Building an LGBTQ Community Center for Seattle



Seattle is well known for its rich history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community organizing, activism and cultural expression – in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, in particular.

However, unlike San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, Denver, New York City, and Chicago, the City of Seattle does not have an official LBGTQ Community Center.

In June 2011, the Seattle LGBT Commission’s Report of Needs Assessment Survey 2010 stated that “[t]he City of Seattle should work with LGBTQ businesses and organizations to develop a LGBTQ Center that could supply career information for the LGBTQ community, provide a safe space for youth, and deliver informational resources to visitors and residents of Seattle.”

The immediacy of our need for an LGBTQ Community Center can not be understated. LGBTQ workplace discrimination remains widespread, and LGBTQ members of our community face a truly horrifying number of hate crimes. At the same time, members of the LGBTQ community, particularly LGBTQ youth, are disproportionately impacted by homelessness.

Earlier this year, I stood with LGBTQ activists as they rallied against hate, and in favor of a number of LGBTQ-friendly demands, including the creation of an LGBTQ Community Center. Together, we are calling on the Council to support my Statement of Legislative Intent calling on the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to draft a plan, in cooperation with community organizations, that explores how we can build a LGBTQ community center in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

This Center should have been built decades ago. It is essential that we ask all Councilmembers to support this vital step forward now.

Please take just a few minutes right now to contact Councilmembers and ask them to support my Statement of Legislative Intent 66-1-a-2 calling on the City to plan the creation of a LGBTQ Community Center in Seattle.

1) Email all Councilmembers at once at council@seattle.gov.

2) Call individual Councilmembers:

SALLY BAGSHAW – 206-684-8801; TIM BURGESS – 206-684-8806;

JEAN GODDEN – 206-684-8807; BRUCE HARRELL – 206-684-8804;

NICK LICATA – 206-684-8803; MIKE O’BRIEN – 206-684-8800;

JOHN OKAMOTO – 206-684-8802; TOM RASMUSSEN – 206-684-8808

3) Then Come to City Hall for Critical Budget Votes – Monday, November 16, 10 am at Seattle City Hall.

Councilmembers will be voting on which changes they want to make to the budget, including this Statement of Legislative Intent. We need your help to pack City Hall to urge Councilmembers to approve every amendment to improve this year’s Seattle City budget.

 

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