STONEWALL DEMOCRATIC CLUB MEMBERSHIP MEETING - 09/25/17 - WITH GUEST SPEAKER VITALY

Stonewall's General Membership Meeting is next Monday 09/25 at 6:30 PM in West Hollywood Library's Community Room at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood CA 90048. 

Stonewall will be holding an endorsement vote for the next LACDP Chair and, potentially, other upcoming elections. We will also be having a special program featuring LAUSD educator and student advocate Vitaly!

Our guest speaker Vitaly will be discussing how schools can become safer spaces for LGBTQ students, teachers, and staff. We invite you to come to our meeting to be a part of this critical discussion on education policy and the challenges facing LGBTQ youth.

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STATEMENT BY STONEWALL DEMOCRATIC CLUB ON THE SUSPENSION OF DACA

The Stonewall Democratic Club condemns the Trump Administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. Since its inception in 2012, DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people who have grown up in America to continue to contribute to the only nation they have ever known.

Stonewall President, Lester Aponte, said: “In the never-ending parade of horrors that has marked Mr. Trump’s tenure in the White House this is one of the most heinous and harmful acts yet. The Dreamers are an integral part of American society. They are our neighbors, our classmates, our co-workers and, for many, our family. There are, of course, many Dreamers who are also LGBTQ. But their plight matters to us, not just for that reason, but because we are all Americans and the cruelty that is being visited upon them affects all of us.”

We call upon Congress to immediately enact legislation protecting the Dreamers from deportation or and allowing them to continue working and/or studying in the US. And we urge all Americans to lend them a helping hand. 
The Immigration Legal Resource Center has issued the following Community Advisory for current beneficiaries of the DACA program:https://www.ilrc.org/…/def…/files/resources/if_daca_ends.pdf
Additional resources are available through immigrant rights organizations throughout the country.

El Club Democrático Stonewall condena la decisión de la Administración Trump de poner fin al Programa de Acciones Diferidas por Llegadas de la Niñez (DACA). Desde su creación en 2012, DACA ha permitido a cientos de miles de jóvenes, que han vivido en los Estados Unidos todas sus vida vivir y trabajar y contribuir abiertamente a la única nación que han conocido.

El presidente de Stonewall, Lester Aponte, dijo: "En el interminable desfile de horrores que ha marcado el mandato de Trump en la Casa Blanca, éste es uno de los actos más atroces y dañinos. Los Soñadores son una parte integral de la sociedad Americana. Son nuestros vecinos, nuestros compañeros de clase, nuestros compañeros de trabajo y, para muchos, nuestra familia. Hay, por supuesto, muchos Soñadores que también son LGBTQ. Pero su situación es importante para nosotros, no sólo por esa razón, sino porque todos somos Estadounidenses y la crueldad con la que se le ha tratado a ellos nos afecta a todos."

Hacemos un llamamiento al Congreso para que promulgue inmediatamente legislación que proteja a los Soñadores de la deportación y que les permita continuar trabajando y / o estudiando en los Estados Unidos. E instamos a todos los Estadounidenses a que les presten ayuda.

El Centro de Recursos Legales de Inmigración ha emitido la siguiente Consulta Comunitaria para los beneficiarios actuales del programa DACA: https://www.ilrc.org/…/def…/files/resources/if_daca_ends.pdf

Recursos adicionales están disponibles a través de organizaciones de derechos de los inmigrantes en todo el país.

 


 

Stonewall Membership Meeting with Special Guest Speaker Michaela Mendelsohn and AD51 Endorsement Vote

     Monday August 28, 2017, 6:30 PM

     New Meeting Location: West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room

                                       625 N. San Vicente Blvd., 2nd Floor

                                       West Hollywood CA 90069

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STONEWALL DECRIES TRUMP’S BAN ON TRANSGENDER SERVICE MEMBERS

 

August 28, 2017

 

On Friday Aug. 25, Donald Trump released a memo, directing the U.S. military to ban recruitment of transgender individuals. He also ordered discrimination against existing transgender service members by prohibiting the military from spending money on medical care associated with transition and giving the Secretary of Defense wide latitude to limit the roles in which transgender individuals may serve, leaving the door open to an outright ban.

 

This order is a follow-up on July tweet in which Trump announced his intention to bar transgender individuals from military service.  Although the order is made to appear less draconian than Trump’s original tweet, it’s intent and effect are the same--to drive capable transgender service members out of the United States military.

 

Trump’s directive is unconstitutional and harms our military. It is disruptive to the lives of transgender active duty service members and to the units in which they serve. The military is weakened when its doors are closed to heroic transgender individuals who desire to serve their country in the armed forces. As per usual, this action by Trump is bigotry, plain and simple.

 

Stonewall President Lester F. Aponte said, "This administration's cruelty knows no bounds. There is no justification to ban patriotic Americans who are qualified to serve our nation from doing so. Mr. Trump chooses to curry favor with the extreme right without any regard for the incalculable harm it will cause to thousands of Americans and their families."

 

“We're banned from bathrooms, we’re banned from professional spaces, and now we're being banned from the military,” said Ashlee Marie Preston, Stonewall Transgender Affairs Chair.

 

Treating transgender service members differently than their cisgender peers is an unconstitutional violation of their rights as citizens to equal protection and due process. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) have filed a lawsuit to stop Trump’s order from going into effect. They represent five accomplished service members with nearly 60 years of combined military service whose ability to serve this country has been undermined by Trump’s order.

 

“This is a senseless and unprecedented attack on dedicated service members who have played by the rules,” said Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director. “Trump’s ban is about politics, not military policy, and it will make our country less secure.”

 

Stonewall strongly supports legal challenges to this order by transgender service members, including the lawsuit spearheaded by NCLR and GLAD.

 

Our military leaders support equal treatment of transgender service members. “I led our armed forces under the flawed ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ policy and saw firsthand the harm to readiness and morale when we fail to treat all service members according to the same standards,” said former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. “Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women and deny them the medical care that they require.”

 

While Trump’s directive shortchanges transgender service members, transgender individuals are making a disproportionate contribution to military service.  According to a 2014 study by the UCLA Williams Institute, transgender people are nearly twice as likely to serve in the military as their cisgender counterparts. Trump’s ban on recruitment of transgender individuals will prevent the military from accessing a valuable pool of dedicated volunteers.

 

Lt. Taylor Miller is one of the first openly transitioning members of the Coast Guard. Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft voiced support for his transgender officers: "I told Taylor I will not turn my back… We have made an investment in you and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith."

A new study by the PALM Center, co-authored by Professors at the Naval Postgraduate School, estimates that discharging transgender troops would blow a $960 million hole in the military budget. Transitional health coverage for transgender service members, meanwhile, is a miniscule drop in the $600 billion military budget.A RAND Study finds that transgender military care costs as little as $2.4 million to $8.4 million and that inclusion of transgender service members in units actually improved military effectiveness.

 

Trump did not act out of concern for the military. The impetus was purely political. Firebrand anti-LGBTQ House conservatives, who were unable to muster sufficient support in the House for the discriminatory policy, pressured Trump to make the decision as an executive order.

 

In making this order, Trump willingly sacrifices the wellbeing of service members and the nation to gain political support from the far right. Stonewall calls upon Congress to take bipartisan and immediate action to protect the rights of transgender service members and to block Trump’s politicized meddling into military personnel matters.

 


 

Thank you to Everyone who Made Our Summer BBQ a Smashing Success!

We were proud to honor State Senator Scott Wiener and are extremely thankful to our generous hosts, the family of Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer.

Food for the event was generously provided by Paul DuMont.   

 

Thank you to our Generous BBQ Sponsors for Making the Event Possible!

Gold Sponsors: Paul DuMont, LA City Controller Ron Galperin, and West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman; and National Union of Health Care Workers.

Silver Sponsors: LA City Attorney Mike FeuerLA City Councilmember David Ryuand State Senator Anthony Portantino.

Stonewaller Sponsors: Assemblymember Richard Bloom; CA25 Congressional Candidate Bryan Caforio; Paul DuMont; LACCD Board Member and Assembly District 51 candidate Mike Fong, U.S. Senate Candidate Pat HarrisWest Hollywood City Council Member Lindsey Horvath; CA39 Congressional Candidate Andy Thorburn; former School Board Member and Assembly District 51 Candidate David Vela; Stonewall VP of Operations Steve Bott; Stonewall Political VP Jane Wishon; and Stonewall President Lester Aponte.


Thank you to All the Candidates and Elected Officials in Attendance!

Notable elected officials in attendance included State Senators Ed HernandezAnthony Portantino and Scott Wiener; State Assemblymembers Richard BloomLaura FriedmanReggie Jones-Sawyer, and Sebastian Ridley-Thomas; Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang; Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer; Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin; Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin; West Hollywood Councilmembers John Heilman and Lindsey Horvath; Baldwin Park Mayor Pro Tem and candidate for SD22 Susan Rubio; LACCD Trustee and AD51 Candidate Mike Fong; LACCD Trustee and Board of Equalization Candidate Scott Svonkin; Garvey USD Trustee Henry Lo; and Culver City USD Trustee Kathy Paspalis.

Candidates in attendance included U.S. Senate Candidate Pat Harris; LG Candidate Sen. Ed HernandezCA25 Candidates Bryan Caforio and the staff for candidate Katie Hill; CA39 Candidate Andy Thorburn; AD54 Candidate Steve Dunwoody; AD51 Candidates Ron BirnbaumAlex de OcampoMike Fongand Luis Lopez.

 

Thank you also to the Stonewall BBQ Organizing Team!

Taylor Bazley led up the BBQ efforts along with Community VP Amanda Smash Hyde and Stonewall President Lester AponteGarry Shay supervised the grill. Drexel Heard, Stonewall’s Membership Chair, managed check-in. Thank you, also, to our bartender Marc Hudson.

Thanks, also, to Ryan BashamNicholas BloomDebi EvansSean KolodjiMargaret SmithNadia SuttonA. Lee Walkup, Rick WattsAlec White, and all the other volunteers who made the barbecue a success!

 


 

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 STATEMENT BY STONEWALL DEMOCRATIC CLUB

ON TRUMP'S EFFORT TO BAN TRANSGENDER SERVICE MEMBERS FROM THE MILITARY

 

Transgender service members who have shown their commitment to protecting our freedoms deserve only commendation for their dedication to our country.

In a tweetstorm this morning, President Trump announced that our transgender patriots would no longer be allowed to serve “in any capacity” in the U.S. military. This action is an affront to the dignity of our transgender service members. It is also harmful to our country’s national security interests.

The politically motivated attack on our active service members by Trump and Congressional Republicans reverses inclusionary steps taken by the Obama Administration, which established a policy that service members “can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender.”

The Stonewall Democratic Club stands united against the Trump Administration's discriminatory policies targeting our communities.  Steve Dunwoody, a Senior Advisor to Vote Vets and a member of Stonewall Democratic Club’s steering committee said, “This bigoted attempt to bar transgender Americans from service in the Armed Forces is a smack in the face to the more than 7,000 transgender people currently serving here and abroad. This comes on the heels of the 69th anniversary of the desegregation of the military by President Truman.”

“We're banned from bathrooms, we’re banned from professional spaces, and now we're being banned from the military. The objective of this hate policy is to ban us from every space within society until we cease to exist,” said Ashlee Marie Preston, Stonewall Transgender Affairs Chair.

Stonewall President Lester Aponte said, “The Stonewall Democratic Club condemns this regressive, mean-spirited policy and pledges to fight to reverse it in every way we can.  And we urge our community, and all Americans, to speak out for our transgender citizens, who are daily marginalized, brutalized and rejected.”

The Stonewall Democratic Club demands that transgender service members be allowed to continue their service and, furthermore, insists that the military begin active recruitment of transgender individuals who are willing and ready to serve. We call on Congress to take immediate action to protect the rights of all Americans to serve in our armed forces.  

 

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CONGRATULATIONS TO NEWLY ELECTED STONEWALL OFFICERS

On July 24, 2017, the membership of the Stonewall Democratic Club elected new officers.

Lester F. Aponte is Stonewall's newly elected President and Amanda Smash Hyde and Sean Kolodji were elected to VP positions, joining Jane Wishon and Steve Bott who are staying on in their VP roles. Reuben Zadeh was elected Controller and Sam Frank will continue to serve as Secretary. 

Taylor Bazley and Craig Scott were elected to male at-large positions along with Jerilyn Stapleton and Nadia Sutton.

 

Below is the Stonewall Democratic Club's newly elected executive board:

 

President - Lester Aponte

VP, Operations - Steve Bott

VP, Political - Jane Wishon

VP, Community - Amanda Smash Hyde

VP, Communications - Sean Kolodji

Controller - Reuben Zadeh

Secretary - Sam Frank

Male-at-Large - Taylor Bazley & Craig Scott

Female-at-Large - Jerilyn Stapleton & Nadia Sutton

 

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