By Stephanie Sandberg, Executive Director, LPAC
Why does it already feel like a distant memory, the euphoria that followed the passage of gay marriage, a feeling of general acceptance for the LGBTQ community, and under our first African American president, the sense that as a society we were finally integrating and moving forward together? It’s like an oasis, in reverse. Or is it a nightmare?
It’s both. This administration’s blunt (and subtle) attacks on LGBTQ protections threaten not only past progress, but future enhancement of those protections, nationally. Trump has erased references to LBTQ people from federal web sites; reversed protections for trans prisoners, setting them up to be victims of increased brutality – and tried to ban trans soldiers from the military. He also supported the majority of states that still refuse to adopt anti-discrimination policies that would protect and provide equal opportunity to LGBTQ persons at work, at the bank, at the cake shop, and at home. The Republican Congress and many conservative office-holders, from state legislators to county clerks, aid and abet this agenda. Legislative leaders in Oklahoma just decided that it’s OK to bar LGBTQ couples from adopting. Needy children will go without loving homes, and these parents’ hopes unfulfilled. Are we becoming Trump country?
We are not, but the only way to be certain is by stopping these trends, and bringing back a progressive agenda. How? At the ballot box. To create change, you need to elect people who can change things.
LPAC is doing all it can to help elect candidates – particularly LGBTQ women – who share our values: LGBTQ and women’s equality, women’s health, and social justice. Seattle’s mayor Jenny Durkan sets the standard, while role-modeling for LGBTQ women and girls everywhere a visible presence of a lesbian in power. A major city has never seemed so welcoming!
Much of the rest of the country still needs help. For those of you who haven’t yet been engaged politically, it’s time to lean in, and become change-makers; you do not want to look back in November, let alone in 2020, without knowing that you did your part. LPAC is the platform that will help you do that best.
Founded in 2012 by a group of LGBTQ women seeking to create a place, and voice, at the power table for our community, LPAC is the only organization whose mission is to build the political power of LGBTQ women. We do this by endorsing candidates, investing in candidates, and executing on independent initiatives, such as message-based campaigns. We’ve raised more than $4.5 million, and endorsed more than 100 candidates – 14 so far this primary season. But we can do so much more. Our goal is to engage a broad representation of LGBTQ women across the country – more women of color, young, old, middle- aged (that’s me), allies – in the fight. Together, we can are a force to be reckoned with – and of course, a force for good.
If you’d like to join the team, please visit www.teamlpac.com. Let’s do this together.
Stephanie Sandberg brings a diverse set of business, political and organizing experience to LPAC. Most recently she was Managing Director of OUT leadership, the first global business providing companies ‘Return on Equality’ by helping them optimize their strategic LGBTQ inclusion efforts. She also helped build and launched “OL-iQ,” the first tool to provide a comprehensive diagnosis and specific recommendations for increasing business impact via LGBT inclusion. Finally, as Director of OutWOMEN — the first initiative to connect and promote LGBTQ women executives globally — Stephanie facilitated networking, research and communications designed to champion and spotlight this under-recognized community. Prior to her work with Out Leadership Stephanie served in a variety of executive leadership roles in media and consulting, from the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and the New Yorker to The New Republic, where she served as President and Publisher.