A Letter From Our Board President
Welcome to summer – finally! I am always so grateful when summer arrives in the Pacific Northwest, and even more grateful that our summer bears no resemblance to the ones I grew up with in Texas.
Another thing I’m extremely grateful for is the Coalition. I have been connected to the Coalition for at least 17 years. My first connection came when I trained as a volunteer for member-organization New Beginnings, then continued when I joined that board, and eventually became its board president. That connection continued in large part thanks to Merril, who stayed in contact even after I left the New Beginnings board. That connection ultimately evolved into a position on the Coalition board, and then as its chair.
Throughout this time, the Coalition has responded to our community’s changing needs. We have worked strategically and passionately with our community and our members to advocate for better resources and funding for all. Together, we have lead the fight against all forms of gender-based violence, not just domestic violence. And we have lead conversations that encourage all of us to think more critically about what gender-based violence looks like, even when complicated by mental illness, or chemical dependency, or unstable housing, or any of the many other challenges that face the people our member organizations serve.
These are a just a few of the things that inspire me to be part of this Coalition. I hope that you, too, are inspired by the Coalition’s work—that it calls you to participate in ways that are meaningful to you. I also hope that it gives you the same hope that I have – knowing that together, we can create a community where all people can thrive. This is the Coalition’s commitment to our community – and one we should all have for each other.
I also want to highlight just a few things from the articles in this newsletter that demonstrate the Coalition’s commitment in action:
First, the Trans Resource & Referral Guide. In case you haven’t heard, the 2017 update of the King County Trans Resource & Referral guide is here. I want to specially thank Frances Lee for their work on this project—they’ve spent the last eight months coordinating an all-trans working group to create a community resource for trans and gender non-conforming people, their family, and support networks. The guide’s roll-out was at this year’s Seattle’s Trans Pride 2017 on June 23rd, with overwhelmingly positive response. Frances, thank you for your incredible work. And to all who put time and energy into creating the guide alongside Frances, thank you.
Second, the 2018 Vets, Seniors, & Human Services Levy. Now, not all of us equate “levy” with “fun” or “exhilarating,” but I have to say, this is important! The King County Council just deliberated on the budget for the November ballot, and has placed the levy at $0.10 per $1,000 assessed home value. This is more than double the amount of the previous levy. As the levy’s name suggests, this funding impacts a significant part of our community. (Here’s an overview) While the funding specific to the Coalition’s members is only a slice of the pie, I can tell you this: If the levy passes, our member organizations will have significantly more stable, reliable access to critical funding for the next six years. That represents countless hours of lobbying, budgeting, and endless persuasion that can be redirected from annual budgets towards getting survivors of gender-based violence the services they need and want. That’s huge for everyone in our community. It is the definition of helping everyone thrive.
As the adage goes: “it takes a village.” This is an amazing village – thank you for being a part of this community with me. And thank you for your commitment to end gender-based violence.