Two men take a selfie on a boat. Both are wearing hats and one is wearing sunglasses.
Media Caption
Jimmy Lassiter and his husband, Dave.

Inside Sound Transit: Progress and Pride

Publish Date

Every year, Sound Transit raises the Pride flag outside our headquarters to kick off the summer of celebrations in Seattle.

In the spirit of welcoming a broad range of identities and perspectives, we raised a different flag this year: the Progress Pride Flag. 

The redesigned flag includes black and brown stripes to represent marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color, along with the colors pink, light blue and white, which represent the Transgender Pride Flag. 

“My Pride, Our Community" was the theme of our internal celebrations this year, led by our Pride employee resource group. Learn more about employee groups at Sound Transit here.

For Sound Transit Activation Manager Jimmy Lassiter, Pride is “having the courage to authentically express yourself.” It is also “an annual remembrance of struggles that the LGBTQ+ community has been through to achieve equal civil rights.”

Our community is only getting bigger as we expand the regional rail system to the north, south, east and west. And we couldn't do it without people like Lassiter.

In case you missed it, here’s the video of our Progress Pride flag raising ceremony:

 

Now, on to the questions!

Q: What do you tell your friends you do for work? 

A: I am an Activation Manger, and I work exclusively on Sound Transit East/West corridor, which includes the East Link Extension, Downtown Redmond Link Extension and the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extension projects. I am responsible for making sure we're ready to open revenue service. I facilitate the planning, managing and coordinating agency-wide activities and resources related to integrated system testing, pre-revenue operations, safety certification, opening day event planning and bus-rail integration, and I convey our readiness compliance to external oversight agencies.  

Q: What is your passion outside of your job? 

A: Travel. I’ve become a better person because of traveling; it has made me more humble, curious, modest and given me different perceptions on the world. Traveling gives exposure to new places, new types of people and different ways of living.

Q: What attracted you to work at Sound Transit?

A: At Christmas in 1982, my maternal grandfather gave me my first model train, a Lionel O scale Santa Fe flyer set. That was the impetus for my love of trains. When asked "what do you want be went grow up?” my instantaneous response was: train operator. Seeking to understanding how trains worked fueled my desired to become an engineer. Supporting public transportation also matches many of my values, like providing connected communities and reducing pollution by encouraging people to drive less. I wanted to join Sound Transit to help bring great transit service to the Seattle.

Q: How do you get to work?

A: I live in Seattle’s North Beacon Hill neighborhood (my house is about 800 feet from our new Judkins Park Station). Before Covid, I took the ST Express Route 550 and King County Metro’s iconic Route 7 to work. Heading home was different. If I was looking for an uphill challenge, I walked east up King Street to 12th Avenue south across the Rizal bridge to then east again onto the Mountains to Sound Greenway trail to my house. If was looking for slightly easier stroll, I would take Link from International District to Beacon Hill station and walk north on 17th Avenue.

Q: What three things would you take with you to a desert island (besides food and water)?

A: When I was younger, and I was in the Navy and served on submarines. You had four inches below your bunk to store all your personal items. I chose: music CD’s (Garth Brooks - “The Hits,” Third Eye Blind - the "Red" album and Erykah Badu - “Baduizm”), books (Tom Clancy’s "Red Storm Rising," Charles Frazier’s "Cold Mountain" and Zora Neale Hurston’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God") and warm clothes.

Based upon my life experiences now, I would take:

  1. A solar powered satellite-connected electronic tablet device, for its Swiss army knife ability to be an extensive media storage item, a communication device, a way to continue keep practicing my Spanish second language skills and task lighting at night.
  2. A mosquito net hammock enclosure: to provide a safe, comfortable place to sleep off the ground.
  3. A mattock: for its combined personal protection and gardening abilities.

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