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Stonewall Democrats of Dallas Newsletter - January 2011

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas Newsletter - January 2011

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Published by Kenneth Denson

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Published by: Kenneth Denson on Jan 16, 2011
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01/16/2011

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Stonewall
Advocate
The
January 2011
By Jesse Garcia
It’s a new year, and a new round of electionsimportant to the LGBT community will take placewithin five months. All 15 Dallas City Councilseats, which includes the mayor, are up for avote. LGBT activists are hoping that new thecouncil remains pro-equality.Adding to the excitement is the possibility of Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert not seeking a sec-ond term, leaving an open mayoral seat and theopportunity to elect a new mayor.
About the Positions
City council elections are held in May, everyodd year. The term for the mayor is four years.The term for the council members is two years.The mayor can serve two terms, while councilmembers can serve four terms. Citywide eligiblevoters, an estimated 577,000-plus, can vote for the mayor. Council members must live withinthe single-member district they wish to repre-sent and be elected by voters of that district.Races are nonpartisan. Council members makeup to $37,500 a year, while the mayor receives$60,000 annually. In 2011, they will oversee acity of more than 1.2 million people and a yearlybudget of $2.7 billion. 
LGBT Interests
Currently, the LGBT community enjoys a cityordinance that prohibits discrimination basedon sexual orientation and gender identity in em-ployment, housing and public accommodations.A majority of the council members have partici-pated in the annual pride parade in September.LGBT Dallas residents have been appointed toboards and commissions.Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will make can-didate recommendations at its EndorsementScreening 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March19, at the Resource Center Dallas, RainbowRoom, located at 2701 Reagan St., Dallas, TX75219. Stonewall members current with their membership dues per bylaws can participate.Recommendations will be presented to the gen-eral membership for final ratification.
Voter excitement turns toDallas City Council races
Who May Come Back
As of today, no one has filed for an office (firstday to legally file with the City Secretary’s officeis Feb. 12). Eligible to serve a second term arefreshman council members Hon. Delia Jasso(District 1) and Hon. Ann Margolin (District 13).Eligible to run for a third term are Hon. JerryAllen (District 10), Hon. Tennell Atkins (District8), Hon. Dwaine Caraway (District 4), Hon.Carolyn Davis (District 7), Hon. Dave Neumann(District 3), Hon. Vonciel Jones Hill (District 5),and Hon. Sheffie Kadane (District 9). Eligible torun for fourth term are Hon. Angela Hunt (District14), Hon. Linda Koop (District 11), Hon. PaulineMedrano (District 2), and Hon. Ron Natinsky(District 12). The mayor of Dallas, Hon. TomLeppert, can run for a second and final term.
Who is Not Returning
Termed out this year is Hon. Steve Salazar (District 6).
Speculation
Leppert may seek the U.S. Senate seat beingvacated by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Thatelection takes place in November 2012. DallasCity Charter rules require city council memberswho formally announce they are seeking another office to relinquish their council seats. Leppert’ssupporters and media have reported he will notseek another term. The mayor hasn’t officiallydeclared for higher office. Council membersinterested in running for mayor, but have notformally announced, are Caraway, Hunt andNatinsky.
Outsiders
To date, only one Dallas resident officially hasannounced Attorney Jim Moore (www.jim-mooreformayor.com). Attorney Scott Griggs(www.griggsfordallas.com) has announced arun against Neumann in District 3. CommunityOrganizer Monica Alonzo intends to run for theopen seat in District 6. Attorney James Nowlin(www.jamesnowlin.com) will seek the District 14seat currently held by Hunt.Saturday, May 14, is Election Day. Early votingtakes place May 2 to 10.
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Stonewall Democratsof DallasPO Box 192305Dallas, TX 75219(214) 506-DEMS
stonewalldemocratsofdallas.org
“I must humbly reject the useof the word ‘hero,’ because I am not one. The people that are the heroes are people likePam Simon; CongresswomanGabrielle Giffords; Gabe Zim-merman, who unfortunately we lost that day; Ron Barber;the first responders; and also people like Dr. Rhee, whohave done an amazing jobat making sure that Gabby is okay and those who areinjured are being treated to thebest of our ability.” 
- Daniel Hernandez Jr.Congressional Intern& LGBT Activist 
 
The Stonewall Advocate
January 2011Page 2
Briefs
News
General Meeting
The January Meeting of the Stone-wall Democrats of Dallas will takeplace at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan.18, at Ojeda’s Restaurant, located at4617 Maple Ave., Dallas, TX 75219.We will deputize voter registrars.Please arrive at 6 p.m. for socialtime. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.
DCDP Executive Committee Meets
Dallas County Democratic Party willhold its Executive Committee Meet-ing at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 8,at the CWA Hall, located at 1408 N.Washington Ave., Dallas, TX 75204.All precinct chairs must attend.
Membership
Last month, 12 folks either joinedor renewed with the StonewallDemocrats of Dallas: Susan An-derson, Laila Crosby, Dr. TheresaDaniel, Al Daniels, Pam Gerber,Hon. Katy Hubener, Elaine Laroa,Larry Lozon, Tony McMullin, JosephMiller, Kat Truitt and Hon. Tina Yoo.Membership is only $35, whichincludes memberships for the TexasStonewall Democratic Caucus andNational Stonewall Democrats. To join, visit www.stonewalldemocrat-sofdallas.org.
Nationwide Democratic Phone Call
On Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 11:30a.m. (Central Standard Time), theDemocratic National Committee,Organizing for America and NationalStonewall Democrats are hosting anationwide call to discuss progressmade over the last two years. Thecurrent proposal to repeal the Afford-able Care Act (Healthcare Reform) isamong the topics to be covered. AllStonewall affiliates and members areencouraged to join the call. The dial-in information is: Operator AssistedToll-Free Dial-In Number: (888) 527-0604, Conference Code # 37834221.Operator Assisted InternationalDial-In Number: (706) 634–7735,Conference Code # 37834221.
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By Jesse Garcia
On Tuesday, Jan. 25, President BarackObama will give his State of the Unionaddress, which will be televised at 8 p.m.(Central Standard Time). Subjects that willprobably dominate the president’s speechwill be the economy (upward trend, jobcreation and deficit reduction), the War inAfghanistan and Global War on Terrorism,and issues of education and health care.Many predict the president will also ad-dress the recent tragedy in Tucson, Ariz.,and call for civility among Americans andpolitical parties.LGBT activists anxiously await to hear what equality proposals the President willmention. In last year’s SOTU, which waswatched by more than 48 million people,the president called for the repeal of Don’tAsk Don’t Tell, and he followed through bysigning the repeal into law on Dec. 22.Top civil rights priorities for the LGBTcommunity in 2011 include the repeal of Defense of Marriage Act, a fully-inclusiveEmployee Non Discrimination Act and theUniting American Families Act.
What is the State of the Union for LGBTAmericans?
Under the Obama Administra-tion, the following has been accomplished:• Signed the Matthew Shepard and JamesByrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act• Signed repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell• Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treat-ment Extension Act• Signed the UN Declaration on SexualOrientation and Gender Identity• Extended benefits to same-sex partnersof federal employees• Lifted the HIV Entry Ban• Issued diplomatic passports, and providedother benefits, to the partners of same-sexforeign service employees• Committed to ensuring that HUD’s corehousing programs are open to all, regard-less of sexual orientation or gender identity• Conceived a National Resource Center for LGBT Elders• Banned job discrimination based on gen-der identity in the federal government• Eliminated the discriminatory Census Bu-reau policy that kept gay relationships frombeing counted• Instructed the Department of Health andHuman Services to require any hospital re-ceiving Medicare or Medicaid funds to allowLGBT visitation rights• Required all grant applicants seekingHousing Urban Development funding tocomply with state and local anti-discrimina-tion laws that protect LGBT individuals• Adopted transgender recommendations onthe issuance of gender-appropriate pass-ports that will ease barriers to safe traveland that will provide government-issued IDthat avoids involuntary “outing” in situationsrequiring ID, like hiring, where a gender-ap-propriate driver’s license or birth certificateis not available• Extended domestic violence protections toLGBT victims• Extended the Family and Medical LeaveAct to cover employees taking unpaid leaveto care for the children of same-sex partners• Issued guidance specifically to assistLGBT tenants denied housing on the basisof sexual orientation or gender identity• Issued a National HIV/AIDS Strategy• Issued guidance to 15,000 local depart-ments of education and 5,000 colleges tosupport educators in combating bullying• Led the fight that reversed a 2010 UN voteremoving sexual orientation from the list of things people should not be killed for 
(List compiled originally by Andrew Tobias,treasurer of the Democratic National Com-mittee)
.
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 After the Tuscon tragedy,many expect President Barack Obama to include a call for civility in his State of the Unionspeech. Picture left to right:Gay Latino Hero Daniel Her-nandez Jr., President Barack Obama, First Lady MichelleObama, Astronaut Mark Kelly (husband of CongresswomanGabrielle Giffords) and Depart-ment of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitanoattended the Jan. 12 memorial service in Tuscon, Ariz.
Obama to give State of the Union
 
The Stonewall Advocate
Page 3January 2011
President’s
Corner 
by Omar Narvaez,
President
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas
By Jesse Garcia
On Jan. 11, the 82nd Texas Legislatureconvened and already six major pro-equal-ity bills have been filed. LGBT activists areprepared to engage legislators to makethem aware that LGBT voters are found inevery part of the state and demand full civilrights.
Equality Texas
“Lobby Day” is being organized by state-wide LGBT-rights organization, EqualityTexas, and is set for Monday, March 7.Equality Texas encourages every LGBTperson to come and meet their state rep-resentative and state senator to advocatefor bills that protect an LGBT person’ssafety in school, a study on current hatecrimes state law, an employment discrimi-nation ban, an insurance discriminationban, the right for gay couples to be listedon a child’s birth certificate, and the repealof the outdated sodomy law from Texasbooks.On March 7, LGBT activists will meetfrom 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Austin.Equality Texas invites participants to meetat First United Methodist Church FamilyLife Center, located at 1300 Lavaca St.,Austin, TX 78701. After an orientation, ac-tivists will head over to the capitol, locatedat 1100 Congress Ave. Advanced registra-tion is required in order to match each reg-istrant to his or her legislative offices. Youmay register at www.equalitytexas.org.Free breakfast and lunch will be provided.As of Jan. 15, the following pro-equalitybills have been filed:• House Bill 665 by state Rep. Mike Villar-real, D-San Antonio: Relating to prohibitionof employment discrimination on the basisof sexual orientation or gender identity/ex-pression.• Senate Bill 245 by state Sen. WendyDavis, D-Fort Worth: Relating to bullying,including cyberbulling, in public schools.• House Bill 172 by state Rep. MarcVeasey, D-Fort Worth: Relating to a studyregarding the effectiveness of the JamesByrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Act.• House Bill 208 by state Rep. RobertoAlonzo, D-Dallas: Relating to prohibition of certain insurance discrimination.• House Bill 415 by state Rep. Rafael An-chia, D-Dallas: Relating to the informationon the supplementary birth certificate of anadopted child.• House Bill 604 by state Rep. Jessica Far-rar, D-Houston: Relating to the repeal of the offense of homosexual conduct.“Lobby Day provides a rare opportunity for us as LGBT people to have face-to-facetime with our legislators or staff membersand to make our voices heard on issuesthat matter to us,” said Texas StonewallDemocratic Caucus President DanielGraney of San Antonio. “Second, we needto go to Austin to show support for our Democratic allies left standing in the statelegislature. Their ranks have been deci-mated since the November 2010 electionand we need to communicate our supportfor those who want to help rebuild our State Democratic Party.”
TSDC Biennial Statewide Conference
Coinciding with the Lobby Day event isthe Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus’Second Biennial Statewide Conference.Stonewall members from all over Texaswill meet at the Hilton Garden Inn in down-town Austin the weekend of March 5-6.“There will be motivational speakers,workshops and plenary sessions andawards will be presented. The themeof the conference is ‘The New PoliticalLandscape In Texas: Where Do We GoFrom Here?’” said Graney. “We encourageLGBT Democrats and their allies to cometo Austin so that we can network and learnbest practices on helping to rebuild our party in our local communities.”The registration fee for the conference is$75. For information about the conference,sponsorship opportunities and a tentativeschedule, please visit www.texasstone-walldemocrats.org. Stonewall membersthat plan to attend need to book their hotelreservations at the discounted group rateno later than Feb. 10.Stonewall organizations are found in Aus-tin, Denton County, the lower Rio GrandeValley, San Antonio and Tarrant County.Two chapters are located in both Dallasand Houston since each of these citieshave active Stonewall Young Democratschapters in addition to the regular chap-ters.
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Lobby Day setfor March 7
Texas Stonewall chaptersto hold convention in Austin prior to legislative visits
Happy New Year Stonewall! I wouldlike to thank the membership for havingthe faith in electing me as your newpresident. Our founding memberscleared the brush, and our past admin-istrations paved the way. I’m ready todrive us down the road into what will bethe next great chapter of Stonewall. I’m proud to inform everyone that our Holiday Party raised enough funds toagain cover the cost of the event andfor the first time split proceeds witha very deserving group: Youth FirstTexas. YFT will receive $800-plus.Also, Legacy Founders Cottage re-ceived hundreds of dollars in donationsand necessary items for their clients.Our members’ generosity always goesabove and beyond for those in need!In 2010, we saw Democrats win athree-peat sweep of Dallas Countywide elections, and some losses in thelegislature. However, we must stay fo-cused on the bright side and know thatthe 2012 campaign begins now. We’llget back our lost House seats! We alsosaw President Obama sign the repealof “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” We still needto work on a fully inclusive EmployeeNon Discrimination Act and the repealof the Defense of Marriage Act.I have sat down with the 2011 board of directors and laid out our goals:• elect an LGBT friendly Dallas mayor and city council (hopefully support anLGBT candidate in one of those races);• recruit and train 30 LGBT election judges and precinct chairs;• grow membership to 300-plus;• register 500 voters;• and diversify our membership to atleast 33 percent minority, women andyoung adults by December.In order to help achieve more civilrights for our community, we must workwith other communities. We must workand interact with other LGBT organiza-tions. Together we can achieve civilrights for ALL people. I’m ready to lead,and I’m ready to help do my part to DE-FEND CHANGE one voter at a time!
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