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Second major safety forum planned
Second major safety forum planned
Rise in bias crimes and Capitol Hill are safety scheduled topics

by Liz Meyer - SGN Staff Writer

The second forum to address LGBT safety concerns in as many weeks will be held at Broadway Performance Hall on Tuesday, November 27 at 6 p.m.

The Capitol Hill Community Forum on Safety, which will be moderated by Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark, is meeting "in response to recent incidents of malicious harassment and violence on Capitol Hill," says a press release for the forum.

Like the earlier "LGBTQ Speak Out," the Capitol Hill forum will attempt to come up with solutions for the rise in violence toward the area's LGBT community. At least eight bias-related crimes were reported in Seattle since June. Five of those incidents occurred on Capitol Hill.

The rise in hate crimes locally appears to mirror a national trend. The Associated Press reported on Monday that hate crimes rose nearly 8% across the United States in 2006.

"Police across the nation reported 7,722 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property as a result of bias against a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin or physical or mental disability," wrote the AP's Michael J. Sniffen. "That was up 7.8 percent from the 7,163 incidents reported in 2005."

The forum may also address concerns about general violence on the Pike/Pine corridor. On early Monday morning, three were shot after a fight at Sugar, a nightclub located at 916 E. Pike. Last March, a shooting occurred at the nearby Shell gas station after another fight broke out at the same club.

Captain Paul McDonagh and Detective Kim Bogucki of the Seattle Police Department will be on hand at the forum, as will Mike Hogan from the King County Prosecutor's Office and Becka Tilsen, program director at Home Alive. Seattle City Councilmembers Nick Licata and Tom Rasmussen will also be in attendance.

Says the press release of the event, "The Open Forum is providing a panel of educated, invested community members to speak specifically about hate crimes and then open the forum to public comment."

Several area businesses and organizations are helping to sponsor the forum. Community sponsors include Bailey Coy Books, Broadway BIA, Broadway Video, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, Equal Rights Washington, Gay City Health Project, the Greater Seattle Business Association, Kaladi Brothers Coffee, the LGBT Community Center, the Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities, Seattle Gay News, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and the Rosebud Restaurant.

For more information about the forum or to volunteer, contact Mary Klein at 206-367-8704 or info@broadwaybia.org.

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