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).”
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.