|Signaling President Barack Obama's commitment to the LGBT community and as a precursor to what the community can expect in the future, Democratic National Committee Chair Gov. Tim Kaine tonight released his nominations for key DNC positions and committees which delivered historic LGBT numbers and diversity.|
Responding to the DNC's LGBT Caucus priority for the appointment of the first transgender Democrat to the national body, Gov. Kaine delivered in the appointment of Babs Casbar Siperstein, a nationally-known advocate for transgender rights and education. Her appointment was only one of six LGBT at-large nominees made in his 75 total appointments. Kaine doubles the number of LGBT individuals ever appointed through this process and brings the overall LGBT representation on the DNC to near parity to the estimated LGBT Democratic vote loyalty. Kaine further delivered on historic diversity with his remaining five representatives--who come from the labor, elected official, Hispanic, Asian, and African American communities. They are Hon. Evan Low of California, Hon. Lupe Valdez of Dallas, Texas, Earl Fowlkes of the District of Columbia, Terry Bean of Oregon and Randi Weingarten of New York.
In addition, Kaine appointed Maryland DNC Member and State Delegate Heather Mizeur as one of his 10 Executive Committee appointments. She will join DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias, ASDC Chair and DNC Vice Chair Raymond Buckley and myself on the 45-member DNC Executive Committee.
Kaine continued making history in his Standing Committee appointments by doubling LGBT representation on the four bodies--Rules & Bylaws, Credentials, Resolutions, and Budget & Finance.
One sad note was that Garry Shay of California, a key leader in the 2007 enactment of the LGBT Inclusion Program provisions in the DNC party affairs process was not reappointed to the Rules and Bylaws Committee. However, the LGBT community will see three new LGBT representatives on this important and powerful committee--an increase of one. I personally want to thank Shay for his leadership and tenacity on behalf of the LGBT community!!
President Obama told LGBT representatives at the White House in June to judge him by what he delivers, and I can hardly wait to see the great public policy victories the LGBT community will see from this administration. While impatient, I know President Obama will deliver the "Change We Can Believe In" for the LGBT community.
Rick Stafford, Chair
DNC LGBT Americans Caucus
DNC Member, Minnesota