Sometimes you just can’t win for losing, or so it seems. LGBT activists widely hailed the 2016 election of Jenny Durkan as the next mayor of Seattle as a significant moment as she was only the second openly gay candidate to take the office and the first woman to do so in nearly a century. But things haven’t been running exactly smoothly in Seattle since the riots began and not everyone is happy with her now. That’s understandable, considering the chaos and unrest in the streets that she’s supposed to be keeping safe, but I’m guessing that not many people expected Seattle’s LGBTQ Commission to chime in and call for her to step down. And yet that’s precisely what happened this week. (Free Beacon)
Seattle’s LGBTQ Commission demanded Wednesday that the city’s first openly lesbian mayor resign.
In a letter, the commission claimed Mayor Jenny Durkan’s (D.) resignation is “necessary” to address the “human rights violations that have occurred in our city during her tenure.”
The group, which is supposed to advise the mayor and other city officials on policies affecting the gay community, argued that Durkan failed to engage with it in discussions regarding police funding and homelessness.
There isn’t any sort of automatic official action in store as a result of this announcement. The commission doesn’t have any actual authority or governmental powers, serving only an advisory role for the Mayor, the City Council and the various municipal departments. Also, there wasn’t even a broad consensus on the commission. The twelve members split 6-5 on the vote with one abstention.
It’s also not entirely clear why the LGBTQ Commission was weighing in on this subject when you look at their list of complaints. Their charter calls for them to advise the mayor on policy issues specific to the LBGT community, but this complaint cites the Mayor’s failure to cut the Police Department by 50% as they recommended, insufficient help for the homeless and her supposed “undermining of the Black community.” That last bit refers to Durkan’s delivery of $100 million worth of investments into “Black, indigenous, and people of color communities.” Activists had wanted the investments targeted only toward Black communities. (Because… to hell with the Hispanic, Asian and Indigenous People’s communities I guess?)
The point I’m getting at here is that the Commission seems to be paddling well outside of their lane on this one. None of the issues cited seem to be specific to anything to do with the LGBT community. I suppose there’s no harm in giving them their say, but the vote might have been more appropriately taken by other groups if they’re really that unhappy.
If you’re really in the camp of those who want to defund or simply abolish the police, I suppose Durkan has made a few moves that could have upset you. She recently vetoed the City Council’s plan to defund the police to an even greater degree. Of course, the Seattle Police have been making some serious progress towards abolishing themselves in the meantime. Well over 100 cops have left the force this year, with most citing budget cuts and a lack of support from City Hall as their reason for doing so.
This isn’t all that dissimilar to the situation that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler finds himself in now. He’s unabashedly liberal/socialist and has been as far to the left as one could imagine, but that still hasn’t been enough to satisfy his critics as his city has similarly slid into chaos. He’s now trailing in the polls to a candidate who is an open supporter of Antifa and is a big fan of Stalin and Mao to boot.
When a lesbian mayor is being shoved toward the exits by her own LGBTQ Commission for not trashing the police sufficiently while crime in her city spirals out of control, we’ve really reached a new phase in the country’s shift towards being some sort of Bizarro World caricature of America. And yet, here we are. How’s everyone doing on their 2020 Bingo cards? I imagine nearly all of the squares must be filled in by now.