Mike McGinn, Mayor
5/11/2011 4:00:00 PM
Eleazar Juárez-Díaz (206) 335-5736
Brad Hoover (253) 905-6030
Elliott Bronstein (206) 684-4507
Seattle LGBT Commission releases preliminary findings from major survey
Marriage equality, safety and health care named key concerns by Seattle LGBT community
The Seattle LGBT Commission has released a preliminary report of the results from a 6-week online survey to assess the needs of Seattle's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community on issues including housing, education, health, public safety and community involvement. The Commission also plans to hold an open forum at 6 p.m. on May 31 at Seattle Counseling Service to hear from communities who are underrepresented in the survey. The preliminary report can be viewed at the Commission's web site along with contact information.
Nearly 1,600 people participated in the survey from June 18 through July 31, 2010. The survey questions evaluated the experiences and opinions of LGBT individuals living, working and playing in Seattle. The survey, which was developed in collaboration with community organizations, asked survey respondents a variety of multiple choice and open-ended questions assessing their experiences as an LGBT person or straight ally in Seattle.
"We undertook the project because there was a real lack of reliable data about the needs of LGBT people in Seattle," said Brad Hoover, Co-Chair of the Commission. "Our hope is that with this research in hand, we can help our government and community organizations make better informed policy and funding decisions to serve the LGBT population."
One survey question asked people to evaluate the top three issues needing attention within the LGBT community in Seattle. Choosing from a multiple choice list of answers, participants' top three responses were marriage equality (55.5%); hate crime violence/harassment (39.0%); and healthcare (32.0%). The survey also asked respondents about the biggest issues impacting them personally. Healthcare (51.6%), marriage equality (49.0%), and lack of jobs in this economy (43.4%) were the most popular responses.
"We had such an overwhelming response to the survey, and it's inspiring that 1,600 people took time to participate," said Eleazar Juárez-Díaz, Co-Chair of the Seattle LGBT Commission. "We're excited now to conduct outreach with these results and gather recommendations from organizations, individuals and community leaders about how we can make Seattle a better place for LGBT people."
The Commission will hold a community forum for communities who are underrepresented in the survey on May 31 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Seattle Counseling Service, Rainbow Room, 3rd floor, 1216 Pine Street, Suite 300 on Seattle's Capitol Hill. The event is free and open to the public. The final report will be delivered to the Mayor and City Council in June.
The Seattle Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Commission advises the Mayor, Council and departments about sexual minority issues, recommend policies and legislation, bring the LGBT communities and the larger Seattle community together through long-ranged projects, and ensure that City departments fairly and equitably address LGBT concerns as individuals and as a protected class.