Bobby Parker

Resurrecting Arizona Stonewall Democrats

Filed By Bobby Parker | August 16, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Arizona, Democrats, stonewall democrats

Saz_stonewall-equal.jpgteve Brittle has been described, probably by himself, as a 'hell-raising environmentalist.' People refer to me as a gay rights activist. Together we have decided to use our network of friends and acquaintances, Steve's political savvy, and our combined organizational ability to re-start Arizona Stonewall Democrats.

So far so good. We have officers and a board, a steering committee of 15, a bank account ready and accepting donations, we've registered with the Secretary of State, we'll distribute flyers at the National Kiss In this Saturday, and will have regular meetings at the Arizona State Democratic Party HQ (Thomas and Central in Phoenix) starting Saturday, August 22nd at 4:00 p.m. We are in the final design stages of designing our logo and now that we're organized, we are ready to launch our website, Arizonastonewalldemocrats.org, which will be up as quickly as we can get it designed.

ntouch.pngOur local GLBT newsmagazine is N'Touch. They have done wonders for us by announcing us with their cover story this issue.

Above all, we know that the key to change is to change the Arizona Legislature. The Democratic Party spent millions in the last election in close races that were unsuccessful. It just so happens that Steve ran the most successful campaign in Arizona history for members of the Corporation Commission and he's going to use the same strategies to help elect anyone and everyone who will work with us. (His campaign garnered more than a million votes for his candidate, which had never before been done in Arizona!)

We know there is still anger in the community over having lost our fight for marriage equality in Arizona last November. Add to that California and Florida's defeat, plus what happened in Alabama, and we're still livid under the surface. We also know that no one in Arizona has figured out how to channel that anger into constructive change since the November elections last year. We believe our simple plan is the answer and that we will be joined by thousands of Arizonans, gay and straight, ready for change.

With that in mind, we have set a HEROIC GOAL and put together a very simple plan. We are simply going to tap that huge reservoir of GOODWILL in our GLBT brothers and sisters to raise an army committed to help candidates win elections. However, unlike in the past, this time we will require any candidate who wants our help to sign a pledge that they will support and defend our civil rights once elected. If they won't sign the pledge, we won't work for them. Once elected we'll hold them to their pledge.

Our Arizona Stonewall Democrats army will work to elect candidates in 2010, and those candidates will refer an initiative to the ballot in 2012 we are calling Equal Means Equal. We want everyone to know that is our goal. We have nothing to hide. That will be our mantra, our slogan, our constant goal. Winning at the ballot will negate the recent amendment establishing marriage as between a man and a woman, and provide equality in all matters of civil law in Arizona.

It's about time! We've now been a state 97 years and all 97 years have been without equality for all.

So, if you live in Arizona, we are here to recruit you! Come to our meeting on August 22nd and let's get started with the work of changing Arizona!


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When I left Arizona in 2000, it was called "Arizona Stonewall Caucus." I'm glad they are reforming.

Aloha from Hawaii! Congratulations on your organization efforts. Sounds headed in a great direction.

If you're ever lookin' for some AZ history let me know. I was involved in Democratic politics in Tucson/Tempe in the 80s and was the first openly Gay member of an Arizona state delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Two others (maybe three?) came out once we got there. I was selected as an alternate delegate to the 1984 DNC in San Francisco. Some pretty exciting times. I think there were a total of 60 Gay Caucus members in the country at that time.

Another guy and I started FrontRunners in Tucson in '82. I also served for a time as the Chair of the Lesbian and Gay Academic Union at ASU and led protests in collaboration with other groups against the discriminatory practices of the school newspaper. We had a Gay Editor at the State Press by the summer.

Sorry to ramble on about myself--so many of us have done our part, but I feel a bit of pride to have been a part of the movement in AZ and it feels good to me when I see great things happening for lgbt folks in Arizona. Now I've started a publishing company and a biographical chapter-book ready to launch this fall is about a young woman(who happens to be in a relationship with a woman)who has faced adversity and is now achieving her dreams. Best wishes in your efforts as you achieve yours.

Bobby Parker | August 17, 2009 2:55 PM

Kim: Thanx! so much for your support. I'll blog updates as often as practicable.

Good luck on your writing adventures!

Bobby

LOVE LOVE LOVE your logo -- outstanding statement and presentation! Congratulations on getting back in the game. Your purpose is clearly stated, your plan has proven to be very effective in other states.

Please send me the contact info of your officers -- would love to get you all "in the loop" of National Stonewall club leaders. One of our current projects is to measure the quantity of volunteer help our Democratic clubs across the nation give to various candidates: bundling fundraisers, walking precincts, phone banks, etc. We know this is a huge contribution from the LGBT community, and that it is routinely overlooked.

Again, congratulations and welcome!

Laurie McBride
co-chair National Stonewall Democrats Leadership Council