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“79.2 percent of all Texas voters support uniform antibullying legislation to prohibit harassment in schools, including the children of gay/lesbian parents or teens who are gay.” - A statistic used frequently during Lobby Day in Austin on March 7, 2011, based on the scientific poll commissioned by Equality Texas in 2010
Texas Stonewall plots 2012 strategies at Austin convention
More than 70 activists from all over Texas attended the Second Biennial Statewide Conference of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus in Austin held March 5 to 6, to assess the “ass-whipping” Democrats took at the polls last November and to develop messaging and other strategies for winning in 2012. There was representation at the conference from all nine active Stonewall Democrats chapters in Texas, including many young people, as well as Galveston and Tyler area residents. The successful conference netted TSDC around $12,000 in sponsorships and registration fees, which covered meeting expenses and hotel fees, plus allowed for a good profit, according to TSDC President Daniel Graney of San Antonio. Participants heard two keynote speeches from openly bisexual Arizona state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and transgender activist Mara Keisling. Sinema shared how Arizona is the breeding ground for all the anti-immigrant, anti-choice, anti-worker’s rights and anti-children’s health care legislation that is being proposed in many state legislatures, including Texas. She warned that “Arizona is coming to a state near you” and characterized this as an attempt by the Tea Party to “mainstream hatred in this country.” She stated that the Tea Party has been around for 20 years and is just another name for Republicans. Sinema outlined ways that Democrats can build coalitions to stop these bad bills from becoming law and encouraged LGBT Democrats to reach out to allies, even unlikely ones, and support their issues in exchange for their support of LGBT rights. Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, used a combination of expertise and humor to urge LGBT Democrats to move outside their “issue silos” and talk about racism, immigration and other issues in conversations with other communities. When asked about the prospects of passage of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Keisling conceded that it was dead for the next two years, given the Republican majority in the U.S. House.
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas participated in and led conference sessions at the Biennial Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus Conference in Austin. Left to right: Erin Moore, Omar Narvaez, Tony McMullin, Jay Narey and Travis Gasper.
Other guest speakers included Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie, Equality Texas Executive Director Dennis Coleman, Cameron County Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa and state Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio). Villarreal led a plenary session that included a 2010 election analysis and group sessions to develop messaging for 2012. A second plenary session, led by TSDC Vice President Erin Moore and Stonewall Democrats of the Rio Grande Valley President Eli Olivarez, focused on winning election strategies. The conference also included a TSDC Executive Board meeting and workshops on a variety of topics: building a bigger club, immigration reform, transgender issues, political action committees, youth involvement and use of social media. The conference ended with an awards brunch. Houston Stonewall Young Democrats’ Director of Communications Brad Pritchett was awarded the Buck Massey Legacy of Leadership Award. State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) received the Lone Star Equality Advocate Award. The Stonewall Democrats of the Rio Grande Valley chapter earned the Roberto J. Flores Club Achievement Award. The conference was timed to occur on the weekend before Equality Texas’ Lobby Day. Many conference attendees joined hundreds of other LGBT Texans and their straight allies on March 7 to speak to state legislators about bills important to the LGBT community.u
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas PO Box 192305 Dallas, TX 75219 (214) 506-DEMS
The Stonewall Advocate
Little known level of government also on your ballot this May
Dallas County Schools
“Strengthening education through service” is the motto of Dallas County Schools. As an intermediate educational agency, DCS employs more than 2,000 professionals that serve 14 independent school districts in Dallas County, which include Carrollton/Farmers Branch ISD, Cedar Hill ISD, Coppell ISD, Dallas ISD, DeSoto ISD, Duncanville ISD, Garland ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Highland Park ISD, Irving ISD, Lancaster ISD, Mesquite ISD, Richardson ISD and Sunnyvale ISD. DCS Board Trustees meetings are generally held on the third Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. in the board room located in the DCS Administrative Building. Board trustees serve on one or more of the following committees: •Budget / Finance Committee •Building Committee •Personnel / Compensation Committee •Policy Committee •Technology & Instructional Services DCS Board Trustees oversee an annual budget of $97.3 million (16.4 percent coming directly from local property taxes). Currently, Hon. Larry Duncan is the DCS Board Trustees president. He is also a member of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. During his tenure, DCS has championed seat belt-equipped buses (which is not mandatory in the U.S.) and will fully retrofit all buses within six years. DCS also has the distinction of being one of the first in the nation to fuel its school buses on vegetable oil. DCS is in the process of converting its fleet to this environmentally-friendly alternative. DCS saves each district significant tax dollars annually through the use of its transportation, media, psychology and technology services. For more information, call (214) 9444525 or email email@example.com. DCS headquarters is located at 612 N. Zang Blvd. in Dallas.u
General Meeting The March meeting of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will take place Tuesday, March 15, at Ojeda’s Restaurant, 4617 Maple Ave. Please arrive at 6 p.m. for social time. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Speakers are mayoral candidates Ron Natinsky and Mike Rawlings. 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. Per bylaws, only Stonewall members current with their membership dues as of Feb. 17, 2011, may vote during ratification of endorsements. Resource Center Dallas Donation At the last meeting, Stonewall leaders announced a challenge to the membership. Stonewall’s board has collected 48 items of travel-sized toiletries to donate to the Resource Center Dallas. In support of the center’s work for the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities, we are providing toiletries for their clients. Please bring shampoo bottles, shaving cream, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc., to the March 15 meeting. Membership Last month, 21 folks either joined or renewed with the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas: Michael Amonett, Brian Bleeker, Robert Book, Cass Callaway, Rene Cano, Eric Crawford, Pamela Curry, Pierre Cutler, Thomas Daley, Hon. Larry Duncan, Deborah Floyd, Maurice Franklin, Charles Griffith, Eric Johnson, John Lawirmore, Karen Llewellyn, Sonya McGill, Karl Meyer, Charles Mullins, Hazel Nowlin, Keith O’Neal, Mark Parker, Billy Pinson, Jr., W.L. (Bill) Prather, F. Schiele, Jr., Bruce Shelton, Clinton Swingle, Hon. Beth Villarreal, Paul von Wepperfeld and Chad West. Membership is only $35, which includes memberships for the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus and National Stonewall Democrats. To join, visit www.stonewalldemocratsofdallas.org.u
Dallas County Schools transports more than 60,000 children each day to school.
By Tony McMullin Dallas County Schools is one of those entities most people *think* they know. DCS is an agency that serves 14 independent school districts with one of the largest student transportation fleets in the nation. The school board also provides state-of-the-art technology such as videos on demand and on-line testing for those school districts. This May, you may have the opportunity to weigh in on one of two board trustee races if you live in Commissioner Court Districts No. 1 or No. 4. The first digit of your precinct number on your voter registration card will match the district number. Or, you can visit the DCS web site to view the district map at www.DCSchools.com (click on “Board” and then click on “Map”). Currently, Hon. Jan Moody represents District 1 and Hon. Ann Hubener represents District 4. Candidates filing to run for those offices have until March 14 to file. If you’re wondering why even bother to learn about the candidates in this contest, your tax dollars are spent by them as they service 60,000 children daily. You want the right, qualified people making decisions about the more than 2,000 people employed by DCS, including our LGBT brothers and sisters. When it comes to exercising your right to vote, don’t miss the bus!u
The Stonewall Advocate
By Omar Narvaez, President Stonewall Democrats of Dallas
Wow, we have seen a ton of political activity near and far. I applaud the citizens of Egypt, and hope for a better form of government. However, here at home our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin are fighting to keep their right to earn a decent wage for an honest day’s work. Over the past few weeks, I’ve really been enlightened to know that the fanatical right will stop at nothing to destroy the middle class. The other day I was thinking how they fought with every ounce of energy in their bodies to keep a tax cut for the wealthiest two percent in our nation, and then turn around and want the working poor and middle class to be the ones to carry it on their backs. Groups like Planned Parenthood, Unions, children, teachers, police, fire fighters and the elderly stand to lose the most. We must stand up and unite to stop the travesties that are happening around us. It is time to put away the few things that make us different, and focus with others on the 70 to 80 percent of things that make us the same. Let’s work together to make tomorrow a better day for all of us! I am going to ask that you look deep inside yourself, and ask a question, “Am I doing everything I can to help make change happen?” I know personally that I can do more to register more voters, help get out the vote, and yes maybe even give a little more money. What can you do? Someone asked me this past weekend why I was a Democrat. I had to stop and think for a minute. Why am I a Democrat? I am a Democrat because I believe in social justice and EQUALITY for all people. I am PROUD to be a gay man who just happens to be a feminist, trans-loving, tree hugging, marriage equality believer, pro-choice, freedom of religion or none, pro-union and pro-immigrant. These are the ideals that I believe in and I am willing to fight to keep or achieve. Are you? Will you join me in making change happen? PROUD to be a Democrat – Omaru
AIDS service organizations face HIV/AIDS state funding cuts
By Jesse Garcia While no anti-gay bills are being introduced in the 82nd Texas Legislative Session, severe cuts to funds that make HIV/AIDS treatment accessible to low income people are being considered -- a clear detriment to the LGBT community. An estimated 15,000 Texans depend on the Texas HIV Medication Program, which provides anti-retroviral drugs to low-income people with HIV or AIDS. “A huge segment of patients at Peabody Health Center and case management are on the Texas HIV Medication Program, said Raeline Nobles, executive director of AIDS Arms, Inc., the largest HIV/AIDS service organization in North Texas. “Currently, we are involved with several groups in advocating for no cuts.” The medication program was already sounding the alarm bells back in October when various news outlets reported Texas’ budget crisis as well as the need for increased funding for THMP. The Dallas Morning News reported the program needed an additional $23 million to sustain its services or face a halt to enrollment and/or eliminate coverage of certain drugs in the program. Without the program, treating HIV or AIDS may cost $12,000 to $15,000 a year. “The impact of potential federal and state cuts to public health related contracts will be dramatic in terms of the health status of both individuals and our community,” said Nobles. “When a communicable disease does not have the proper resources to identify, link, care for and educate the people that disease impacts, it’s a recipe for disaster for everyone.” Nobles credits the efforts of local AIDS services organizations, which include prevention and education, over the past five years for curbing the growth of the epidemic. “Funding cuts will only light the fire of the HIV epidemic once again and the ground we have fought so hard to gain will be lost,” she predicts.
AIDS Arms, Inc., Executive Director Raeline Nobles needs you to call your legislators to protect HIV/AIDS treatment funds.
Nobles recently showcased her agency’s new clinic headquarters in Oak Cliff on March 10 that will allow for her original headquarters office to be fully converted into a treatment center. The clinical services expansion in the original building will help accommodate an additional 2,400 cases to the already 7,000 people the agency served last year. According to the 2010 HIV/AIDS Needs Assessment published by Dallas County Health and Human Services and the Ryan White Planning Council of the Dallas Area, it is projected that more than 6,700 HIV+ individuals are not receiving active and ongoing medical care in the Dallas area. “As always, people who are disenfranchised from the larger culture and people who are poor will pay a very high price in many ways,” said Nobles. “As will we all when the epidemic becomes out of control once again.” Proposed Health and Human Services and Medicaid cuts are found in House Bill (HB) 1, the Texas House’s version of the 201213 state budget. Please lobby your legislators to avoid cutting funds for HIV/AIDS treatment and Medicaid. Along with providing legislative support, the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas supports AIDS Arms through Stonewall’s annual participation in LifeWalk. Since 2000, Stonewall members have donated more than $12,000 toward fighting HIV/AIDS in North Texas. For more information about AIDS Arms, visit www.aidsarms.org.u
The Stonewall Advocate
Gillian Parrillo is a straight ally who has been active in Stonewall Democrats of Dallas since 2008. volunteering with Obama Dallas and gravitated to voter registration. It just made sense to me that if we could register and empower more minority voters and get them to the polls, we would win. During the next year and a half, a team of dedicated volunteers stood outside box stores and attended hundreds of events registering and educating as many voters as we could. How can one help with your outreach? There is nothing more satisfying than registering an 18-year old or informing an exfelon that, despite what they have always been told, they can vote. Get deputized, get trained and join the team. Ask your friends, neighbors, restaurant servers, co-
workers, etc., if they are registered to vote and, if not, get them registered. Make sure they know about early voting, the location of their polling location, where to find information about the candidates, and how to use a voting machine. Who is the first Democrat you voted for? I moved to this country from the UK in 1965. I have worked on every Democratic presidential campaign since then. The first vote I could make as a citizen was for Jimmy Carter’s re-election. Why are you a Democrat? I am a Democrat because I believe the party better represents my values. How we treat the least among us is truly a reflection of this nation. As a woman, I can’t imagine being anything other than a Democrat - equal rights, choice are non-negotiable. If you could tell President Obama one thing, what would it be? Get re-elected. You are the only thing that stands in the way of a total sellout to the corporations and the billionaires of all that this country has stood for -- for more than 200 years. We are backing you with everything we can muster. Stand strong!u
featuring Gillian Parrillo
What are the biggest issues in America in your opinion? Greed, fear and lies. How, as a country, we chose to raise and spend money. This country spends four times more on seniors than on children that’s backwards. And why does this country need to spend more on defense than the next highest-spending 17 countries combined when our children are falling behind in terms of education or going to bed hungry? The tax code allows corporations and high net worth individuals to legally avoid their fair share of taxes, placing a burden on the middle class and the poor. What do you do for a living? I retired in 2000 as a group president at Sterling Software, a Dallas-based computer software company. Since then I have focused fulltime on non-profit and political activities. Tell us about your activism with voter outreach. In the spring of 2007, I began
Reminder: March General Meeting Tuesday, March 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
We registered 21 new voters in February! This brings our total to 57! Help our Voter Registration Committee reach its 500 voter goal. Contact Voter Registration Chair Patrick McCoy at email@example.com
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