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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 14, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 02
Councilmember Harrell announces six LGBT Commission appointees
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Councilmember Harrell announces six LGBT Commission appointees

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Last week, Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell announced the appointment of six new members to the Seattle LGBT Commission.

Harrell ensures that the Office for Civil Rights actively enforces the rules prohibiting bigotry in all of its forms (including attacks against the LGBT community) and makes sure the concerns of the LGBT Commission are disseminated to the full Council, mayor, and the greater community so that the awareness of LGBT issues are known to all. 'These appointments will help strengthen the rights of the LGBT community and defeat bigotry,' he said.

Harrell said that one of his jobs is to make sure the LGBT Commission is properly staffed and that 'its members are genuinely committed to LGBT issues.'

This year, Brad Hoover (co-chair), Vy Chu, Lincoln Rose, Dane Boog, Eleazar Juarez-Diaz (co-chair), and Tiffany Nelson will join existing members Adeeba NaaSira, Joel Ballezza, Lillie Cridland, and Christopher Peguero to make up the 2011 Seattle LGBT Commission.

For more information on the commissioners or to read their biographies, visit www.seattle.gov/LGBT/commissioners.htm.

The Seattle LGBT Commission consists of 15 representative citizens of Seattle appointed by the mayor and City Council to serve in an advisory capacity to the mayor, City Council, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and other Seattle City departments. The mayor appoints seven commissioners, and seven appointments are made by the City Council. The Commission appoints the 15th member. Commissioners are appointed to a two-year term of office and serve without pay.

According to Harrell, important LGBT Commission work this year includes:

o Continued outreach and relationship building with the Council and mayor's office.

o Departmental inclusion of LGBT training alongside RSJI training.

o Determine and advocate for legislation the LGBT community would like to see passed in 2011.

o Continued presence at the Seattle Police Department's LGBT Advisory Council.

o Youth Safety: Compile bullying and harassment data from surveys; engage community partners with data and identify possible solutions and opportunities for collaboration; develop anti-bullying events and materials for 2011-2012 school year.

o Develop outreach plan to engage diverse communities on LGBT issues.

o Complete analysis of 'Snapshot Seattle' needs-assessment survey of LGBT community.

Last year, the Seattle LGBT Commission launched a new website and online survey to assess the needs of Seattle's LGBT community. The 10-minute survey asked participants a series of questions evaluating their experiences and thoughts about living, working, and playing in Seattle. The survey included questions about housing, education, health, public safety, and community involvement. The survey was anonymous and the data is currently being assessed and prepared for a final report.

The data collected in the survey is completely anonymous. All results will be shared with the public and partner organizations so that everyone can benefit from the data collected and to encourage collaboration on addressing the issues raised. The survey was developed in collaboration with community organizations and is being promoted widely by the Commission, City officials, and nonprofit organizations.

According to Harrell, the report will be used by the Commission, City departments, nonprofit organizations, and several businesses and associations to address the issues raised in the survey.

'The survey is an important first step as City officials, the LGBT Commission, and nonprofit and community organizations address the needs of the LGBTQ community in Seattle,' said Harrell. 'The survey results will give us a snapshot of our community today. It will help us identify ways to make improvements.'

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