Archive for August, 2007
Join the Noriega Express and Make a donation to help elect a great Texas Leader to the U.S. Senate.
Texas Democratic icons — Governor Dolph Briscoe, Lt. Governor Bill Hobby and State Senator Rodney Ellis — endorse
Rick Noriega’s exploratory bid for US Senate
(Houston, TX) — Texas Democratic icons Governor Dolph Briscoe, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and State Senator Rodney Ellis, who briefly served as Lt. Governor as well, today joined Houston’s Paul Hobby in endorsing Rick Noriega as the next United States Senator from Texas.
Standing together at the George R. Brown Convention Center, where Noriega served as Incident Commander when the facility was turned into a shelter and emergency support network in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, these icons that represent over three decades of Texas leadership called for a restoration of forward looking leadership that responds to the needs of the people.
“What we have here today is more than a list of endorsements,” Noriega declared. “It is a history lesson that teaches us that Texas stands at its greatest when we plan for the future, bring people together, and hold our government accountable.”
Under the weather with a fever, Governor Dolph Briscoe, who occupied the Governor’s Mansion from 1973 – 1979, sent a written statement that paid tribute to Noriega’s service in the military and humanitarian leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. “These times call for a leader like Rick Noriega, a leader with character, a leader who understands Texans are not afraid of the future, and we’re not followers.”
State Senator Rodney Ellis recalled how Noriega has lived out the warrior’s ethos — leave no man behind — from the battlefield to the legislature and in the community. “In the legislature, Rick fought to all Texas children had health insurance. And here in this very building, the George R. Brown Convention Center, he proved that compassion is not a weakness, but part of the very fabric of who we are as Texans,” Ellis explained. “That’s the type of leadership we need in the United States Senate.”
Lt. Governor Bill Hobby, who served Texas from 1973 to 1991, spoke directly to Noriega’s appeal statewide, “It’s time for a US Senator who can bring Texans together,” Governor Hobby declared. “Rick Noriega earns respect for the strength of his convictions, for rejecting the politics of personal destruction, and for his courage to speak to a higher calling in all of us, “Hobby added.
Noriega openly questioned whether John Cornyn’s voting record reflects the values of ordinary Texans, noting that the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) rated Cornyn 85th out of 100 Senators in support for veterans and their families.
“The standard for leadership and service has been set by the gentlemen behind me; not by the man who occupies one of Texas’ two US Senate seats,” Noriega concluded.
Noriega promised that as his exploratory campaign continues to gain momentum, “Texans will get a chance to see the many faces and many perspectives that our campaign represents.”
A Statement from Governor Dolph Briscoe
“When I think of Texas, with all of her storied past, her sense of independence, and her history of great leaders, I also think of the responsibility that comes with being a U.S. Senator from this great state. Texas needs someone who will represent us well, fight the good fight, and make us proud.
That humble public servant is Rick Noriega.
I think in these times an essential criteria for representing Texas in the United States Senate is service in the military, a person who has walked the walk. Rick’s service to his country in Afghanistan makes Texans proud. And he does not shirk from his duty as a citizen either, speaking out on the need to honor our veterans with the health care they deserve, and the need to remove partisan rhetoric, and the rhetoric of fear from the debate over our presence in Iraq.
Rick understands that Texans are not afraid, and that we are not followers.
In the legislature, Rick speaks out not just for his constituents, but for the state as a whole. A leader, a volunteer, a humanitarian … Texans must seize this opportunity to elect a United States Senator who represents the best Texas has to offer.
I apologize that I am not able to be there with Rick in person. But please know that I stand ready to help you out in any way possible to ensure his election.”
Closing Remarks by Rick Noriega*
“I want to thank Governor Briscoe and Governor Hobby … Senator Ellis, along with your colleagues here today (recognize Senators Gallegos & Whitmire if present), and of course, my dear friend, Paul Hobby, serving as Chair of our Exploratory effort.
To my guests here with me, your support and friendship is truly humbling. At the same time, you should know that Melissa and I take inspiration from you all as we move forward to fulfill the obligation of the standard of public service that all of you have set. Like millions of other Texans, we are the beneficiaries of the legacies you have left our state.
I’ll make my comments brief, because we have already heard from some of our state’s greatest leaders. But I want to make clear that what we have here today is more than a list of endorsements. We have a history lesson: A lesson that teaches us that Texas stands at its tallest when we plan for the future, we bring people together, and we hold our government accountable — a stark contrast from our current leadership, that which promotes the politics of division, advocates shirking our obligations to each other and looks to government to ask, “what’s in it for me?”
Governor Briscoe started his path of public service as a young man, serving in the Army in the China-Burma-India theatre. In the legislature, he helped bring Texans together through the promotion of Farm-to-Market roads. As Governor, one of his many lasting legacies was the signing the Texas Open Records Act — affirming that no agency and no member of government is beyond the accountability of We the People.
Governor Hobby too served his country, in the United States Navy. He is such an institution in the state of Texas, and especially here in Houston, that few need to be educated about his accomplishments. But today, several of the legacies Governor Hobby left us with his 18 years of service as Lt. Governor call out for special recognition, because they remind us of the standard for public service, and what we have the right to expect from our government. Governor Hobby championed mental health issues, bringing a previously taboo subject into the light of day. He oversaw the overhauling of our state’s public education system, and created a critical safety net for indigent health care.
Governor Hobby also understood that our competitiveness as a state depends on the strength of our institutions of higher education. Just as important, he helped create the Texas Sunset Commission, once again reinforcing that government must prove its relevance to the people, and that no power should go unchecked.
Senator Rodney Ellis began his path to public service by serving three terms on the Houston City Council, and acting as the Chief of Staff to the late, great Congressman Mickey Leland. Senator Ellis has continued the forward-looking leadership exemplified by Governors’ Briscoe and Hobby by passing the TEXAS Grants Program that has enabled over 137,000 Texas students attend college. Senator Ellis is also the author of the James Byrd, Jr., Anti-Hate Crimes law, sending a message to the world that true Texans don’t stand for intolerance or hatred. We now have a law with teeth, to prove it.
Public service. Looking to the future. Bringing Texans together. And holding our leaders accountable.
This is the standard that was set for us, but it is one that we are allowing to slip away. Today, a private in the US Army is held to a higher standard of accountability than a United States Senator.
John Cornyn, our state’s junior senator, has failed to use independent judgment. He’s failed to plan for our future. He has failed the people. He has failed Texas.
He has been an active pawn in a concerted effort to question the patriotism of those who exercise their civic duty by questioning their government about the war in Iraq. It’s every American’s right, every American’s duty, to question our role, our mission, our soldiers’ safety. To question such failures as the Administration’s inability to provide proper health care for our veterans. To question untruths as a basis for sending our sons and daughters across the world.
John Cornyn voted against SCHIP, even though Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured children who qualify for CHIP but are not enrolled in the program.
John Cornyn voted against the Webb Amendment, which would have guaranteed equal amounts of time for combat and for rest for any military member deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq.
And John Cornyn continues to play out the ineffective and inappropriate tactic of dividing us as he beats the empty drum of immigration, serving political purposes and using it as a wedge issue.
Cornyn says he opposes a border fence while in South Texas, but then votes in Washington to fund the border fence. The fact of the matter is, John Cornyn proves that playing politics doesn’t solve problems, it makes them worse.
The standard for leadership and service has been set by the gentlemen behind me; not by the man who occupies the Texas Junior US Senate seat.
The secret to a brighter future is not neglecting our children, using wedge issues for short-term political gain, or wearing out our military for an ideological obsession.
No, as I said earlier, Texas stands as it’s greatest when we plan for the future, bring people together, and hold our government accountable.
So…now it’s time to hold John Cornyn accountable.
As we ratchet up our exploratory campaign, Texans will get a chance to see the many faces and many perspectives that our campaign represents. Each time, the picture will grow. Because this campaign is not just about me. It is about us; it is about We the People, about duty … it’s about living up to a higher standard … it’s about answering the call to reclaim our state and our country.
Together we will; we will…answer the call. Thank you.”Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
Friday, August 24, 2007 James Aldrete, 512-751-3448
Over Three Decades of Texas Leadership Come Together in Support of Rick Noriega’s U.S. Senate Exploratory Bid
(Houston, TX) — U.S. Senate candidate Rick Noriega will announce his support from current and former Texas leaders spanning more than three decades. Governor Dolph Briscoe, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and State Senator Rodney Ellis, who briefly served as Lt. Governor, will join Houston’s Paul Hobby in calling for Rick Noriega’s leadership in the United States Senate.
Who: Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate Exploratory Committee
What: Over three decades of Texas leadership will be on-hand to announce their support for Rick Noriega’s US Senate Exploratory bid — including Gov. Dolph Briscoe, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, State Senator Rodney Ellis and Exploratory Committee Chair Paul Hobby.
When: Monday, August 27th, 2007
Where: George R. Brown Convention Center
3rd Level, Meeting Room 370A
1001 Avenida de las Americas
Houston, TX 77010
Rick Noriega has answered the Call to Duty once again He has answered this call several times in the past and has made Texas Proud. He has served in the Texas Army National Guard and has risen to the rank of Lt. Colonel. He has served 5 terms in the Texas Legislature as a Representative from the Houston area. During his time in the Texas legislature, Rick has received a 100% rating from NARAL in his votes for women=s issues. Children at Risk gave Rep. Noriega an A for his efforts in regard to key children=s issues for the 80th legislative session that ended in June. He has distinguished himself in leading bipartisan efforts for teacher pay raises, border security, and opening doors for Texas students to attend college. This is the type of Leader needed in the US Senate not only by Texas but all of America.
The Texas Netroots first formed a Draft Rick movement and now we are actively working to get Rick Noriega elected as our Next Senator. A senator from Texas who believes in Equal Rights, better health care for all, ending the war in Iraq, and doing what is right for all Americans. Join The Noriega Express and help send a True Texas Leader to Washington.
When the Federal government’s meager response to Hurricane Katrina failed to help families in need, Rick Noriega joined Mayor Bill White of Houston in opening their arms to their neighbors from Louisiana. Recently back from Afghanistan, Rick pulled many 20 hour shifts commanding the shelter operation at the George R. Brown Convention Center that housed thousands of Texas= guest from New Orleans. Rep. Noriega has proven he is willing to go the extra mile for people and now is the time for the people to go the extra mile and help get him elected.
Rick attended Yealy Kos where he wowed the crowd and became a Rock Star. He has also done live blogging at both Daily Kos and Firedoglake. I could Go on and on about why I am supporting Rick Noriega as the next Senator from Texas but I think hearing Rep. Noriega’s answers to important questions will tell you much more.
My question regards the 57 Democrats (16 in the Senate) who voted with Republicans on the recent FISA revisions. These Democrats sided with the President that the threat to this country is so great that we must relinquish some of our freedoms in order to remain safe. Many of these Democrats feared political retribution for appearing “soft on terrorism.” Would you explain to us your feelings on whether amending FISA was appropriate; on exchanging freedoms for security; and on the political triangulation of Democrats afraid to stand for their beliefs in the face of withering Republican counterattacks?
Rick Moriega “FISA is about Repubs again using fear as a political motivator. It’s unfortunate that we relinquish liberty to folks like our administration and the Attorney General. We need people in DC that have walked the walk and can speak with credibility on these issues without being afraid.”
I’m an old lady who grew up in the Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi. The Borderlands are a special place to me and the idea of an ugly fence cutting off the centuries old interchange just grates. Perhaps Tom Tancredo really thinks that all those place names in Texas were put on the map by some pilgrim with a Spanish/English dictionary.
Rick Noriega “The current leadership believes that you lead by dividing people. I believe we need new leadership that calls out to people to work together.”
Welcome Rick! In the wake of last weekend’s FISA vote we want it to be a priority to support and elect people with backbone. Are you willing to go on the record saying you’ll promote the repeal the changes if they become permanent in six months? Also would you promote (or support) changes to the Military Commissions Act?
Rick Noriega “If you look at my voting record over the past 5 sessions you’ll see a history of me tanding up. I do believe that the Congress avoided a bullet with the 6-month deal.
Let’s see what they do. Ironically, when the Democrats take control of the White House, it will be the Repubs pushing for the repeal….what’s good for the goose….”
Hi Rick! Howie’s told me great things about you.
My question is about running as a progressive in a state whose economy is based on extractive industries and industries tied to the war (aerospace, etc). How do you do it? In a lot of ways, you’re asking voters to vote against their economic self-interest. Of course, you could expand the voting pool, or maybe there are dynamics in Texas I don’t understand.
Still, there’s a reason the state is super-red, and I’m curious how to deal with that. One model could be Montana last cycle, but that’s a Western state and Texas is regionally speaking mostly a Southern state with different dynamics.
Rick’s answer: “First I would say that Texas isn’t as red as some folks would like you to believe; this election will prove that.
Second, you are right. Our state depends a lot on the energy industry to drive our economy. As long as we have to burn things to produce things in Texas, we’ve got to push clean burning natural gas. We’ve got to push new technologies and innovations. Texas has to lead the way in this arena or else we will become the next rust belt.”
Rick, welcome to Firedoglake. I’m sure everywhere here is as eager as I am to know how a real PROGRESSIVE Democrat is going to win in one of the redder states in the country. Tell us how you can make our contributions work for bringing about a better America via Texas.
Rick’s answer: “We’ve got to get back to the basics of “We the People.” We all must answer the call to service for our state and nation for the common good.”
Best Wishes to You.
A fence (a massive concrete wall, really, like Isr*el’s fences) cannot keep desperate people from risking their lives to come to the US.
Isn’t the fence really just a boondoggle?
Rick’s answer: “I have been very vocal against the fence. The leadership from El Paso to Brownsville have voiced the same concern. Chief Aguilar, US Border Patrol has said it will not work.
From military doctrine, there are two types of obstacles in Principles of the Defense; man-made and natural. In both cases you have to have eyes on the obstacle because any and all can be negotiated.
We in Texas are fortunate that God gave us a river obstacle.
We need eyes on the river, new technology and boots on the ground to apprehend.
Simple answers to problems is what Repubs like to quote like “a Wall.” The answer to a 12 foot fence would be a 13 foot ladder.
This is why we need serious representation in DC to address this issue. Mr. Cornyn has been an obstructionist.”
Hi Rick and Melissa! Good to see you both here.
Rick – there issues that you and your primary opponent totally disagree on, but one trumps them all for me. He actually describes himself as pro-life, which I prefer to call pro-forced-pregnancy. Can you comment on your stand on women’s reproductive rights?
Rick’s answer: “100% voting record with TARAL/NARAL. I’ve witnessed in Afghanistan when a government tells women what they can and cannot do, what they can and cannot wear.
This is not the role of government. Women’s rights are continuously under siege.
It is another deliberate distracter, or wedge issue by the far right.”
In the past few years we have seen the Republican Party discriminate and refuse to pass legislation to end discrimination for the GLBT Community. If you are elected, will you work to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and “Hate Crimes” Bill?
Rick’s answer: “I’ve voted for all hate crime leg. in the TX hse. I was one of 13? votes against HJR 6 in TX.
I hate bullies. Folks that gratuitously “other” people like the Repubs often do violate my vision of We the People.”
These are just a few of the great answers Rick gave on Firedoglake. You can read the comment sections at both Daily Kos and Firedoglake to see what a great Leader he will be for America and Texas!!! Please join The Noriega Express as we work to elect a True Texas Hero and Leader as our Next US Senator!!!
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I received this em,ail from the Human Rights Campaign and I agree that we need to speak out!!!
In Mississippi a few years ago, the courts took away a woman’s 8-year-old child.
Why? In part because the child’s mother was a lesbian.
Two of the judges in the majority went so far as to write and sign an additional opinion, unnecessary to the case’s outcome, which stated that the mother must accept the fact that losing her biological child was a possible consequence of her sexual “choice.”
One of those two judges was Leslie Southwick. And today, Southwick is dangerously close to being appointed to the Federal bench by President Bush.
Only the Senate stands in the way of his confirmation – will you take action with me?
America’s highest courts are meant to be protectors of justice, not prejudice. Yet Southwick’s record as a Mississippi judge raises serious doubts about his ability to apply the law fairly to all Americans. In this case alone, Southwick:
* Went so far as to cite Mississippi’s irrelevant and outdated sodomy laws, which have since been invalidated.
* Focused on “the practice of homosexuality” – refusing to even mention gay individuals as human beings.
* Cited Mississippi’s law prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting children – even though this was not an adoption case!
The American Psychiatric Association has long held that sexual orientation is not a “choice,” and that lesbian and gay parents are just as successful as their heterosexual counterparts.
Yet Judge Southwick disregarded widely accepted science in favor of his personal bias. This man MUST NOT be given the responsibility to protect the basic rights of gay and lesbian Americans.
If approved to the Court of Appeals, Southwick’s appointment would be for life. That’s why I’m asking you to take action today – and when you’re done, please forward this message on to everyone you know.
Against gay adoption.
Supported sodomy laws.
Said GLBT people shouldn’t keep custody of their children.
Should this man be appointed to the
I received this email from the Noreiga Campaign. Rick is a True Texas Hero and Leader and we need to send him to Washington as Texas Next Senator. To Join the Noriega Express, Donate at Netroots Texas.
As Americans, it is our duty to stand up and speak out when politicians have steered our country off the rails. It is in our very fabric, our soul. It is why I am running against Senator John Cornyn. It’s time for Texans to stand up and say, “Enough.”
We will not stand by as John Cornyn perpetuates the mismanagement of the war on terror, while protecting polluters over the environment and insurance companies over families who need health care — all while doing nothing about education, and nothing about immigration.
Texans deserve better.
They deserve a real leader in the U.S. Senate. But we will not win this race by running against John Cornyn. We need to spread our message for change across Texas. Today, we’re releasing our second web video, “Answer the Call.”
Please take a moment to watch the video, and help spread our message by forwarding this email to 5 of your friends today. Invite them to join our campaign!
Our conversation with the voters of Texas is just beginning. We will engage in an open, honest discussion. I challenge John Cornyn to do the same.
Instead of participating in PR stunts saying “Thank You” to the troops by handing out pizza to soldiers at Dell Diamond, the Austin-area baseball field, John Cornyn should tell the troops he voted against a bipartisan effort to extend dwell time for soldiers with their families in between deployments.
He should tell the soldiers he was 1 of only 9 Senators to vote against the ban on the use of torture on detainees held by U.S. forces and to require the military to follow the Army field manual for interrogations — a ban that is critical in maintaining America’s global moral leadership, while helping to protect our own men and women in uniform when they are captured by the enemy.
He should tell the children of Texas and their mothers and fathers that he recently voted against CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), a program that ensures millions of children have access to quality health care.
It is time for us to stand up for the common good. It is what our campaign is about, and I need your help in building our team.
Watch our latest web video, and then forward this email to everyone on your email list.
For the next two weeks, I won’t be able to write to you. Today, I am headed to Fort Benning, Georgia to participate in the Army’s Infantry Pre-Command Course. This is a great honor, and this leadership course will better prepare me for the challenges of command.
I’m proud to serve. I have dedicated my life to service: serving my country, serving my state, and serving my community.
With your help, I plan to continue serving — as the next Democratic U.S. Senator from the state of Texas. Thank you for support.
Be part of the Winning Noriega Team and Donate Today!!!!!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Today I am ashamed to call myself a Gay Democrat in Texas. I should be ecstatic after the Human Rights Campaign and Logo debate on August 9th but unfortunately that is not the case. Oh, I am thrilled about the debate but disgusted at the lack of leadership in the GLBT Community in Texas!
linkThe president of the Texas Stonewall Democrats has been accused of public lewdness after police said he was seen engaged in a sexual act near White Rock Lake.
John Shannon Bailey, 49, of Dallas was spotted by vice officers June 14 in the 800 block of East Lawther Drive.
“He was engaged in a sexual act with a person at that location, outside in a public place,” Dallas police Senior Cpl. Janice Crowther said.
linkJohn Shannon Bailey has stepped down from the board of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas after police ticketed him for allegedly engaging in oral sex with another man in a park near White Rock Lake.
Bailey, 49, is president of Texas Stonewall Democrats, the state’s largest gay political organization. He also is a member of the Texas State Democratic Executive Committee. It was unclear Thursday, June 28, whether the situation would affect his involvement with the latter two organizations.
Contacted Monday, June 25, after his mug shot appeared on a Dallas Police Department Web site in connection with the alleged crime, Bailey declined comment. On Thursday, he did not return a voice message.
The incident occurred at about 11:15 p.m. on June 14 at 800 E. Lawther Drive in Dallas, according to police reports. Sgt. Edward Harvey said the area is well known for cruising by gay men.
Shannon has refused to make any kind of statement to the Stonewall Caucus or to step down. He removed from the board of the Dallas Stonewall Chapter.
Shannon has done great work in the past for Stonewall. I appreciate all he has done but with this cloud hanging over his head he can no longer be an effective speaker for the GLBT Community, our elected officials, or our candidates. He needs to resign but since he will not, he needs to be removed from office.
The Board of the Texas Stonewall Caucus is comprised of the elected officers and the Presidents of the various Stonewall chapters in Texas. While some members of the board have called for action many of the so-called “leaders” have decided that the Texas Stonewall Caucus is a fan club for Shannon. They refuse to take any action to protect the image of the group or its effectiveness in the coming election cycle. The hard work we have put in as Leaders in the Community cannot be thrown away to protect one person from his own stupidity. After 10 members called a meeting, we still have board members trying to stop any discussion of these events. This is ludicrous and makes the Texas Stonewall Caucus look like anything but Community Leaders.
If you are a member of Stonewall in Texas, please contact the “leader” of your chapter and ask them why nothing is being done. Maybe if they hear from enough concerned constituents, they will become the leaders the community elected them to be. I would love to hear the responses. You can post them here or email me at refinish69 at gmail dot com.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Civil Rights Movements each have their moments in History and the GLBT Rights Movement has many. Everyone has heard or can look up the information about the Stonewall Riots but I want to share my personal journey and the moments that stand out in my mind and heart.
As a young Gay male in North Carolina, I was active in politics and had been for a long time. I attended my first Gay Pride March in Raleigh, North Carolina at the age of 25. It was a march and not a parade. There were no floats, no corporate sponsors, or famous stars or politicians in the march. It was a bunch of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people walking in groups or just with friends. PFLAG was there of course but you did not see corporate groups marching as you do today in many Gay Pride Parades. We were Out, Loud and Proud and wanted everyone to know. We were also dealing with the onslaught of the AIDS Epidemic and the lack of understanding or care from the Reagan Administration. This was the time period when it was still legal to fire someone fro being Gay in every state. Raleigh, North Carolina was the first city to add a non-discrimination clause to their city charter that include sexual preference. This was the first Gay Pride March but was not my last. I have now marched in Gay Pride Marches and Parades in North Carolina, Oregon, California, Arizona and Texas. I will keep marching until I have to ride a scooter or a wheel chair but I will still be there.
I attended the first World AIDS Day planning event in Raleigh and have been involved in those every since. While many would not consider this a civil rights event, I do as we educated the world about HIV and AIDS. The stigma of the “GAY” disease had to be removed and the world needed to be educated. I worked with people who would never have attended a Gay Pride March but who were driven by the need to help the Community overcome and bring awareness to the public.
Once I moved to San Francisco, I immediately became involved in politics, civil rights and AIDS/HIV Awareness. I also attended a memorial march to commemorate the night Harvey Milk and George Moscone were murdered. The sight of thousands of men, women and children marching down Market Street with candles will stay with me forever. The sadness and anger that still burned in the hearts of those gathered was a powerful force. It was a force that said we will not be taken for granted and we will not be forgotten or shunted aside. The same went for the Candle Light Vigil for World AIDS Day in San Francisco. There is a power in numbers which is hard to relate unless you have been there and felt the love, pain, fear, anger, and hope burning in each person as they walk holding that small flame out against the darkness of hatred and despair.
In Arizona, I watched Ellen come out on prime time TV at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center where I started volunteering 2 months after moving there. I was even shown kissing my lover and then interviewed by one of the TV stations in Arizona. I spoke about the history of the moment and how maybe it would help people understand that we were just people.
I remember when very few politicians- even our allies- would speak out for the community. Justice Jan Patterson was not afraid to march with the Stonewall Democrats of Austin in the Gay Pride Parade in 2004 when she was up for re-election. Senfronia Thompson was not afraid when she gave one of the best Civil Rights speeches I have ever heard at the Texas Legislature in 2005 as she opposed the Marriage Amendment bill. Mark Strama was not afraid when he attended the Gay Pride Festival in Austin that June and came to vote in the HRC straw poll about the amendment and speak with the community as we geared up to fight to defeat the marriage amendment.
I have watched so many little things change over the years that in total are great BIG changes that I sometimes forget how far we have come or how much the people in the trenches do to make a difference. I am one of those in the trenches. I speak out, march, vote, protest, write letters, blog, podcast, design, rant and try and educate every chance I get. Many candidates can tell you how blunt I am about asking question about GLBT issues and how fierce I can be in fighting for a candidate who supports our issues and how equally fierce I will fight to defeat anyone who is not willing to stand up for the community.
Tonight I saw something which I would never have dreamed of when I was 15 years old and coming out in a small town in North Carolina. I saw several of the Democratic Presidential Candidates take part in a forum on GLBT issues on a GLBT network and ask for the GLBT vote. Many presidential candidates have asked for our votes in the past and many have attended Stonewall Democrat or Gay Pride events but to spend 15 minutes being asked questions by Gay and Lesbian about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender issue? No, that has never happened. The pride I feel as a Gay Political Activist tonight is one I am sure many in the community feel. For the first time, n ot only are we being courted by politicians but they have been recorded answering OUR question and talking about OUR concerns. This was available to anyone who has LOGO in their area or has access to the internet.
This happened because people have spoken out, marched, voted, protested, written letters, blogged, designed, ranted, raged and worked to educate the public, candidates and elected officials. Every GLBT person who has done any of these things helped make tonight possible. We have moved GLBT Rights one step closer to the day when Equal Rights For All People is a reality. While the answers were not anything we have not heard before, the fact is they are now on record as being our allies not only in little sound bites but at a GLBT Forum. Does this mean the struggle is over? NO! It does mean we have come a damn long way and everyone should be thrilled at how much we have accomplished and ready to continue the struggle to move towards day when the struggle is over and Equal Right For All really does exist.
The work is far from over but tonight I am bursting with Pride for all of those who have struggled and fought so courageously for what is right and just. I honor those who are the well known figures but I also honor those people like me who have been in the trenches their entire lives but keep fighting. The fight is not about self glory but about self fulfillment and the satisfaction that comes with knowing you have done your best to make this a better world for everyone. The warriors in this battle are to many to name but their efforts have done so much and will be appreciated forever. One day when a young man or woman can turn to the person they love and ask them to marry them without fear of hatred, intolerance or prejudice no matter who their loved one is, then we will have done our duty not only to the GLBT Community but to the World. Tonight is a night of Celebration. Tomorrow the battle continues.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
If like me, you were unable to attend Yearly Kos, here is your chance to watch the break out session John Edwards had.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
This week, there is a national opportunity for all of us to network with the netroots, connect with progressive partners and share in the spirit that is galvanizing the grassroots.
The YearlyKos blogger / netroots / activist conference takes place in Chicago Thursday – Sunday, August 2-5. For those of you coming to Chicago, it’s a chance to meet other Liberal Drinkers from around the country.
And for those who can’t make it to the Windy City, you can still join the excitement from your home.
Wherever you are, you can take part in Democracy for America’s Night School this Thursday, 5:30-6:30 Central Time (6:30 Eastern / 3:30 Pacific) — a master class conversation on organizing featuring Katrina Baker, one of our National Directors, Chris Bowers of OpenLeft.com, and Arshad Hasan, DL Burlington Leader and DFA Training Director.
Night School is DFA’s online training program. RSVP at http://www.dfalink.c… — they will send you a call-in number to join the national call, and directions on how to access the slides online at the same time.
Be part of the Convention without leaving your home!
If you are in Chicago, or know people who will be, join the events we’ll be hosting and involved with:
- The Living Liberally Caucus, a chance to meet other members of Drinking Liberally and learn more about Eating, Screening, Reading and Laughing Liberally. Thursday, 11am.
- DFA Night School with
- The Drinking Liberally Happy Hour. Thursday 6-7pm, before the Keynote.
- A screening of Election Day, hosted by Screening Liberally as part of the YK film series. Friday 9:30am.
- A panel on the next wave of technology to hit politics moderated by David Alpert of the Living Liberally National Leadership. Friday, 4pm.
- A panel on food and politics organized by Eating Liberally National Director Kerry Trueman. Saturday, 9:15am.
- A panel on taking online activity into real-world action with Living Liberally Executive Director Justin Krebs. Thursday, 2pm.
- Our table in the exhibition hall Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
- Laughing Liberally comedians through the conference.
Living Liberally is an official partner of YearlyKos — that means all of you have helped us grow to the point that we are a major partner in the progressive movement. Thank you for all your help — and enjoy the convention…in Chicago, or online.
The Drinking Liberally National Staff
To sign up for News letters in your area or to start a local chapter of Drinking Liberally in your area click
I know we are all jealous of Boadicea being at Yearly Kos but here is a way we can join the fun also.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
« Previous Entries