Steering Committee


Stephen David SimonStephen David Simon


Stephen David Simon is a Principal in the Los Angeles office of The Raben Group, specializing in policy development, strategic planning, direct lobbying, coalition building, grass-tops campaigns, political counsel and strategic communications. This is a natural extension of his career in law and progressive public policy.

Simon devoted eight years as the AIDS Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles.  The City’s fifth AIDS Coordinator since 1989, he was responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of City HIV/AIDS policies and programs, advising the Mayor and City Council on HIV/AIDS issues, and development of City initiatives to fund prevention activities and support services for people living with HIV.

Stephen was a founding attorney of the HIV & AIDS Legal Services Alliance (HALSA), and served as Associate Director, Government Affairs for AIDS Project Los Angeles.  Stephen is currently President of Stonewall Democratic Club, an Executive Board member of the Jordan Rustin Coalition, Chair of Public Policy for the Los Angeles County HIV Commission, an advisory board member for Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, and a member of the community advisory board for the UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment.

Mr. Simon received his Juris Doctorate and Bachelors degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).





Vice President, Political Action









Lester F. AponteLester F. Aponte

Vice President, Membership

Lester F. Aponte is Senior Counsel with the law firm of  Young, Zinn & Bate, LLP, where he specializes in the representation and counseling of employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Lester has been a proud Angelino for over 20 years.

Lester has been a member of Stonewall's Steering Committee since 2008.  He is a founding member and a member of the Board of the Latino Equality Alliance, and a member of the Board of Love Honor Cherish, a Los Angeles-based marriage equality organization.  He also formerly served as Regional President and Chair of the LGBT Committee of the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Lester received a B.A. degree in Political Science from Haverford College in 1986 and a J.D. degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 1989.Marilyn Grunwald has been a member of SDC for about 15 years, and very active in the last five.



Garry ShayGarry Shay


Garry Shay - Past President, and currently serving as Parliamentarian, Stonewall Democratic Club.  Member:  DNC Executive Committee, DNC, and both the DNC and CDP LGBT Caucii.

Co-Publisher CA DNC Press Democrat.  Member for eighteen (18) years of DNC Rules and Bylaws (1994 - 2012).

Lead Chair CDP Rules Committee (Committee Member since 1979 and Chair since 1981).  Workers' Compensation Attorney.

Partnered 31 years to husband, Burt B. Belant.  Guardian of two dachshunds, "Xena" and "J.D".


Charles Taylor


Charles Taylor is Controller for the Stonewall Democratic Club. Charles is a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, and a longtime supporter of progressive Democratic candidates, causes and issues. 

Charles is a community activist, attorney, veteran and member of the United States Army Reserve JAG Corps.  Shortly after passage of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010, Charles led a region wide training effort, through his Army Reserve unit, related to implementing the new policy. 

In addition to his diverse background of professional, military and community experiences and activities, Charles believes passionately in protecting the rights of the most vulnerable populations.  Charles supports efforts to increase funding and resources for California’s court system, pro bono programs and community service activities that provide critical services and benefits to members of vulnerable groups.

Charles is honored to serve as Controller for the Stonewall Democratic Club because the organization is a vital resource involved at all levels of the political process to protect the rights of the LGBT community.

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