Thank you to the 150+ people who came out to last week’s fabulous drag show and to everyone who helped make the event a success: the amazing drag queens and LGBTQ performers Atasha Manila, Thadayus & The Electrofunks, DonnaTella Howe and Mizz Honey Bucket; Left At London and DJ Reverend Dollars for amazing music, and Chop Suey for the venue. In addition, thank you to Donnatella Howe and Mizz Honey Bucket for generously donating their tips to our election campaign!
We were honored to have trans rights activist and martial arts champion Mac McGregor emceeing. Mac emphasized that the LGBTQ community needs elected officials who won’t just say nice words, but who will actually stand up for our rights: “Just because you’re gay, or queer, if you’ve sold out to corporate interests you haven’t got my support.”
In her 5 years in Seattle City Hall, Kshama has used her office to win important victories for the LGBTQ community. In 2015, in response to a surge in hate crimes and discrimination in Capitol Hill, she hosted a public forum which brought out hundreds to share our experiences and strategies to defeat anti-LBGTQ hate and violence. In 2016, City Council unanimously passed the proclamation Kshama pushed for declaring June 24 Trans Pride Day. Her office has helped to win crucial funding for LGBTQ services, including funding for a senior LGBTQ center & welfare center and funding for a health and wellness center at Nova High School.
At the same time, we know that the historic victory of the $15 minimum wage, which Kshama led the way on when she was first elected, was a huge victory for queer people, trans people, women, and people of color, who are more exploited under capitalism and are disproportionately employed in lower-wage jobs.
Shirley Henderson, the owner of Squirrel Chops, an “unapologetically political queer-ass coffee shop in the Central District,” explained how the fight for rent control — both for renters as well as for small businesses — is of vital importance: “Small businesses are being economically evicted from the Central District and from all over Seattle. Kshama has been the only Councilmember fighting for rent control, affordable housing, commercial rent control…she’s the only one giving a voice to working people in City Hall. She’s the only one putting the 'public' in public meetings.”
Another of our speakers, Quinn, a young activist who grew up in the Central District and organized a walkout from Franklin High School to resist Trump on his inauguration day explained: “I recognized Kshama Sawant as someone prepared to not only fight back against Trump’s attacks on queer and trans people but someone with a clear vision of how we win positive victories for LGBTQ community too.”
This year, Kshama Sawant is fighting to:
🌈 Win rent control and tax big business to fund a massive expansion of affordable social housing
🌈 Fully Fund LGBTQ Services
🌈 End Harassment and Fight Hate Crimes
Trump’s election has emboldened the right wing. His reactionary administration is pushing transphobic attacks, like HUD’s move to allow shelters to discriminate against trans people, and hate crimes have escalated nationwide, including in Seattle. It’s more important than ever to go all out this year to re-elect Kshama Sawant, who stands unambiguously with the LGBTQ community and all working and oppressed people.
As Kshama explained when she spoke, we are up against nearly a million dollars in corporate PAC money, $200,000 from Amazon alone. We can’t let big business buy this election. Please donate and save the date to march with #KshamaSquad at this year’s Pride Parade!