Michael Emanuel Rajner
At a Glance:Michael Emanuel Rajner has been a Project Contributor since October 2008, has written 84 entries and currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
MICHAEL EMANUEL RAJNER, BSW, has resided in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area since 2000 and earned a bachelor degree in social work at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. While working towards his degree, Michael interned with the Broward State Attorney’s Office as a victim advocate working with victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes and serves as the legislative director for the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus.
Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, Michael first engaged in advocacy as a teen when his mother, grandmother and cousin were all diagnosed with Cancer and lost their battles to the disease within 1 ½ months of another. At the age of 14, Michael was appointed as a legislative aide to New Jersey State Senator S. Gerald Cardinale and assisted in drafting legislation which Senator Cardinale introduced to establish a fund for the early detection and prevention of Cancer. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Cardinale was unanimously approved by the New Jersey Senate after Michael testified before a Senate committee, but it was ultimately defeated without a committee hearing in the New Jersey General Assembly.
Over the years he has continued to be part of efforts to advance HIV/AIDS-related public policy and has volunteered his passion through advocacy and activism. He served as National Secretary of Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA) and volunteered as National Community Organizer for the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) and coordinated the AIDS IN AMERICA series of regional meetings and town halls around the nation for people living with HIV/AIDS. Empowered by the Denver Principles, Michael collaborates with various national organizations to ensure the representation and voice of independent people living with HIV/AIDS are at the policy-making table. He works closely with local, state and national lawmakers to educate and challenge them to spur the political will on HIV/AIDS and LGBT-related issues.
Michael maintains a strong commitment to community involvement and public service. He serves on the Broward County Human Rights Board and served in various leadership capacities on the Broward County HIV Health Services Planning Council. His past service also includes having Chaired the 2011-2013 Broward County School Board Redistricting Steering Committee, Broward County School Board Diversity Committee, Broward County Sheriff’s Council for Diversity and Equality Opportunity, Florida AIDS Drug Assistant Program Workgroup and Southeast Regional Gay Men’s Health Summit.
In May 2007, Michael, along with several community leaders, co-founded the coalition Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives (TERI). TERI is credited for the community mobilization effort that successfully provided public support to amend Broward County’s Human Rights Ordinance in February 2008 to include “gender identity”, “gender expression” and “pregnancy” as protected classes.
In 2011 Equality Florida awarded Michael the “Voice for Equality Award”, in December 2010 and 2011, POZ Magazine named Michael among in the POZ 100 – “some of the bravest, most dogged and downright effective AIDS fighters we know.” POZ featured Michael on the cover of its November 2009 issue and he has been recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the HIV/AIDS and LGBT communities. He was the recipient of the 2008 Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida Stars of the Rainbow – Activist of the Year, the 2007 Keith D. Cylar - United States AIDS Activist Award by Housing Works, Inc. (Brooklyn, New York) and Activist of the Year at The Independent’s 2006 People of the Year Awards. In 2007, the State of New Jersey passed a Joint Legislative Resolution commending him for his contributions in the AIDS movement.
Michael Emanuel Rajner: Recently Filed
Last week, Equality Florida drafted 2013 Super Bowl Champion Brendon Ayanbadejo, also a former Miami Dolphins player, in the fight for marriage equality. I sat down for a quick talk with him for Bilerico Project.Read More
Last week Republicans voted along party lines against the Harkin Amendment. It would have protected the $35 million in the continuing resolution to eliminate wait lists for our crippled AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP).Read More
On March 11 and 12, 2013, Equality Florida will be hosting their 2013 Lobby Days.Read More
Since last September's Democratic National Convention, I've been eagerly awaiting for Charlie Crist to prove he has a compassionate heart and clearly argue his position on marriage equality.Read More
For the past several months, I have been deeply involved in a major undertaking and vowed not to get heavily involved in the election. But as the campaign cycle progressed, it became very clear I needed to find my place on the battle line.Read More