Many community activists in Capitol Hill will recognize Asukaa Jaxx when they see her arrive for a rally or public meeting, sometimes with a homemade sign in hand.
She has a lot of ideas, and she doesn’t have many good feelings about District 3 City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
Jaxx filed her campaign to replace her during this year’s packed Seattle City Council race, joining four other challengers.
“When people come up to me, and said, ‘Please run. Please get rid of Sawant,’” Jaxx said. “‘Get rid of her socialists, and we want to go back to Democrats.’”
Jaxx claims to be the only Democrat and intersex candidate running for council. District 3 candidate Pat Murakami has identified as a Democrat, while other candidates have identified as nonpartisan.
She lives in a Seattle Housing Authority apartment complex in Capitol Hill, and has a mild learning disability, she said.
“I’ve overcome a lot of that disability, so you can’t even tell I have it,” Jaxx said.
The District 3 candidate said she wants to bring back a focus on arts and libraries, the latter she’d like to see used as overnight shelters for Seattle’s homeless population, with services for those with mental illness and/or chemical dependency.
Seattle remains under a state of emergency over its homelessness crisis, the city council focused on increasing its affordable housing stock.
Jaxx said she supports the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program that will increase development capacity in many urban villages in Seattle while requiring commercial and multifamily developers to either build or pay into a fund for affordable housing units.
“Because without density, we can’t have anything,” she said.
She wants to see housing created specifically for intersex adults and youth.
“Where we can be free and safe to be ourselves with others like us,” she said.
Jaxx doesn’t support a head tax on big businesses, which was short-lived legislation last year that never took effect. She said she had been in favor of it at one time, but soured on the tax because of Sawant.
“I didn’t realize that it was all about her, her own personal agenda for her own personal gain, to make this a socialist nation and a socialist city,” Jaxx said.
Jaxx believes the head tax would have been bad for intersex folks and low-income residents.
“I don’t believe in head tax; I don’t like taxes,” she said. “I strongly believe in progressive revenue and some kind of fee, and not a tax.”
Jaxx wants a fee on fossil fuels and coal, she said. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has long pushed for a carbon tax. Jaxx thinks it should be referred to as a fee.
“I think he should rename that,” Jaxx said, “because calling it a tax is really divisive and very problematic.”
She also wants a fee on cars — something like car tabs — to help support housing, education, libraries and climate.
The roads and sidewalks in District 3, particularly near where she lives, need to be repaired, she said, “because I’m the victim of always tripping and being hurt or even killed.”
While Sawant has led a movement to tax big businesses like Amazon — which will pay zero federal taxes this year on $11.2 billion in profits — in order to make Seattle more affordable for all, Jaxx believes there are big businesses in this city that care for and are investing in the community; Safeway, QFC, Starbucks, T-Mobile and Alaskan Airlines.
“And, yes, there is Amazon,” she said. “They have done a lot for the community, and they have glamazon, so they do have rainbow.”
Glamazon is an Amazon campaign that highlights its inclusion of LGBTQ members in its workforce.
“So if I don’t win council, I can always go work for Amazon,” Jaxx said.
The District 3 candidate receives Social Security disability benefits. If elected to the council, her salary would be around $130,000 a year.
“I was like, ‘Wow, I’m not going to squawk at that,” Jaxx said.
Jaxx is primarily focused on Capitol Hill, which she said is a pro-LGBTQ neighborhood, but is also intolerant of intersex people.
“I’m going to bring this back as the rainbow and intersex district and hood,” she said. “…I am the actual royalty queen of this hood.”
The Capitol Hill Pride Festival, March & Rally (now Capitol Hill Pride) which lost its title as organizer of the neighborhood’s summer pride festival in 2017 after a falling out with businesses, nonprofits and other community members, has since attempted each year to regain control of the event. Seattle PrideFest took over as organizer that same year, but Capitol Hill Pride attempts to get permitted to take back the pride festival each year. Jaxx said she has taken on the position of director of Capitol Hill Pride from Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson.
On the ill-fated day in 2017, when LeFevre and Lipson led a march of four down Broadway — a cord cover next to a prohibited stage causing an 83-year-old woman to trip and be hospitalized — Jaxx was in the procession, along with friend and former neighbor Boe Oddisey, whose real name is Calvin Creech.
Famous for his scarf dancing and wearing skimpy attire at various Capitol Hill rallies, Creech was arrested at the 2018 Northwest Folklife festival for allegedly groping a boy.
“He’s lost his housing,” Jaxx said. “He’s lost everything.”
She does believe her friend is guilty.
“He tried to grope me,” Jaxx said.
Mayor Jenny Durkan is now working on increasing incentives that could attract more law enforcement to apply to work for the Seattle Police Department, which is facing a staffing shortage.
Jaxx said she knows certain groups have had bad experiences with SPD, but that hasn’t been the case for her in the East Precinct.
“They’ve done a wonderful job protecting me and other intersex folks,” she said, accusing anarchist and Black Lives Matter protesters of hating intersex people.
While Jaxx identifies as a Democrat, she’s also a Christian, she said, and she believes President Donald Trump is pro-LGBTQ. Why else would he have held a rainbow flag, Jaxx said, referring to Trump posing with an “LGBTs for Trump” flag the then-presidential candidate was photographed with in October 2016.
Jaxx said she was moved by Trump’s latest State of the Union address.
“I cried for an hour during that whole speech,” she said.
She was particularly happy to hear Trump say the United States would never be a socialist nation, and said he made convincing arguments for a border wall.
“I do believe barriers do work, or a wall, and he is not a monster as he’s portrayed to be,” Jaxx said.