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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 3, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 05
Mac McGregor for Seattle City Council, Position 8
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Mac McGregor for Seattle City Council, Position 8

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Mac S. McGregor, a Seattle-based Transgender activist, has thrown his name into the race with six other candidates to elect the at-large City Council Position 8.

Late last year, longtime Seattle council member Tim Burgess announced he would retire. Jon Grant, former director of the Tenants Union, was the first to announce his bid for the seat in November. Other candidates include Teresa Mosqueda, Sheley Secrest, Ryan Asbert, Rudy Pantoja Jr., and Roger Kluck.

McGregor, who moved to Seattle in 2008 from the Bible Belt, served on the Seattle LGBTQ Commission from 2011 to 2016. As The Gender Sensei, McGregor offers classes on self-defense, martial arts, and Tai-chi wellness through Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea). He is also a professional life coach, personal trainer, motivational speaker, and educates and trains groups on diversity and sensitivity.

According to McGregor, even though there are so many things we do right in Seattle, and we're a progressive city in so many ways, we can do better.

McGregor has considered running for office for a while, but now with President Donald Trump in office and Republicans in control of Congress, the champion martial arts fighter has been motivated to step onto the mat as a candidate.

His priorities include helping small businesses, addressing the pay gap for women and minorities and lifting up marginalized communities.

McGregor, a small business owner for 23 years, wants to reduce fees for minority-run businesses and provide incentives for businesses to open in higher crime areas because more activity helps to reduce crime. He also wants to provide assistance with permitting and getting 'through the red tape.'

'There are so many great things that the council has done that are good. I am a supporter of the raise in minimum wage, of our city pulling our money away from Wells Fargo, of the Mayor's and Lorena Gonzales's recent work to make sure we are a sanctuary city for immigrants,' he said. 'I supported the move in fee's legislation but do think that could make some amendment for people who have two properties or under.'

As a transgender man, McGregor said he understands sexism in a unique way and wants to address the pay gap that exists in Seattle that is negatively impacting women, minorities, and gender nonconforming people.

'As progressive as we are as a city, I was shocked to find out how much of a gender pay gap there is in Seattle,' he said.

He wants to further help marginalized communities and plans to hold town hall meetings to learn what the various communities need.

As a part of the LGBTQ community, McGregor said he feels like he has 'a good pulse on their needs.'

'I don't want to pretend that I know what the Somali and Muslim communities need,' he told CHS.

He plans to participate in the Democracy Voucher program, which he believes was made for grassroots candidates from marginalized communities. McGregor said he's also encouraged by the number of candidates vying for Position 8.

'If we're living in a time when that many people care and feel passionate to step forward, I think that's wonderful,' he said.

'Electing a Transgender person is a huge step forward for marginalized communities,' said McGregor. 'The Transgender community is the smallest and most marginalized part of our community and therefore if we move Transgender rights forward then we move the rights of all marginalized people. It also sends a huge statement that your voice counts to all marginalized people.'

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