County Council appoints members to Task Force focused on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Metropolitan King County Council confirmed the appointments of twenty community leaders to serve on a new task force that will address gender identity and sexual orientation inclusion in King County’s broad spectrum of programs and services.
The task force will develop a recommended countywide inclusion strategy and work plan to help ensure that all people are accurately and respectfully served.

King County is committed to eliminating inequities and promoting fairness and opportunity for all. 

The task force will help bring visibility to often underserved individuals by highlighting the importance of fair and equitable access to county services, improving opportunities for engagement through community outreach, and participating in important dialogue on county policies and practices.

The county legislation was sponsored by Council Chair Rod Dembowski, and Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Dave Upthegrove, Joe McDermott and Claudia Balducci.

“This is important and serious work,” said Council Chair Rod Dembowski. “It’s a chance for us to learn, assess, and do better — not only to be more inclusive and responsive, but to ensure that access to our systems and services are fair and just for all members of our community. 
"This task force has an incredible opportunity to make transformative change through its recommendations in a way that will meaningfully impact people’s lives in a very real way.”

The Task Force will engage with stakeholders and community members in an effort to spread awareness and understanding of gender nonconforming individuals and their experience with county departments and facilities. 

It will review the current state of questions regarding gender identity and sexual orientation in King County processes, such as forms, interviews, and questionnaires, assess the experience of individuals accessing county services, identify processes that should be modified, and make training recommendations for county employees.

Membership of the task force includes representatives from ACLU WA, Chief Seattle Club, Entre Hermanos, Gay City, Generations Aging with Pride, Gender Justice League, Greater Seattle Business Association, Ingersoll Gender Center, Legal Voice, People of Color Against AIDS Network (POCANN), Pride Foundation, Seattle Counseling Service, Seattle Indian Health Board, Surge Reproductive Justice, United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance (UTOPIA), the King County Executive’s Office, the King County Council, and the King County Human Resources Department.


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