Stonewall Democrats of Western New York:
2013 Democratic Primary Voters Guide
Tuesday, November 5 is the Democratic Primary in New York State
The SDWNY 2013 General Election Voter's Guide is now available.
Click here to view our 2013 Voter's Guide for the best candidates for the LGBTQ and allied community in WNY. A big thank you to all our Stonewall Democrats who are actively involved in our organization and work to create our slate of endorsed candidates.
October 22, 2013
Dear Stonewall Democrats and Allies,
Due to a number of circumstances, our normal monthly meeting, which would have been held tomorrow night, Tuesday, October 21, has been pushed back a week. Our October meeting, and our last meeting before the General Election will be next Tuesday, October 29, at 7PM
SDWNY: October Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, October 29
El Museo Gallery
91 Allen Street
Also, a resounding thank you to everyone who attended and helped make Stonewall Democrats of WNY: Let's Get Out Our Vote 2013 Fall Candidate Reception and Fundraiser a huge success! A heartfelt thank you to all our elected officials, candidates, representatives and members who attended: NYS Sen. Timothy Kennedy, Legislator Tim Hogues, Erie County Sheriff Candidate Dick Dobson, Legislator Lynn Marinelli, Buffalo City Comptroller Mark J F Schroeder, the choice for Erie County Family Court Mary Giallanza Carney, Niagara Falls Councilmember Kristen M. Grandinetti, Buffalo City Court Judge Debra Givens and State Supreme Court Candidate Mark Montour, and to representatives from Congressmember Brian Higgins and NYS Assemblymember Sean Ryan. A big thank you to Jeremy Zellner ECDC Chair, Congressmember Brian Higgins, Niagara Falls Councilmember Kristen Grandinetti, Cynthia Appleton and Julie Christiano for their generous sponsorships of the event. Thank you, thank you to everyone for being a proud and active member of SDWNY-- I am so proud of you all!
Yours in Equality,
This Monday, October 21, 2013, is our annual fall event and fundraiser.
Please join SDWNY for our annual fall fundraiser to celebrate our great slate of the best pro-equality candidates for the LGBTQ and allied community this year in WNY.
Stonewall Democrats of WNY: Let's Get Out Our Vote 2013 Fall Candidate
Reception and Fundraiser
370 Virginia Street
Buffalo, NY 14201
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Light food, and a selection of wine, beer and soda will be served.
$20/person / $35/couple
Sponsorship Levels Available:
| $25/ Ally Sponsorship | $50 / Advocate Sponsorship | $100 Champion Sponsorship
We hope to see you there, as we work to get out our vote for our crucially important races in November for Erie County Sheriff, Erie County Legislature, Erie County Family Court, Jamestown and Niagara Falls City Councils, Erie County Comptroller and more!
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York announces our endorsement of Dick Dobson for Erie County Sheriff.
"On vitally important issues of crime and justice, the Erie County Sheriff's office is one of the highest elected offices in WNY that lacks an informed, understanding official on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexaul, transgender and queer people," said Bryan Ball, president of SDWNY. "This year, we have an opportunity to elect a candidate who will make right all the current Sheriff has done wrong. And that person is Dick Dobson.
Dick Dobson has the intergrity, the experience and the ability to deliver the change we so desperately need in the Sheriff's office. On LGBTQ issues of justice, Dick Dobson possesses an invaluable understanding of our community's needs, and carries a practiced belief that all women, men and people are equal, and should be treated as such under the law and by the justice system. We are proud to support Dick Dobson for Erie County Sheriff."
Dick Dobson is the winner of the Democratic Primary for Erie County Sheriff. In the primary election, SDWNY had endorsed candidate Bert Dunn. For more information on how you can help elect Dick Dobson our next Erie County Sheriff, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Septemeber Monthly Meeting this Tuesday, 9/24
We hope you will join us for our monthly membership meeting, this Tuesday, September 24 at 7 PM. Our agenda will include evluation of the past Primary elections and our fall candidates night fundraiser. We will meet at El Museo Gallery, 91 Allen St, Buffalo.
We will be joined by the winner of the Democratic primary for Erie County Sheriff Dick Dobson.
Agenda available here.
We hope to see you there!
Dear Stonewall Democrats and Allies,
Today, Tuesday, September 10th is the Democratic Primary in New York State. I ask that you join me and our organization in supporting our Democratic candidates in the primary election.
I thank-- so deeply-- each and every one of your who are involved and active in attending meetings, interviewing candidates and making the not always simple decisions as to which candidates will best represent the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. Without your hard work and dedication, we could not do this crucial step in the process of making LGBTQ fully equal under the law a reality.
The election brings us the opportunity to support some amazing candidates. In the Erie County Family Court election, we are supporting Paul Crapsi and Mary Giallanza Carney; two fantastically qualified candidates, who are incredible people who will be needed additions to Family Court. In Niagara County, we are supporting an incredible progressive councilmember for reelection to the Niagara Falls City Council: Kristen Grandinetti. In the Erie County Legislaure elections, we are supporting candidates like Lynn Dearmyer who will bring a fresh, progressive and needed voice to county government; and we are supporting legislators like Lynn Marinelli, Tim Hogues and Betty Jean Grant who are champions for their district communities.
Again, I thank you all for your dedication to and support of the work that is Stonewall Democrats of WNY. Thank you for supporting the best candidates for our community and, as always, I look forward to the work ahead alongside all of you.
SDWNY’s 2013 Endorsed Candidates for the Democratic Primary Election
Erie County Legislature:
Legislator Tim Hogues
Legislator Betty Jean Grant
Legislator Lynn Marinelli *
Erie County Comptroller:
Erie County Family Court (Two open seats):
Mary Giallanza Carney
Erie County Sheriff:
City of Buffalo Mayor:
No endorsement made.
Jamestown City Council:
Council President Greg Rabb *
Niagara Falls City Council:
Councilmember Kristen Grandinetti
*= indicates a race without a Democratic Primary. All candidates in races received endorsement questionnaires and follow up candidate inquiries. Visit www.sdwny.org to view endorsed and non-endorsed candidate questionnaires in their entirety. While responses by all candidates for endorsement are available online, the following candidates also interviewed for endorsement with SDWNY: Dick Dobson, Erie County Sheriff candidate; Bernie Tolbert, candidate for Buffalo Mayor; Joyce Wilson Nixon, candidate Erie County Legislature District 2; Joe Jarzembek, candidate for Erie County Family Court.
As a reminder, our next monthly meeting will be this Tuesday, August 26 at 7PM.
SDWNY AUGUST MONTHLY MEETING
August 26, 2013
El Museo Gallery
91 Allen St
We hope you will join us! Our agenda includes the endorsement interview of Jamestown City Council President Greg Rabb, and Buffalo City Court Candidates Judges Kevin Keane and Debra Givens.
We will also be discussing the Erie County Sheriff's race at our meeting. Both candidates have interviewed before SDWNY; here again are their questionnaires:
-Dick Dobson, EC Sheriff Candidate
-Bert Dunn, EC Sheriff Candidate
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York is proud to announce our endorsement of Kevin Gaughan for Erie County Comptroller. We are thrilled to support the adeptly qualified, progressive and independent campaign that is Gaughan for Comptroller.
“There are few candidates for elected office in WNY who can claim a track record of true, progressive independence in the public eye such as Kevin Gaughan,” said Bryan Ball, president of SDWNY. “Kevin Gaughan is everything which is sorely missing in the Erie County Comptroller’s office. He is financially experienced, has a working, tested and proven knowledge of local government beyond question and has shown himself to be the definition of a proud progressive, fiercely independent activist. As Erie County Comptroller, Kevin will be beholden to no one—no political interest, party or faction—other than the best interests of the taxpayers of Erie County. And he will do so as an unabashed supporter of equality for all. Stonewall is proud to support him.”
For more on how you can help elect Kevin Gaughan Erie County Comptroller, please contact us at email@example.com. SDWNY had previously endorsed Democratic candidate Lynn Szalkowski for EC Comptroller, who has since declined nominating petitions and left the race.
Monthly Meeting this Tuesday!
As a reminder, tonight, Tuesday, July 23 is our monthly meeting. Our agenda is now available, and will include discussion of the Erie County Sheriff, Erie County Comptroller and City of Buffalo Mayoral elections. Also, please note we will be back to meeting at 7PM, now that the majority of our endorsement interviews are over. We hope to see you there!
SDWNY July Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, July 23
El Museo Gallery /91 Allen St, Buffalo
We hope to see you there!
July 18, 2013
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York are proud and thrilled to announce our endorsement of Lynn Dearmyer for the Erie County Legislature District 7. Lynn Dearmyer is the fresh, progressive voice that we need in the Erie County Legislature. A community activist with a proven record of action on many issues—not the least among them advocacy for LGBT equality.
“When Lynn Dearmyer last ran for the Erie County Legislature—and came so very close to winning—Stonewall was proud to support a candidate of her character,” said Bryan Ball, president of SDWNY. “I know that Lynn has the dedicated work ethic and vision that it will take to not only win this new district, but serve the people of the district and Erie County to the best of her ability. Lynn Dearmyer stands for progress, people and the Democratic Majority we need to continue and build on our work within Erie County. We are proud to stand with her.”
For more information on what you can do to help Stonewall help elect Lynn Dearmyer to the Erie County Legislature, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with Lynn to victory in both the Democratic Primary and General elections. Neither of Lynn’s Democratic Primary opponents responded to or requested the endorsement of SDWNY.
July 18, 2013
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York are proud to announce our endorsement of Mike Schraft for Erie County Legislature District 9. Mike Schraft is an immensely welcomed, new, progressive voice for Erie County, who will be a public servant of the highest character.
“Mike Schraft is an absolutely fantastic candidate for the Erie County Legislature,” said SDWNY president, Bryan Ball. “With a record of service that claims the U.S. Air Force, the U.S Peace Corps and the U.S. Department of State, the residents of Hamburg, Blasdell, Lackawanna and South Buffalo—and all of Erie County—will be so very fortunate to elect Mike Schraft our representative. Mike Schraft is a force; a strong, independent and Democratic voice who will make us all proud in the County Legislature.”
For more on what you can do to help Stonewall elect Mike Schraft to the Erie County Legislature, please contact us at email@example.com. We look forward to working with Mike to victory in the General Election.
July 18, 2013
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York announce our endorsement of Tim Hogues for reelection to the Erie County Legislature District 1.
“Since his election, Legislator Hogues has been a great, hard-working representative for the people of his district, not the least of which are the LGBT community,” said Bryan Ball, SDWNY president. “As Legislator, Tim Hogues has listened to the needs of our community and taken action. We look forward to continuing our work with Legislator Hogues on issues such as the discussed county-wide transgender anti-discrimination bill.”
For more on what you can do to help reelect Tim Hogues to the Erie County Legislature, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 18, 2013
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York announce our endorsement of Bill Conrad for Erie County Legislature District 4. A public school teacher, youth coach, Erie County Youth Board Member and union representative, Bill Conrad will be a much need voice of progress for the 4th District.
“We need more candidates like Bill Conrad,” said Bryan Ball, SDWNY president. “Bill Conrad is a candidate of his community who understands his community. Standing for Democratic values of progress, Bill Conrad will be an incredibly strong ally for the LGBT community. When Bill addressed the general membership of SDWNY, I was so impressed with his understanding of our needs and issues, specifically with his experience in LGBT youth issues. Stonewall is proud to support his election to the Legislature.”
For more on what you can do to help Stonewall elect Bill Conrad to the Erie County Legislature, please contact us at email@example.com. We look forward to working with Bill to victory in the General Election.
July 18, 2013
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York announce our endorsement of Betty Jean Grant for reelection to the Erie County Legislature District 2.
“For years, Chairperson Grant has been a vibrant and untiring advocate for the community she represent in the County Legislature,” said Bryan Ball, SDWNY president. “We look forward to working with Legislator Grant on the issues facing our community in the Erie County Legislature, namely the discussed county-wide gender identity and expression anti-discrimination bill.”
For more on what you can do to help reelect Betty Jean Grant to the Erie County Legislature, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Legislator Grant’s opponent in the Democratic Primary, Joyce Wilson Nixon, also interviewed for the endorsement of SDWNY.
July 18, 2013-
At our June Monthly Meeting, our general membership voted to table any endorsement in the City of Buffalo Mayoral election.
During the meeting, Stonewall Democrats heard from Democratic candidate Bernard Tolbert. As of this writing, Mayor Byron Brown has not responded to our request for interview and endorsement. Also at the meeting, the membership was addressed briefly by Republican candidate Sergio Rodriguez, who came to the meeting and asked to speak. Due to the history of the LGBT community in Buffalo’s relationship with the Mayor’s office, and Mayor Brown—and also with the current state of the primary election between Mr. Tolbert and Mayor Brown, a majority of members present voted to table any endorsement for the time being.
At the Erie County Democratic Committee’s endorsement meeting for Buffalo Mayor, SDWNY President Bryan Ball, also a City Zone Chair, was one of the few abstentions from the endorsement vote. “Due to the history of the LGBT community’s involvement with the politics of this election, I was unable to take a stance on this race before SDWNY as an organization takes an official stance,” Ball said. “While SDWNY has tabled the endorsement, and has not yet heard from Mayor Brown, I strongly encourage all Stonewall Democrats and allies to educate themselves on the issues involved, and evaluate what each Democratic candidate has to offer, before making a decision in this unquestionably important election. Although we are at this time not recommending a candidate, we strongly recommend that each individual voter makes her or his voice heard in upcoming primary.”
We hope that you will join us for our June monthly meeting! We will be interviewing candidates for endorsement in (at least some of) the following elections: City of Buffalo Mayor; Erie County Legislature; Niagara Falls City Council.
Candidates and scheduling will be posted here and am our website as responses are received. Remember, anyone is able to attend our meeting; however, members in good standing (with dues paid 10 days prior to the meeting) are eligible to vote in endorsements.
We will be starting at 6PM, and scheduling candidates in blocks of no more than 10 minutes a piece.
We hope to see you there-- as we make important decisions facing our LGBTQ community!
The following candidates have responded to our questionnaire and/or endorsement committee and have been scheduled to appear at our meeting:
City of Buffalo Mayor:
-Bernard Tolbert (Questionnaire here)
*Mayor Byron Brown, also running in the Democratic primary, has not as of yet responded to our questionnaire.
Erie County Legislature:
-Legislator Betty Jean Grant (Questionnaire)
-Joyce Wilson Nixon (Questionnaire)
-Legislator Lynn Marinelli (Questionnaire)
-Lynn Dearmyer (Questionnaire available soon)
*Richard Zydel, also running in the Democratic primary, has not yet responded to our questionnaire.
-Michael Schraft (Questionnaire)
Niagara Falls City Council
-Joe Swartz (Questionnaire available soon)
-Kirsten Grandinetti (Questionnaire available soon)
June 2, 2013
What a Pride! A big, enormous, heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out and marched today with our Stonewall Democrats of Western New York! I have unending pride for all of you, and was honored to march alongside our memebers and supporters. It was my honor to march alongside my Democratic Chair Jeremy Zellnerand his family, with my Senator Timothy Kennedy, my Assemblymember Sean M. Ryan and one of my heroes Jamestown Council President Greg Rabb. To all our candidates who marched, attended or were reprsented in the parade thank you- especially our newly endorsed candidates Lynn Szalkowski CPA for Erie County Comptroller and Mary Giallanza Carney and Paul Crapsi - For Erie County Family Court Judge. And a huge thank you to everyone who signed one of our GENDA letters or Law Enforcement Sensitivity traning petitions at Canal Side. We have all come such a long way; the journey here has been amazing, and the journey forward will be all the more!
SDWNY Pride 2013 Group Photos
Group Photo #2
June 1, 2013
Dear Stonewall Democrats of WNY and Allies,
Happy Pride Week!
As a reminder, Stonewall will be marching with our members, elected officals, candidates and allies in the Pride Parade, and having a table at the Pride Festival. Line up for the parade begins at noon on Sunday, June 2, at the intersection of Elmwood and Lafayette in Buffalo. For any further information or to help with the Pride parade or our table, please email us at email@example.com. While we all may be pulled in different directions on Parade day, we will be taking as big a group photo as possible during the line-up, around 12:30PM. We hope if you are partaking in the parade you will come be a part of our photo!
Also, it is with great Pride that we announce our first endorsements of the 2013 election season. SDWNY is thrilled to announce our endorsement of Paul Crapsi and Mary Giallanza Carney for Erie County Family Court, and Lynn Szalkowski for Erie County Comptroller. You may read our full endorsement annoucements, as well as all candidate questionnaires on our website.
And finally, we hope that you will join us for our next meeting on Tuesday, June 25 at 6PM where we will hear from candidates for Buffalo City Court, Erie County Legislature, City of Buffalo Mayor, Niagara Falls City Council and Erie County Sheriff.
It is with great pride that Stonewall Democrats of Western New York announces our endorsement of Mary Giallanza Carney for Erie County Family Court. Throughout her career, Mary Giallanza Carney has proven herself as an attorney and citizen, which will prove her to be a terrific Family Court judge once elected.
"Mary Giallanza Carney is an ideal candidate, qualified above and beyond what it will take to be a Family Court judge," said Bryan Ball, president of Stonewall Democrats of WNY. "Mary is a proponent of fairness and the human dignity of all people, and understands fully and intricately the needs and concerns of the LGBTQ community. I am so proud to annouce Stonewall's support of her campaign."
For more information on how you as a Stonewall Democrat or ally can become more involved in helping to elect Mary Giallanza Carney to Erie County Family Court, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are two open seats for the court to be filled in this year's elections. Currently, there are four Democrats running in a primary, and one Repulican candidate. SDWNY has also endorsed candidate Paul Crapsi in the Erie County Family Court elections.
May 29, 2013
It is with great pride that Stonewall Democrats of Western New York annouces our endorsement of Paul Crapsi for Erie County Family Court. A distinguished and accomplished attorney, Paul Crapsi has spent his career working for our community and the issues of the people.
"Paul Crapsi will make an incredible Family Court judge," said Bryan Ball, president of Stonewall Democrats of Western New York. "An attorney who worked on the first case involving NYS's Sexaul Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, Paul Crapsi knows and understands the needs of the LGBTQ community, and the unique needs of all who deal with the legal system and Family Court. We are absolutely thrilled to support Paul in his election."
For more information on how you as a Stonewall Democrat or ally can become more involved in helping to elect Paul Crapsi to Erie County Family Court, please contact us at email@example.com. There are two open seats for the court to be filled in this year's elections. Currently, there are four Democrats running in a primary, and one Repulican candidate. SDWNY has also endorsed candidate Mary Giallanza Carney in the Erie County Family Court elections.
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York proudly annouce our support of Lynn Szalkowski for Erie County Comptroller. An accomplished CPA and force in her community, Lynn Szalkowski will bring the needed change Erie County needs to the Comptroller's office.
"Lynn Szalkowski is, in her own right, an ideal and perfectly qualified candidate for the Comptroller's office," said Bryan Ball, president of SDWNY. "Lynn provides a stark contrast to the current Comptroller, who currently lacks everything she will provide: experience, qualifications and a true sense of independence."
For more information on how you as a Stonewall Democrat or ally can become more involved in helping to elect Lynn Szalkowski as Erie County Comptroller, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are currently no other annouced Democratic candidates running for the Comptroller's office.
May 20, 2013
As a reminder, our May meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 28. We will start at 6PM, due to endorsement interviews. We will be hearing from candidates for Erie County Family Court and Comptroller. Questionnaires and interview times will be posted as soon as they are available and scheduled.
We hope to see you there!
The following Offices and Candidates have been scheduled for interview this Tuesday 5/27, as follows:
Erie County Family Court:
6:15PM: Mary Giallanza Carney (View her questionnaire here)
6:30: Paul Crapsi (View his questionnaire here)
6:45: Joe Jarzembek
Timothy Pawarski, candidate for Family Court, has not yet responded to our endorsement questionnaire.
Erie County Comptroller:
7:00: Lynn Szalkowski
SDWNY Buffalo Board of Education Endorsements 2013; We recommend votes for Gillick, Harris-Tigg, Hernandez and McIntyre
May 5, 2013
At our Buffalo School Board Candidate Forum, our membership heard from the following candidates and issued the following endorsements, by district:
-Dr. Susan Gillick, candidate for the North District, ENDORSED. View her questionnaire here.
-Dr. Wendy Mistretta, candidate for the North District. View her questionnaire here.
-Jason McCarthy, incumbent board member. View his questionnaire here.
-Ralph Hernandez, Incumbent Board Member, ENDORSED. View his 2013 questionnaire here.
View a copy of Ralph Hernandez's Dignity for All Resolution passed by the Board of Education submitted with his questionniare.
-James Sampson, Hernandez's opponent, responded to our questionniare that he is not seeking the endorsement of group's that aren't entirely made of parents.
As of this writing, Ralph Hernandez will not be on the election ballot this Tuesday, and is running a write in campaign for the West District.
-Dr. Theresa Harris-Tigg, candidate for the East District, ENDORSED. View her questionnaire here.
-Rosalyn Taylor, incumbent board member, did not respond in any way to SDWNY's endorsement questionnaire.
As of this writing, Rosalyn Taylor will not appear on Tuesday's ballot, but is waging a write-in campaign.
-Bryon McIntyre, candidate for the Central District, ENDORSED.
-Mary Ruth Kapsiak, incumbent board member, did not respond in any way to SDWNY's endorsement questionnaire. Joseph Mascia, who had been running in the district and has since been removed from the ballot, also did not respond to our questionnaire.
-Neither candidate-- Carl Paladino or Adrian Harris-- running for this open seat responded to SDWNY's questionnaire.
-The only candidate in the Ferry subdistrict, Sharon Belton-Cottman, has not responded to our questionnaire. On May 3, in The Buffalo News, it was reported that Rev. Kinzer Pointer is being targeted by a write-in campaign to elect him to the district seat. As he was neither an announced or filed candidate this year, he did not receive an update questionnaire. However, Rev. Pointer has not responded to our questionnaire when he ran for the seat previously in 2010.
Image: via YNN
*New Meeting Night!
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer Democratic voice in western New York. Our mission is to advocate for the LGBTQ community within the WNY area government and the Democratic Party.
Stonewall Democrats of WNY is an affiliate of the National Stonewall Democrats.
We meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at:
El Museo Gallery
91 Allen Street Buffalo, NY 14202-1320
Bryan Ball, President
Kitty Lambert-Rudd, Vice President of Community Affairs
Terry Purdue, Vice President of Political and Party Affairs
Bruce Kogan, Secretary
Ronald Groth, Treasurer
National LGBTQ Organizations
Human Rights Campaign
State LGBT Organizations
Empire State Pride Agenda
Marriage Equality New York
WNY LGBT Organizations
Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York
Spectrum Transgender Group of Western New York
Pride Center of Western New York
Outspoken for Equality
PFLAG, Buffalo/Niagara Chapter
Imperial Court of Buffalo
LGBT Archives of Western NY
Tim Kennedy for State Senate
United States Senate
United States House of Representatives
Library of Congress: THOMAS
New York State Senate
New York State Assembly
Sen. Tim Kennedy
Assemblymember Sean Ryan
Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes
Erie County Legislature
City of Buffalo
City of Jamestown
Town of Amherst