As deputy mayor of Burien, Krystal Marx has some experience with political disagreement.
As an unapologetic progressive, Marx has had to pass legislation in an ideologically diverse council that has exchanged pointed words over issues in the past. But Burien’s elected officials came together to pass tenant protections and hazard pay for grocery store workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
Marx attributes those successes, in part, to eschewing traditional ways of governing and instead reaching out to people who are closest to the problems in order to craft solutions. She has a deep belief in the power of community organizing, bringing people into the legislative process to craft better solutions, and putting pressure on the opposition.
Renton, Washington, is home to more than Boeing and the Seahawks’ practice facility. Renton, only 12 miles south of Seattle, is a majority BIPOC city where white supremacy is gasping for air.
I was born and raised in Renton. I graduated from Lindbergh High School where one of my friends, a masculine presenting boy who came out as gay, had his truck keyed with the word “FAG.” When I moved back 12 years later, I had hoped the amount of inclusivity and respect would have improved, but what I have seen in the last two years alone exemplifies that Renton is still unsafe for marginalized people.
Seattle’s housing crisis disproportionately affects BIPOC communities, and of those groups, queer, transgender, and two spirit (2spirit) people are impacted even more. In response, Queer The Land (QTL) was founded in 2016 as a collective of QT2BIPOC resisting displacement and gentrification. One of their long-term goals was the acquisition of a house, and on Jan. 15 the goal was realized when QTL purchased a three-story house in north Beacon Hill. The home will be a hub for transitional housing, coworking, community spaces, gardening, and other opportunities.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Erev Rosh Hashana. For all the non-Jews reading this, that is the evening of the first night of the Jewish New Year, a kick-off holiday to a time of great reflection that ends with another important holiday, Yom Kippur. When I heard that Ruth had passed away, I felt many things, as did the rest of the nation. I felt sad, I felt grief that it happened before the election (although I am not sure that would have mattered, I am sad to admit). But mostly, I felt a sincere hope that she passed peacefully coupled with an anxiety that perhaps she did not. This latter emotion was the most pronounced — to have an elder in my community potentially not die peacefully because we were hanging all our progressive hopes and dreams on her surviving, despite her multiple struggles with various cancers during the era of Trump, well … that’s not good.