GSBA has several members on the ballot this year. GSBA does not endorse candidates for elected office, but we are pleased to offer them a chance to speak to their fellow members.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am not one to give up or walk away if something appears to be too tough. It’s served me well, but does nothing to quiet the restless energy that there is still much more to be done. When marriage became a reality not only in our state but nation I was elated but I knew the next day it was back to work, we were far from finished. With the insurmountable odds I have faced in my work and education it would have been easy to become disillusioned, however there was never any time for this and I would have lost the forward momentum that I know is required to continue to assure rights and much needed protections for our community.
Serving others is an important part of my make-up. The last 10 years of advocacy work for marriage equality, LGBTQ rights and human rights issues has been both rewarding and challenging. I find my greatest reward when my work effects change and provides crucial help to individuals and groups that need it most. I have found the greatest challenge is when I strive to create consensus between those that see my hard work as unnecessary and those that need help. This, if you ask me, is where my greatest strength resides. Bringing people together and helping opposing parties to see the value in working together for real and lasting solution.
We face significant obstacles in this ever-expanding city. Homelessness, exploding housing costs, traffic, and a regressive and onerous tax structure. All these issues are complex and need a balanced, nuanced voice and I believe I am that voice. I want to be a city councilperson who can be counted on to always be available to the people of this city, and give their issues the time and attention they deserve.
I strongly believe we have a lot of opportunities to make a positive impact on all the citizens of Seattle, helping those who are struggling to participate in all this beautiful city has to offer and work to bring those who are enjoying greater success to the table to show them how their help will ensure a fair and equitable city that everyone can be proud to call home. I would like the opportunity to work on these issues for you and greatly appreciate your considering me as your next Seattle city councilperson, position 8.
Charlene Strong is a member of the GSBA, and candidate for Seattle City Council Position 8. She is Chair of the Washington State Human Rights Commission. She is a national speaker regarding civil rights issues in employment, healthcare and equality.