“Our troops come from every corner of this country – they’re black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love.” - President Barack Obama State of the Union January 25, 2011
DISD trustee elections also top Stonewall’s Spring 2011 agenda
Group to hold special general meeting after endorsement screening to ratify choices
By Jesse Garcia City Council elections are not the only races the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will focus its endorsement screenings on this spring, Dallas Independent School District trustee candidates also will be invited to screen before the LGBT community. Dallas ISD Elections Three seats are up for election: District 2 (which represents North and East Dallas – including the Oak Lawn area north of Cedar Springs Road), District 6 (which represents Southwest Dallas) and District 8 (which represents Love Field, Northwest Dallas and Central Dallas – including the Oak Lawn area south of Cedar Springs Road). Dallas citizens who reside in those districts and are interested in running may pick up candidates packets at DISD’s Board Services office, 3700 Ross Ave. The filing period begins Feb. 12. Each term lasts for three years. There are no term limits. Board trustees serve on a voluntary basis. Incumbents Hon. Jack Lowe of District 2, Hon. Carla Ranger of District 6 and Hon. Adam Medrano of District 8 are eligible to seek re-election. All three voted in favor of the DISD anti-bullying policy last fall, which added protections for students on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 158,000 students, according to the district’s website. Almost 70 different languages are spoken in the homes of DISD students. More than 20,000 people are employed by the district, making DISD one of the largest employers in the city. The district runs a budget of $1.4 billion. Saturday, May 14, is Election Day. Early voting takes place May 2 to 10. Endorsement Screening Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will make candidate recommendations at its Endorsement Screening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 19, at the Resource Center Dallas, Rainbow Room, 2701 Reagan St. Stonewall members current with their membership dues as of Feb. 17, 2011, can participate per bylaws in the screening. Annual memberships are $35. You can mail your membership check to Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, PO Box 192305, Dallas, TX 75219. Special General Meeting March 14 is the candidate filing deadline for City Council and School Board Trustee races. Since Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meets the next day on March 15, there is not enough time to hold an endorsement screening and ratify those choices at the general membership meeting. In order to avoid having to wait until April 19, Stonewall’s Board of Directors and president have called for a special general membership meeting at 4 p.m., Saturday, March 19, at the Resource Center Dallas’ Rainbow Room, immediately after the endorsement screening. “By holding the endorsement screening and a special general meeting to ratify those choices on March 19, endorsed candidates may use Stonewall’s endorsement on their campaign literature and our club can quickly start promoting our choices to the public,” Narvaez said. “We want to help our candidates by starting early.” Bylaws allowing the board and/or president to call a special general meeting were amended in 2010.u
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas PO Box 192305 Dallas, TX 75219 (214) 506-DEMS
“Stonewall Democrats of Dallas hopes to keep the DISD trustee board LGBT-friendly,” said Omar Narvaez, SDD president. “Favorable results in these school board races are paramount in keeping our schools safe for our LGBT kids.” DISD is the 14th largest school district in the nation with a diverse population of more than
The Stonewall Advocate
General Meeting The February Meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will take place 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Ojeda’s Restaurant, 4617 Maple Ave. Please arrive at 6 p.m. for social time. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Guest speaker is Dallas Mayoral Candidate David Kunkle. DSYD Fundraiser The Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats will hold a fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 12, featuring state Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston. VIP reception starts at 6:30 p.m., and doors open at 7:30 p.m. There will be an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and a live DJ. For tickets, sponsorship opportunities and location of private residence, visit http://www. dallassyd.org/2011fundraiser.html. Progressive Center Fundraiser The Progressive Center will hold a fundraiser at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24, at South Side at Lamar, 1409 S. Lamar, Ste. 1021 in Dallas. Suggested donation is $50. For more information, email Bill Amos at firstname.lastname@example.org. March On & GetEQUAL Fundraiser Local director Laura McFerrin’s “March On” documents the 2009 National Equality March through the lives of five families who put aside their daily routine, packed up their hopes and went to Washington, D.C., to demonstrate. Interviews and powerful speakers including Lt. Dan Choi, Lady Gaga, Cleve Jones and Cynthia Nixon are featured. The Dallas debut of the film takes place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24, at Studio Movie Grill, 11170 N. Central Expressway. Donations for entry into the movie benefit GetEQUAL. Membership Last month, 15 folks either joined or renewed with the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas: David Bradley, L.D. Carter, Tracy Clinton, Grady Coyle, Hon. Elizabeth Crowder, Donald Davidson, Neil Emmons, Phyllis Guest, Randy Johnson, Gillian Parrillo, Jim Rogers, Richard Shampain, Jesse Tafalla, Jr., Jesse Vallejo and James Westbrook. Membership is only $35, which includes memberships for the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus and National Stonewall Democrats. To join, visit www. stonewalldemocratsofdallas.org.u
On Jan. 25, nearly 100 Stonewall Democrats of Dallas members and friends attended Stonewall’s State of the Union watch party held at The Brick. Members of Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats and Organizing for America were also in attendance.
Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus confirms speakers for convention
Lobby Day at the Capitol to follow convention of Texas LGBT Democrats
By Jesse Garcia The Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus confirmed two national LGBT leaders who will speak at its upcoming convention. Arizona state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will be the keynote speaker at the Welcoming Luncheon on Saturday, March 5, at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Austin. The following day Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, will be the keynote speaker at the Awards Brunch. “We’re looking forward to a truly inclusive conference line up,” said Omar Narvaez, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas president. “Sen. Sinema, an openly bisexual American, is one of our movement’s most powerful voices. Transgender leader Mara Keisling has fought for years to make sure the ‘T” in our community is not left behind. Diverse points of view will make this a great convention.” The convention is being held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 500 N. IH 35 in Austin. TSDC has secured a block of rooms from March 4 to 7. The special group rate is $109/night (not including taxes) for a queen size double bed room or king size
Hon. Kyrsten Sinema Arizona State Senator bed room. Deadline to reserve this rate is Monday, Feb. 14. To reserve, call 1-800-684-7250 and ask for the “TSDC Caucus” rate. For the convention schedule, visit www.texasstonewalldemocrats.org. Conference registration fee is $75. A “Lobby Day” is being organized by statewide LGBT-rights organization, Equality Texas, and is set for Monday, March 7. Equality Texas encourages every LGBT person to come and meet their state representative and state senator to advocate for pro-equality bills. You may register to lobby at www. equalitytexas.org. Free breakfast and lunch will be provided.u
The Stonewall Advocate
Dallas gay man helps take down discriminatory law
By Jesse Garcia
to passing the repeal have not received word that their discharges have been stopped. Admiral Mullen and others have given the same advice.”
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas
President’s An Army of One:
by Omar Narvaez, President
2011 is the year that I hope everyone is ready to keep moving forward toward achieving social justice for the LGBT community. There are several ways to get involved. We officially kicked off our voter registration campaign. So far we have registered 36 people and are working toward our 2011 goal of 500 voters. If you want to get involved, contact Voter Registration Chair Patrick McCoy at email@example.com The Endorsement Committee has begun to meet and is preparing for the March 19 Endorsement Screening. For more information, contact Political Affairs Director Tony McMullin at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at Omar@ stonewalldemocratsofdallas.org. Nearly 100 people attended the State of the Union watch party on Jan. 25. Thank you to the Brick for hosting us, and thank you Special Events Chair Travis Gasper for putting together a fantastic event. More events are in the works, and Travis would love to hear from you: email@example.com Achieving social justice does not just stop at voter registration, endorsements and watch parties. We also must promote equality by helping our youth. Stonewall was approached by Woodrow Wilson High School Gay/Straight Alliance President Luis Veloz to assist with a youth Valentine’s Day Dance. The Stonewall Board jumped at the request. Together with LULAC 4871, Youth First Texas and the GSA, the first-ever Valentine’s Day Dance for LGBT teens and allies will be held Feb. 12 at Youth First Texas, 3918 Harry Hines Blvd. For information regarding volunteer opportunities or donations, contact Jesse Garcia: Jessegarciadallas@gmail.com. SDD is a $50 sponsor for the “Love Conquers All” ball. Again, I hope you will get involved in SDD by volunteering, participating and/ or making a donation. Everything we do together achieves our ultimate goal of full EQUALITY!
Stonewall Advocate: Walk us through about how you were discharged. Pepe Johnson is going back to the profesJohnson: “According to my Army training, sion he loves: military service. This spring you could be discharged for a statement, will be the end of an eight-year journey an act or anything resembling a marriage this Dallas resident undertook after being - the acronym SAM. In my case I gave a kicked out of the Army for being gay. On statement to my commander. In my battery the morning of Dec. 22, 2010, President - it’s like a company - our First Sergeant Barack Obama signed into law the Don’t was looking very closely at my personal Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act (DADT) of 2010. life. In the civilian world it would have been Johnson, who served as an Army Sergeant harassment. When he started asking my E-5, stood among 500 friends questions about former gay military, LGBT what they thought I did leaders and congressional on my personal time, members to witness the where I went on weekhistoric moment in Washends or who I might ington, D.C. have been seeing, crossed a line without Johnson, a model solider asking THE question who received “Soldier of and was harassing my the Year” honors at Fort friends. Even under Sill, Okla., in 2001, took DADT it was inapproprion the role of activist after ate. To preserve my being discharged in 2003. personal integrity, the In Dallas, he networked integrity of my friends and spoke out about and the integrity of the Former Army Sergeant Pepe Johnson the issue with local civil organization, I delivered rights groups, including a coming out letter to Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, to make my commander.” DADT a priority in North Texas. Although Congress and President Obama signed off Stonewall Advocate: What advice do on the DADT repeal, as they say “the devil you have for those who will speak to is in the details.” recruiters? Johnson: “Be courteous. Be honest. Be prepared. Be patient. Don’t be Stonewall Advocate: Although the confrontational. Recruiters are trying to do repeal has been signed, what advice do their job and must learn and implement a you have for lesbian, gay and bisexual new policy that is very different from what soldiers? Johnson: “The repeal is not they have done for 17 years. If you are complete, only the legislation allowing reunhappy with the way you are treated by a peal. According to the law that was passed recruiter, you can ask to talk to a differby Congress, the Department of Defense ent recruiter possibly at a different station. must develop new regulations, policies and Since the repeal has not been finalized, training to fully implement repeal. Followthey may not process you if you come out ing that Congress has a 60-day review to them on your very first visit - they may period and once those steps are complete, be obligated to tell you to come back once so will the repeal. There isn’t a hard timethe repeal process is complete. If you were line for this process, but President Obama, discharged because of DADT and hope to Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral get back into the military, remember that Mullen have all signaled the process you must still be qualified in every other should be ‘swift and efficient’ and they way and there aren’t any exceptions or will not ‘dawdle.’ In the meantime service special rules because you were kicked members should continue to respect the out. There may also be additional steps for current law - that is, DADT - and should former service members that might take a not come out. The Servicemembers Legal bit longer than the normal process.” Defense Network (SLDN) continues to receive calls from service members. Individu- For the full interview, visit www.jessegarals in the process of being discharged prior cia.org/blog u
The Stonewall Advocate
in our network and dozens of generous sponsors who make our work possible. How can one help with your agency? If you know of a business leader who wants to integrate an ethic of good corporate citizenship into their business model and they want to utilize their resources to make North Texas the best place to live and work, have them check out our website at www.efnt.org and/or go to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EntrepreneursForNorthTexas to see if there is a good fit. If there is, they can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Who is the first Democrat you voted for? Geraldine Ferraro. Oh, and that guy who ran with her. I think his name was Walter Mondale.
featuring Pam Gerber
What are the biggest issues in America in your opinion? The No. 1 issue in America today is access to quality education for all students. This would require fundamental change in our educational system, and the responsibility should be shared by schools, our political leaders, tax payers, parents and all people who want to see America achieve its potential. What do you do for a living? I have the good fortune of working with the Entrepreneurs For North Texas, a fund of Communities Foundation of Texas that facilitates community involvement and philanthropy for small and mid-size companies who have great intentions to be “good corporate citizens” but are limited in the resources to make it happen. Tell us about EFNT. EFNT’s primary goal is to make it easy for its Member Companies to do good. Through organizing
Stonewall Member Pam Gerber serves as executive director of Entreprenuers For North Texas.
community service projects for its Member Company employees and networking events for their C-Level executives, EFNT makes “giving back” time and cost-efficient, and frankly, good for business. We have more than 100 Member Companies
Why are you a Democrat? You may as well ask why do I breathe air. I believe that being a Democrat is a logical decision for anyone who believes in an indivisible nation that provides liberty and justice for all. If you could tell President Obama one thing, what would it be? Thank you. And please give Michelle a hug for me.u
Reminder: February General Meeting Tuesday, Feb. 15 6 p.m. Social & 6:30 p.m. Meeting at Ojeda’s Restaurant
PO Box 192305 Dallas, TX 75219 (214) 506-DEMS stonewalldemocratsofdallas.org The Stonewall Advocate is a monthly publication of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. To contact the publisher, email Jesse Garcia at email@example.com. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced without permission. President Omar Narvaez Vice President Michael Wetter Treasurer Mike McCue Secretary Phyllis Guest
SDD Annual Memberships: $35 General Level $120 Truman Level $300 Jefferson Level $600 Kennedy Level $1,200 Roosevelt Level
Don’t forget to sign up for the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus Biennial Convention taking place March 4 to 6, and Lobby Day on March 7!