LPAC – First of Its Kind Lesbian Political Action Committee – Launches Today

PAC to elect pro-lesbian, pro-women candidates to public office in 2012

 

Contact: Sarah Kennedy
skennedy@civitaspublicaffairs.com

 

July 11, 2012—Today a group of activists and donors launched LPAC, the first of its kind lesbian political action committee. The values-based committee sets out to positively influence policies that impact women by electing candidates who champion issues that impact lesbians and their families.

 

“This year we have seen politicians repeatedly support policies that harm women,” said actress and supporter Jane Lynch. “It is important to me to elect leaders who care about issues that impact women and their families. That’s why I support LPAC.”

 

After decades of being a small subset of players in women’s rights and LGBT rights political efforts, the women of LPAC are stepping up to get organized like never before, aiming to give lesbians a real and meaningful seat at the table. With significant resources, LPAC plans to make a true impact for lesbians in the 2012 election cycle and beyond.

 

“Frankly, we created LPAC because we were shocked by this past year,” said LPAC Chair and Treasurer Sarah Schmidt. “Lesbians could no longer stand by and witness continued attacks on reproductive freedoms, marriage equality, and be immersed in a political sphere where women are not given a meaningful voice in politics.”

 

LPAC plans to take advantage of the dramatic window of opportunity that exists to counter this onslaught of attacks by electing strong pro-women candidates to office. LPAC will support candidates who champion a range of issues that impact lesbians and their families, Democrat or Republican, male or female, gay or straight. These values include:

 

-Ending discriminatory treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and their families;

-Protecting access to reproductive freedom and quality healthcare; and,

-Furthering social, racial, and economic justice for all Americans.

 

“Members of the LGBT community are inspirational leaders and role models in every aspect of American life—from education to entertainment, from sports to science,” said sports icon and social justice pioneer Billie Jean King. “The formation of LPAC provides lesbians and the entire LGBT community a new, stronger voice and a real and respected seat at the table when politicians make policy that impacts our lives.”

 

LPAC will give directly to federal candidates and will also engage in key city, state, federal, and ballot campaigns through independent expenditures. LPAC is working with both women’s and LGBT political organizations in order to be most strategic and effective with its resources.

 

“I support LPAC because courageous elected officials who support women’s rights, fairness, and equality for all of us deserve our unconditional support,” said Laura Ricketts, LPAC advisory board member and director and part owner of the Chicago Cubs.

 

Longtime LGBT movement leader, and LPAC advisory board member, who helped spearhead the effort, Urvashi Vaid, said: “I’m involved in starting LPAC because I want to create fresh politics, one in which the lives of ordinary working women and men, LGBT people and people of color matter, and because I believe lesbians must step up and lead in solving our country’s challenges.”

 

For a full list of advisory board members, see below.

 

LPAC is a political action committee dedicated to one goal: influencing elections by giving lesbians a meaningful seat at the political table. www.teamlpac.com

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LPAC Advisory Board

 

Sarah Schmidt – Chicago, IL – Chair and treasurer of LPAC and founder and principal of Sarah Schmidt Consulting, LLC. Schmidt is also actively involved in her family’s third generation business, U.S. Venture, Inc., where she serves on the Board of Directors. From January of 2005 until November of 2011 she served as Family President, responsible for the leadership of the shareholder group. Since 2005, Schmidt has also served as the Director of the U.S. Venture Open, a charitable golf outing dedicated to fighting poverty in Northeast Wisconsin.

 

Valerie Berlin – New York, NY – Co-Founder and Principal at BerlinRosen Public Affairs, a strategic communications and political consulting firm in New York City and Washington, D.C that works with leading issue advocacy, corporate, labor, non-profit and electoral clients at the local, state and federal level.

 

Emily Giske – New York, NY – A government affairs specialist for Bolton-St. Johns, LLC. Giske has extensive knowledge in Albany and New York City and has lobbied for corporations, financial institutions, not-for-profit entities, and local municipalities. Giske was one of the lead lobbyists instrumental in helping New York pass the 2011 Marriage Equality Act.

 

Laura Ricketts – Chicago, IL – Director and part owner of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball Club as well as Chairman of the Board of Chicago Cubs Charities. Ricketts is the first openly gay woman to own an MLB franchise and is co-chair of the DNC’s LGBT Leadership Council and the National Leadership Counsel for Lambda Legal.

 

Alix Ritchie – Fort Lauderdale, FL– Media strategy consultant and former founder, owner, and publisher of the Provincetown Banner, a community newspaper for Cape Cod, and recipient of the New England Press Association Newspaper of the Year Award. Ritchie is also a self-described agitator, political activist, and occasional polemicist.

 

Margaret Traub – Brooklyn, NY – President & CEO of Adesso a company that designs, manufactures, and sells contemporary home décor. Traub and her partner, Phyllis Dicker, sponsor an annual scholarship that awards funds to worthy lesbian college and graduate students. They also sponsor a fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School for students to research gay issues and public policy.

 

Urvashi Vaid – New York, NY – Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School. Vaid is an attorney, writer and longtime leader in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and social justice movements. She is former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and has been a leader for over a decade in several philanthropic organizations.

 

Donna Victoria – Washington, DC – A pollster with over 20 years of experience, Victoria is the founder of Victoria Research & Consulting and has worked on a wide variety of non-discrimination, marriage equality, and political messaging projects for the LGBT community.

 

 

LPAC is a political action committee dedicated to one goal: influencing elections by giving lesbians a meaningful seat at the political table. www.teamlpac.com

 

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