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 priorities during the 2018 legislative session

Banning conversion therapy (SB 5722) - Would protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors against exposure to serious harms caused by conversion therapy. Performing conversion therapy would be considered unprofessional conduct for any licensed health care provider and subject them to losing their license. Learn more.

Preventing harassment and bullying of transgender students (SB 5766) - Expands the existing law prohibiting the harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student to specifically include transgender students. Learn more.

Require long-term care providers to be trained on LGBTQ issues (SB 5700) - Requires long-term care workers to include LGBTQ cultural competency as part of their continuing education program.

Update the Uniform Parentage Act (SB 6037) - Strengthens protections for LGBTQ parents and non-biological parents. Would allow for compensated surrogacy while protecting health, wellbeing, and autonomy of women acting as surrogates.

Support the Equal Pay Act (HB 1506) - Would protect workers from practices that perpetuate inequality. Allows workers to discuss and inquire about pay without retaliation. Requires pay to be based on bona fide job-related criteria. Learn more.

Create a statewide tourism marketing fund (SHB 1123, SSB 5251) - Create a marketing plan and campaign focusing on bringing more tourists to WA, managed by a nonprofit entity representing the geographic and cultural diversity of the state. WA is the only state in the country without a tourism board, and the significant economic opportunities brought by tourism will be a boon to small businesses.

Other priorities - GSBA is very active during session and is supporting many other efforts such as the Voting Rights Act, net neutrality, creating uniform statewide business regulations, and more.
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 LGBT and/or small business policy issues? GSBA's monthly Public Policy Task Force comes together to discuss issues of importance to the LGBT and small business communities. We often bring in elected officials, advocates, and other policymakers to present to our members.

PPTF meets on the third Monday of every month, except where otherwise noted.

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

Louise Chernin Appointed Member of Durkan Transition Committee

by Kamaria Hightower, Communications Director, Mayor-Elect Jenny A. Durkan Transition Team
| Nov 13, 2017

Seattle Mayor-elect Jenny A. Durkan unveiled her full transition committee, a diverse and inclusive group of more than 60 community leaders and experts. The committee includes housing and homelessness advocates, social justice activists, transportation advocates, environmentalists, labor, and business leaders.

"Our transition team reflects the best of Seattle. To solve our affordability, housing, and homelessness crisis, we need urgent action and innovative ideas. These community leaders and policy experts from all parts of Seattle will develop key achievable policy recommendations to make differences not just in the short term, but which help build a progressive, innovative and inclusive city for the next generation," said Mayor-elect Jenny Durkan.

The transition committee will further develop short-term policy solutions focused on housing, homelessness, affordability, and many others. The committee will coalesce with final recommendations around the following: Environment and Transportation; Education, Economic Opportunity, Jobs and Innovation; Social Justice, Equity, and Healthy Communities; Good Government; Civil Rights and Criminal Justice Reform; and Affordability, Displacement, Housing and Homelessness.

"We are facing unprecedented challenges as a city, and we want to have a myriad of voices at the table to ensure we are making decisions that will have the most impact and provide immediate relief within our communities,” Durkan concluded. Every member themselves will be reaching out to bring an even greater range of ideas to the table.

Last week, Durkan selected former Deputy Secretary of the US Department of HUD and King County Executive Ron Sims, Transportation Choices Coalition Executive Director, Shefali Ranganathan, and Plymouth Housing Executive Director Paul Lambros as Co-Chairs of her transition committee.

Transition Committee Members:
Adrian Z. Diaz, Lieutenant, Seattle Police Department
Angela Stowell, United Way, Campaign Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Stowell Restaurants
Anne Lee, TeamChild, Executive Director
Asha Mohamed, Women’s Advocacy Center, Co-Founder
Behnaz Nelson, PTE Local 17, Executive Director
Bill Hallerman, Catholic Community Services of King County, Agency Director
Brianna Ishihara, Community Member
Caleb Banta-Green, University of Washington, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, Principal Research Scientist
Charlene Strong, Washington State Human Rights Commission, Chair
Charles Royer, Former Mayor of Seattle
Cherry Cayabyab, Community Activist
Colleen Echohawk, Chief Seattle Club, Executive Director
Dave Gering, Manufacturing Industrial Council, Executive Director
Dave Stewart, Vulcan, Executive Vice President and General Counsel
David Della, Former Seattle City Councilmember
David Rolf, SEIU 775, President
Diane Sosne, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, President
Eileen Sullivan, Amazon, Senior Manager, U.S. State Public Policy
Eileen V. Quigley, Clean Energy Transition, Director
Emilio Garza, The Washington Bus, Executive Director
Ezra Teshome, Community Leader
Gordon McHenry, Jr., Solid Ground, President & CEO
Helen Howell, Building Changes, Executive Director
Jan Drago, Former Seattle City Councilmember
Jerry Everard, Capitol Hill and Belltown Business Owner
Jordan Royer, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, VP for External Affairs, Manufacturing Industrial Council Board Member, and Washington CeaseFire Board Member
Jorge L. Barón, NW Immigrant Rights Project, Executive Director
Juan Cotto, El Centro de la Raza, President of the Board, and Board Member of Sound Mental Health
Kathleen Taylor, ACLU - Washington, Executive Director
Lauren McGowan, United Way, Sr. Director, Ending Homelessness & Poverty
The Honorable Leonard Forsman, The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, President and Suquamish Tribe, Chair
Leonard Smith, Teamsters 117, Director of Organizing & Strategic Campaigns
Linda Di Lello Morton, GSBA, Board Member, and Terra Plata, Owner
Lisa Daugaard, Public Defender Association, Director
Louise Chernin, Greater Seattle Business Association, President & CEO
Lt. Kenny Stuart, Seattle Fire Fighters Union, IAFF Local 27, President
Marcos Martinez, Casa Latina, Executive Director
Mariko Lockhart, National Coordinator, 100,000 Opportunities Initiative - Demonstration Cities, The Aspen Institute's Forum for Community Solutions
Martha Kongsgaard, Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation, President
Marty Hartman, Mary’s Place, Executive Director
Mary Jean Ryan, Community Center for Education Results, Executive Director
Maud Daudon, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO
Mohamed Sheikh Hassan, East African Community Leader
Monisha Harrell, Equal Rights Washington, Chair
Monty Anderson, Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council, Executive Secretary
Nicole Grant, M. L. King County Labor Council, Executive Secretary Treasurer
Norm Rice, Former Mayor of Seattle
Ollie Garrett, Tabor 100, President
Patrice Thomas, Rainier Beach Action Coalition, Strategist
Paul Lambros, Plymouth Housing, Executive Director
Riall Johnson, De-Escalate Washington, Campaign Manager
Ron Sims, Former King County Executive and Former Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Roxana Norouzi, OneAmerica, Deputy Director
Ruthann Kurose, Community Leader
Ryan Calo, University of Washington School of Law, Lane Powell and D. Wayne Gittinger Associate Professor, Shefali Ranganathan
Transportation Choices Coalition, Executive Director
Sheila Edwards Lange, Ph.D, Seattle Central College, President
Stephan Blanford, Education Researcher
Taylor Hoang, Ethnic Business Coalition, Executive Director
Thatcher Bailey, Seattle Parks Foundation, President and CEO
Trish Millines Dziko, TAF, Executive Director