Women to be Honored for Efforts to End Gender Inequity and to Promote Civil Rights

Women to be Honored for Efforts to End Gender Inequity and to Promote Civil Rights

 SEATTLECouncilmember Jean Godden and the Seattle Women’s Commission have partnered, for the first time, to honor outstanding women and organizations in our community working to end women’s economic inequality and to champion Civil Rights.

This evening, the Jeanette Williams Award will be presented to Tammy Nguyen, for her work on the Women in the Green Economy program at the Got Green organization; to the YWCA, for its Economic Resilience Initiative; and to Laura Culberg, owner of SweatBox Yoga for strong workplace equity policies.

“I am proud to honor these exceptional women and organizations, which work every day to do all they can to foster the success of women and families in Seattle,” said Councilmember Jean Godden, Chair of the Parks, Libraries and Gender Pay Equity Committee.  “They are our City’s greatest hope of creating a culture where all our residents have an opportunity succeed and thrive.”

The Jeanette Williams Award was established in 2003 to honor individuals who demonstrate significant leadership and service in advancing the cause of women in Seattle.  This year, the award is exclusively focused on honoring those making strides to end women’s economic inequality.

Since the 2013 report stating that Seattle has one of the widest wage gaps in the nation, Councilmember Godden and the Women’s Commission have worked to establish programs and policies to reach pay parity between men and women in the City of Seattle.

“All the honorees being recognized this evening are fantastic examples of Jeanette Williams’ legacy of service and leadership. Their commitment to women’s and civil rights in our community should be celebrated.  We appreciate their dedication and leadership here in Seattle and are grateful to Councilmember Jean Godden for her support of this event,” said representatives of the Seattle Women’s Commission.

The Civil Rights Awards will be given to Estela Ortega for her long history of community organizing and work with El Centro de la Raza, and to Nicole Vallestero Keenan for her community leadership with Puget Sound Sage.

“Estela has worked tirelessly in helping our community for more than 40 years and Nicole’s work and advocacy for low-wage workers during the minimum wage legislation was tremendous,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell regarding the Civil Rights Award.

The awards will be presented tonight, Wednesday, September 24, at a celebration in the Bertha Knight Landes Room in Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue at 6 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

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Council and Mayor Seek Candidates for Seattle Park District Community Oversight Committee

Council and Mayor Seek Candidates for Seattle Park District Community Oversight Committee

SEATTLEThe City Council and Mayor Ed Murray are seeking candidates to fill seven positions on the Seattle Park District’s newly created Community Oversight Committee. The Seattle Park District was approved by Seattle voters in August 2014, creating a sustainable and long-term source of funding for the Seattle parks system.

The Community Oversight Committee will provide advice to the Mayor, City Council and the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, as well as provide oversight of projects, programs and services undertaken by the City and the Seattle Park District. The committee will meet quarterly to:

  • Make recommendations on the allocation of the Major Projects Challenge Fund;
  • Hold public meetings and make recommendations to update the next spending plan;
  • Review the Department of Parks and Recreation Annual Report; and
  • Provide the Mayor, City Council and Superintendent of Parks and Recreation with annual reports on the progress of expenditures and projects.

The Committee will be composed of 15 members, seven members of the public (one from each Seattle district), four Board or Commission members to be recommended by Seattle City Boards & Commissions and four members from the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners.  Each will serve either a one, two or three year term, to be determined during the selection process. The City seeks to appoint Community Oversight Committee members with a diversity of expertise and perspectives including, but not limited to parks management, public financing, urban horticulture, landscape architecture, contract management and the interests of low-income and communities of color. The Committee’s first official meeting will be held in April 2015, but members should be available to meet before this date, in early 2015.

The Council and the Mayor are committed to promoting diversity in the city’s Committees. Women, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and persons of color are highly encouraged to apply.

To be considered, please send a letter of interest indicating which district you represent and resume by October 20, 2014 to Councilmember Jean Godden, jean.godden@seattle.gov. Please title subject line: Oversight Committee Application. Electronic submissions are preferred.

To send a paper submittal, please address to:

Councilmember Jean Godden

PO Box 34025

Seattle, WA 98124

Council Passes Women’s Reproductive Health Rights Resolution

Council Passes Women’s Reproductive Health Rights Resolution

SeattleThe Seattle City Council today unanimously approved Resolution 31541, calling on the United States Congress and President Obama to repeal all federal bans on public coverage of abortion and supporting efforts to improve access to public and private insurance coverage for comprehensive reproductive health care.

“Every woman who enrolls in public government insurance should have the right to make their personal reproductive choices and receive coverage based on those choices, regardless of income or financial status,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee.

The Hyde Amendment, a rider attached to the federal spending budget each year and first passed by Congress in 1976, bans Medicaid coverage of abortion. Federal law also prohibits insurance coverage of abortion for women and their dependents who receive federally sponsored health care.

Rachel Berkson, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, said, “Given that there are over 4,000 women in Seattle are insured through the federal government and subject to these restrictions on abortion coverage, we commend Bruce Harrell and the Seattle City Council for taking a strong stand against the Hyde Amendment. For far too long, coverage bans like the Hyde Amendment have disproportionately limited access to abortion care for low-income women and women of color. Seattle is a pro-choice city and Washington is a state with a pro-choice majority—it’s time we embraced an agenda that reflects this, and identifies reproductive rights not just as an issue of gender equality, but one of economic and racial justice.”

Lisa Stone, Executive Director of Legal Voice, said, “Every woman should be able to make decisions based on what is best for herself and her family instead of based on what she can afford. The Hyde Amendment and other federal bans of abortion coverage affect Seattle women in a very real way. It’s time to tell Congress that when access to abortion is determined by the type of insurance a woman has, reproductive choice is meaningless.”

Andrea Miller, President of National Institute for Reproductive Health, said, “By withholding abortion coverage from women utilizing federal insurance plans, our nation has effectively created a class-based system for access to abortion care. But today Seattle joined the ranks of cities across the country—including Cambridge, New York City, Oakland and Philadelphia – that are leading the national movement to strike down the unjust bans that deny too many women access to abortion care. The National Institute for Reproductive Health is proud to support these efforts, and congratulates the women and men of Seattle.”

Councilmember Jean Godden, who chairs the committee overseeing the City’s efforts to eliminate gender inequity in the workplace, agreed.  “Each of us should have the right to make reproductive health choices, based on what’s best for oneself and for one’s family.”

Seattle joins a grass-roots movement to repeal the Hyde amendment and becomes the first jurisdiction in the Northwest—and the sixth nationally—to declare its support for overturning the Hyde Amendment.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, over 311,650 women live in Seattle. 67,824 women in Seattle are enrolled in public insurance and over 4,000 women of reproductive age are insured through the federal government and are therefore subject to federal restrictions on abortion coverage.

 

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Council Passes Women’s Reproductive Health Rights Resolution

Council Passes Women’s Reproductive Health Rights Resolution

SeattleThe Seattle City Council today unanimously approved Resolution 31541, calling on the United States Congress and President Obama to repeal all federal bans on public coverage of abortion and supporting efforts to improve access to public and private insurance coverage for comprehensive reproductive health care.

“Every woman who enrolls in public government insurance should have the right to make their personal reproductive choices and receive coverage based on those choices, regardless of income or financial status,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee.

The Hyde Amendment, a rider attached to the federal spending budget each year and first passed by Congress in 1976, bans Medicaid coverage of abortion. Federal law also prohibits insurance coverage of abortion for women and their dependents who receive federally sponsored health care.

Rachel Berkson, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, said, “Given that there are over 4,000 women in Seattle are insured through the federal government and subject to these restrictions on abortion coverage, we commend Bruce Harrell and the Seattle City Council for taking a strong stand against the Hyde Amendment. For far too long, coverage bans like the Hyde Amendment have disproportionately limited access to abortion care for low-income women and women of color. Seattle is a pro-choice city and Washington is a state with a pro-choice majority—it’s time we embraced an agenda that reflects this, and identifies reproductive rights not just as an issue of gender equality, but one of economic and racial justice.”

Lisa Stone, Executive Director of Legal Voice, said, “Every woman should be able to make decisions based on what is best for herself and her family instead of based on what she can afford. The Hyde Amendment and other federal bans of abortion coverage affect Seattle women in a very real way. It’s time to tell Congress that when access to abortion is determined by the type of insurance a woman has, reproductive choice is meaningless.”

Andrea Miller, President of National Institute for Reproductive Health, said, “By withholding abortion coverage from women utilizing federal insurance plans, our nation has effectively created a class-based system for access to abortion care. But today Seattle joined the ranks of cities across the country—including Cambridge, New York City, Oakland and Philadelphia – that are leading the national movement to strike down the unjust bans that deny too many women access to abortion care. The National Institute for Reproductive Health is proud to support these efforts, and congratulates the women and men of Seattle.”

Councilmember Jean Godden, who chairs the committee overseeing the City’s efforts to eliminate gender inequity in the workplace, agreed.  “Each of us should have the right to make reproductive health choices, based on what’s best for oneself and for one’s family.”

Seattle joins a grass-roots movement to repeal the Hyde amendment and becomes the first jurisdiction in the Northwest—and the sixth nationally—to declare its support for overturning the Hyde Amendment.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, over 311,650 women live in Seattle. 67,824 women in Seattle are enrolled in public insurance and over 4,000 women of reproductive age are insured through the federal government and are therefore subject to federal restrictions on abortion coverage.

 

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