June 22, 07
V 35 Issue 25

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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019



SGN chats with Councilwoman Sally Clark
SGN chats with Councilwoman Sally Clark
Three ho-hum challengers seek her Council seat

by Lisa Walls - SGN Contributing Writer

I have a friend so besotted with SallyClark she said she might frame the May 16 cover of the Seattle Weekly on which Sally's face appeared. My personal opinion? Sally resembles, almost to a disturbing degree, the first woman with whom I shacked up. Though I won't be framing any issues of the Weekly, I did enjoy chatting with her the day after her cover girl debut.

"How does it feel to be a cover girl?" I asked.

"Only five days left until there's a new cover," she said. Sally talked about how sweet the photographer was, and how there were only two unsmiling photos on the contact sheets among the many he'd taken. Oddly, these were the only two published. On the cover, the camera is aimed up at her small frame, her image is stamped, "untouchable." Now, six weeks hence, Sally has three folks who've signed on as challengers for her Seattle City Council seat. She needn't fear, all three are fringe candidates.

There's Stan Lippman, a guy who's been an annoying, invasive weed in the local political scene for the past 10 years with unsuccessful bids for positions too numerous to count, plus two other unknowns--Judy Fenton, who's biggest beef is outdoor nudie art, and Bob Brown, a retired Seattle firefighter. Bob isn't happy the city invested in bike lanes.

I started my interview with a few questions related to the Weekly article. She quickly tired of the subject matter; an irritated look crossed her face. "Is this going to be all about the article?" she said. I changed tack, though Sally wasn't keen on talking about her personal life, either.

Sally and her partner, Liz, have been a couple for ten years. Before they moved in together they had a ceremony Sally calls "an intentional." With friends in attendance, they planted three trees in Seward Park and drank champagne. Prior to their ceremony they consulted with the Parks Department and decided native oak would be the best species. "One tree's died, but it's to be expected. We don't consider it an omen."

She and Liz try to keep Thursday nights for themselves. If she allowed it, Sally's political obligations could dominate her calendar every week night. "I try to keep that date. I like to keep rituals. Communication about time management and making each other a priority is important."

I asked what she thought it was like for Liz to have a partner who's a public figure. "Every so often, at a public event, someone makes a beeline for me and she doesn't like that. They don't acknowledge her." Will she and Liz register as domestic partners on July 23rd? "We haven't made a formal plan. We'll be talking about it. We're both happy the bill made it through the Legislature. Until I talk to her, I can't say." Sally was reticent about sharing her coming out story. The first time she kissed another girl was in college. She blushed and said, "She was a study partner. I know a lot of people. We'll leave it at that. I was 19."

Her favorite books:

Sometimes a Great Notion, Ken Kesey. "I found it hard to get into but then I loved it."

Wicked, Gregory Maguire. "And now I can't stop listening to the soundtrack."

Favorite Queer author? "David Sedaris."

Dressiest outfit? "A fantastic velvet tuxedo jacket."

In the press, Sally's been portrayed as completely even-keel. What is she like when she's mad?

"I'm not much of a table pounder," she said. "If I get mad, it's because I feel like I've been deceived in some way or if I'm on the losing end of a discussion and I feel like I was in the right."


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