The Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus (TSDC) announced that it will present three awards at its Second Biennial Statewide Conference in Austin on March 6. The awards will recognize a TSDC member for outstanding leadership, a local Stonewall Democrats chapter for its political achievements and a politician for her advocacy of LGBT equality in the Texas Legislature.

The awards will be presented during a Sunday brunch featuring keynote speaker Mara Keisling, a nationally known transgender activist and executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

And the honorees are …

Brad Pritchett, a young grassroots LGBT activist from Houston, will be the recipient of the Buck Massey Legacy of Leadership Award, named after Lester “Buck” Massey, a beloved LGBT Democratic leader from Dallas who died in 2007.

Brad Pritchett

Brad is the Director of Communications for the Houston Stonewall Young Democrats (HSYD) and has assumed leadership roles in all other aspects of HSYD’s political work. He developed a new version of the HSYD website, streamlined electronic communications with members, established a Twitter account and increased Facebook presence for the chapter. He also spearheaded HSYD’s candidate screening, block walking, phone banking and fundraising activities. In 2010, Brad helped organize a retreat for Stonewall Young Democrats across the state. He is also fundraising co-chair for the Houston GLBT Political Caucus and volunteers his time with other charitable causes in the Houston area. A native of Houston and a 6th generation Texan, Brad is the Principal of Media Works Houston, providing communication design and consultation to progressive organizations and campaigns. In August 2010 he married his partner of 10 years, Noel Freeman, at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. They reside in the Houston Heights where they are raising a rambunctious beagle named CJ.

Stonewall Democrats of the Rio Grande Valley (SDRGV) will be presented the Roberto J Flores Club Achievement Award, named in memory of a beloved LGBT Democratic leader from San Antonio who died in 2010.

Founded in 2009, the chapter has grown to 64 members that include straight allies in addition to LGBT members. In its short history, the chapter has done more than any other group to raise LGBT awareness in the lower Rio Grande Valley, a region that is heavily Democratic and Hispanic but also culturally conservative. In 2010, SDRGV hosted the first ever LGBT Political Forum at South Texas College and hosted an event to rally the LGBT vote prior to the 2010 midterm elections. It has collaborated with the local Democratic Party and other groups to host political and fundraising events. SDRGV’s political impact was felt when 13 of its members were elected delegates to the 2010 State Democratic Convention and served on committees that resulted in the adoption of key LGBT resolutions and platform language on the convention floor.

State Senator Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, will be honored with the Lone Star Equality Advocate Award. Davis is considered a strong ally of the LGBT community.

Wendy Davis

She represents District 10, which encompasses large portions of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. She was elected state senator in 2008 with the support of Fort Worth and Dallas area LGBT groups and was the only Democrat to unseat an incumbent Republican state senator that year. Prior to being elected to the Legislature, Davis served nine years on the Fort Worth City Council. She is an attorney and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. After the Rainbow Lounge gay bar was raided by Fort Worth police and agents from the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC) in the early morning hours of June 28, 2009, the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Davis and other elected officials immediately called for an investigation. In the current legislative session, Davis has introduced SB 245, a bill that would prevent bullying, including cyber-bullying, in Texas public schools.

For information about the TSDC Conference, including how to register and to make hotel room reservations, visit the TSDC website at www.texasstonewalldemocrats.org.