Human Rights Campaign Working to Mobilize GLBT Community for Election 2008

by HRC Staff

Events planned in Nevada, Florida and Minnesota

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, is working to mobilize and educate voters this week as part of its comprehensive efforts to elect fair-minded candidates to office this election year. Following work in Iowa and New Hampshire, members of HRC's national field team are now on the ground in Nevada, Florida and Minnesota. By maintaining a visible and sustained presence in these early states, issues important to the GLBT community will continue to be on the front-burner of the national, political dialogue.

"It is critical that together we actively engage and motivate our community to elect fair-minded candidates to office," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "And in this presidential election year, as we send staff and resources to areas throughout the country, we'll work to give members of the GLBT community an opportunity to be part of the process."

The Human Rights Campaign has teamed with Stonewall Democrats of Southern Nevada, Women's Empowerment Network, the LGBT Center of Southern Nevada and other progressive organizations to mobilize and engage the state's GLBT community. A GLBT rally is scheduled on the eve of the Jan. 19 Democratic and Republican Presidential Caucuses. For details on the rally, to take place in Las Vegas, visit the HRC blog: In addition to the rally, Regional Field Director Georgie Aguirre-Sacasa will also be representing HRC at the MSNBC Democratic presidential debate on "Hispanic-African American Issues" on January 15 in Las Vegas. Since October, HRC has been actively involved in Nevada ahead of the presidential caucuses. A few months ago, working alongside our allies, HRC co-sponsored a workshop educating the GLBT community about the caucus process.

HRC, partnering with Florida Red and Blue, will kickoff the first of a series of educational trainings to take place throughout the state in advance of the presidential primary. The trainings will mobilize volunteers and give them the tools they need to engage voters ahead of the Florida primary. The trainings will mobilize volunteers and give them the tools they need to speak with voters at the Presidential Primary Day polls on January 29, informing them of the November state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, already illegal in Florida, and eliminate all domestic partnerships. The first training, to include HRC President Joe Solmonese, will take place in Orlando tomorrow, January 15. Solmonese will also be speaking at the Ft. Lauderdale training scheduled for Wednesday, January 16. For details, visit: HRC has sent three full-time staff members to organize additional trainings in Palm Beach, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Gainesville and Pensacola. A Miami training is also being planned by the GLBT group, SAVE Dade, for January 17.

The Human Rights Campaign is working with OutFront Minnesota to empower GLBT supporters to make a visible impact at the Minnesota caucuses on Tuesday, February 5, by holding mock caucuses like those recently organized in Iowa. The trainings are designed to give caucus goers the tools needed to understand how a precinct caucus works, how to write and offer resolutions, and how GLBT equality can be brought to the ground floor of our democratic system. The first training started January 8 in Minneapolis with additional trainings planned for St. Paul, Edina, Anoka, St. Peter, Rochester, St. Cloud, Wayzata, Duluth and Mankato, MN. To participate, visit:

Ahead of the Iowa caucuses, the Human Rights Campaign teamed with the state's GLBT group, One Iowa, to hold Equality Workshops aimed at arming fair-minded Iowans with the tools to communicate about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues during the January Caucuses. Similar to those taking place in Minnesota, the workshops consisted of mock caucuses during which participants learned tips on how best to discuss federal issues like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Matthew Shepard Act and marriage equality. The workshops took place in Ames, Iowa City, Cedar Falls and Des Moines. On the day of the caucuses, HRC had staff on the ground reporting back on what was happening on the historic day. To read the team's blog posts from Iowa, visit:

In early 2007, the Human Rights Campaign hired veteran New Hampshire field organizer Heather Gibson to help organize and mobilize the GLBT infrastructure built in 2006. For the first time ever, HRC opened a field office in Concord that had proven to be a central organizing location for GLBT activity in the state. The office witnessed a storm of activity in the lead up to the Presidential Primary, including visits from the candidates. While working on the ground, HRC also developed a website, specifically for New Hampshire, listing, among other things, all of the Republican and Democratic candidates' public events on the calendar photos of recent stops and events and HRC's presidential survey showing where the candidates stand on issues important to the community. To learn more about HRC's work in New Hampshire, visit:

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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