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    Bay Area Leaders Head to Democratic National Convention

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    More LGBT Delegates Than Ever Expected to Attend 2016 DNC

    Organizers are expecting an unprecedented number of LGBT delegates to attend this year’s Democratic National Convention, with at least one such individual from each of the 50 states. The Bay Area will be represented by multiple out and proud LGBT politicians, including San Francisco Bay Times columnist Zoe Dunning (see story this page).

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    Roberta Achtenberg

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    Joyce Newstat

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    Evan Low

    Joining her will be Roberta Achtenberg, Evan Low, Joyce Newstat and others from our community. Numerous strong allies, such as Gavin Newsom, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, will also be attending. For a full list of the entire California Delegation, please go to: http://www.cadem.org/our-party/body/OFFICIAL-CERTIFIED-Final.pdf

    We have come a long way since James Foster became the first openly gay person to address a national party convention, which happened in 1972. In 2012, there were 550 openly LGBT delegates at the DNC. In 2008, there were 350. Watching the 2016 Republican National Convention, which just ended, provided a disheartening reminder that not everyone in this country has “evolved,” to use President Obama’s term, in terms of LGBT acceptance, and acceptance of diversity in general.

    DNC delegates, organizers and leaders certainly stand in stark contrast to those at the RNC. While our community has achieved numerous gains under President Obama’s leadership, we are still lacking federal workplace equal-protection laws for all states, full transgender civil rights, an end to religious exemptions statutes, and more. Several seats on the U.S. Supreme Court are also expected to be filled by our next President.

    It is therefore no time to be complacent, or to give in to frustrations and refuse to vote or participate in the process.

    “This year certainly has gravitas and impact, and interestingly, too, it really comes at the tipping point,” Malcolm Lazin, the founder of Equality Forum, told Philly.com.

    He added, “It’s important in terms of both pushing back against those who would want to reverse the progress that’s been made and also to set the agenda for the future.”