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MISSION: To combine business development, leadership and social action to expand economic opportunities for the LGBT Community and those who support equality for all.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Candidate Profile: Ed Murray

GSBA has invited all of its members who are running for office to provide a profile to share with the rest of the membership. We have given each of them a set of questions to respond to so that you can get to know them better. We are posting the profiles as we receive them. GSBA does not endorse candidates, but we are happy to let those candidates who are part of our organization introduce themselves to the rest of our growing membership. Don't forget to vote and mail in your primary ballots before August 6!

Senator Ed Murray
Running for Mayor of Seattle

I’ve represented Seattle’s 43rd Legislative District for 18 years. I was the prime sponsor of our marriage equality law, our Safe Schools anti-bullying bill, and our anti-discrimination bill. I’m endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and Equal Rights Washington.

I live in Capitol Hill with my partner of 21 years, Michael Shiosaki. If elected, I would be Seattle’s first gay mayor.

1.       What are the top 3 reasons why you are seeking to be elected as Seattle’s next mayor?

Seattle currently lacks effective leadership, impairing our ability to move forward on critical issues like public safety, transportation and education. We need a mayor who can bring people together to solve tough problems in creative, progressive ways; I have those skills. Secondly, I love this city. It is an innovative, dynamic place, but it also faces significant challenges that I want to address. Third, I have a vision of a more livable city with distinctive, safe neighborhoods served by good schools, connected by convenient transit and transportation options, where quality of life is second to none.

2.       What are your top 3 priorities for your first year in office?

I will conduct a national search for a police chief who understands the best practices of urban law enforcement, commands the respect of our line officers, can reform the culture of the department and restore the public trust. 

I will create the Move Seattle Strategy, a comprehensive transportation plan that integrates and prioritizes our current bike, pedestrian, transit and freight plans. I will work to secure needed funding for Metro Transit and bring ST3 to the ballot by 2016 to expand light rail service.

I will leverage existing City resources to bring stakeholders together to help make Seattle’s schools an urban model for the nation. I will expand the work of the Early Learning Academy, to ensure that every student begins kindergarten ready to succeed.

3.       What are 3 changes you would make in running the City and/or to the Office of Mayor?

I will repair the frayed relationship between the Office of Mayor, the City Council, and the City Attorney.  I will work with King County so that when we press Olympia for critical funding, we are united with a common agenda. Second, rather than fighting police reform, I will embrace it, working with City Attorney Holmes, the US Attorney and the Obama Justice Department to create needed change. Finally, I would restore an office of strategic policy planning in the mayor’s office, so that we can more effectively work across disciplines and departments to create positive change. 

4.       What do you consider your 3 most important accomplishments you have achieved in your present office?

Passing marriage equality in Washington was an incredibly important achievement.  I am also proud of my work as Chair of the House Transportation Committee, restoring transit funding, created the Mobility Grant Program to fund local transit agencies, and passed the 9.5-cent gas-tax increase. Last year, as Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, I was able to protect education funding and save core social services.

5.       What LGBT issues will you address in your first 6 months in office.

I will work closely with Seattle’s LGBT community to identify and address issues of concern.  I will continue the push for an LGBT community center, work with city stakeholders to address bullying, and strengthen the LGBT training component in Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.

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