Who We Are

The Seattle LGBTQ Commission consists of 16 representative residents of Seattle appointed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Mayor, City Council, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and other Seattle City departments. Seven commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and seven appointments are made by the City Council. The Commission appoints the 15th member. Commissioners are appointed to a two year term of office and serve without pay. A 16th member joins the Commission each year through Get Engaged, a leadership development program for 18-29 year olds.

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights provides staff and support to the Commission.

Learn About Commission Work


Meet Our Commissioners

A portrait of Esther, sporting a jacket and long hair

Esther Lucero

Member
Appointed by: Mayor

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Esther Lucero, MPP, is of Dine' and Latina decent. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the Seattle Indian Health Board.

Ms. Lucero has dedicated her work to promoting policy change for Urban American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) using a multi-media approach. She is a trained digital storytelling facilitator and the founder of the NAHC Media Center, in Oakland, CA, where the use of culturally specific digital storytelling has been instrumental in changing the public view of urban AI/ANs. She is committed to increasing the visibility of AI/ANs living in urban environments, to transforming the way research is conducted in urban Indian Health, and to making media and technology accessible to Native communities.

Her most recent film production Killing the 7th Generation: Reproductive Abuses Against Indigenous Women is a documentary that calls attention to the forced sterilization of Indigenous women. The film initially screened at the 2010 Queer Women of Color Film Festival in San Francisco, California. She has also screened and presented at the 33rd Annual California American Indian Education Conference, the 2010 Bioneers Conference, and Wicoza-NI-zhoni: Healing Art show.


She currently has two publications: From Tradition to Evidence: Decolonization of the Evidence-based Practice System, The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Growing Roots: Native American Evidence-based Practices Dec. 2011, which dismantles the western evidence-based practice system, and calls for the validation of traditional and cultural practices as viable methods of promoting mental health and wellness in Native communities. The poem The New Generation, The Womanist Journal 2006 is a personal piece on mixed-identity.

Ms. Lucero attended Mills College and received both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Native American Studies from Mills College in 2007 and a Master of Public Policy degree in 2010. Her passions include Indigenous policy advocacy, transformative approaches to research and evaluation for Indigenous peoples, Native Science, Federal Indian Law and policy, and reproductive justice for Indigenous women.

Byram Simpson

Member
Appointed by: City Council

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Byram identifies as a queer non-binary trans British ex patriot, holding Permanent Residency in the United States. They recognize the European, white privilege that created their pathway for residency and hope to use their voice wisely to elevate rather than speak over the voices of other marginalized people.

They have been an LGBTQ activist/advocate for 15 years, beginning in middle school as a Gay Straight Alliance member in a Midwest school district. Byram's advocacy focus broadened throughout school to include all marginalized peoples, across cultures and borders.

They obtained their Bachelor of Social Work degree from Grand Valley State University, where they focused on multicultural affairs and interpersonal relationships. They served as Education Chair and President of one of the school's queer organizations, and through that role facilitated training opportunities within queer and non-queer communities with a particular focus on preparing service professionals for interacting with LGBTQ students, patients and clients in an affirming and non-harmful way.

Through this role, they were able to connect with other cultural student groups such as the Black Student Union, Latino Student Union and Muslim Student Association to build alliances around different but intersecting experiences of oppression. Here, they also participated in action against police brutality, war, and the race-based discrimination of Latinx immigrants in the US.

After school they began their career at the Eating Recovery Center of Washington, where they worked for 4 years and began to incorporate disability justice, body positivity and bodily autonomy/consent into their activist framework and study the generational and ongoing trauma of marginalization.In their professional life, they have worked to create opportunities with individual clients, staff and groups to connect personal experiences to systemic barriers and marginalization and to understand the impact of power and privilege on everyday life.

They currently work as a Program Manager within YouthCare to meet the needs of vulnerable youth experiencing homelessness, which disproportionately impacts people of color and queer people, with an agency wide goal of eliminating the institutional causes of youth homelessness in King County and beyond.   As a member of the LGBTQ Commission, they hope to continue building alliances with folks impacted by different oppressions in order to present a united front and build a community and government which works for and with the people most impacted by its policies.    

portrait of Sabel in short cropped hair and smiling

Sabel Roizen

Member
Appointed by: LGBTQ Commission

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Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sabel comes to Seattle via a brief residency in Edinburgh, Scotland. As an artist, they are inexorably fascinated by the way photographic technologies allow humans to visualize what the organic eye cannot synthesize on its own; as a queer and non-binary person who loves art that pushes limits, they have been involved in the technical production of drag shows since 2013. Sabel hopes to improve recognition and representation of non-binary and trans individuals with their photography and videography skills. You can often find them at dog parks throughout the city with Fievol, their seventy-pound retriever mix.

Latosha Correll

Latosha Correll

Member
Appointed by: Mayor

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Latosha (or "Tosha", as her friends call her) is passionate about building community through the arts as well as creating and supporting sustainable, positive and innovative solutions to issues facing LGBTQ+ community members and their families.

Prior to moving to Seattle, Latosha grew up in a military family and traveled the country meeting and learning from people all over the world. Born in Philadelphia, she settled in Seattle as a young adult, calling it her forever home after feeling embraced by its LGBTQ+ community.

Over the decades, Latosha has advocated for LGBTQ+ rights and visibility by walking in the Pride Parade with various organizations she has worked with such as Verizon Wireless and volunteering her time with non-profits such as Equal Rights Washington, Seattle AIDS Support Group and Lifelong AIDS Alliance.

In 2016, Latosha co-founded Mistresspiece Theater, a LGBTQ-centered community performing arts organization focused on supporting women and the LGBTQ community with opportunities in all theater disciplines. 

Deepa

Deepa Sivarajan

Member
Appointed by: City Council

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Deepa is queer South Asian-American woman, born and raised in West Seattle. She currently works for EnviroIssues, specializing in public outreach and communications consulting for local governments. Deepa has a Master's in climate change studies, and she has previously worked as an organizer for electoral and environmental campaigns in the Puget Sound region. She is passionate about environmental justice, which aims to address the disproportionate effect of environmental degradation on communities of color and low-income communities. Deepa envisions a bigger role for environmental justice advocacy in queer and trans activist spaces, centering the voices and needs of QTPOC. She hopes that her work with the commission will further her interest in integrating EJ perspectives into policy, particularly in making recommendations on homelessness, displacement, and LGBTQ community spaces.

Nikki Hurley

Secretary
Appointed by: City Council

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Hailing from the East Coast, Nikki is a young activist who is working hard in the food justice circles in Seattle. After completing an AmeriCorps VISTA term at North Helpline Emergency Services and Food Bank in Lake City, Nikki joined the Solid Ground team to work behind the scenes to make sure healthy food is accessible to all hungry Seattleites. While she spends her workdays focused on eliminating food insecurity in Seattle, she has been searching for ways to get more involved in the LGBTQ+ activist community. As much as she enjoys her current method of working on LGBTQ+ social justice issues, that method being to ensure that every discussion she is involved in considers the impact on and specific issues related to the queer community, she is very excited about the prospect of working with this commission that specifically centers LGBTQ people.  Nikki believes Seattle's LGBTQ+ community deserves passionate people working for it, protecting it, and loving it.  

In addition to food justice work, Nikki is an active member of the Lake City Taskforce on Homelessness, the National Women's Political Caucus, and the co chair of the League of Women Voter's Social Justice Committee.

Kari A. Lerum

Member
Appointed by: Commission

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Kari A. Lerum, Ph.D, is Associate Professor at the University of Washington Bothell. Kari's research, scholarship, and teaching focuses on social inequality through the lens of sexuality, gender, race, culture, and power. Her work has included a coalition of sex work and human rights activists who influenced the Obama-run state department to recognize a UN recommendation to address violence against LGBTQ individuals and individuals in the sex trade. In her professional writing and speaking she has advocated for social justice approaches to both sex work and human trafficking policies, highlighting linkages between sexual, gender, racial, immigration, and economic rights and justice. She also examines the role of media in the production of social inequality and justice, particularly in the area of sexuality. At UWB and UWS she has also been active in efforts to provide more comprehensive anti-sexual and gender violence training as well as better support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Latosha Correll

Jessi Murray

Co-Chair

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Jessi Murray has been a community activist, leader, and volunteer for more than half of her life, particularly in the realms of reproductive justice and LGBTQ advocacy. She works as a technical program manager and UX designer on open-source software for accelerating cancer and HIV research. Overall, she strives to make the world a better place to live for everyone, through technology, advocacy, and community.

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Julia Ikaura Ricciardi

Co-Chair
Appointed by: City Council

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Julia is an educator, artist and queer womxn. She's committed to creating a world that works for everyone. Currently, she works as the Program Manager for Highest Awards at Girl Scouts of Western Washington, empowering teens to design and implement sustainable community projects. She has lived and worked all across the country--including New Jersey, Hawai'i, Illinois, Iowa and a number of other places. She attended high school in the Central District at an alternative school called The Nova Project. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Knox College, focused in education and studio art. In her professional roles, she has focused a lot of energy on developing curriculum and facilitating conversations about social justice and inclusion for both youth and adults. Through her varied experiences, she's developed a passion for solving old problems in new ways.

Katrina Sanford

Co-Chair
Appointed by: Mayor

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Dr. Katrina Sanford is a Psychotherapist with a PsyD in Clinical Psychology and a specialization in Sex Therapy. As a trauma informed therapist, she uses her knowledge in psychology to challenge social injustice for her clients and community, particularly racially induced inequities. In her private practice, Katrina treats couples and individuals with sexual health difficulties, relationship issues, life transitions, alternative lifestyles/relationships (polyamory/non-monogamy,) members of the LGBTQ community, anxiety, mood disorders, womyn's issues, gender identity struggles, and trauma, including different forms of abuse. Katrina is also the Executive Director of Earth Pearl Collective, a queer black womyn nonprofit organization dedicated to healing their community through creative collaborations and she Sapphic Roots, providing womyn who love womyn workshops and retreats to increase healthy relationship dynamics.

Joseph Suttner

Member
Appointed by: City Council

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Joseph Suttner is a lifelong Washingtonian who has lived in Seattle since 2013. He is a proud Gonzaga alum and currently works as a producer at KING5's talk show New Day Northwest. Through his experience growing up gay and multiracial, Joseph learned to strongly value and embrace diversity. As a journalist, he's worked to tell the stories of people from all walks of life in our community. Joseph hopes to expand the reach and visibility of the Seattle LGBTQ Commission's important work with his communication and social media skills. He lives with his boyfriend and cat in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Manuel Venegas

Manuel Venegas

Member
Appointed by: Mayor

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Manuel Venegas is an HIV-positive, first generation Mexican-American, gay community advocate in the HIV & AIDS field. Ranging from local community-level work to national-level ambassadorship in the field, he is a member of the defeat HIV Community Advisory Board at Fred Hutch. He educates the community about the HIV cure research at Fred Hutch, raises awareness of HIV criminalization, and elder needs for healthcare reform. He also advocates for youth in San Francisco as a Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholar at the National AIDS Memorial Grove.

Manuel has been active in advocacy at the collegiate level for the last three years, primarily advocating on Trans rights issues pertaining to safety as well as creating safe places for LGBTQ student advocates to move administration to address issues on student government bodies. Manuel is a Washingtonian, who was born and raised in Moses Lake and enjoys track and field, tennis, and sailing the waters of the Puget Sound.