Ed Murray is Seattles first out gay mayor. His response to a rise in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes: a task force.
Ed Murray is Seattle's first out gay mayor. His response to a reported rise in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes on Capitol Hill: a new task force. Alex Garland

As Sydney reported Tuesday, in response to recent crimes against LGBTQ people across the city—including an attack in Georgetown on Sunday—Mayor Ed Murray will, true to form, put together a task force on the issue. Today, he announced the members of that group, which totals 28 people. They range from a state lawmaker to an Amazon representative, Seattle Police Department representatives, and local LGBTQ advocates and business owners. (Full list after the jump.) Notably absent: anyone from the office of city council member Kshama Sawant, who organized a forum on how to tackle this problem on Capitol Hill earlier this month, and who represents the neighborhood many believe is the epicenter of the reported rise in local hate crimes. (We've asked the mayor's office about this and are waiting to hear back. See update below.)

"The task force will look at how the City of Seattle can constructively work with community members, businesses, and organizations to increase safety and LGBT visibility in Capitol Hill and citywide," according to a press release announcing the members of the group. It said the task force would also look at ways to "honor the history of the neighborhood."

During the first half of last year, the SPD investigated 49 hate crimes, 21 of them against LGBTQ people and 10 in the precinct that covers Capitol Hill. The department doesn't have data for the second half of last year, but if the crimes continued at that rate, totaling 42 anti-LGBTQ hate crimes, that would be a significant increase from 2013, when the total number of hate crimes investigated was 19. More about the rise in these incidents and what we could do about them right here.

“We have not seen a coalition like this since the marriage equality campaigns," Murray said in the announcement. "Clearly our work was not finished when we won in November 2012. There are still people in this world who believe LGBT people should be denied the most basic human right, the right to live without fear of violence because of who you are or who you love.”

The members of Murray's new task force are:

Louise Chernin, GSBA
Michael Wells, Capitol Hill Chamber
Marxa Marnia, LGBT Commission Cochair
John Bailey, Amazon
Kelly Stonelake, Facebook Creative Shop
Raven E. Heavy Runner, Northwest Two-Spirit Society Acting Cochair
Luzviminda "Lulu" Carpenter, LGBT Commission
Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation
Brady Walkinshaw, Legislative Representative, 43rd District
Elayne Wylie, Gender Justice League
Shelley Brothers, Wildrose
Kristen Wieliczka, Director of Civic Engagement for Seattle University Student Body
Mineth Elman McClain, Director, Public Safety, Seattle Central Community College
Josh Castle, Community Organizer
Jim Ritter, Seattle Police Department
Michael Renner, Seattle Police Department
Sina Ebinger, Seattle Police Department
Jared Brayton Bollenbacher, Social Worker
Marcos Martinez, Entre Hermanos
Jesse Gilliam, Ingersoll Gender Center, Council Staff
Shannon Dority, Northwest Network
Monisha Harrell, Equal Rights Washington
Lauren Mathisen, Capitol Hill Community Council
Danni Askini, Gender Justice League
Jarreau Greene, Square Arts Program
Darrell Goodwin, Dean of Students at Seattle University
Melinda Giovengo, Youthcare
Shaun Knittel, Seattle Gay News

UPDATE: Murray spokesperson Viet Shelton says Sawant’s absence from the task force is nothing personal. “This was less about city policy makers," Shelton says, "and a little more about active leaders from the community or community members in general.” Sawant says she’s generally supportive of who was included in the group and she plans to continue working on her own to find ways to combat the rise in hate crimes and fund whatever new efforts are recommended by the group. She also points to the nonprofit Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets, which recently told King 5 it would need $180,000 to shift from providing seasonal to year-round shelter for youth and young adults. Compared to other city spending, "that’s a drop in the ocean,” Sawant says. "At the end of the day the responsibility lies with elected officials in terms of acting on the solutions.”