Equal Rights Washington, a queer political organization that doesn't have a website and whose former Vice Chair was a candidate in the District 3 primary, has endorsed Pamela Banks over incumbent Kshama Sawant.
I have no idea who is on the board at ERW these days or who sits on their endorsement committee—and since their website is nothing but a plea for donations (and has been for months and months), and since there's no info at ERW's Twitter account or on their Wiki page, there's no easy way to find out. But I do know that this endorsement of Banks is complete and total bullshit.
Since taking office in 2013, Kshama Sawant has done great work on LGBT issues. She convened a town hall meeting to address a spike in hate crimes on Capitol Hill, she fought successfully to raise Seattle's minimum wage to $15 (the minimum wage matters to young queer people who flee to cities like Seattle), she pushed to increase funding to address homelessness among LGBTQ youth, and she has aggressively fought skyrocketing rents in Seattle—an issue that has disproportionately impacted residents of Capitol Hill, which has been the city's queer neighborhood for the last few decades.
And here's what you'll find on Sawant's website about queer issues (and you'll find it easily, as it's prominently featured):
As an immigrant woman of color and a strong LGBTQ ally, I have worked to create deep relationships with LGBTQ community organizations. I have attended events, forums, and pride celebrations, and actively solicit the opinions of key community organizations. I have proudly supported and attended Seattle Trans* Pride every year since it began, though unfortunately no other elected official has joined me so far.
• Seattle needs an LGBTQ community center in Capitol Hill. We are one of the few major cities that does not have a center for LGBTQ empowerment and education.
• Protect against anti-LGBTQ violence and intimidation!
• Fund community anti-hate crime groups to organize night watches and raise awareness through anti-bullying and public education efforts.
• Fund a community-based hate violence information-gathering hotline.
• Fund self-defense and other community based responses as recommended by Entre Hermanos, The Northwest Network for BTLG Survivors of Abuse, Gender Justice League, and the Center for Multicultural Health.
• End the LGBTQ youth homelessness crisis by fully funding the King County comprehensive plan for youth and young adult homelessness – specifically the racial and LGBTQ disparities section.
• Full equality and workplace rights for LGBTQ people. End the discrimination LGBTQ people face in the private housing market. Unite against transphobia!
And here's what you'll find on Banks' website about queer issues:
Banks is running to represent District 3, which encompasses Capitol Hill, and the words "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual," and "transgender" appear nowhere that I could find on her website. Setting aside Sawant's record on LGBT issues, and the emphasis she places on them, the mere fact that Banks calls trans people "transistors" and compares trans men and women to drug addicts should disqualify her from getting an endorsement from an LGBT civil rights group.
ERW's endorsement of Banks is mystifying. LGBT voters in District 3 should ignore ERW and vote for Sawant.