Appointing a BIPOC Director to the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture

      1024 1024 34th Democrats

      Approved at the March 10, 2021 membership meeting.

      Appointing a BIPOC Director to the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture

      Whereas, in 2021, Seattle will celebrate 50 years of cultural appreciation; starting with the founding of the Seattle Arts Commission, which became the City’s Office of Arts & Culture (OAC) in 2001; and

      Whereas, the Washington Democratic Party, King County Democrats, House, Washington Senate and House Democratic Committee, King County, City of Seattle, and allied organizations have committed to equitable representation of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC); and

      Whereas, although BIPOC artists and arts administrators are plentiful in Washington state, Seattle’s OAC has never had a BIPOC Director. Continuing into 2021, the Directorship has been maintained in the hands of white people. Although some leadership positions are held by Black women, Black men currently hold no managerial positions in OAC; and

      Whereas, we believe that BIPOC leaders are capable of successfully overseeing the department. We also believe a BIPOC Director would improve the artistic and cultural sensitivity  of OAC and demonstrate the City’s commitment to BIPOC representation in leadership; and

      Whereas, the current leadership at OAC reflects a deeply broken appointment process that systematically alienates BIPOC candidates from positions of authority;

      THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the 34th Legislative District Democrats, call on Mayor Jenny Durkan to move quickly to resolve the lack of equitable leadership in OAC, by appointing a BIPOC Director to the office.

      THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on the Seattle City Council to support equitable leadership in the OAC through the appointment of BIPOC directors and managers.

      THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we call on our Party and public officials to invest the time and resources to ensure that hiring and spending processes yield equitable results in taxpayer funded offices throughout the city and county.



      Submitted by David Toledo for consideration at the membership meeting on March 10, 2021. (Submitted 01/29/2021)

      Contact: David Toledo