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Gov. Inslee appoints 15 members to LGTBQ commission; 3 from Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee appointed 15 members to the state’s new LGBTQ commission.

It’s tasked with identifying the needs of the LGBTQ community.

Three of those members are from the Spokane area: Maeve Griffith, Alvaro Figueroa, Jac Archer.

Griffith is a captain with Spokane city fire. Figueroa works at Avista and serves multiple community organizations in Spokane. Archer is on the Spokane city Human Rights Commission.

According to Mike Faulk, a spokesman for Governor Jay Inslee, the committee was created to “identify the needs of its members, and ensuring that there is an effective means of advocating for LGBTQ equity in all aspects of state government.” 

He also said he believes Washington is the second state, behind Pennsylvania, to create a state-level LGBTQ commission.

KREM 2’s Amanda Roley sat down with Griffith and Figueroa and asked our top three questions about what they hope to accomplish on the commission.

What does that mean for you to be selected for Washington’s LGBTQ Commission?

Maeve Griffith: “Well I’m honored to be there. I’m excited to serve I’ve been in union leadership before and I’m familiar with going to Olympia and doing things in Olympia.”

Alvaro Figueroa: “I guess part of my interest in getting involved at this level was being able to be a voice and an advocate for this demographic just because there are a lot of challenges that they face. I think it’s nice to be on the front line, being able to support initiatives. and just promote acceptance.”

What are some issues you’d like to address that may be specific to the Spokane area?

Maeve: “I think probably the thing I would like to work on is making sure that people know the law, and that they have protections under the law and invite people to participate.”

Alvaro: “I think one of the biggest ones is acceptance. I know bullying is a big issue globally. In Washington I’d like to help teach people about difference and having them work together toward an area where they feel comfortable expressing each other.”

What sort of unique perspective will you bring as a city employee?

Maeve: “I think in my job, like I’ve said, our job as a fire department is to help people. Statistically, transpeople have a harder time having a job, the suicide rates are higher for transpeople. All these problem, which I think that, personally being in a position of trying to help people–I’d like to carry that attitude with me to Olympia.”

Alvaro: “My board involvement with different demographic, I’ve been involved with low income individuals, minorities in terms of like different racial groups. I think just seeing the adversity all these groups face is a great compliment to the LGBTQ commission as well.”

We found only two other states with an LGBTQ state commission: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Washington’s LGBTQ commission will have its first meeting in mid-February.

Original Article by KREM2 here
Author: Amanda Roley
Published: 6:21 PM PST January 23, 2020
Updated: 1:12 PM PST January 27, 2020

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