With National Stonewall Democrats ‘struggling,’ Dallas chapter marks its 15th anniversary

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will celebrate its 15th anniversary tonight, during the group’s regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Ojeda’s on Maple Avenue.

“October marks the 15th anniversary when founders Bill Fry, Christy Kinsler, Gary Fitzsimmons & Michael Milliken gathered in a living room and created our organization,” the group wrote in an email Monday. “I don’t know if they realized where we would be today, but I sure am glad they did it! A warm hearted thank you to our founders, and especially to each and every one of you who has made SDD grow and develop into what we are today!”

Featured speakers at tonight’s meeting will be Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippens-Poole, who’ll talk about the new voter ID law, and County Democratic Party Executive Director Steve Tillery, who’ll talk about constitutional amendments on the November ballot. And yes, there will be cake!

Meanwhile, National Stonewall Democrats Michael Mitchell announced his resignation Monday after two years in the position. Mitchell, almost laid off earlier this year due to budget problems, told Metro Weekly the national group is “struggling” to raise money due to the bad economy and the fact that the mainstream Democratic Party has become so pro-LGBT. National Stonewall currently has only six of 15 board positions filled (including Erin Moore of Dallas), but the group’s leaders insist there’s still a place for the organization — largely because of the 70 local chapters like Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. From interim executive director Jerame Davis: “It doesn’t matter how good the DNC is on LGBT issues, if, for instance, the Democratic Party in Mississippi is horrible and they elect a Democrat to Congress that doesn’t care about the LGBT community. The work is never-ending, regardless of how things might look in Washington or however many successes we might have on a national level, there’s still a lot of work to be done in the various states.”

 

—  John Wright

Local briefs • 12.03.10

National Stonewall leader to attend Dallas group’s holiday party

Michael Mitchell, the new executive director of National Stonewall Democrats, will be the special guest at the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ annual holiday party Monday, Dec. 6, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Round-Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs Road. The program begins at 7 p.m., and the event is free and open to everyone.

The event will include a holiday basket auction, and proceeds will be divided between Stonewall Democrats and Youth First Texas’ anti-bullying and suicide prevention efforts.

There will also be an auction where participants can bid on a lunch with their favorite elected official from among the list of elected officials who have signed up to participate. And Stonewall Democrats will be collecting donations of toiletry items for clients at Legacy Founders Cottage, a hospice for people with HIV/AIDS. Legacy clients need paper towels, laundry detergent, latex and nitrile gloves, men’s socks, new men’s underwear, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, disposable razors and shaving cream, tissues, body lotion and baby powder.

Stonewall Democrats will also present its annual awards to members, allies and elected officials. Nominees for the “Distinguished Democrat” award are Judge-Elect Tonya Parker, Dallas County District Attorney Gary Fitzsimmons, Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia and Judge Carl Ginsberg.

Nominees for the Buck Massey Member of the Year Award are Pamela Curry, Michael Wetter, Laurie McClurg and Tony McMullen. Nominees for Ally Organization of the Year are the Dallas County Democratic Party, Equality Texas, Preston Hollow Democrats and the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance. And nominees for the Pink Pump Award are Dallas City Councilwoman Delia Jassa, Judge Elizabeth Crowder, Judge-elect Tina Yoo and George Freeman.

Bill Fry and Darryl Sanchez will be presented with the P.L. Moore Philanthropist Award, and Stonewall Democrats President Erin Moore will present the Board Member of the Year Award.

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas elected new officers at the organization’s Nov. 16 meeting. They are Omar Narvaez, president; Michael Wetter, vice president; Phyllis Guest, secretary and Mike McCue, treasurer. Outgoing officers are President Erin Moore, Vice President Jay Narey and Secretary Kenneth Denson.
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Round-Up holding benefit for Resource Center food pantry

Demand is up and donations are down at Resource Center Dallas’ food pantry for people with HIV/AIDS. So to help bring donations up to the level of demand, the Round-Up Saloon will host a raffle during Retro Sunday, beginning at 7 p.m. Anyone who brings at least three non-perishable food items to donate to the pantry will get a free raffle ticket for a drawing for a new DVD player. Movie tickets and other prizes will also be raffled off during the evening.
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Tarrant Area Food Bank offers to send holiday cards for donors

Sending holiday greeting cards can be such a chore. But now there’s a way to let somebody else do the tedious part, while at the same time donating to a worthy cause.

Just send a donation and a list of up to 20 recipients to the Tarrant Area Food Bank, and the food bank will mail out special cards — hand-addressed and stamped — to those on the list.

The 5-inch-by-7-inch cards say “Season’s Greetings” on the front and have a special holiday recipe from Chef Blaine Staniford with Grace Restaurant in Fort Worth inside the front cover. The message inside reads: “Thanks for making eating a part of everyone’s holiday season. A gift has been made in your honor to Tarrant Area Food Bank by ___________.”

Deadline to participate is Friday, Dec. 10. There is no minimum donation required.

TAFB officials said all information and mailing lists remain strictly confidential. Capital One has helped underwrite the cost of the project so that all donations go directly to helping feed North Texans in need.

Tarrant Area Food Bank has 300 partner agencies, including the food pantry at AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County, which provides food for people with HIV/AIDS.

TAFB officials said those agencies have seen the need for food assistance grow by 40 percent over the previous two years.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 3, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens