The Agenda

Victory Fund endorses 7 more out candidates for 2009

Now only two months into 2009, the Victory Fund has endorsed seven more candidates, bringing the year’s total number of endorsees to 17. These endorsees include Shane Cohn, a 28-year-old first-time candidate running for the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, and Robert Garcia, who seeks a seat on the Long Beach, CA City Council.

Here’s a run-down of the new round of endorsements:

Shane Cohn – St. Louis Board of Aldermen

Shane Cohn is young, motivated and ready to serve the people of St. Louis as the next alderman for District 25. The 28-year-old Cohn has already acquired valuable experience that defies his years. He currently serves on the board of the local neighborhood business association as well as on the board of the National Conference for Community and Justice in St. Louis — one of the oldest and most respected human relations organizations in the area.

Robert Garcia – Long Beach City Council

Currently a faculty member and dean of student affairs at Long Beach City College, Robert is one of six candidates vying for a a seat on the Long Beach City Council. Despite all his competition, Robert has emerged as the front runner because of his ability to pick up key endorsements and raise money. This is a major opportunity for the LGBT community. If elected, Robert would become the second openly gay person (along with Gerry Schipske) to serve on the body.

John Duran– West Hollywood City Council

During his eight years on the West Hollywood City Council, John has engaged in vocal pro-LGBT activism. A former board president of Equality California, he helped lead the fundraising efforts to defeat Proposition 8. In January, he received the 2009 Keeper of the Dream Award by the City of West Hollywood for his “extraordinary leadership in bringing to light the struggles of various groups in West Hollywood through advocacy for civil and human rights, especially marriage equality.”

Anthony Niedwiecki – Oakland Park, Florida City Commission

Anthony is a law professor and an outspoken LGBT advocate who also serves as vice president and co-founder of a national LGBT organization called Fight OUT Loud, a which helps LGBT individuals who face discrimination. He assisted in an effort to have anti-gay Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle removed from office and worked with the local transgender community to expand local anti-discrimination efforts. Anthony is a strong fundraiser, a passionate gay-rights advocate and has a solid team behind him.

Scott Hall – Jacksonville City Council Alderman

Scott Hall cares deeply for his community in Jacksonville — and the residents know it. Based on his extensive community involvement, several local leaders actively encouraged him to run for the seat on the Jacksonville Board of Aldermen. In addition to his support for the community at-large, Scott has also worked for the LGBT community. He’s actively lobbied his state legislator to create civil unions in Illinois and asked the local government to add sexual orientation to Jacksonville’s anti-discrimination policy, a move he would support as an alderman.

Adam Ebbin – Virginia State House of Delegates

As the only out legislator in the state, Adam Ebbin stands as one of LGBT Virginian’s greatest voices in the fight for equality. Virginia isn’t known for its LGBT-friendly state legislature, but Adam has served as a voice for the community amid a less-than-hospitable environment.  He provides a strong presence in Virginia whose presence is invaluable to LGBT Virginia residents.

Jeffrey Prang – West Hollywood City Council

Mayor Jeff Prang has provided strong leadership on the West Hollywood City Council since 1997. Not only has Jeff supported services for local residents living with HIV/AIDS and supported one of the nation’s first transgender non-discrimination ordinances in the nation, he’s also fought for the rights of all LGBT Californians. Jeff successfully lobbied the state legislature and Board of Equalization to change state legislation to extend domestic partnership benefits to city employees, especially for retirement and medical benefits.