Soon, this election season will be over. We will have a new Governor, a new Attorney General, new justices and in many districts new State legislators. If we elect our pro-equality Stonewall endorsed candidates for these elected offices, we will have Marriage Equality and the Gender Non-Discrimination Act passed in New York State. It is as simple as that.
Over the last year, GENDA and Marriage Equality failed in the State Senate. When Andrew Cuomo is our governor, and the state legislature has a Democratic pro-equality majority, those failures will not be repeated. In order to keep the Senate, and win equality, we need to come through for our supporters at the voting booth.
With the Democratic majority in the Senate currently so thin, we cannot afford to lose our pivotal Western New York races. After today, I will have a new State Senator, and that State Senator will be Stonewall Candidate Tim Kennedy. In Tim Kennedy, we will have a new vote for equality in the seat formerly held by Senator Bill Stachowski, one of the eight Democrats who denied us Marriage Equality last December. Tim Kennedy will be a yes vote for marriage, a yes vote for GENDA and he will champion our cause. His opponent, Albany incumbent Jack Quinn III, is anti-equality, and has already had experience voting in Albany to deny the LGBT community our rights in the Assembly. It is crucial that we elect Tim Kennedy our next state senator in the 58th District. Please, do all you can to help elect a new pro-equality Senator from Western New York. If you can volunteer your time today, call Tim Kennedy’s field office at 716-818-5076 to find out how you can canvass doors, phone bank and work polls to elect Tim Kennedy our Senator from the 58th District.
We have the same opportunity in the 59th Senate District. Stonewall Candidate Cynthia Appleton is running to succeed Senator Dale Volker—who while many claim to have been a good man, was never a good man to the LGBT community. Cynthia Appleton is a true progressive. Cynthia is an accomplished public servant, a proud and strong advocate for justice and equality—and she will restore integrity to the office of the 59th District. A true community leader, Cynthia Appleton has a strong record of accomplishment, and the right commitment to the reform we so need in Albany. A vocal champion of Marriage Equality and GENDA, Cynthia Appleton is exactly the kind of strong progressive we need to change Albany. Please, do all you can to help elect this new champion of the LGBT community as state senator. Call Chris Sasiadek at 716-997-0504 to find out how you can work today to make this victory a reality.
In the 56th Senate District, we have yet another vital opportunity. Robin Wilt is a phenomenal voice who will bring a desperately needed fresh perspective to Albany. A co-founder of the Genesee Valley chapter of Progressive Democrats of America, Robin Wilt will be the needed progressive voice to replace anti-equality Sen. Joseph Robach in the State Senate. Robin Wilt has championed LGBT-rights issues throughout her campaign, and will another new champion for the cause once elected Senator.
Also in need of your support is pro-equality champion Senator Antoine Thompson. Last year, when Marriage failed the Senate, Senator Thompson was the lone vote from Western New York that supported Marriage Equality. Senator Thompson has helped to pass the Dignity for All Students bill, and has been a proponent of LGBT equality throughout his career in elected office. Senator Thompson’s opponent, Mark Grisanti, is strongly opposed to LGBT equality. You can help retain this great advocate for the LGBT community by volunteering your time at Sen. Thompson’s headquarters at 20 Court Street in downtown Buffalo or by calling 716-856-6030.
And lastly, but certainly not least, we are proud to support State Assemblymember Sam Hoyt in his reelection this year. Sam Hoyt is, simply, Western New York’s fiercest champion in the State Assembly. Sam’s long history supporting civil rights is one closely linked with the work of the Stonewall Democrats. Always, Sam has been with us. And again, we will be with Sam. When Marriage Equality and GENDA are finally passed, it will be because of Sam Hoyt’s dedicated work, and those of legislators like him.
SDWNY has also endorsed several candidates for judicial office. These candidates submitted questionnaires and interviewed before the general membership for endorsement, and displayed a breadth of knowledge and fairness that consisted of equality for all who may appear before them in a court. For Erie County Court, we are proud to support Judge James McLeod, a great judicial mind and a man of outstanding character.
For the five available seats on the New York State Supreme Court, we have endorsed Catherine Nugent-Panepinto, a dedicated community activist, school board member and New York State Supreme Court Confidential Law Clerk. We have also endorsed Judge Eugene Fahey for reelection and Judge Hank Nowak for election to the Supreme Court. Judge Nowak is currently a Buffalo City Court Judge assigned to Buffalo Housing Court. For more information on our judicial candidates, please visit www.sdwny.org.
For state-wide office, SDWNY has endorsed Andrew Cuomo for Governor and Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy for Lieutenant Governor, and Eric Schneidermann for Attorney General. There are clear lines drawn between Cuomo and Schneidermann and their Republican opponents on the issues of equality. All three men have been unquestionably strong advocates for LGBT rights throughout their careers, and will be fierce advocates as our next Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General.
And today, we also have our WNY Congressional members running for reelection. Congressman Brian Higgins, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have all been friends and advocates for LGBT rights in Washington.
Again, I implore you to do all you can to help elect our good, pro-equality Democrats this Election Day. This last year, our community has had great victories, like the passing of Dignity for All Students and domestic partnerships in the City of Buffalo, alongside great disappointments, like the failure of GENDA in committee and Marriage Equality on the Senate floor. Today, vote to make Marriage Equality and GENDA a success in the coming year, by vote pro-equality.
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York:
2010 General Election Voters Guide
New York State Governor/Lieutenant Governor:
Andrew Cuomo and Robert Duffy
New York State Attorney General:
New York State Legislature:
Assembly District 144:
Assemblymember Sam Hoyt
State Senate District 60:
Senator Antoine Thompson
State Senate District 58:
State Senate District 59:
State Senate District 56:
New York State Supreme Court:
Judge Eugene Fahey
Judge Hank Nowak
Erie County Court:
Judge James McLeod