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Obama Expands Gay Efforts

barackbackj.jpg
Barack Obama’s gay team just got a face lift!

The Senator’s presidential campaign announced yesterday a “significant expansion” of their national and grassroots LGBT teams, particularly the addition of new Steering Committee co-chairs members, like Tammy Baldwin. Like many other on the list, Baldwin once backed Hillary Clinton, but this week pledged her support to Obama.

Clinton looms large in the press release, and the campaign’s hoping to get their gay ducks – or is it geese? – in a row ahead of the convention later this month:

Over the last few weeks, dozens of members of Clinton’s committee have joined the Steering and Policy Committee, and the committee will continue to grow between now and Election Day.

Also, grassroots leaders who held leadership positions in both Obama and Clinton’s primary campaigns have joined to lead the national grassroots mobilization of LGBT voters. Obama Pride will build upon the work that started in the primary [and] Obama Pride will organize networks of activists in all fifty states who are committed to identifying, registering and turning out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voters for Barack in November.

A total of five people have joined Obama’s gay steering committee, including Baldwin, black gay activist Mandy Carter, former Task Force board co-chair Marsha Botzer and Texas-based Jesse Garcia. A former member of Clinton’s queer steering committee, Garcia had this to say about the general election, “On every issue facing the LGBT community, John McCain promises a third Bush term. He’s promised to appoint judges to the Supreme Court like Scalia and Alito, and we can’t afford that.”

Read the entire release after the jump…

Obama for America Announces Expansion of LGBT Leadership Team
Rep. Baldwin and other backers of Hillary Clinton’s bid join team

Chicago, IL — The Obama for America campaign today announced a significant expansion of its National LGBT Steering and Policy Committee, as well as its grassroots infrastructure (Obama Pride). Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who was the Chair of Hillary Clinton’s National LGBT Steering Committee, has joined Tobias Wolff, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who chaired Obama’s LGBT Policy Committee during the primary, as co-chairs of the new National LGBT Steering and Policy Committee. Over the last few weeks, dozens of members of Clinton’s committee have joined the Steering and Policy Committee, and the committee will continue to grow between now and Election Day.

“I am proud to support Barack Obama for President and work hard for his election because we share a commitment to equality for all Americans. This is our quest and our common goal,” said Congresswoman Baldwin. “From now through November, we will reach out aggressively to our fellow LGBT Americans to ensure that they know there is only one candidate in this race who will stand up for equal rights and build a coalition that can deliver the change that we desperately need,” Baldwin said.

Also, grassroots leaders who held leadership positions in both Obama and Clinton’s primary campaigns have joined to lead the national grassroots mobilization of LGBT voters. Obama Pride will build upon the work that started in the primary, when LGBT supporters participated in pride festivals across the country and organized leadership networks in over 40 cities. Obama Pride will organize networks of activists in all fifty states who are committed to identifying, registering and turning out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voters for Barack in November. There will be five national co-chairs of Obama Pride. In alphabetical order, they are:

Marsha Botzer has served as co-chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Board of Directors during 2005-6. She is a Founding Member of Equal Rights Washington, and founded Seattle’s Ingersoll Gender Center, an organization that has assisted transgender people for decades. She co-chairs the Safe Schools Coalition, works with Seattle’s Pride Foundation on national issues, and serves on an Advisory Committee for Antioch University. She is a member of Obama Pride Seattle.

Mandy Carter has been organizing North Carolina African Americans and LGBT people for years, and has served as a member of the DNC. She founded Southerners On New Ground (SONG) in 1993 and was a leader in Harvey Gantt’s two campaigns for U.S. Senate. She has done the hard work of organizing LGBT grassroots networks, especially of people of color, throughout the South. She was a member of Hillary Clinton’s North Carolina LGBT Steering Committee.

Jesse Garcia is a gay Latino activist from Dallas, Texas, who has been involved in the Democratic Party since 1994. Garcia has been twice elected to serve on the National Stonewall Democrats board of directors, guiding strategy for the 90 Stonewall chapters and affiliates across the nation. He is the President of the Dallas Stonewall Democrats, and served on Hillary Clinton’s National LGBT Steering Committee.

Campbell Spencer has been fighting for LGBT equality since she campaigned against the marriage ban in Hawaii in 1998. She was a field organizer at the Human Rights Campaign, led LGBT outreach for Vice President Gore’s campaign in 2000, and was Base Vote Director at the DNC. She worked on John Kerry’s Presidential campaign organizing six vital primary states, and was an active supporter of Hillary Clinton’s campaign this year. Now President of Boost Strategies in Washington DC, she serves as the architect and senior strategist of One Iowa’s grassroots campaigns.

Eric Stern has led Obama grassroots organizing efforts since February of this year. He was the Director of LGBT Outreach at the DNC in the 2004 election, and then served as Executive Director of the National Stonewall Democrats. He was a lead organizer of LGBT support for John Edwards during the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, and has served in a leadership role in Obama’s LGBT organizing efforts since February of this year.

Joan Garry, former executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and Kevin Jennings, founder and executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, continue to lead the Finance Committee.

The Steering and Policy Committee will make sure LGBT people are aware of the vast differences between Barack Obama and John McCain on issues important to the LGBT community, and Obama Pride will make sure LGBT activists and voters are organized and registering, identifying, persuading and turning out voters in all fifty states.

“On every issue facing the LGBT community, John McCain promises a third Bush term,” said Garcia. “He’s promised to appoint judges to the Supreme Court like Scalia and Alito, and we can’t afford that.”

“It’s been twelve long years since John McCain cast the deciding vote that killed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act,” said Carter. “It’s time we elect a President who fights for the basic principles of non-discrimination, on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“Barack Obama has come out in strong opposition to the divisive and discriminatory amendments in California, Arizona and Florida,” said Spencer. “That’s important to me and to my family. There’s no question that LGBT voters need to work hard to help elect Barack, and I’m excited to be part of this effort.”

“I’m proud to have the support of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, the Obama Pride Co-Chairs, and so many leaders across the LGBT community,” said Senator Obama. “I believe that we can achieve equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country, and with this team I know that the LGBT community will play a major role in our campaign to bring change to Washington.”

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Aug 6, 2008
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 16 Comments
    • ggreen
      ggreen

      Now that the Obama Campaign has decided to let others frame the election, they have nothing to lose as they have most likely lost the election due to losing control over their own narrative. Now lets start the pander. Gays get a little, homophobic ministers get a little, women will get some, and Latin’s will get a little. Pander, pander, pander soften that message until you’re just like McCain. Obama has some of the WORST political advisors in politics they specialize in LOSING elections. The minute he started taking advice from beltway gasbags he lost the election.

      Aug 6, 2008 at 9:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      ^^^ One man’s “pander” is another man’s “inclusion.”

      Aug 6, 2008 at 9:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CitizenGeek
      CitizenGeek

      Agreed, Hells Kitchen Guy!

      Aug 6, 2008 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      Wouldn’t matter if his father God came down and endorsed him on live TV…..I wouldn’t vote for this shallow piece of shit even if he was the ONLY person on the ballot!

      Aug 6, 2008 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)
      Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

      The Obama Campaign is just engaging in pre-emptive damage control prior to Sen. Obama;s selection of former Sen. Sam “DADT” Nunn as his running mate. The G/L community is just a convenient ATM for the DNC. Obama’s not going to go out on a limb for the G/L community over marriage, adoptionm ENDA nor DADT; he’ll just give a few well-written sound-bites and pass the collection plate.

      Aug 6, 2008 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emb
      emb

      I can’t wait to hear from all these folks who are screaming about Nunn once Obama picks a non-Nunn. Will there be apologies for all the venom? Nah.

      Aug 6, 2008 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JP
      JP

      It is obvious from this comment board that Hillary Clinton’s gay supporters are still very bitter about her not becoming the nominee.

      They had no problem ignoring Hillary’s anti-gay advisors in the South, the anti-gay law Bill Clinton proudly signed and her Republican-sounding response to a gay-related question at a debate.

      Most of her whacko die-hard supporters who say they won’t vote for Obama live in New York anyway and won’t influence the Electoral College.

      Aug 6, 2008 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      No. 8 · JP

      Are you really THAT stupid or just plain ignorant??? Apparently, a little of both and none too bright!

      Aug 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darien
      Darien

      JP– You’ll never get Hillary’s dead-enders to explain why she’s a GLBT champion while Obama is a homophobe. Because it’s wall-to-wall BS. Clinton and Obama’s positions and voting records on GLBT issues mirror each other almost exactly.

      At this point there’s only one thing to expect from Hillary’s dead-enders: whiney ad hominem attacks. Case in point: No. 9 Paul.

      Aug 6, 2008 at 1:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J-Boogie
      J-Boogie

      You guys… Paul is not his first name, it’s his last name. It’s Ron Paul!!

      Aug 6, 2008 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane
      M Shane

      Hells Kitchen Guy: Bravo_ this “pander ” line is just a little to deluedeand republican to make any sense.

      “Inclusive” is is the democratic message that Obama is diligently trying to make clear and has been from the start. We are just too bent by the republican devisive and extremist BULLSHIT, to understand that change amounts to recharging Ameroca with democratic idealism.

      Sorry GGreen you’re lost in dismal past that we need to leave behind. “INCLUSIVE” is the word.

      Aug 6, 2008 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr C
      Mr C

      @ No 5- Paul
      Wouldn’t matter if his father God came down and endorsed him on live TV…..I wouldn’t vote for this shallow piece of shit even if he was the ONLY person on the ballot

      WOW, Paul and that is just what John McCain will think of your gay ass and unfortunately the rest of us also if he wins and I wouldn’t vote for this shallow piece of shit even if he was the ONLY person on the ballot!

      Aug 6, 2008 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Karl Mill
      Karl Mill

      Obama sucks.
      Plain and simple.

      Aug 6, 2008 at 11:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr C
      Mr C

      And so do you also Karl Mill…….YOU SUCK just as well…
      Now DEEP THROAT that!

      Aug 7, 2008 at 1:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HYHYBT
      HYHYBT

      That would explain his relative support, even if it’s not as strong as some would like.

      So he’s “against” gay marriage… but for repealing DOMA which is all that keeps anyone who wants to from having a legally recognized marriage where they live just by taking a quick trip to Calif. or Mass. That’s as close as you’re going to get in someone who’s electable nationally.

      Aug 7, 2008 at 4:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • seitan-on-a-stick
      seitan-on-a-stick

      Don’t forget, Republicans still steal elections! Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. Oh yeah, that! BTW – I sorta notice that the straight guys on this site (those desperate McEnablers) have Porn names and the Gays have much wittier repartee. The More You Know…

      Aug 8, 2008 at 4:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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