Advocacy



Advocacy is one of the four pillars of GSBA in our mission to combine business development, leadership, and social action to expand economic opportunities for the LGBT community and those who support equality for all. Founded with a social justice mission,GSBA is proud to be an avowedly progressive business organization. Representing the voice of our community, of our businesses, and of our nonprofits is critical. It is the membership that drives our policy work - each of our civic engagement events is organized by and for our members. 


GSBA achieves major victories in 2018

With the 2018 legislative session finished, GSBA is celebrating several major victories that have been years in the making. With the help of our lobbyist Susie Tracy, we endorsed an unprecedented number of bills this year and were successful with many of them. GSBA members and staff traveled to Olympia several times to testify, to participate in lobby days, and educate our elected officials. GSBA represented the voices of our membership on LGBT issues, small business issues, and other priority areas. Read more about our victories.

We are proud to work within a very strong and collaborative community, from Legal Voice and Equal Rights Washington to the Washington Tourism Alliance and Visit Seattle. If you are interested in learning more about GSBA's legislative work, contact Matt Landers, Public Policy & Communications Manager.
Find our who are your elected officials and register to vote or update your registration at MyVote (part of the Washington Secretary of State's office).

Public Policy Task Force


Are you interested in LGBTQ and/or small business policy issues? GSBA's monthly Public Policy Task Force comes together to discuss issues of importance to the LGBTQ and small business communities. We often bring in elected officials, advocates, and other policymakers to present to our members.

Attendance FREE and is open to all GSBA members

Please contact Matt Landers, GSBA Public Policy and Communications Manager, for more information.



GSBA Blog: Advocacy Posts


Member Candidate: Sara Nelson for Seattle City Council

by Sara Nelson
| Jul 21, 2017


GSBA has several members on the ballot this year. GSBA does not endorse candidates for elected office, but we are pleased to offer them a chance to speak to their fellow members.


Nelson2017My name is Sara Nelson.  I’m a small business owner, a parent, a sustainability freak, and a candidate for Seattle City Council Position 8.

As co-founder of Fremont Brewing, I learned about business on the job and on the fly.  We’ve grown our little craft brewery from three full-time employees to over 50.  In the process, I’ve learned how deeply I value my relationships with both my employees and the community.

It’s no secret I’m more of a policy wonk than a beer geek and my true love is public service. I come to this race with extensive public policy background.  I served as a Legislative Aide for Councilmember Richard Conlin for over 11 years and worked on landmark bills on economic development, the environment, and social justice.  This deep background of experience and willingness to get things done has earned me the endorsement of The Seattle Times in this race.

Business backgrounds are often negatively portrayed when you run for public office, but I hold mine proudly.  That’s not only because we strive to be good to our staff.  It’s also because we strive to be good to our community.  As a small business owner, I’m a little part of a lot of lives and that’s one of my favorite things of owning Fremont Brewing.  Every night, hundreds of Seattleites come to our tasting room to laugh, talk, and even fall in love.  I’ve witnessed two proposals, a pop-up wedding, and was honored to host the wedding of my sister, Joanna, to her partner Karen.

As members of the GSBA since 2014, I’m also proud that Fremont Brewing, like the neighborhood that surrounds it, has always embraced the LGBTQ community. We sent over 30 cases of beer across the state during the R-74 campaign to refresh volunteers after canvassing and phone banking. I’d like to think we were part of a few marriage proposals that time, too. We made over $1,500 of in-kind donations to LGBTQ non-profits in the region over the last two years and we donate all proceeds of our Pride Kolsch to local LGBTQ non-profits ($3,000 last year to the GSBA Scholarship Fund and the Rainbow Center in Tacoma).

This year, our LGBTQ staff, led by Nik Hagen, chose the recipients (Ingersoll Gender Center and Lambert House), helped brew the beer, and promoted its release. We don’t know final sales numbers yet but this year’s cash donation amount will likely be higher.

During this campaign, I’m talking to a lot of groups, and I’m always honest about where I stand.  I consider myself a progressive with a deep passion for social and environmental justice.  But I also wear the badge of “small business candidate” proudly.  In fact, I wear it so proudly I even write a guest editorial in The Stranger about it.  You can read it over at Slog.

If I’m saying the same thing to business owners as I am to The Seattle Times and The Stranger, you can trust that what you see is what you get. You’ll get a Councilmember who is an ally to the LGBTQ business community. And I promise you’ll get an advocate who understands that local business is a partner, not an antagonist, in building a better, more progressive Seattle.

I would be honored by your support, and I ask for your vote.


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