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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 11, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 2
An LGBT voice on Gov. Inslee's transition team
Section One
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An LGBT voice on Gov. Inslee's transition team

GSBA's Louise Chernin is helping Jay Inslee choose his staff

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

Louise Chernin, president and CEO of the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), was recently invited to serve on Governor-elect Jay Inslee's transition team. For the past several weeks, Chernin has been assisting Inslee in choosing an effective and diverse team of staff members - an essential step to ensuring a successful term of office.

'I was very honored to be asked,' Chernin told SGN. 'There are 150 cabinet member positions and we have a very short time to fill them. It's a big responsibility.'

According to Chernin, Inslee's transition team is a 'very diverse' statewide committee consisting of people from many different constituent communities.

NOT A POLICY SHOP
'It's mostly about looking for talent and recommending people that you might have connections to. That's the biggest part of the job, as well as giving a little bit of input, but these committees are not about policymaking in any way,' Chernin told SGN.

Members of these transition committees meet weekly or biweekly and have been meeting since around Thanksgiving. Inslee is expected to make his first formal appointments soon.

Chernin is on two of the ad hoc committees, the Economic Development Committee and the Cabinet Committee.

The Cabinet Committee helps Inslee chooses his closest advisors.

Chernin said the committee has been looking at what made Gov. Gregoire's cabinet strong, seeking to strengthen it further while keeping it diverse.

IT'S ALL ABOUT ACCESS
According to Chernin, diversity on the cabinet is one of the things that assure people that they have enough access to the governor. As president and CEO of the GSBA, Chernin is poised to not only represent LGBT interests, but small-business interests as well.

'When I look around at the other various committees, there are a couple other LGBT people. I think it's really important that our voice is there. I think it's a good sign that has really been very intentional - to see that every voice be heard as he puts his cabinet together.'

Chernin said that although the committees are not about making policy, because of LGBT voices on the Education Committee, for example, that committee can ensure that issues unique to the LGBT community are being heard.

'We have some unique issues [in education] that need to be represented on a government level,' Chernin told SGN.

'I'm hoping that we have a good relationship with our new governor. The LGBT appointees are a good sign that now there is a relationship and an awareness,' she added.

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