, representing Capitol Hill’s 7th District in Washington D.C., held her first town hall since taking office Monday night, appropriately enough, at a packed Town Hall Seattle.

“Some people have called me the anti-Trump, and I’m so proud,” Jayapal said in front of a crowd that put its “AGREE” signs to frequent use.

Jayapal’s office estimated 1,000 people attended the First Hill session.

Jayapal took questions about a number of issues surrounding work she’s done during her first two months in office and her fight against the president’s agenda.

Immediately notable as the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives, Jayapal started her career in D.C. with an early stance of opposition against the new president when she declined to attend the Trump inauguration. Jayapal joined the protest against the first Trump immigration ban with a call for the release of individuals held at Sea-Tac and joined Governor Jay Inslee in declaring Washington a hate-free state.

Jayapal’s status as a resistance leader puts her in good company replacing Rep. Jim McDermott retired after representing the 7th District for 14 terms and was considered by many as one of the most left-leaning members of Congress. She sits on two subcommittees — the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, as well as the Committee on the Budget.

Monday night, the crowd greeted Jayapal with a standing ovation and signs supporting the congresswoman, making the event feel almost like a rally, but members of the public did ask her about the next moves for the seemingly pinned-down Democratic Party and how she and her fellow party members plan to fight the administration and Republicans in Congress on a number of issues. Continue reading

With ballots in the mail next week, 7th District underdog Walkinshaw faces Jayapal in library debate

In some races this November, the choice will be easy. Do you want to elect a hugely qualified former Senator and Secretary of State to lead the country or would you prefer to push the nation further into the mire of fascism? In others, because you live in Seattle, you will be choosing between two qualified progressives. One of your last chances to see the candidates to replace retiring 7th District Rep. Jim McDermott talk about their campaigns in person comes Thursday night at the downtown library:

This year the residents of the 7th Congressional District will vote to replace Rep Jim McDermott, who has held his seat since 1989. This will be a hotly contested race between Pramila Jayapal and Brady Walkinshaw, and one which will have a lasting impact on our region.

This debate is free and open to all. To submit a question for Jayapal and/or Walkinshaw click here.

Moderated by: C.R. Douglas (Q13 FOX News) and Essex Porter (KIRO 7 News)

Continue reading