Below are the nominee’s names some biographical information and an answer to the question: “What do you want to be a GA Delegate for WSUU this year?”
Leilani Davenberry identifies as a disabled queer BIPOC cis femme. She and her spouse Soph have been members of Westside for over 10 years, and they live in Boulevard Park with their animal companions: three birds, two cats and one dog.
Leilani served as a WSUU delegate in 2020 and 2021. If she’s selected and affirmed by the congregation as a delegate again, she is planning to attend this year’s hybrid option. Leilani is looking forward to this year’s GA, our general assembly annual gathering of UUs because we are reviewing our values, purpose, principles, and sources which haven’t had a big update since the 80s. She attended several of the open listening sessions and focus groups hosted by the UUA as wording and drafts were in process. She feels participating in these conversations about moving us towards a UUism of the future that addresses the great needs of our times embodies our living faith.
Leilani is also a member of CLF, DRUUMM and EqUUal Access. She has facilitated and zoom hosted a BIPOC Meditation group every other Monday and a monthly BIPOC UU Coffee Hour using our Westside UU congregation’s zoom account for over 2 years. She is one of the Story for all ages storytellers and is passionate about inclusion and has been learning ASL for over a year.
I wish to be a delegate, representing our congregation, because I would like the opportunity to share our views about Article II revisions. The revisions align with my beliefs. I will collaborate with the chosen delegates to present informed positions and discussions.
Hello, I am interested in serving as a delegate for Westside UU because this will be a historic GA. I served the past two years as a delegate and fulfilled my term, yet the importance of this year’s GA prompted me to say yes one more time. Over the past couple of years, I learned how our living faith evolves and participated in the process of thinking about how our faith (specifically Article II of the UUA bylaws) should look for the future. At this year’s GA, we will take an initial vote on whether to adopt the proposed new language that describes what we believe as member congregations of the UUA.
I have been a UU and a member of Westside for around 10 years, through good times and rocky times. I am active in the Women’s Group and currently serve on the Article II Ad Hoc team, as well as the Auction Committee and the Racial Justice Change Team. (Yes, I’m overbooked!) In the past I was a member of the Common Quest (Adult Education) Committee and the Hospitality Team, among other roles.
In my personal life, I am married and have two children who are now in their mid-to-late 20s. I have had several different careers, and currently work at Renton High School as a math-and-science paraeducator.
I love GA-it’s so inspiring to be with other UU’s from all over our country and the world! I want to be a Delegate because the work of amending the Article 2 Proposal and the preliminary vote on the amended Proposal is so important to Justice Work.
Alternate Delegate Position
I have been a member of Westside for about 7 or 8 years. I am a member of the ad hoc Article II team and the Tuesday night wellbeing circles with Pam Orbach focused on restoration work. Favorite activities at Westside have been covenant groups, participating in the poetry services for a number of years, and baking pies for bake sales and special occasions. Future interests include involvement in lay sermons, Adult RE classes, and pastoral care, for which I recently completed eCPR training co-taught by Rev. Chris Rothbauer (the first all-UU cohort to take this training.)
For the past 5 years, I’ve been working in animal care, due to a profound love of animals and disabilities that make office work too difficult now. I was a volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium for about 12 years, the last 6 years or so on the birds and mammals team, helping care for seals, sea otters, and seabirds. I have done all kinds of office work in many fields, but the most relevant here are my 15 years in the legal support field, starting out as a legal editor at Perkins and Coie. My most meaningful legal work has been as both a paid word processor and a volunteer investigator for The Defender Association, then Seattle’s largest public defender. I have also volunteered for the Northwest Women’s Law Center, on Innocence Project Northwest, and on a death penalty case. I have paralegal and investigator certificates, and my over 20 years’ transcription work in the legal and many other fields has sharpened my ear for and love of language.
While I couldn’t commit to being a delegate due to an unpredictable schedule, I am delighted to serve as an alternate, now that we are closer to GA. I have never been a delegate but attended the online GA during the first year of the pandemic and also attended the business sessions last year.
I am interested in serving as a delegate chiefly because of the Article II revisions. I have been widely monitoring the developing disagreements and rifts in Unitarian Universalism over differing views of and approaches to marginalization issues for years. When I learned of the Article II revisions, I realized this is an historic opportunity to be involved in rewriting our articles of faith and also potentially a chance to heal some of these rifts. We can use the vast and flexible power of language, of deeply thought out and attentive listening and exchanging of ideas, and of collaborative creation to help find our way into a better future together.
I became involved in the Article II process when I contacted the Commission shortly before last year’s GA and received a thoughtful and thought-provoking reply from Becky Brooks. I attended GA with our delegate, participated in the Article II sessions, and continued this interest when I learned of the feedback sessions last fall. I attended about 10 of these sessions and exchanged ideas with UUs all over the country. Near the end of that process, I created a public Facebook group, Blue Boat Passengers, to continue these very rewarding discussions.
Out of those feedback sessions came my original draft of the Inspirations/Sources amendment that is now being offered by another congregation’s delegate. It has been collaborated on for the past few months in many venues, including a chance for both our congregations to weigh in and offer changes, as well as the workshop process as directed by the UUA and on the Discuss site directly. It will be submitted on June 3.
While I do not expect my attendance as a delegate will be needed, I remain engaged in this process, ready to participate as I can, and willing to jump in if needed.