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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 13, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 19
Seattle LGBT Commission releases preliminary findings from major survey
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Seattle LGBT Commission releases preliminary findings from major survey

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The Seattle LGBT Commission released a preliminary report this week of the results from a six-week online survey to assess the needs of Seattle's LGBT community on issues including housing, education, health, public safety, and community involvement. The preliminary report can be viewed at the Commission's website (www.seattle.gov/lgbt) along with contact information.

Nearly 1,600 people participated in the survey from June 18 through July 31, 2010. The survey questions evaluated the experiences and opinions of LGBT individuals living, working, and playing in Seattle. The survey, which was developed in collaboration with community organizations, asked survey respondents a variety of multiple-choice and open-ended questions to assess their experiences as an LGBT person or straight ally in Seattle.

'We undertook the project because there was a real lack of reliable data about the needs of LGBT people in Seattle,' said Brad Hoover, co-chair of the Commission. 'Our hope is that with this research in hand, we can help our government and community organizations make better informed policy and funding decisions to serve the LGBT population.'

One survey question asked people to evaluate the top three issues needing attention within the LGBT community in Seattle. Choosing from a multiple-choice list of answers, participants' top three responses were marriage equality (55.5%); hate crime violence/harassment (39.0%); and healthcare (32.0%). The survey also asked respondents about the biggest issues impacting them personally. Healthcare (51.6%), marriage equality (49.0%), and lack of jobs in this economy (43.4%) were the most popular responses.

'We had such an overwhelming response to the survey, and it's inspiring that 1,600 people took time to participate,' said Eleazar Juárez-Díaz, co-chair of the Seattle LGBT Commission. 'We're excited now to conduct outreach with these results and gather recommendations from organizations, individuals, and community leaders about how we can make Seattle a better place for LGBT people.'

The Commission will hold a community forum for communities who are underrepresented in the survey on May 31 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Seattle Counseling Service's Rainbow Room (1216 Pine St., Suite 300) in Capitol Hill. The event is free and open to the public. The final report will be delivered to the mayor and City Council in June.

The Seattle LGBT Commission advises the mayor, council, and departments about sexual minority issues and recommends policies and legislation, bringing the LGBT communities and the larger Seattle community together through long-range projects and ensuring that City departments fairly and equitably address LGBT concerns as individuals and as a protected class.

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