Who We Are

The Seattle LGBTQ Commission consists of 21 representative residents of Seattle appointed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Mayor, City Council, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and other Seattle City departments. Eight commissioners are appointed by the Mayor, eight appointments are made by the City Council, and the Commission appoints four members. Commissioners are appointed to a two year term of office and serve without pay. The 21st member joins the Commission each year through Get Engaged, a leadership development program for 18-29 year olds.

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights provides staff and support to the Commission.

Meet Our Commissioners

Andrew Ikechukwu Ashiofu

Andrew Ikechukwu Ashiofu

Appointed by: Commission
Term: 5/1/22 - 4/30/24

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Andrew Ashiofu, a proud Nigerian American, was born in vibrant Houston, Texas. Growing up in the culturally rich atmosphere of his Nigerian heritage and the dynamic blend of Houston's diverse communities, Andrew developed a deep appreciation for diversity from an early age.

A compassionate advocate, Andrew's passion for social justice and LGBTQ+ rights became evident during his formative years. Inspired by the struggles faced by marginalized communities, he committed himself to making a difference. With a heart for advocacy, he embarked on a journey to amplify the voices of those often unheard. In pursuit of his passion for health equity, Andrew pursued a degree in Advocacy for PLWHIV As the HIV/AIDS epidemic continued to impact communities, Andrew found his calling in advocating for those affected. Guided by his experience as someone living with HIV and a commitment to destigmatizing HIV, he became a vocal advocate for people living with HIV (PLWHIV). His efforts extended beyond awareness campaigns, as he actively worked to improve access to healthcare and break down the barriers that hindered progress. Andrew Ashiofu continues his journey, he remains steadfast in his commitment to social justice, health equity, and the LGBTQ+ community.

Through his advocacy and leadership, he leaves an indelible mark on the world, inspiring others to embrace diversity and work towards a more inclusive and compassionate society.

Chief Seattle

Atif Osmani

Appointed by: City Council
Term: 11/1/22 - 10/31/24

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Atif Osmani was raised on the north side of Chicago, in the city’s South Asian enclave. A majority of his family immigrated to the United States in the 80s, so his ethnic and cultural heritage has always been an important aspect of his identity. In high school, and later college, he was surrounded by a more affluent and largely white group of peers. This dichotomy in populations, among many other factors, propelled him to learn about systemic social issues and how individuals, communities, and governments can work to solve or alleviate societal inequities. He attended the University of Chicago for his undergraduate degree, where he studied Public Policy and specialized in health policy. This program was the perfect interdisciplinary environment to deconstruct social issues because it leaned on economic, statistical, and multiple qualitative frameworks to view problems. Health policy issues hit close to him because he grew up helping his father and grandparents with their health impairments. Additionally, the study of health policy goes far beyond medical intervention and is fundamentally tied to the well-being of people. 

Atif is excited to join the LGBTQ Commission because he knows inclusive policy is crucial to challenging the inequities experienced by queer people. Community development and inclusivity are two issues that he hopes to address as part of his tenure in the commission.

Headshot of Ashley Ford.

Ashley Ford

(She/They)
Co-Chair; Get Engaged Member
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 9/1/2023 - 8/31/2024

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Ashley is the Development Director at Coyote Central. They co-chair the board for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) of Seattle and play the flute in the Rainbow City Concert Band. Originally from Knightdale, NC, they reside in the Lake City neighborhood of Seattle with their partner and two cats. They are excited to use their leadership skills in a new capacity to support LGBTQ+ people in the Seattle area at this critical time for queer people around our country.  

Brett Pepowski

Co-Chair
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 5/1/2022 - 4/30/2024

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Brett is a queer science and health educator, originally from Chicago. Brett currently works for the Downtown Emergency Service Center, connecting adults in supportive housing to medical services. Outside of work, Brett proudly volunteers for Camp Ten Trees, an overnight camp for queer youth and youth of nontraditional families, and supports Rainbow City Performing Arts as a lighting designer. As a commissioner, Brett hopes to increase access to healthcare and housing for the Seattle queer community, with a special focus on the queer+disabled community.  

Chief Seattle seal

Jeremy Erdman

Appointed by: City Council
Term: 5/1/23 - 4/30/25

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As the youngest son of a pastor and special education teacher, my upbringing instilled the values of building community and supporting others. These values steered my career to focus on creating a sustainable future and inclusive economy—one where our diversity is our strength and identity isn’t a barrier to success. I came to Seattle to study a Masters in Public Administration because I wanted to create energy policies that created a livable environment for future generations and helped current generations transition equitably. I now lead Amazon’s external partnerships focused on small business success, where I build coalitions with trade associations, chambers of commerce, think tanks, and small business organizations to elevate the success of and empower entrepreneurs around the world. 

Chief Seattle

Gerald Seminatore

Appointed by: City Council
Term: 5/1/23 - 4/30/25

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New England native Gerald Seminatore landed in Seattle mid-pandemic to begin a new life chapter. His current professional work (Tai Chi and Qigong) is for Seattle Parks and Recreation and for private clients. Before coming to Seattle, he served as the coordinator for the Savannah Qigong Collaborative, a pilot program to bring Tai Chi and Qigong to underserved communities in schools, libraries, community centers, and the Veterans Administration. Gerald is a former music educator and performing artist with some 30 years of experience in university and professional performance venues. His work in the LGBTQ+ community extends back to the 1990s when he was a volunteer for HIV/AIDS support organizations, as well as a producer and performer for musical events on World AIDS Day.  

Kody Allen

Kody Allen

Appointed by: City Council
Term: 11/1/2023 - 10/31/2025

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Kody Allen is a social service worker for YouthCare, an organization that provides services and support for homeless and at-risk youth in Seattle. He comes with a strong background in nonprofit leadership and advocacy, having served as the Executive Director of a food pantry, the chairperson for the City of Casper’s LGBTQ Inclusion Committee, and a board member for various social justice causes in his home state of Wyoming. He moved to Seattle with his husband in 2022 to embrace a more diverse and welcoming community. In his spare time, he enjoys expressing his creativity through painting and playing the piano, as well as volunteering for local charities. His passion is to make a positive difference in the lives of LGBTQ youth and other marginalized groups, and is always eager to learn new skills and perspectives to enhance his work. 

Headshot of person with fair skin, short curled blonde hair, smile, and in a button shirt with blazer.

Ry Armstrong

Appointed by: City Council
Term: 5/1/2023 - 4/30/2025

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Ry Armstrong (they // she // he) is an American, genderqueer artist who was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by nature and the arts. Their upbringing, which did contain both white and male-presenting privilege, was full of arts education and ultimately compelled them to follow a career in storytelling. Shortly after finishing an undergraduate degree in theatre arts, they moved from the Emerald City to the Big Apple and quickly became involved, as an actor, in productions Off-Broadway (Pete the Cat, Orphans & Outsiders) and in regional houses across the country. Complementary to their acting, their focus lies on their international creative endeavors of producing and writing new works of art to be experienced on the stage and screen. After finishing their graduate degree in International Relations, they took an interest in environmental activism as that issue is set to be the defining crisis of their lifetime. Most recently, Armstrong can most recently be seen in HBO's The Gilded Age.

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Jackson Cooper

Appointed by: City Council
Term: 5/1/2022 - 4/30/2024

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Jackson Cooper is a queer storyteller, writer, arts lover, advocate, and curator of people and experiences. He grew up in Washington D.C. and was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina for 20 years of his life. Jackson began working in nonprofit fundraising starting at age 14, instilling from mentors a deep love of gratitude and giving back. Advocacy started early with his work on mayoral and city council races in high school and moving towards civic engagement projects post-college. Recently, he has served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and helped organize the Seattle Arts Voter Guide for the November primary election. He holds a position within the fundraising department at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Adjunct Faculty for UNC-Greensboro's Arts Administration program online, and serves on the advisory board of Seattle Arts and Culture for Antiracism and as a trustee for the Seattle Men's/Women's Chorus. Jackson holds a BA in Arts Administration from UNC-Greensboro, will graduate with an MFA, Arts Leadership from Seattle University in August, and is earning his Certified Fundraising Executive certification in April 2022. 

Chief Seattle logo.

Steven Pray

Member
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 11/1/2023 - 10/31/2025

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My name is Steven Pray and I grew up in Kent, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. After I graduated high school I attended Central Washington University and received a degree in political science. I moved to Seattle in 2015 to start law school at Seattle University and have been living in the city ever since. After I graduated from law school I began working as a Union Representative at PROTEC17 with my assignment primarily being the City of Seattle. I currently live in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle with my dog, Storm, who is a gray and white husky, Pitbull, and everything else mix. 

I am interested in serving on the Seattle LGBTQ Commission because I believe that with my lived experiences as a member of the LGBTQ community and my background as an attorney and person who works with people in the city on a daily basis, I can do my part to make a positive contribution to the commission.

Seattle Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Commission

The Seattle Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Commission advises the Mayor, City Council, and City departments on issues affecting the LGBTQ community. The Commission recommends legislation, policy, programs and budget items to the Mayor, City Council, and City departments.