It's not often that I write and ask you for a favor, so I hope you'll consider my request. No, I'm not asking you to vote for Bilerico in some sort of blog contest; this is for something much more important.
As you may have seen, my partner and Bilerico's co-owner, Jerame Davis, has been tapped to be the interim Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats. (I've copied his first "official" e-mail to their membership after the break.) This is a huge honor for him and validation of all the hard work he's put into the org at a state and national level, but it also comes with quite a few daunting challenges - the biggest of which is financial.
As you may have read in the LGBT media, the org has had some leadership issues lately. I may be a bit biased, but I know Jerame is the guy who can restore National Stonewall Democrats' reputation. He's not a party insider or fancy-pants lobbyist; he's a plain-spoken guy from flyover country who's more interested in helping our community than climbing his way up a political ladder. It's what he does best - fix things.
Here's the favor: Will you donate $20 (or more!) to NSD as a vote of confidence for Jerame? You can donate to National Stonewall Democrats here.
National Stonewall Democrats needs to be restored to their former place of prominence. They're the only group set up to serve as a conduit between LGBT people and the Democratic Party. Their success rate at the local and state levels is phenomenal. They're not the DCCC or DNC; they only support pro-equality candidates - not blue dog jackasses. I've been a serious critic of some of the Democratic policies and actions taken since President Obama was elected. But I also know that things won't change unless we have both inside and outside pressure. What better person to run NSD than someone who's been on both sides of the fence?
For Jerame to be able to work his magic, he needs a bit of time to rebuild a solid foundation. I know Jerame can get them out of the morass the group has landed in. They have a solid fundraising plan now, but until that gels the org still needs to pay the bills. Jerame has always been known as "Mr. Fix It" with friends and co-workers. From technological support to strategic political plans, he's helped many of you find solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. Can you help him get Stonewall Dems back on their feet again?
If half of our daily visitors give NSD just $20, they'd raise $120,000 today. Please consider giving the group $20 (or more!) to take some of the heat off of Jerame for fundraising so he can get back to work rebuilding the best damn network of LGBT Democrats in the nation. You can donate to National Stonewall Democrats here.
If you're not able to donate at this time there's no hard feelings. I know times are really tough. This is a favor and not a demand; the choice is yours.
Don't worry. This is a one-time request. I'm not going to start dunning readers to donate to various causes; most of you know I don't even like doing our monthly ask for donations for the site. This, however, is important enough that I felt I had to ask.
Jerame Davis' e-mail to National Stonewall Democrats members
Dear Stonewall member,
My name is Jerame Davis and I am a Stonewall Democrat through and through.
When I was the Vice President of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats, we worked hard to elect pro-equality Democrats we knew would stand shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community. As the National Stonewall Democrats Affiliate Services Director, I was able to get to know many of the leaders and members of affiliated clubs around the nation who are doing phenomenal grassroots work in their local communities.
Now, as NSD's new interim Executive Director, I get to work with all of you to help ensure we continue electing our allies and members to office and grow the ranks of pro-equality Democrats in office. I couldn't be more proud to be part of the Stonewall Democrats family.
As a Midwesterner, I have a tendency to tell things like they are. I moved to DC last year to work for NSD because I feel so strongly about the importance of the organization's work. As the only grassroots organization of LGBT and allied Democrats, we play a unique role in the broader pro-equality movement.
I come from a strong Stonewall affiliate and I know the value of local politics as a building block for LGBT rights. I know how important it is to have pro-LGBT Democrats in office if we want to advance our rights. Many of our country's leaders have risen through state and local politics and the local folks know them best.
A great example of this comes from my own Indiana Stonewall Democrats. Recently, Indianapolis Monthly magazine profiled the success of the club saying, "The group's events have become a regular stop on the circuit of aspiring candidates and others looking to make connections in progressive political circles." And just this past Tuesday, ISD board member Zach Adamson became Indianapolis' first openly gay city-county councilor.
This is exactly what Stonewall Democrats is about - organizing, recruiting, supporting and electing pro-equality Democrats at all levels of government.
If Democrats want to run for office, we are there to ensure they are bona fide pro-equality candidates and understand the issues and concerns of the LGBT community. Our affiliates do it locally. We do it nationally. Together we ensure the forward momentum of our community.
As I step to the helm of National Stonewall Democrats, my vision is clear. We have to work hard in the 2012 Congressional campaigns and the presidential election, we must stand strong and support the pro-equality Democrats who support us, and we must work with our allies to push back against the conservative onslaught being perpetrated by the likes of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers. We must do all of these things to ensure that the progress we've made with President Obama and Congressional Democrats isn't rolled back by anti-equality Republicans and their ilk.
To do that, we'll need the support of the boots on the ground. Our members are the lifeblood of our organization. We'll need your time, your knowledge, and, yes, your money.
The 2012 election cycle has already begun - let's work together to elect a pro-equality majority in 2012.
I look forward to working with all of you,
Interim Executive Director
P.S. - While this is a getting-to-know-you e-mail, I wouldn't be a good politico or executive director if I didn't mention that you can, of course, make a donation to National Stonewall Democrats. The party needs us - and we need you.