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Washington Won't Discriminate names its executive committee members
Washington Won't Discriminate names its executive committee members
picture above - Marsha Botzer

Impressive list includes lawyers, activists and the political savy

by SGN Staff

Washington Won't Discriminate, a statewide coalition seeking to retain Washington's new law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, announced its initial executive committee members this week.

The organization's chair, Anne Levinson, said all of the members have extensive political experience, strong statewide connections with business or progressive communities and possess a in-depth understanding of antidiscrimination work. They also are geographically diverse, she said.

Levinson provided the following biographical information to the Seattle Gay News:

SUE ANDERSON

Sue Anderson lives in Bellingham and has worked in the non-profit and political sectors for 25 years. She was Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado in the late 1980's until the passage of Amendment 2 in Colorado in 1992 when she became Executive Director of Equality Colorado, the statewide LGBT rights organization. She served on the board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for seven years and co-chaired the board for two of those years. Since moving to Washington, she has volunteered with Spokane's campaign to defeat their anti-Gay initiative, for the Pride Foundation and served on the board of directors of the Women's Funding Alliance, among other things. She has run city council campaigns and a mayoral campaign in Bellingham, as well as coordinated field efforts for the Whatcom County Democrats.

MARSHA BOTZER

At the national level, Marsha is currently Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. In Washington State she serves on the Boards of the Pride Foundation and the Safe Schools Coalition. She is a member of the Pride at Work organization, and founding board member and current Secretary of Equal Rights Washington. She is also a founding member of Seattle's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center.

Marsha currently serves on the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Advisory Committee. She Chaired the Committee from 1999 to 2005.

Marsha is the Founder of Seattle's Ingersoll Gender Center, a direct service organization that began as an idea in 1977, and incorporated as a not for profit educational corporation in 1984. She continues to serve and support the Center.

In 2003 Marsha received the Greater Seattle Business Association Community Service and Leadership Award, and the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award. In 2004 she received the Virginia Prince Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Federation for Gender Education, and the Horace Mann "Victories for Humanity" Award from Antioch University. Also in 2004, Marsha was selected as the Grand Marshall for Seattle's Pride weekend and Parade.

Marsha served as Co-Chair of the Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities in 2001 to 2002. She was a member of the Seattle Women's Commission from 1987 to 1991, serving as vice president during 1991. She has been a member of the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association since 1984. She has served on the Boards of Lambert House, Seattle Counseling Service, and Equality Washington.

BRUCE BROOKS

Bruce Brooks is the former Executive Vice President and Director of Corporate and Community Services for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. There, he provided strategic oversight for the company's legal, government affairs, and corporate relations activities, and all of its affordable housing and economic development programs. Prior to joining the Seattle Bank, Brooks held several positions at the important intersection between business, community, and government interests. For almost four years as Director of Community Affairs for Microsoft Corporation, Brooks led the company's global corporate and employee giving and volunteer programs. Bruce also served as senior vice president for MWW/Savitt, a Seattle-based public relations and public affairs firm, where he managed firm operations and advised clients on community relations, government affairs, and business communications. From 1995 through 1997 during the Norm Rice administration, Brooks served as Deputy Mayor for the City of Seattle. Brooks began his professional career as a lawyer with Garvey, Schubert Barer and later became a partner with Perkins Coie, where he focused his practice on labor and employment matters and provided litigation services and advice to private and public sector clients.

He was the chair of the board of directors of the Northwest Area Foundation, a private foundation that seeks to reduce poverty in the eight states from Washington to Minnesota. He also has been an active volunteer in the Seattle community; Brooks has served on the boards of the Seattle Housing Authority, United Way of King County, which he chaired in 1998, the Legal Aid for Washington Fund, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Seattle Jobs Initiative, and Leadership Tomorrow and has co-chaired King County's Task Force on Regional Human Services and the City of Seattle's Capital Investment Committee. He and Debra Prinzing, a garden and design writer, are parents to two wonderful sons, Benjamin and Alex.

JOHN VEZINA

John Vezina is Equal Rights Washington's first Director of Political and Governmental Affairs. Born and brought up in Alaska, John returned there from Arizona State University to work for three years in the state legislature. In 1994 he left the legislature and joined the gubernatorial campaign of former Anchorage Mayor Tony Knowles. When Knowles was elected governor later that year John joined his staff as a special assistant. In 1998, following Knowles reelection, John moved to Washington DC to work as a political appointee at the Corporation for National Service. At the end of the Clinton Administration he accepted an offer to be Vice President of Government Relations at Communities in Schools, a national non-profit. From there John went to work at the Human Rights Campaign as a senior policy advocate. While at HRC he was the lead lobbyist on immigration, military issues, HIV/AIDS, LGBT healthcare, Republican outreach, and work with governors. Additionally he worked with other political department staff on the marriage issue as well as campaigns for HRC endorsees around the country. In September 2003 John left HRC to work as the National Finance Director for former Governor Knowles' US Senate race. When Knowles narrowly lost his race John moved to Portland where he has worked in fundraising and as a volunteer with the local HRC group and the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center.

AUDREY HABERMAN

Audrey Haberman is the Executive Director of the Pride Foundation, the largest Gay and Lesbian community foundation in the country. Since 1987, with the support of over 7000 donors, Pride has awarded $4 million in grants and scholarships to strengthen our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and allied communities in the Pacific Northwest. Pride Foundation is known for its creative approach to building community and promoting philanthropy with initiatives that heighten visibility and strengthen leaders throughout the Northwest, and especially in Washington State. Audrey currently serves on the boards of Philanthropy Northwest, the Coalition for Charitable Choice (a workplace giving coalition) and the national group Fenders for Lesbian and Gay Issues. She was named 2004 Phenomenal Woman by the Women's Endowment Fund.

JUDITH GILMORE

Judith lives in Spokane and has worked in areas of women's issues, human rights, child and parent education programs, neighborhood advocacy, growth management planning and numerous fundraising efforts on behalf of community causes.

She has directed, coordinated and/or volunteered on local, state (including Ron Sims for Governor) and federal (Maria Cantwell & Patty Murray) political campaigns for more than 25 years including serving as the Spokane coordinator for the NO! 200 campaign.

Her professional career has included serving as Program Coordinator at a Community Center; Spokane Director for NARAL, Eastern Washington Representative for Governor Mike Lowry; Associate Director of a mediation firm; Political Coordinator for AFSCME/AFL-CIO Council2; Radio Talk Show Host; Executive Director of The Lands Council, establishment of the Community Action-Related Entities (CA-RE) program, and as a Consultant for her own business.

Her volunteer activities include work on the Spokane City Plan Commission; Committee Member for the Annual Benefit Luncheon for the YWCA; and as a member of the Water Watch Committee whose duties include working on a bi-state agreement with Idaho regarding the Spokane River and the Rathdrum Prairie-Spokane Aquifer.

Among the awards and recognition Judith has received are these: Special Governor's Award - "for outstanding performance in working with the JOBS Program in offering work experience to former public assistance recipients"; and Women Helping Women Award - Soroptimist's International.

LAURIE JINKINS

Laurie lives in Tacoma with her partner of nearly 20 years and their 5 year-old son. She began her political activism in 1989 helping on the Initiative 2 campaign (an early attempt to add sexual orientation to Tacoma's anti-discrimination ordinance). She went on to serve as a regional representative, representing Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties, on the Hands Off Washington Board from 1993 through 1997, eventually serving as Chair during the I-677 campaign.

In 2001, Laurie founded Tacoma United for Fairness (TUFF) along with many other leaders from the Tacoma community and they were blessed with the opportunity to re-make history. TUFF organized the successful addition of sexual orientation and gender identity to Tacoma's anti-discrimination ordinance and then successfully defended the ordinance in an initiative campaign where Laurie served as Chair.

In addition to her activism on LGBT issues, Laurie has served on the Boards of Seattle University School of Law, Tacoma Community House, Tacoma/Pierce County American Leadership Forum, Tacoma/Pierce County YWCA and African American Museum. In 1998, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Tacoma Community College by Gov. Gary Locke where she currently serves as Chair. In her work life, Laurie serves as an Assistant Secretary for the Department of Health in Olympia.

ANNE LEVINSON

Anne Levinson was among Washington state's first out public officials. She served as legal counsel to Mayor Royer and Deputy Mayor & legal counsel to Mayor Rice. She founded and was the Presiding Judge for Seattle's Mental Health Court, one of the first mental health courts in the nation. Prior to joining the bench, she served as Chairwoman of the Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission, regulating telecommunications and energy companies throughout the state and playing a key role in advocating for consumers and against deregulation of the electricity industry in Washington State. She also served as Special Counsel to a select committee on foster care reform in the State of Washington and as Deputy Director for the Seattle Monorail Project in its first two years.

Anne has been involved in numerous campaigns on a statewide and local level over the past 20 years, including both candidates and ballot measures. She is on the national board for the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and has participated in a wide range of local civic organizations, including the founding board of directors of Hands Off Washington and the Privacy Fund; the boards of the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Northwest AIDS Foundation, NARAL, the Northwest Women's Law Center, and the Women's Political Caucus. She has been on several judicial selection committees and on the King County Bar Association's Task Force on Diversity and has been the recipient of several awards.

GEORGE SCAROLA

George Scarola is Legislative Policy Director for the League of Education Voters, a grassroots advocacy organization. A former teacher, George has been a citizen activist for the past 15 years on school funding measures, locally and statewide. George Scarola has led a number of campaigns for ballot measures and Democratic candidates and worked as a senior aide to Speaker Frank Chopp. George Scarola and his partner of 20 years live in Seattle.

LISA STONE

Lisa M. Stone is the Executive Director of the Northwest Women's Law Center, which advances legal rights for women by bringing precedent-setting lawsuits, advocating in the legislature and helping women and men with legal problems navigate the legal system. Ms. Stone has been Executive Director since 1995, and has been affiliated with the Law Center as a volunteer attorney since 1988.

Under Ms. Stone, the Law Center has fought for the rights of LGBT people, through efforts to obtain marriage equality, ensure the rights of non-biological LGBT parents, obtaining health care coverage for LGBT partners, and advocating for equal protection under the law. As Executive Director of the Law Center, she conceived and began Celebrating our Diverse Families, a legal, legislative and education initiative combining issues related to LGBT rights, family law, assisted reproduction and other legal areas affecting the rights and lives of under-served, vulnerable and oppressed people. In 2004 the Law Center filed Heather Andersen, et al., v. King County, et al., the lawsuit for marriage equality in Washington State, a case in which Lambda Legal later joined. She has also served on the steering committee of No! 200, the coalition that fought the anti-affirmative action initiative, and on the executive committee of No on 694, which defeated the so-called partial-birth abortion initiative.
Anne Levinson
Bruce Brooks
John Vezina
Judith Gilmore
Laurie Jinkins
Lisa Stone

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