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Oregon activists seek National Stonewall Democrats Board of Directors Seats

Monday, January 22, 2007

Two dedicated Oregon queer political activists, Kristin Flickinger and Laura Calvo are candidates running for seats on the National Stonewall Democrats Board of Directors. Both are also longtime, super volunteers for Basic Rights Oregon.

The National Stonewall Democrats is a grassroots network connecting LGBT Democratic activists from across the United States. With more than 90 chapters across the country, Stonewall is a grassroots force for social change within our movement and within the Democratic Party.

In addition to the many impressive personal and political achievements of both candidates, Kristin Flickinger serves as the vice-president Stonewall Oregon, which is the Oregon Chapter of National Stonewall Democrats, while Laura Calvo serves as the chapter's treasurer. On August 24, 2005, Stonewall Oregon was recognized by the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Oregon, as the GLBT caucus of the party.

National Stonewall Democrats Board members are elected by regions. Oregon is within Region 7, which covers all of Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Montana, and Minnesota. Region 7 Ballots will be mailed to Stonewall Democrat members starting January 26th. Ballots need to returned by February 16th. Election results to be announced on February 23rd.


NSD Region 7 Board of Directors Candidate Statement: Kristin Flickinger

I am seeking election to the National Stonewall Democrats Board of Directors, because I feel strongly that, as the GLBT community continues to work cohesively, we are poised to bring about real change in the laws and attitudes of our nation, our states, and our local communities.

In my professional and personal life, I have demonstrated dedication to working as a member of the GLBT community toward that change. I have worked in various political landscapes, both as an organizer during a DOMA ballot measure campaign and for a grassroots organization during a legislative session.

The following positions especially demonstrate the range of experience I bring to the NSD Board of Directors.

*Vice-President of Oregon Stonewall Democrats chapter.
*Regional Field Organizer for Oregon statewide ballot measure campaign.
*Event Organizer for Oregon statewide GLBT town-hall tour.
*Legislative Organizer for Basic Rights Oregon - statewide GLBT organization.
*Chair of Salem Human Rights and Relations Advisory Commission.
*Campaign Manager for county tax measure.
*Estate Planning Attorney for same-sex couples.

The experience I have had as a community organizer has been broad, allowing for creative as well as technical enhancement of my abilities as a leader and strategist. The positions in which I have served at various levels of the political structure have afforded me the opportunity to build volunteer networks, work with diverse coalitions of organizations, and manage the work
of steering committees.

These positions have also allowed me the opportunity to talk to voters on the phones and at the doors. They have given me the opportunity to recruit likeminded activists, and talk with great opponents. Most of all, they have shown me that, in order to effect real change, we must show up, work hard, and keep talking to each other.

I would greatly value the opportunity to serve as a Board Member of the National Stonewall Democrats, as we work together toward the goal of true equality.

NSD Region 7 Board of Directors Candidate Statement: Laura Calvo

Dear Fellow Region 7 Stonewall Democrats,

I am a candidate asking for your vote to elect me to the National Stonewall Democrats Board of Directors.

I am an out and proud latina lesbian trans-woman, living in Portland Oregon. I am also the parent of a gay man and aunt to a number of GLBT nephews and nieces.

Originally from San Francisco, CA, I worked as a paramedic for the San Francisco Department of Public Health during the late 1970's. I served a six-years in the U.S. Navy reserve as a Hospital Corpsman. In 1980 I moved to rural southern Oregon where I worked in law enforcement until 1995. I was involuntarily outed at work and eventually forced into an early retirement, despite an exemplary employment record. At the time there were no legislated protections for GLBT people.

In 2003 I testified in the Oregon State Senate in favor of a GLBT anti-discrimination bill. It was the first public hearing of an anti-discrimination bill in over thirty years. It was also the first time such a bill included "gender identity" language. Fueled by a strong desire to no longer remain silent my testimony was also the vehicle for coming out on my own terms. The silence was further shattered by Associated Press front-page newspaper accounts of my testimony.

In 2003 I involved myself with Basic Rights Oregon. I was elected to be the first ever transgender person to co-chair the LGBT Political Caucus of Southern Oregon. I was involved in fund raising for GLBT community events and programs in southern Oregon. I became involved in the Democratic Party. I was one of thirteen trans-activists across the nation to publicly endorse Howard Dean's presidential candidacy.

In 2004 I was awarded the Ellen Summers Memorial Award for outstanding service to the transgender community by the Northwest Gender Alliance. I worked as a field organizer for the Oregon NO on 36 campaign in southern Oregon. I was also featured in a fundraising video for Basic Rights Oregon. In that same year I moved to Portland Oregon becoming more deeply involved in GLBT grass roots political organizing. In 2005 I again testified in the Oregon State Senate in favor of another GLBT equality bill. I worked hundreds of hours making thousands of calls from phone banks. I became a member of the Oregon Democratic Party GLBT Caucus.

In 2006, I redoubled my grass roots efforts working on several local and state races to elect democratic candidates in the primary and general elections. I ran for a seat as a Democrat Precinct Committee Person. I was selected as a voting delegate to the Oregon Democratic State Convention. I was elected to serve as the treasurer of the OregonDemocratic Party GLBT Caucus and Oregon Stonewall Democrats.

As your representative to the NSD Board of Directors I believe my unique life experience, qualifications and passion for social justice demonstrates my sincere desire to work for social and political justice for all Americans.

Massachusetts: Gay Marriage Up In The Air

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
With only hours left in the day, Massachusetts legislators will decide to either vote on referring gay marriage to the ballot or to not vote on it at all. Many in the chamber are not wanting to vote on it--stating, "This is the first time that the petition process has ever been used to consider reinserting discrimination into the constitution."

From MassLive.com:
Lawmakers are scheduled to meet in a constitutional convention to vote on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union of one man and one woman on Tuesday, the last day of the legislative session.

Those opposed to gay marriage proposed the amendment, but in November, gay marriages advocates led by House Speaker Sal DiMasi voted 109-87 to recess without a taking vote, well above the simple majority needed to recess. The move was seen as a way to kill the measure.

Amendment supporters sued and asked the Supreme Judicial Court to clarify lawmakers' duties under the state's constitution.

The SJC ruled that lawmakers are defying their constitutional duties by not voting, but said it has no authority to force them to act, putting Tuesday's actions in question.

Some lawmakers said they won't vote because the ballot question would write discrimination into the constitution.

Gay marriage opponents claim the people have the right to vote on gay marriage and lawmakers must follow their oath of office.

Senate President Robert Travaglini, who runs the convention, has the power to force a vote. He hasn't said what he'll do.

If a vote on the amendment is taken, it needs the support of a quarter of the Legislature, or 50 lawmakers, in two consecutive legislative sessions to move to the ballot.

The supporters of the gay marriage ban amendment collected signatures from 170,000 people in an effort to get the question on the 2008 ballot.