|Title||Laurie Jinkins Papers Finding Aid |
|Finding Aid Identifier||MS 90 |
|Finding Aid Title||Finding aid for Laurie Jinkins papers |
|Subject||Laurie Jinkins; finding aid; YWCA; Hands Off Washington; Tacoma, WA; gay and lesbian rights; discrimination; South Sound Region Coalition Council; Pierce County Coalition Council; Washington State politics; Lon Mabon; Citizens Alliance of Washington |
|Abstract||Laurie A. Jinkins, a member of the bar, is a human rights advocate and political activist in the state of Washington whose collection reflects her involvement and leadership roles in many statewide and Pierce County area organizations, task forces, and citizen's groups, including Hands Off Washington, Tacoma Hate Crimes Task Force, a state Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Concerns, and the YWCA of Tacoma / Pierce County. |
|Biography||A native of Wisconsin, Laurie A. Jinkins earned her bachelors and masters degrees in business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She came to Washington and received her law degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. After being admitted to the bar in 1990, Jinkins served as Assistant Governmental Affairs Liaison for the Tacoma Public School District. A year later, she was named an Assistant Attorney General, based out of Tacoma. Since that time she has served in several different legal capacities for state agencies, including staff attorney with the Department of Health. Because of her human rights interests, strong position on equality for everyone, gay-lesbian issues, and legal training, she quickly became involved in regional and statewide issues during the 1990s.
Jinkins served as chair of the City of Tacoma's Hate Crimes Task Force (1991-1993). She was involved in the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment (1991-1996) and was on the planning committee of that organization's 1993 annual conference, "Can We All Get Along?" Jinkins was on the board of several regional groups, including the YWCA of Tacoma / Pierce County (1992-1996), where she had a term as president of the board. She also was a member of the state of Washington's Department of Social and Health Services' Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Concerns (circa 1991-1994). It appears as though Jinkins was often an official representative from the state Attorney General's office to conferences, conventions, and public meetings regarding human rights issues, and, in particular, the state's gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender (GLBT) community. She was often asked to conduct legal research on human rights issues for the Attorney General's office and the organizations in which she was involved. Jinkins was a frequent public speaker and conference presenter on hate crimes, human rights, and GLBT issues.
Jinkins may be known best for her involvement with the statewide organization Washington Citizens for Fairness / Hands Off Washington (WCF/HOW). WCF/HOW was established in 1992 in an effort to create a broad-based coalition supporting the basic rights of all people and to oppose any efforts to legislate discrimination. During Jinkin's time on the board of directors and executive committee, it evolved into a statewide grassroots and lobbying organization established to ensure basic human rights being denied individuals based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. In 1994 WCF/HOW helped stop two statewide discrimination initiatives, 608 and 610, proposed by the Citizens Alliance of Washington from qualifying for the ballot. Again in 1995, two similar initiatives, 166 and 167, were filed by the radical and religious right. WCF/HOW responded by launching a non-binding petition that allowed voters to express support of basic rights for all and opposition to discriminatory initiatives. That campaign was very successful and the opposition's initiatives both failed to gather enough signatures to make it on the ballot. WCF/HOW worked to stop the passage of an anti-gay marriage bill in the 1997 Washington state legislature, gathering support to prevent a veto override and to stop a September ballot measure.
Based on their success in fighting off discriminatory measures, WCF/HOW launched a people's initiative (I-677) to prohibit job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in 1997. Over 180,000 registered voters from across the state signed the initiative, but the effort failed in the November election (42% to 58%). Although disappointing to the GLBT community, it was recognized that the effort helped to educate thousands of Washington citizens about anti-gay discrimination. Jinkins, a strong, outspoken proponent for I-677, was the president of the WCF/HOW during that campaign.
As a resident of Pierce County, Jinkins was involved in the activities of the Pierce County Coalition Council, a regional affiliate of the WCF/HOW organization, and its efforts to keep local citizenry active and aware of the political and discriminatory issues that affected basic human rights and, in particular, the GLBT community. Jinkins also served as the leader of representatives from various south Puget Sound coalition councils and as a liaison back to the state headquarters of the WCF/HOW based out of Seattle. |
|Scope and Content||The collection's strength is in the records of the WCF/HOW and related organizations that show the development and carrying out of various strategies designed to prevent anti-GLBT individuals and organizations from promoting their anti-discriminatory agendas in Washington. Because Jinkins was an active member of executive committees, steering committees, conference planning committees, and other bodies that helped make decisions regarding human rights and GLBT issues, the records contain more than the usual inter-organizational memos and public mailings.
The WCF/HOW executive and board meeting minutes and agendas (1993-1997) provide good insight into the workings of a grassroots organization that tried hard to maintain contact with sympathetic constituents, members, and kindred organizations throughout the entire state of Washington. Minutes and agendas are filed together because the agenda, plus background materials for the meeting, often help understand the more cryptic meeting minutes. The WCF/HOW director's reports are often included in the same file, again providing more background that may have affected decision making.
This collection includes papers from the South Sound Region Coalition Council (1993-1996) and a more extensive documentation of the work of one of the WCF/HOW regional sub-groups, the Pierce County Coalition Council (1993-1996). The latter record group provides a good picture of WCF/HOW statewide policy and directives being carried out at the local level. Because of the many communications between the state office and the local coalition council, both record groups should be examined carefully together to understand that relationship. Correspondence, as well as memos, are filed together in the general files since most of the official correspondence relates specifically to topics being addressed chronologically throughout the year.
While the WCF/HOW addressed many issues, including its own organizational structure and effectiveness, the major focus, year to year, was on the various initiatives and pieces of legislation that the anti-GLBT organizations and individuals constantly tried to orchestrate. Of major concern during the early to mid-1990s were the anti-gay political attacks organized by Lon Mabon and the Citizens Alliance of Washington, plus other like-minded individuals and organizations, both from Washington and outside the region. The WCF/HOW effort in fighting initiatives 608 and 610 in 1994 and initiatives 166 and 167 are well documented, including strategy development, fundraising campaigns, grassroots organizing, and monitoring (surveys and polls). Particularly well documented is WCF/HOW's own initiative 677 in 1997 to prohibit job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. During that campaign, many stories of Washington citizens who were fired from their jobs because of sexual orientation were collected
to help educate the general public about the existence of anti-gay discrimination. Some of those stories can be found in the Faces Project file.
The collection contains substantial material related to Mabon's earlier efforts in Oregon, where his Citizens Alliance of Oregon initiated anti-gay legislation. The collection also contains a significant amount of "Opposition" background research and information on other regional and national individuals and organizations determined not to allow GLBT people what they considered "special" or undeserved rights. This material lends itself to the study of extreme or religious right activities in Washington in the 1990s. Additional information in the collection relates to laws, ordinances, briefs and legal findings related to human rights issues, both in Washington and other states, particularly dating from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Much of this stems from Jinkins' training in legal research and her understanding that in order to counter your opponents you must first get to know who they are and understand their positions and motives.
Other substantial record groups within the collection, mostly because of Jinkins' interest or involvement, include the City of Tacoma's Hate Crimes Task Force (minutes and agendas, correspondence, and reports, 1991-1994); Committee to Protect Tacoma Human Rights (1990-1991); Pierce County AIDS Foundation (1991-1997); and the state of Washington's Department of Social and Health Services' Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Concerns (1991-1994). Jinkins' position on the board of the local YWCA resulted in a large amount of material on the YWCA of Tacoma / Pierce County, including correspondence, executive committee minutes, board of directors' meeting minutes, and committee files primarily for the years 1992-1997. Another group of records reflects Jinkins' association with the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment (1991-1996), including her files as the chair of the planning committee for the 1993 annual conference. Her professional affiliation with the Washington Women Lawyers groups, both statewide and with the Pierce County Chapter, also is documented.
The remaining parts of the collection consist of files Jinkins kept regarding various topics in which she was interested (most often human rights, hate crimes, and GLBT issues); other regional affinity groups; and a collection of similarly related articles, reports, and publications. Of special note is an article on the history of GLBT political activity in the state of Washington from the 1960s up to 1993.
The collection as a whole provides good insight into the anti-gay movement in Washington during the 1990s and the people and organizations that rallied together statewide to counter that threat through community awareness programs and political action. |
|Keywords||Laurie Jinkins; finding aid; YWCA; Hands Off Washington; Tacoma, WA; gay and lesbian rights; discrimination; South Sound Region Coalition Council; Pierce County Coalition Council; Washington State politics; Lon Mabon; Citizens Alliance of Washington |
|Inclusive Dates||1984 - 1999 |
|Volume||10.5 linear feet |
|Accession number||1998.102 |
|Electronic Publisher||Washington State Historical Society |
|Contributors||Washington State Historical Society; Ed Nolan |
|Object Type||finding aid |
|Format||text / pdf |
|Rights||Property of the Washington State Historical Society - All Rights Reserved |
|Data Entry||kam |