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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 20, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 12
Mayor Murray names LGBT Capitol Hill hate crimes task force members
Section One
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Mayor Murray names LGBT Capitol Hill hate crimes task force members

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Mayor Ed Murray announced a task force Thursday to develop recommendations to create a safer environment for LGBTQ people in Seattle and to specifically address ongoing issues on Capitol Hill.

I am proud to be one of the community leaders the mayor chose to serve the community in this capacity. Recently, more and more LGBTQ people have reported increased violence, verbal harassment, and bias crimes on Capitol Hill and in other Seattle neighborhoods.

Hate crime statistics from SPD show a rise in bias crimes between 2013 and 2014.

'Capitol Hill is an eclectic neighborhood that is attracting more businesses, residents and visitors every day - and it's the neighborhood I'm proud to call home,' Mayor Ed Murray said. 'I am eager to hear their recommendations to improve safety on Capitol Hill and citywide while making everyone feel welcome - regardless of who they are or who they love. This issue is important to me both as the Mayor, and as a longtime resident of Capitol Hill.'

According to the mayor's office, the Task Force will look at how the City of Seattle can constructively work with community members, businesses and organizations to increase safety and LGBT visibility in Capitol Hill and citywide - as well as to honor the history of the neighborhood.

As the president and founder of SOSea, an organization that has worked closely with SPD officials and other community leaders to keep people safe since December 2012, I think our biggest challenge is visibility. The LGBTQ community on Capitol Hill must become more visible than we ever have been before. We are not going to just give the Hill over to crime. We are not going to just walk away and allow for people who wish to do us harm to have their way. No, Seattle's LGBTQ neighborhood is something to cherish and to respect and nurture. If the Hill is 'less Gay' it is because we made it that way by allowing for intimidation and fear to cower until danger passes. Not anymore.



The Task Force will be made up of the following people: Louise Chernin, GSBA; Michael Wells, Capitol Hill Chamber; Marxa Marnia, LGBT Commission Co-chair; John Bailey, Amazon; Kelly Stonelake, Facebook Creative Shop; Raven E. Heavy Runner, Northwest Two-Spirit Society Acting Co-Chair; Luzviminda 'Lulu' Carpenter, LGBT Commission; Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation; Brady Walkinshaw, Legislative Representative, 43rd District; Elayne Wylie, Gender Justice League; Shelley Brothers, Wildrose; Kristen Wieliczka, Director of Civic Engagement for Seattle University Student Body; Mineth Elman McClain, Director, Public Safety, Seattle Central Community College; Josh Castle, Community Organizer; Jim Ritter, Seattle Police Department; Michael Renner, Seattle Police Department; Sina Ebinger, Seattle Police Department; Jared Brayton Bollenbacher, Social Worker; Marcos Martinez, Entre Hermanos; Jesse Gilliam, Ingersoll Gender Center; Council Staff Shannon Perez-Darby; Northwest Network of LGBT Survivors of Abuse; Monisha Harrell, Equal Rights Washington; Lauren Mathisen, Capitol Hill Community Council; Danni Askini, Gender Justice League; Rodney Jarreau Greene, Quare Arts Program; Darrell Goodwin, Dean of Students at Seattle University; Melinda Giovengo, Youthcare; Shaun Knittel, Seattle Gay News, Social Outreach Seattle

Co-Chairs are Josh Castle and Monisha Harrell.

'The group we have assembled has a proven track record of success,' Mayor Ed Murray said. 'We have not seen a coalition like this since the marriage equality campaigns. Clearly our work was not finished when we won in November 2012. There are still people in this world who believe LGBT people should be denied the most basic human right, the right to live without fear of violence because of who you are or who you love.'

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