Meet Our Speakers

Hon. Anne Levinson

A graduate of the University of Kansas, Judge Anne Levinson (ret.) was the founding judge for Seattle’s Mental Health Court, the first municipal mental health court in the country. Prior to that she served as Deputy Mayor, Chief of Staff and Legal Counsel for the Mayor of Seattle and as Chair of the State Utilities & Transportation Commission. Judge Levinson provides independent oversight on issues related to police accountability, and advises courts and local government on system reform. She serves as Chair of the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, which enforces the state’s campaign finance laws, and is Co-Chair of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the delivery of services to children, youth and families. She has served on many non-profit boards, including the founding boards of a middle school for girls and a non-profit agency dedicated to reform of the state’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems. One of the Washington state’s first openly LGBTQ officials, when sexual orientation and gender identity were added to the state anti-discrimination law, she led a statewide coalition to defeat the attempted repeal of the law. Three years later, she led the opposition to an attempt to repeal the state’s domestic partnership law, including a several months-long signature count, and state and federal lawsuits, one of which successfully resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court decision to require petition signatories to be publicly disclosed. Winning with more than 53% of the vote, Washington became the first state in the country to vote in favor of LGBT relationship recognition, setting the stage for marriage equality. In 2012 she was a strategic advisor, chaired the strategy committee and led the ballot title challenge to help defeat the attempted repeal of the state’s marriage equality law. While at KU, she filed one of the country’s first Title IX claims, resulting in the University agreeing to implement a 13-point, multi-year plan for women’s athletics equity. When Seattle’s NBA team was sold to an Oklahoma group, she created an all-woman ownership group and led the effort to keep Seattle’s WNBA team, the Storm from being moved as well. Judge Levinson is the recipient of numerous civic awards, including being named by the Topeka Capital Journal as a Kansan of Distinction and being inducted into the KU Women’s Hall of Fame.

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