Supporters of Mayor Jenny Durkan have responded to the Seattle LGBTQ Commission, which criticized her record on police violence, homelessness and budgeting last month and called on her to resign.
The mayor’s office shared a letter Sunday from 195 LGBTQ community members and allies who disagree with the commission’s stance. Addressed to Durkan, the letter lauds her “long history fighting for equality and civil rights” and thanks her for various actions on behalf of LGBTQ community members and others. Durkan is the city’s first openly lesbian mayor.
The letter mentions Durkan has allocated city funds to help build apartments for lower-income LGBTQ seniors, for example. “You have continued to work for the well-being of our city while being subjected to repeated intimidation, threats and homophobic attacks,” the letter says. “We know you are the right leader to guide Seattle through these tumultuous times.”
Durkan’s office also shared a letter from the Greater Seattle Business Association, an LGBTQ chamber of commerce. That letter argues the commission should have conducted more outreach.
The commission called for Durkan to step down in a letter after a 6-5 vote, accusing her of “failing to uphold and protect the human rights” of Seattle residents, citing homeless encampment removals and chemical weapons used during Black Lives Matter protests. The city-sanctioned advisory body of volunteer appointees heard repeatedly from community members before the vote, including on social media, its letter said.
The Seattle Human Rights Commission called for Durkan to resign or be removed early last month. The Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission recently voted to sign on to that stance and will decide this month whether to issue a separate statement.