2013 Texas Stonewall Democrats Awardees

March 14, 2013 - 6:09pm dionxzmc 0

The Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus (TSDC) announced that it will present four awards at its Third Biennial Statewide Conference in conjunction with the Equality Forward Summit in Austin on April 5-7. The awards will recognize a TSDC member for outstanding leadership, two local Stonewall Democrats chapters for their political achievements and a politician for his advocacy of LGBT equality in the Texas Legislature.

The awards will be presented during a Sunday brunch featuring keynote speaker State Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D-Clint), who is openly pansexual and is serving her first term in the Texas Legislature.

Erin Moore

p moore erin 131x197Erin Moore, a long-time LGBT and political activist from Dallas, will be the recipient of the Buck Massey Legacy of Leadership Award, named after Lester "Buck" Massey, a beloved LGBT Democratic leader from Dallas who died in 2007.

Erin has held numerous leadership roles in various capacities in the LGBT community including serving as President of the Dallas Gay/Lesbian Alliance in Dallas, former member of the Human Rights Campaign Board of Governors, President of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, Vice President of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, member of the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) and is currently Leadership Council Co-Chair and member of the Board of Directors of National Stonewall Democrats.

She is also a former co-host of Lambda Weekly, a radio show providing news to the LGBT community. She and her partner of 13 years, Patti Fink, both attended the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, where Erin was an LGBT national delegate for Barack Obama.

As a member of the Platform Committee at the 2012 Texas State Democratic Convention, Moore played a key role in enabling the Texas Democratic Party to become the first political party in the South to adopt a Marriage Equality plank as part of the 2012 State Democratic Party platform. She was also appointed to the National Platform Committee at the 2012 Democratic National Convention where she helped to ensure that Marriage Equality would be included on the national party platform as well. In her day job, Erin is Production Manager with Brown+Partners, an advertising agency in Dallas.

Roberto J. Flores Club Achievement Award

Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio (SDSA) and Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats (TCSD) will each be presented the Roberto J. Flores Club Achievement Award, named in memory of a beloved LGBT Democratic leader from San Antonio who died in 2010.

SDSASDSA was founded in 2000 and has grown to over 170 members. Since its inception, SDSA has been the only LGBT organization in Bexar County that screens and endorses candidates for public office, including candidates in nonpartisan races such as City Council. During the Democratic Primary in 2012, over 70 candidates returned questionnaires and attended SDSA's candidate forum to speak to a packed audience. SDSA's endorsement process has won acclaim by other political organizations that have modeled their candidate screening process after SDSA. In November 2012, 83% of SDSA's endorsed candidates won their elections and helped turn Bexar County “blue”. SDSA holds an Awards Banquet each year and has attracted such notable keynote speakers as Barney Frank, Howard Dean, former State Senator (now Congresswoman) Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and comedian Kate Clinton. In 2011, SDSA was instrumental in removing Dan Ramos as County Chair of the Bexar County Democratic Party after Ramos made public statements deriding LGBT Democrats as “termites”. During the Come OUT and VOTE campaign that was co-sponsored by TSDC and the Texas Democratic Party in 2012, SDSA registered over 250 LGBT voters and obtained almost 500 pledge cards from local LGBT voters. SDSA also has served as a mentor for the startup and development of newer Stonewall Democrats clubs in South and West Texas.

sd tarrant 310x70TCSD was founded in 2001 and has grown to over 70 members. TCSD was instrumental in electing and re-electing Wendy Davis as State Senator in 2008 and 2012, flipping the only State Senate seat from “red” to “blue” in the last decade. The club raised over $20,000 in 2012 to help Senator Davis and other Tarrant County Democratic candidates win election that year. Through its extraordinary fundraising and grassroots effots, TCSD has shown leadership in Tarrant County and throughout the State of Texas. TCSD also exhibited a strong leadership role in the aftermath of the Rainbow Lounge raid in 2009 and worked closely with leaders of Fairness Fort Worth in helping to establish required training, including LGBT sensitivity training, of members of the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) and the appointment of a liaison from the FWPD to the LGBT community as well as the passage of a citywide, fully‐inclusive Human Relations Ordinance adopted by the Fort Worth City Council in 2010. These achievements led to Fort Worth being ranked very highly on the 2012 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) list of the friendliest LGBT cities in the United States, ranking higher than Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. See http://hrc.org/municipal-equality-index#.UT-XmjcukoE.

State Representative Garnet Coleman

p coleman garnet 131x197State Representative Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) will be honored with the Lone Star Equality Advocate Award. Coleman has been a staunch ally and fierce advocate of LGBT equality both within the Texas Legislature and in Houston for many years. He was first elected in 1991 to the State House of Representatives to represent the people of Houston's District 147, which includes the Montrose area.

Rep. Coleman is the Chair of the County Affairs Committee, the Senior Ranking Member of the Public Health Committee, and serves on the Calendars Committee. He has served as Chair of the Legislative Study Group, a non-partisan House Caucus dedicated to the development of sound public policy, since 2003. He also has the honor of being a past chairman and current member of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. Coleman's work in the legislature has been instrumental to expanding access to health care for Texans. He has been the recipient of countless awards and honors throughout his years of service.

Rep. Coleman has consistently authored and introduced pro-equality legislation in the Texas House each biennial session without fail. Such bills include efforts to repeal the discriminatory Texas constitutional marriage amendment and section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code – the so-called “homosexual conduct” statute that was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. He has authored numerous other LGBT-related bills to fight discrimination and promote equality. Rep. Coleman frequently attends and speaks on behalf of the LGBT community and takes an active role in Equality Texas’ Lobby Day at the State Capitol every two years. He is a loyal friend to the LGBT community and his willingness to fight for equality for citizens across the State is to be commended and honored.