Guiding Principles

As a chamber of commerce by and for the LGBTQ community and its allies, the policy work of GSBA is centered around two main areas: Civil Rights and Economic Prosperity. With the GSBA Scholarship Fund, Education is another important policy area for the organization. GSBA remains a leader in the LGBTQ community as well as in the business community, providing an important and unique voice and perspective.

GSBA’s top priorities will always be the areas where LGBTQ civil rights and economic development intersect, where our expertise is the strongest. Due to the diverse needs of a broad membership organization and participation in a variety of coalitions, many other related issues will arise. GSBA’s first priority will always be those issues with a particular impact on the LGBTQ community, and will next prioritize based on where our voice is unique, our expertise is relevant, or our affinity is particularly strong. GSBA often works in coalition with allied organizations and communities, and will frequently sign on in support of their efforts where others are leading the policy fight.

Proud of our role as a convener and as a nonpartisan constructive voice, GSBA will strive to be present at any negotiating table that our capacity allows. GSBA’s goals always include the creation of good policy over politics.

GSBA’s advocacy work as the progressive business voice in Washington is guided by the following principles:

  • Demand economic prosperity, safety, and health for the LGBTQ community
  • Expand, protect, and promote LGBTQ civil rights
  • Promote the vitality and development of small businesses
  • Demand equal access and opportunity for all underserved communities
  • Foster active and informed civic engagement

2019 Legislative Session

The Washington State legislature is meeting for a "long session" this year - from January to the end of April. GSBA has a full slate of civil rights and small business priorities that we are advocating for in Olympia. We welcome your input and are happy to help you bring your voice to your elected officials.
Have you experienced a violation of your civil rights in Washington? Do you know how to file a complaint with the state? Colleen Melody, Director of the Civil Rights Division of the Washington Attorney General's Office joined us for our online Policy Roundtable to explain the work that she does and what resources are available to Washingtonians. Watch it here and find more resources at the Wing Luke Civil Rights Division.
Olympia Rainbow Flag
GSBA has been working for more than 5 years to achieve greater recognition of the LGBTQ community at the state level. This year we are proud to support SB 5356 which would create a statewide LGBTQ Commission.

Learn more here.

UPDATE: 5356 has passed the House! The Senate will need to confirm the minor amendment shortly.
GSBA is a co-sponsor of Initiative 1000, which would roll back the harm caused by the anti-affirmative action Initiative 200, passed in 1998. The Washington State Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Act would guarantee every resident of WA equal opportunity and access to public education, public employment, and public contracting.

Find our who are your elected officials and register to vote or update your registration at MyVote (part of the Washington Secretary of State's office).

Policy Roundtable

Are you interested in LGBTQ and/or small business policy issues? GSBA's monthly Policy Roundtable comes together to discuss issues of importance to the LGBTQ and small business communities. We often bring in elected officials, advocates, and other policymakers to present to our members.

Attendance FREE and is open to all GSBA members

Please contact Matt Landers, GSBA Public Policy Manager, for more information.

GSBA Blog: Advocacy Posts

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