The Washington Blade reported yesterday that there are reports of financial trouble at the National Stonewall Democrats, and the Executive Director, Michael Mitchell, may be ousted.
That made me angry. Angry enough to pull out my credit card and plunk down a contribution. The Republican right-wingers are awash in money to hype their anti-gay politicians, their anti-gay and anti-LGBT laws in this country and abroad, their anti-family and anti-equality stances, and their reparative conversion therapy.
Why shouldn't we?
The National Stonewall Democrats is a political organization, no question, so this question doesn't apply if you're a Republican or Independent, or you hate the National Stonewall Democrats.
If you're a supporter of the idea of an LGBT Democratic organization, why aren't you pulling out your credit card and going to http://www.stonewalldemocrats.org/ right now? This is not a rhetorical question.
I'm sincerely interested in finding out what prevents people from giving money to an organization that represents their interests? Conversely, if you have already given recently, what made you decide to do it, and would you recommend this to others?
The truth is that political power is the only thing that will give us the full and equal country that we so richly deserve.
The budget for National Stonewall Democrats is like $300,000. That's about $3000 per chapter (they've got about 90 chapters).
NSD's Budget swelled to over $700,000 in the 2008 presidential election year. Of course, that was because it was a presidential campaign year, and the particular excitement of the Clinton and Obama campaigns.
By 2010, the political climate changed dramatically as people got impatient with President Obama 2) the Bush recession came into full flower, and 3) it wasn't a presidential election year. NSD saw its budget to dwindle to $300,000 in 2010 -- but ended (just barely) in the black.
From a program point of view, NSD was wildly successful in 2010, with its highly-praised "Elect Equality" program, and its direct campaign contributions to pro-equality Democrats endorsed through its new PAC.
$300,000 is not a lot of money for a national organization. If you think about the millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in this country, it's really not a lot. 10% of 300 million is 30 million, or if you go with the more conservative 3% figure that some studies suggest, it's 9 million, and minus all the LGBT Republicans, that 8.99 million. (To my LGBT Republican friends: just kidding.)
We're talking an average of less than a nickel apiece. Of course, some are giving way more than a nickel, because there's way more giving nada.
If the 10,000 people who see this post gave $35 each, I think that should do it.
But, of course, there are so many good reasons not to pick up that credit card. Frankly, I don't have all that much money, although I have way more now than I did in the decade after my transition. I admit to not picking up my credit card for the Stonewall Dems until now.
And there's that pesky credit card limit.
And there's the fact that I'm getting letters from twenty different LGBT organizations, who all desperately need money, and whose cause I all believe in.
But let me say this. Political representation is the real power in this country. It is the principle on which the United States was founded. It's nice to have courts on our side occasionally, but frankly, without political power, we cannot have marriage equality, we cannot have employment rights, we cannot have immigration reform. Look, almost every single marriage equality state imposed by the court was subject to an immediate ballot referendum, and they almost always took away our rights again. Even Obama's Attorney General said in his memo on the Defense of Marriage Act this past week that we need court protection because we are so pitiful and weak. (I'm paraphrasing, of course.) Are we? If that doesn't make you mad, you're not paying attention.
Politics may be boring as hell, but your right to be a full and equal citizen of this free country shouldn't be.
National Stonewall Democrats. Just do it.
In the interest of full disclosure, I note that Jerame Davis, who is co-owner and webmaster of this blog, works for the National Stonewall Democrats. That's not why I wrote this post. And that's not a reason not to donate.