GSBA Vision & Mission

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, January 27, 2015

2015 GSBA Legislative Agenda

This list of priorities was created through several months of work in the Public Policy Task Force and Policy Council, drawing on input from the membership, including recent surveys and talking with the Small Business Council. The GSBA Board of Directors gave final approval of the 2015 Legislative Agenda at the January 7, 2015 meeting. The Legislative Agenda will serve as a guideline for the organization’s policy and advocacy work. GSBA will not endorse any specific legislation without first completing the Board-approved vetting process.

Civil Rights
Equality and access under the law for all persons.
As an organization founded by and for members of the LGBT community civil rights and equality for all will always be the top priority in our advocacy efforts. Like other marginalized communities ours has been and still is denied rights and responsibilities granted to the general populous.

Here in the Washington State we have some of the strongest protections for the LGBT community. But we still face hurdles because of who we are, especially the trans community. Even as we have successfully passed antidiscrimination and marriage equality laws, there remain groups who try to weaken or circumvent those vital protections.

GSBA will advocate to:

  • End legalized discrimination against trans people in all arenas, especially in healthcare.
  • Pass an inclusive federal ENDA without broad exemptions.
  • Oppose all broad religious exemptions laws.
  • Safety for all communities throughout Seattle.
  • Ban “conversion” therapy.
  • Defend the right of all people to have control over their own bodies, including a woman’s right to choose.
  • Increase funding and support of LGBT homeless youth & seniors.

Economic Prosperity
A vibrant economy strengthened through the full participation and collaboration of diverse local communities.
As a chamber of commerce, a robust economy is a fundamental value of GSBA’s mission. The health and wellbeing of a community is dependent upon local economic support and funding for local projects from city, county, state and federal resources. While both businesses and communities must adapt to the changing global economy, our success and sustainability begin at a grassroots level – at home.

GSBA will advocate to:

  • Increase funding of LGBT tourism.
  • Promote recognition of LGBT business enterprise certification in supplier diversity.
  • Advocate for public agencies to add LGBTBE certification to existing women and minority certifications.
  • Encourage smart, data-driven regulation that take the realities of small business into account.
  • Coordinate and streamline regulations across administrative scales.
  • Advocate for systematic, progressive tax reform.
  • Support strong public transportation initiatives, including a state transportation package.
  • Pass the Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) bill.

Education for All
Invest in future leaders.
Education is the foundation for strong, vibrant and diverse communities. Establishing criteria that achieves excellence in education is key to create and maintain educated workforces, to attract the best and brightest to our state, to foster innovation and to nurture our future leaders. A highly educated workforce generates and grows local business enterprises and in turn leads to higher wages and standards of living. Excellence in education cannot be achieved by simply funding programs. Schools must also provide healthy and safe environments for their students in order for them to learn and thrive.

GSBA will advocate for:

  • Adequate and stable funding for public education at all levels.
  • Meeting the obligations of the McCleary decision.
  • Post-secondary tuition stabilization.
  • Anti-bullying legislation and enforcement.
  • The federal DREAM Act.

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