Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program Newsletter
(Adapted from the Department of Enterprise Services’ “DES Daily” blog)
Creating a supportive and accepting environment allows everyone to bring their true selves to work. We can extend our recognition of Pride Month and commit to supporting LGBTQ+ folks all year-round, and we can amplify and support the movement for Black lives by asking ourselves: What does it mean to be a good ally?
Deadline for submissions is close of business Friday, May 22
Does your state agency do outstanding inclusion and diversity work? The Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network, (RAIN) business group is seeking nominations for its RAIN Outstanding Agency Award.
Formed in 2016 under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Directive 16-11, this state LGBTQ+ business resource group helps establish best practices for state agencies to “create a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees, allies, and customers in Washington State,” wrote Best Practices Co-Chairs Marisa Sanchez-Reed and Jasper Marino.
“We look forward to receiving nominations from all state employees and strongly encourage those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community to tell us about the great work and many ways their agency encourages a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace,” the co-chairs wrote.
If you have questions please reach out to RAIN’s Marisa (she/her/they/them) or Jasper (they/them/he/him).
About RAIN:The Rainbow Alliance & Inclusion Network (RAIN), Washington State Employees’ LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group (BRG), is an equal opportunity resource group. RAIN welcomes all Washington state employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or other diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression groups, and their allies. RAIN encourages all members to bring their authentic selves to the BRG.
“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” -Audre Lorde
Washington State’s six Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are excited to present the following message in celebration of Diversity Month.
During Diversity Month, the business resource groups wish to generate awareness about the intersectionality of characteristics that make us unique and the need to demonstrate appreciation for each human being we encounter. This month, we encourage you to create space for courageous conversations about identity and to learn more about someone who appears to have a different cultural background or experience from your own. Some ways to learn include: engaging in open dialogue, reading a book, watching a movie or video clip and more, all with an open and empathetic heart.
Statewide BRGs unite employees who identify with common backgrounds with allies under shared values and goals. All BRGs have a mission and goals outlined in their charters and bylaws. BRGs contribute to an overall statewide business strategy in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in a respectful workplace. Each BRG member brings unique knowledge and perspective, making them an asset to our state business needs, helping Washington move closer to being the employer of choice.
The Legislative process can be complex and confusing. But it doesn’t have to be. The ICSEW’s November meeting will have sessions on understanding the legislative process, how to track bills that are important to you and easy ways to engage with your legislators and make them work for you.
The meeting takes place from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Washington State Department of Corrections’ Headquarters building (the Edna Lucille Goodrich building), 7345 Linderson Way SW in Tumwater. All regular ICSEW meetings are free and open to anyone, regardless of gender or employment status. An hour-long ICSEW executive board meeting immediately follows the regular meeting, which is also open for attendees to observe.
Parking is limited. The DOC has a few visitor spaces and there are a few spaces on 78th Ave. However, we encourage carpooling or utilizing the Mountain View Church parking lot which is located at the corner of Linderson Way and Israel Road. Please make sure to have photo ID with you at check-in. InterCity Transit also provides free bus fare for state employees with a STAR pass. To receive your star pass, please contact your agency’s commute trip reduction coordinator.
Nick Streuli, Legislative & Executive Operations Director, Employment Security Department Getting Involved in the 2019-20 Legislative Session
Nick was appointed as the Legislative & Executive Operations Director for the Washington State Employment Security Department in October 2016. Nick has served in a variety of roles most recently as Special Policy Assistant to the Commissioner and Federal Government Liaison.
As part of his role with ESD, Nick works with the legislature on unemployment insurance, workforce development, and Paid Family and Medical Leave issues. This includes providing technical assistance to legislators and stakeholders, advising the agency on legislative strateg, and advocating for legislation to develop the nation’s best and most future ready workforce with opportunities for all.
Former Washington State Sen. Karen Fraser, Legislature 101
She held many senior leadership positions in the Senate including: Democratic Caucus Chair; Vice Chair of the Ways and Means Committee; Chair of the Capital Budget; Chair of the Senate’s administrative committee; and Chair of policy committees pertaining to environment, energy, water, parks and recreation, shorelines, Puget Sound and state employee pensions. She served on the Rules Committee and on many other policy committees.
Prior to serving in the Senate, she served four years as a state representative. She served as a local elected official for 15 years, including becoming the first woman mayor of Lacey, second woman Thurston County Commissioner, and the first woman president of the Washington State Association of Counties.
Paid Family Leave and BRG Roundtable
The meeting will also include a session on Paid Family Medical Leave, presented by April Amundson, a policy and rules manager for the Employment Security Department, as well as a lunchtime panel with a RAIN Business Resource Group representative. RAIN stands for Rainbow Alliance Inclusion Network. RAIN helps Washington state create safe and inclusive workplaces where every LGBTQ+ employee can bring their authentic self to work, enabling them to do their best work for Washingtonians. Ayanna Coleman will be leading the panel discussion.