The Most Important Election of Our Time by Derek Washington

Barack Obama, Meet and Greet the Candidates, Nevada Stonewall — By on November 5, 2012 11:41 pm


Hi Stonewall.

Isn’t it funny how every election is, “the most important of our lives”? Well, folks, this one actually is.

Since Barack Obama has been in office the LGBT community has gone from being the folks better left offstage to a respected and equal member of the Democratic Party family. If he is not reelected, we’re screwed. I would use another word, but, you know the one I want to say. The Republicans have made it clear that they will reverse every single thing the President has done for us and make it that much harder for us to be equal to our fellow citizens.

This election is about our civil rights. When the President is reelected we will be sure of having a friend to help us achieve what we want, full equality.

We shall overcome.

But, the President can’t help us, or our great friends, the DREAMers, without a team in Washington to help him pass a progressive agenda that will not only help us, but will also help our brothers and sisters in the labor movement, the folks over at Planned Parenthood, DREAMers, the environmentalists, teachers, and people like myself (HIV positive since 2006) who were pre-existing conditions before President Barack Obama came along. Indulge me while I tell you about the great Battle Born folks that we need to send to Washington to help our President.

Shelley Berkley is not just a friend of our community. Shelley is family. Throughout her time as our Congresswoman, Shelley has been there for us either sponsoring or signing every single piece of legislation that has been important to moving our community forward on the path to full equality. She was one of the first to call for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and has repeatedly called for the end of the only piece of discrimination to be enshrined in our glorious Constitution, the heinous DOMA. Congresswoman Berkley must become SENATOR Berkley this election day. Once she is our Junior Senator, we will have two friends on the floor of the Senate, Shelley and our own Senator Harry Reid who has been there for us through thick and thin these last few years. Vote Berkley!

Without John Oceguera in Carson City, Nevada would not have some of the most progressive pro-equality laws in the nation. As Speaker of the Nevada Assembly, John was the one who shepherded legislation forward that makes us the envy of LGBT activists all over the country. He is not a bellicose man who trumpets his work. If anything he is that rare breed of a humble man who is also a good man and a superb public servant. The alternative is a man who actually rails against government while having made his living from the same government his entire life. This man is against everything we hold dear as we head towards full equality and must be stopped by our friend, John Oceguera. But, John can’t stop him unless we make sure and elect him on November 6th. Vote Oceguera!

I smile every time I think of the hardest working woman in Nevada politics, Dina Titus. From her trademark, “HI! I’m Dina Titus!”, to her friendly smile, Dina always lets you know she’s one of us. Just plain folks. Let me tell you when I knew Dina was the real deal. It could not have been two days after she lost her race in 2010 that Dina was back out in the thick of things. No one would have been surprised or upset with her if she had taken time off or sulked for a minute. Not Dina. I guess if you’ve ever met Momma Titus you probably understand why taking time off and sulking was not an option for Dina. She got right back in the groove and for two solid years she has been in our community at every event from small to large. And here’s the best part, mo one is ever tired of hearing her speak because she actually believes what she’s saying and takes you on the road to a true Blue Nevada with her. If all politicians were like Dina more people would have a better opinion of politics. I am actually going to be a little selfish here, I am over the moon that I live in Dina’s district and got to vote for her. I know that I am going to have a truly great representative in Washington and can’t wait for her to get there and have the President’s back. Vote Titus!

Steven Horsford did something very unusual when he began his quest to not only be elected to represent Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District but also to make history by being Nevada’s first African American Congressman. He went to Clark County’s Chairman, Chris Miller (the first Gay Chairman of a county party in Nevada’s history and a Stonewall board member, thank you very much!), and asked Chris who he should go and talk to amongst the party’s activists. This NEVER happens. Most politicians think they know more than those of us in the trenches and surround themselves with “experts” who often don’t know Jack. I said it. Steven listened to people and found out what they wanted in a Congressman and how he could help strengthen the base of the Democratic Party in Nevada. I am proud to say he spoke to several Stonewall board members along with a wide variety of the party faithful. Most importantly, he truly listened. As Majority Leader of the Nevada Senate, Steven has been our friend forging ahead with a truly progressive agenda and helping our community achieve rights that only a few years ago would have been deemed impossible. Senator Horsford’s Republican opponent is plain and simple a damn fool. I said it. He is the type of guy who swears he had a home run even though he was born on third base and got walked in to the plate. The only thing “Baby Tark’ has going for him is his father’s last name and some duplicitous Negroes who are putting aside that this man thinks Blacks will vote for him because his father was a basketball coach for their own personal gain. They will have to explain themselves to the Black community after Senator Horsford is elected, but in the meantime, we need to get the word out to everyone in CD4, Vote Horsford!

Fellow Stonewallers, we have a lot to be proud of. from our work in getting Huntridge Park reopened and helping get DADT repealed (both with the help of our DREAMer friends.) to working hard to reelect Senator Reid and putting the brakes on Las Vegas money going to support the “Kill The Gays” bill in Uganda. We have Pastor Pat Spearman as our Vice-Chair who in a few weeks will be going to Carson City as the first ever Lesbian State Senator in Nevada’s history. As I mentioned earlier, our Treasurer, Chris Miller, is in charge of leading the largest group of Democrats in the state. Christopher Preciado is not only our club Secretary, but also, the youngest delegate at our recent national convention. We are truly an exceptional group of diverse people and I am very proud of that. We are racially diverse and our board has both straight and Gay serving. Our Director of communications, Laura Martin has done such a good job that our State of the Union watch party was covered by every media outlet in the city and when the war in Iraq ended FOX News came to Stonewall for a quote! Our Political Director, Andrew Davey, is a nationally known blogger and the smartest political mind in Nevada and our Membership Chair, Sandy Eddy keeps us all in line with her inimitable homespun advice.

When I took over from the great Chandler Levrich, the club was basically a few people sitting around a card table. Now, Stonewall is nationally known as a force in Democratic Party politics. Chandler trusted me to take the club forward. I am proud to say I found the right folks who did just that. This is my last election as Chairman of this great organization (“Club” seems too small a word.). I am not term limited, but, I think it’s always best to leave while they’re still wanting an encore. I know that there are younger and hella enthusiastic people of all ages who want to take Stonewall to even greater heights. I can’t wait to sit back and watch. Did I mention, I’m tired? So, come February the torch will be passed and Stonewall will become even better than it is now. Thank you for supporting us.

Now, go out and elect Democrats!

With much love,

Derek Washington
Chairman Stonewall Democrats of Southern Nevada

Our Stonewall Voter Guide http://nevadastonewalldemocrats.com/2012/10/stonewall-voter-guide-2/

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