Greer Among Young NW LGBTQ Leaders Invited to The White House

So proud of my friend Jamee….


VP Biden and Dr. Biden to celebrate the next generation of LGBTQ leaders
 
Jamee Greer has been told in public meetings that his kind deserves to be sentenced to death and ridiculed as “Tinkerbell” by a prominent gun lobbyist. Last week, the White House confirmed what members of the LGBTQ Montanans and their supporters have long known: That Greer is one of the finest leaders in the country, and his policy and organizing expertise is essential to ensuring dignity and fairness for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
 
Greer will join other Northwest LGBTQ leaders including Josh Parrish of the ACLU of Idaho, Heather Purser of the Suquamish Tribe (Washington), and Kyle Rapiñan of Seattle Queer Youth Center for a tour of The White House, LGBTQ policy roundtable, and end-of-summer BBQ reception in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, September 19. A fifth community leader, Christian Baeff of CAUSA (Oregon), was invited but is unable to attend.
 
“Jamee’s work on non-discrimination ordinances in Missoula, Helena, and Bozeman, and his steadfast advocacy for all the underdogs in our society made him a clear choice for this invitation,” explains Kris Hermanns, Executive Director of Pride Foundation, the Northwest LGBTQ community foundation that was asked by The White House to suggest people that are leading change in their LGBTQ communities.
 
“Each of these young leaders inspire change by working with their local communities—their dedication to and passion for full LGBTQ equality is inspiring,” adds Hermanns.
 
Greer is employed as a full-time community organizer and lobbyist for the Montana Human Rights Network, a longtime grantee and partner to the foundation.
 
“It’s an incredible honor and very humbling to be chosen for something like this when there are so many qualified LGBTQ Montanans working every day for equal treatment under the law, and I couldn’t even think of this sort of opportunity happening without their help, including from the folks at Pride Foundation,” Greer said.
 
Greer was born and raised in Bozeman and has worked for the Montana Human Rights Network since the 2009 Legislature. He was lead organizer on the campaign to pass Montana’s first LGBTQ non-discrimination protections through the Missoula City Council in 2010 and is currently leading the campaign to pass a similar ordinance in the state capital of Helena. During legislative sessions, Greer lobbies for MHRN, working on policy related to social and economic justice, including reproductive freedom, LGBTQ equality, immigrant rights, and access to health care.
 
Greer previously worked as an HIV/AIDS tester and counselor with the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force and as a volunteer organizer through the Western Montana Gay & Lesbian Community Center.
 
 
Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation is dedicated to inspiring a culture of generosity to connect and strengthen organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality across the Northwest states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, visit www.pridefoundation.org or email Caitlin@pridefoundation.org.

HIV In Prison

FYI:

  • More than 2 million people are incarcerated in jails and prisons in the United States.
  • People who are incarcerated are at increased risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV.
  • The correctional setting is often the first place incarcerated men and women are diagnosed with HIV and provided treatment.

People who are incarcerated are at increased risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV and other infections. Correctional health, public health, and community-based organizations need to improve HIV prevention and care for incarcerated populations through 1) routine HIV screening and voluntary HIV testing within prisons and jails and 2) other effective prevention strategies, including those that address inmates’ transition back into the community. Correctional institutions can be important partners in preventing and treating HIV to protect and improve inmate and community health.

More here.

President’s Welcome Video To International AIDS Conference 2012

Some history and a commitment to continue progress:

Stutz: Daines Fundraising Is Politics-As Usual

Rob Stutz, Democratic candidate for United States Congress, announced today that Steve Daines, whose fundraising tactics were highlighted this week on the national radio program This American Life, represents politics-as-usual, not the best interests of the people of Montana. Daines, the presumptive Republican nominee in Montana’s US House race, has held numerous fundraising events in Washington DC requesting donations of $500, $1,000, and even $2,500 from PACs (political action committees) for special interest groups. Two of these events, one of which was featured in the radio program, were held in March 2012.

“Montanans want a new approach in Congress,” Stutz said. “We are looking for a Representative who will stand up to special interest groups, not a Representative who wants $2,500 to wine, dine, and rub elbows with special interest groups on Capitol Hill.”

Stutz does not accept any campaign money from special interest PACs and does not sign any pledges for special interest groups. The Stutz for Congress campaign posted a graph on www.RobStutz.com showing that Stutz has accepted $0 of special interest money and that Daines has accepted over $100,000 of special interest money through 2011. Fundraising reports for the first quarter of 2012 must be filed by April 15.

“I put people first in my campaign.” Stutz said that “Montanans want a Representative who walks the walk when it comes to working for people rather than for special interest groups. Abraham Lincoln said it best — government should be ‘of the people, by the people, for the people.’”

“While disappointing that Mr. Daines wants DC lobbyists to support his race, it is not surprising. Since announcing, Daines’ strategy has been to try and buy the US House seat.” Montana Democrats are pushing back against special interests — Stutz does not take special interest money or sign special interest pledges, Senator Tester has proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision, and Attorney General Bullock has fought in court to uphold Montana’s law limiting special interest spending.

Stutz said, “If you are tired of the influence of special interests on Congress, support my campaign and send a message that enough is enough. Working together, we the people of Montana can get Congress back on track and working for us.” Stutz emphasizes that people of any financial means can and should have a voice in politics. Stutz for Congress provides a page on www.RobStutz.com that suggests free and low-cost grassroots ideas for anyone who wants to get involved in the race.

This American Life radio program (Daines discussed at 5:00) — http://podcast.thisamericanlife.org/podcast/461.mp3

Stutz for Congress graph comparing PAC money receipts by Stutz and Daines through December 31, 2011 — http://robstutz.com/images/uploaded/PAC%20Money%20%28small%29.png

Stutz for Congress page providing free and low-cost ways to participate in the race — http://robstutz.com/pages/137/free_and_low_cost_ideas

Daines’ invitation for a March 22, 2012, fundraiser at the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America Townhouse in Washington DC requesting $2,500 PAC money from hosts — http://politicalpartytime.org/party/30175/#invite

Daines’ invitation for a March 21, 2012, fundraiser at R.B. Murphy and Associates in Washington DC requesting $2,500 PAC money from hosts — http://politicalpartytime.org/party/30188/#invite

Daines’ invitation for a December 8, 2011, fundraiser at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington DC requesting $1,000 PAC money from attendees — http://politicalpartytime.org/party/29809/#invite

Daines’ invitation for a June 21, 2011, fundraiser with Denny Rehberg at Eastgate in Washington DC requesting $1,000 per PAC — http://politicalpartytime.org/party/26972/#invite

Daines’ invitation for a March 2, 2011, fundraiser at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington DC requesting $1,000 per PAC — http://politicalpartytime.org/party/25352/#invite

LGBT Student Congressional Internships Available

Shaping future political leaders is always important, shaping future LGBT political leaders is vital- it assures that the voices of LGBT persons will be involved in the political processes that have a direct impact on our lives.

If you are a student interested in political process, this could be you next summer:

For college students, an internship is key to gaining experience, insight and perspective. And for those interested in politics, an internship on Capitol Hill is a privileged opportunity to connect with our nation’s leaders and learn firsthand about the federal legislative process.For LGBT young people, it’s also a chance to witness the impact LGBT members of Congress are having each day – and learn about the barriers they’ve overcome along the way.Last summer we launched the Victory Congressional Internship to develop the next generation of out public leaders.

College students can apply for the Summer 2012 session until February 6, 2012.

Hear about the experiences of our inaugural class of outstanding LGBT college students:

Apply today for this intensive leadership program and an internship with an LGBT-friendly member of Congress.Not a college student or can’t participate this summer? Help spread the word about this incredible opportunity:
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Paid for and authorized by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute.
Contributions or gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
1133 15th Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20005

Bullied Youth Proposes LGBT Youth Advisor To President Obama

Photo courtesy of Brody Levesque

An inspiring story for going back to school….
You may remember me writing about Caleb Laieski, a 16 year old bullied youth from Arizona. Caleb was revently invited to the White House to share his experience as a bullied teen. Laieski was one of a few youth chosen to meet with President Obama for a photo opportunity. When they met, he proposed to President Obama that the administration appoint an LGBT youth advisor to the President. The advisor would serve as a liaison between the Obama Administration and our nation’s LGBT youth population to specifically address anti-LGBT bullying and other major issues that LGBT youth face and seek appropriate and immediate solutions. 
Laieski refused to accept bullying as a rite of passage for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teens. Raising funds and creating awareness, he took his passion to Washington, DC where he used his personal experience to lobby Washington lawmakers on the Student Non-Discrimination Act. After meeting with almost 200 different legislators and various administrative offices in just 22 days, Laieski worked on Capitol Hill to promote a safe schools bill; The Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 998 – S. 999).
With his personal experience on bullying, he was invited to speak with the Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, to discuss the effect that bullying has on today’s lesbian and gay youth and the dire situation bullying creates for at-risk youth. The story stuck with Secretary Sebelius – a few days later, Laieski was included in the Secretary’s speech at the first-ever Federal LGBT Youth Summit that was held by the Department of Education.

Bullying has taken many at-risk LGBT youth and a recent study shows, that LGBT youth who come from “highly rejecting” families are more than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide than LGBT peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection. In a tragic event that struck too close to home, Laieski lost a close friend his age to suicide last year. This friend had endured similar bullying- and Caleb has had several other close friends attempt suicide due to the same systematic and sustained harassment in public schools.

Reluctant to create more pain from his experience, Laieski has begun channeling his inner pain in a positive way by becoming a strong personal advocate for bullied LGBT Youth- an inspiring story, especially as students head back to school.

We’ll keep you informed about the LGBT Youth Advisor to The President….

More about Caleb here.