Friday
July 14, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 28
 
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Saturday, Dec 05, 2020

 

 



 
Letters
SEAMEC SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

[Editors Note: The following is a letter to the readers of the SGN from a volunteer with the Seattle Metropolitan Elections Committee.]

Now is the time if you'd like to help participate in grading and interviewing candidates for public office on LGBT issues to do so by signing up for some July or early August evenings with SEAMEC.

As you know already, SEAMEC is virtually an all-volunteer, grassroots group that has been interviewing candidates for public office on LGBT issues for the past 29 consecutive years. Here's our fabulous new website, www.fairnessratings.org.

For the last many years SEAMEC typically interviews 85-100 candidates for office, including many incumbents.

I serve on the SEAMEC steering committee, and I would love to have you participate in at least one evening of interviews in July or August.

We typically have interviews going at 7 PM 8 PM, and 9 PM in Seattle, Monday through Thursdays, supplemented by some interviews that take place in Federal Way and in Bellevue.

Earlier this week, for example, I participated in the interview of House Whip Sharon Tomiko Santos.

Last week I helped interview state representative Toby Nixon, who is seeking the state senate seat that Finkbeiner is vacating. Nixon, a Mormon, has a very mixed record on LGBT issues- having voted in favor of nondiscrimination and having voted against it twice last year.

Tomiko Santos, Nixon, and many other policymakers make an effort to engage with LGBT community members via SEAMEC interviews.

I want to make sure that you know that you (and your friends and colleagues) are encouraged to participate in SEAMEC interviews with policymakers (and people who aspire to become policymakers), so that they hear and are judged by a wide range of LGBT perspectives.

One of the really great things about the SEAMEC process is that the evaluation of every volunteer interviewer makes an imprint. In this role you grade the candidate from A+ to F- on five sections of the interview (equality, marriage, family, health, and awareness). The grades of all the volunteers in that interview is then mathematically averaged and published in SEAMEC's rating sheets and website.

We also build in 10 - 15 minutes in each interview for free-flowing conversation with the candidate, which can be a lot of fun.

To schedule times to help with the SEAMEC interview, you can either sign up on the website (www.fairnessratings.org). Or you can contact SEAMEC board member Ray Hoekstra (rayhoekstra3@yahoo.com) or co-chair Jeff Koertzen (jeff@koertzen.com).

I should mention that the only rule you need to be aware of before you sign up for interviews is that you are not allowed to participate in the interviews for any candidate in a race in which you have taken a position ( e.g, given money, made an endorsement or pledged any other form of support).

I hope to be sitting next to you in a SEAMEC interview sometime in the upcoming four weeks!

Cheers,

Sarah Luthens

SEAMEC Volunteer

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION PROVIDES A LESSON IN HISTORY

Dear SGN,

First, authoritarianism, then totalitarianism, then fascism. George W. Bush has done a good job. I'm tired of waking up in the morning wondering where the cattle cars are, or where the elimination camps will be. It will happen again. It is happening. We just don't see it because of the fear-mongering, or terror-mongering the Bush administration is dishing out on a daily basis.

His grandfather gave money to Adolf Hitler to support elimination. George W. Bush has this fantasy of total control. He's as sick as Adolf Hitler. We so have to fight, without being referred to as terrorists. Anyone who disagrees with the Bush administration is a terrorist or traitor. That pisses me off. It just means we don't have freedom of speech any longer. This is what this son of a bitch and his worthless administration has done. I'm ashamed that I was born in this worthless country.

Jefferey Weinstein

Portland, OR

FREEDOM SUMMER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

Dear SGN,

It is time for all feminists to come to the defense of the Jackson Women's Health Organization! Women and men need to hit the streets and shout out the words of Mississippi civil rights fighter Fannie Lou Hamer: "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired"-and denied reproductive justice.

A Radical Women contingent from four U.S. cities is traveling to Jackson, Mississippi to take part in marches, rallies, forums and other actions that Southern feminists have organized during the week of July 15-22. During this time, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi will be under siege by Operation Save America (OSA, the former Operation Rescue), with support from groups such as the homophobic, anti-woman Minutemen United. Please join Radical Women in Jackson or lend your financial support.

When Jackson NOW, the Southern Abortion Fund and other pro-choice activists called for a "Reproductive Freedom Summer" to combat OSA, the idea was to provide physical defense of the women's clinic. Unfortunately, the new clinic director has decided to hire a private security firm instead of collaborating with the feminist community. This makes it even more urgent to support our sisters in the South and descend on the streets of Jackson like the anti-segregation Freedom Riders did in the 1960s.

The message Radical Women brings to the organizing in Jackson is that rightwing anti-abortionists are ultimately the Ku Klux Klan in street clothes. Their agenda would send society back to the era when women's "place" was barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and the "place" for people of color was on the back of the bus.

To combat the growing far-right threat, it is not enough to hire security guards. It is not sufficient to endlessly e-mail and fundraise for spineless Democratic Party politicians, as some feminist groups do. The right wing is building a movement that attacks women, immigrants, Queers, people of color, and workers. Defeating the bigots hinges on generating a movement powerful enough to win the hearts and minds of the people of Mississippi and of the U.S. This means building a militant, multi-hued multi-issue force that will protest, sit-in, strike, and use any means necessary to preserve human rights. That's what worked for the civil rights movement, and that's what can work now.

Feminists need to go on the offensive and do more than just protect the minimum that still exists. Real choice means safe, free, unrestricted abortion on demand to women of all ages and abilities; free, safe birth control; an end to forced sterilization; employer-funded, 24-hour childcare; full medical coverage and pre-natal care for all; and guaranteed jobs, social services, education and training.

If you are interested in organizing with Radical Women against the ultra-right - in Jackson or elsewhere - please give me or Christina Lopez (Seattle RW Organizer) a call at 206-722-6057. Donations toward the contingent's travel expenses and hotel costs are also much needed. Please mail checks, payable to Radical Women, to 4710 University Way NE #100, Seattle WA 98105 (indicate your donation is for "Jackson defense").

Thank you for your help, participation and support. Let's turn this Freedom Summer into a new season of liberation!

Sincerely,

Anne Slater. Organizer

National Radical Women

www.RadicalWomen.org
   

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