Osborn Wins Endorsement of Stonewall Democrats
January 19th, 2012
Grassroots LGBT Club Backs Osborn Over Rival by 3-1 Margin
WEST HOLLYWOOD – Demonstrating remarkable grassroots strength and popular support, Torie Osborn last night won the coveted endorsement of the historic and powerful West Hollywood-based Stonewall Democratic Club in her bid for the open 50th Assembly District Seat.
Osborn garnered 74% of the vote, besting South Bay Assemblywoman Betsy Butler by nearly 3-1. Of the 209 votes cast at the club’s annual endorsement meeting, Osborn won 154 to 55.
“Stonewall is delighted to throw our full and enthusiastic support behind Torie Osborn,” said Stephen David Simon, president of Stonewall Democrats. “Her background as a community organizer, her experience as a nonprofit executive, and her talent for building coalitions and crafting creative solutions is exactly what we need in Sacramento. From her response to AIDS while running the Gay & Lesbian Center to her work for tax reform with California Calls, Torie sees the big picture and knows how to transform crisis into lasting progressive change.”
Founded in 1975, the West Hollywood club was the first Stonewall Democratic Club anywhere in the country, and was established as a club where the LGBT community and its straight allies could work within the Democratic Party to achieve equality for all and advance progressive and feminist values. The club is one of the largest and most influential in Los Angeles County.
“As someone who spent so much of my life working for equality in the feminist and LGBT movements, and for social justice across all communities, this endorsement means so much to me,” said Osborn. “I am honored and humbled by their support.”
In her remarks to the gathering of more than 200 people last night, Osborn asked the crowd to remember that Harvey Milk had taught that leaders must be “independent and unbought”, that it’s important to “elect our own” and that “Hope will never be silent.”
Prior to the vote, club members heard testimonials on behalf of the candidates. Osborn was praised by former state Senator Sheila Kuehl, who described Osborn as “the real thing,” a long-time LGBT activist with the skills and experience to create change in Sacramento. Kuehl reminded the audience that Osborn’s work spanned the district, from the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center to the Liberty Hill Foundation.
John Cleary, past president of Stonewall, said Osborn was a proven leader on LGBT issues who had skillfully forged coalitions, crafting and fighting for a agenda of social justice and fiscal reform.
“Torie is that rare individual whose thinking and work is always leading edge,” Cleary said. “She was talking about income inequality way before it became popular to do so and working to organize very diverse coalitions across the county while others were staying in their own boxes. She is a leader, a visionary, pragmatic, inclusive and just what we need in these times.”
In recent weeks, Osborn has scored several consecutive endorsements, including: Santa Monica Democratic Club, HONOR PAC, the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley (DP/SFV), the Malibu Democratic Club and the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains.
For more information about the Torie Osborn for Assembly campaign, or to view Torie’s full list of endorsements, click here.
Osborn is acclaimed for her pioneering leadership as an executive at several nonprofit organizations, including the Liberty Hill Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center – both of which are located in the new 50th Assembly District – as well as United Way of Greater LA. Osborn also served as a senior policy advisor on homelessness, poverty and economic development to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. She is currently a senior strategist for California Calls, a network of 25 organizations throughout the state committed to commonsense governance reform.