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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 18 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 29
Victory Fund raises over $11,000 in Seattle for LGBT candidates
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Victory Fund raises over $11,000 in Seattle for LGBT candidates

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The Victory Fund, an organization that raises money to support and elect LGBT people to office, held a champagne brunch in Seattle on Sunday, July 13, that brought in over $11,000 in donations in support of LGBT political candidates across the country.

The event, held at the Seattle Marriot Waterfront, was called Out to Win and, aside from the traditional writing checks to donate to the fund, included some of Washington state's most dynamic politicians - and they are all LGBT.

After enjoying champagne, orange juice and mimosas, and open-air conversation in the Seattle Marriott Waterfront's courtyard, attendees filed into the ballroom where Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who is openly Gay, kicked off the event by saying that when he was a child he once dreamt that he might someday be elected Mayor of Seattle. It is organizations like Victory Fund that helped to make his dream, and the dreams of other LGBT people who wish to serve in public office, possible. In addition, he pointed out that since Cal Anderson first won a seat in the state House of Representatives, we have elected three other Gay men (Ed Murray, Jamie Pedersen and Brady Walkinshaw, respectively) to fill that seat whenever it was vacated - keeping a member of our community in that same House seat since 1987.

U.S. Representative (WA-1) Suzan Delbene was up next. Currently Delbene is campaigning to keep her seat in the nation's capital - something attendees were reminded of throughout the evening. She has been a friend to the LGBT community and the LGBT civil rights movement since she got elected to office. Delbene's main job, however, was to introduce former Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride, an open Lesbian candidate for the Washington state House of Representatives from the Eastside.

McBride was excited to be at the brunch and her energy was really great as she spoke with authenticity and drive. She also talked about the importance of the Victory Fund.

Representative Brady Walkinshaw - who was appointed to fill Jamie Pedersen's seat in the state House of Representatives when Ed Murray was elected mayor last year and Jamie Pedersen was appointed to fill Ed Murray's state Senate seat - gave a speech about what it means to keep the seat that Cal Anderson, Ed Murray, and Jamie Pedersen held for so many years. Walkinshaw is a rising star in the community and in Olympia. The Victory Fund had endorsed his candidacy for Washington state 43rd District House seat last year. Walkinshaw is not facing reelection this year.

The highlight of the brunch was not only U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, the openly Gay Democrat from Wisconsin, who was billed as the top speaker, but also and especially Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu by acclamation. When Justice Yu was introduced the crowd sustained a minutes-long standing ovation and a happy - but tearful - Yu spoke with thankfulness in her heart and truth and justice on her side. It really was quite a great moment to witness. Make no mistake, the Victory Fund does not have something they are trying to spin - they are quite upfront with their intentions. But whenever you are at these kinds of events it is all message, message, message, all the time. But with Justice Yu, her message was one of being grateful and doing what is right and being proud of who you are while you do it. That is a message I think we can all get behind. And the rest of the attendees did, too, as she enjoyed, once again, a minutes-long applause when she concluded her remarks from the stage.

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