This Tuesday, Western New York voters went to the polls. Stonewall Democrats of Western New York is thrilled with many of the results. Pro-equality champion Assemblymember Hoyt was reelected to represent the voters of Buffalo and Grand Island in the Assembly. And with a tremendous victory, Tim Kennedy was elected our next Senator in the 58th Senate District. In the Senate, Tim Kennedy will be a pro-equality vote and advocate, taking the place of anti-equality Sen. Bill Stachowski. We congratulate Senator-elect Kennedy on his hard fought win, and look forward to a long, productive working relationship with our new voice in the State Senate.
In other victories, SDWNY saw all three of our endorsed New York State Supreme Court candidates-- Catherine Nugent-Panepinto, Judge Eugene Fahey and Judge Hank Nowak-- elected and reelect to the State Supreme Court.
Tuesday did not come without disappointments, however. Stonewall Democrats of Western New York congratulates Cynthia Appleton on her noble and courageous pro-equality campaign for the 59 Senate District. We were proud to stand with Cynthia in her campaign to bring the change so desperately needed to the 59 district. We commend her for her for fighting the fight for what is right, and we look forward to working with this amazing public servant in the future.
We also deeply thank and congratulate Robin Wilt for her dignified and unalterable pro-equality campaign to restore a representative supportive of civil rights to the 56 district. Robin Wilt ran a phenomenal campaign for that which is right, and the Stonewall Democrats were thrilled to have supported her. Robin Wilt will continue to be a much needed progressive voice in Western New York, and we look forward to continuing our great work with her.
Tuesday also dealt the progressive community a great uncertainty, with the race for the 60 State Senate District. Pro-equality champion Senator Antoine Thompson's race with anti-LGBT Republican candidate Mark Grisanti remains to close to call, with an intense and likely lengthy recount process soon to begin. The Stonewall Democrats of Western New York hold the faith, and are confident that when all the votes have been counted, we will return our great advocate in Sen. Thompson to represent us in the State Senate.
Dear Stonewall Democrat, 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. Thank you. Bryan Ball
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York:
2010 General Election Voters GuideNew York State Governor/Lieutenant Governor: Andrew Cuomo and Robert Duffy New York State Attorney General:Eric Schneiderman New York State Legislature:Assembly District 144:Assemblymember Sam Hoyt State Senate District 60:Senator Antoine Thompson State Senate District 58:Tim KennedyState Senate District 59: Cynthia Appleton State Senate District 56: Robin Wilt New York State Supreme Court: Catherine Nugent-PanepintoJudge Eugene Fahey Judge Hank NowakErie County Court:Judge James McLeod
With the election now underway, we are faced with seemingly daunting challenges. Republican candidates (and some Democrats) who oppose our equality are running for office from NYS Governor, to Attorney General, to Congress, and to the State legislature.
And now is the time that we stand up for our pro-equality Stonewall candidates and make sure they are victorious in November. At our recent Marriage Equality New York Wedding March in Buffalo, elected officials like Assemblymember Sam Hoyt and Senator Antoine Thompson talked about the realities of GENDA and Marriage Equality as soon as next year-- should the Democrats retain and gain a pro-equality majority.
As Stonewall Democrats, we have to make this dream a reality. We are looking to do phone bank nights, canvass days and other get out the vote efforts such as our soon-to-be-announced GOTV Candidate Rally-- and we need your help. If you are interested in volunteering to take part in our phone bank nights for Sam Hoyt, Antoine Thompson, or any of our other candidates-- please contact Bryan at 716-541-5557 or email Bryan_Ball@sdwny.org.
We can do this, and this November, equality-- for ourselves, children and families-- will triumph over the politics of hate at the polls.
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Following a spectacular primary night, which saw such triumphs as equality champions Assemblymember Sam Hoyt and Senator Antoine Thompson being reelected, Stonewall Democrats of Western New York congratulates our Stonewall candidates on their victories-- for Democratic committeemembers, State legislators and our next New York State Attorney General. We congratualte: -Assemblymember Sam Hoyt -Senator Antoine Thompson - Democratic Candidate for Attorney General Eric Schneidermann -Democratic Candidate for Erie County Court Judge James McLeod And we also extend our congratulations to Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy who, running a pro-marriage equality campaign defeated incumbent and marriage no vote Sen. Stachowski. And we look forward to the general election, and victory, ahead of us!
Tomorrow is an important day at the polls in Western New York. Its importance cannot be stressed enough. Tomorrow, the Democratic Primary in New York State will, in many elections, determine the future of our Stonewall issues such as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act and Marriage Equality.
As we have been working to all year, we have to work the hardest we can (and then some) to protect our current elected officials, like Assemblymember Sam Hoyt, who have always been our most vocal and effective champions in Albany. We have to work to protect our Senator Antoine Thompson, who was the only “Yes” vote for Marriage Equality in the Senate late last year.
And we have to work to bring in the new class of officials, where there is a need for change, such as in the 58th District. The General Election will afford us tremendous opportunities in Senate Districts such as 56 and 59, where stellar progressive candidates like Robin Wilt and Cynthia Appleton are running to win Republican seats for the Democratic party—the only Party in NYS supportive of the LGBT community (though, of course, the Democratic Party is not without its problems.)
While there are a great many problems with the Democratic Party and current incumbents, let us not forget the good, effective fighters we have for our community in the NYS legislature. Champions like Sam Hoyt and Antoine Thompson, who brought us, through their dedication, the passage of the Dignity for All Students bill.
And we have a similar situation in the City of Buffalo Council, where we have the chance to retain Councilmember Curtis Haynes Jr., a pro-LGBT representative, who was vital in aiding the passage of city domestic partner legislation earlier this year. We also have Judge James McLeod, a longtime friend of the LGBT community, running for Erie County Court.
At the top of our state-wide primary ticket, I am proud that Stonewall is supporting Eric Schneiderman. Senator Schneiderman was vital in the passage of the Dignity for All Students bill, as well as an ardent supporter of Marriage Equality, Gender Expression Non-Discrimination and every other one of our issues in the NYS Senate. I know that he will continue his work as a true progressive leader in the office of Attorney General, and am proud to support him.
In the 144th Assembly District, Sam Hoyt is being challenged by an anti-LGBT Tea Party candidate who currently sits on the city council. As we have time and time again in the past, please come through for Sam Hoyt tomorrow. We cannot afford to lose the ultimate and true progressive champion he is in the Assembly. Send emails, use your Facebook status, or call friends and family on the phone to stress that Sam is the best kind of candidate the LGBT community can have in government, and that we need to help him to victory, so he can continue fighting for our issues, our rights and our families.
In the 60th Senate District, Senator Antoine Thompson is also running in a primary election. I implore you to do the same to spread the word about how Senator Thompson has, since his days as a city councilman, championed LGBT equality every chance he has been given.
Another vitally important election is happening in the 59th Senate District, where voters will decide the political future of Senator Bill Stachowski, one of our infamous “No” votes on Marriage Equality last year. With so many issues and complications involved in the primary, SDWNY was unable to endorse a candidate. I'm incredibly disappointed that Stonewall, and our community at large, is unable to support a candidate against Bill Stachowski. After years of lobbying and being strung along by the idea that Stachowski as our Senator was essential to the Democrats' survival in the majority, he proved last year where he is on the more important issue of civil rights and voted to deny our community and families the equality of basic civil rights.
Tomorrow, voters will chose.
Tim Kennedy is running a pro-LGBT campaign. At Stonewall Democrats meetings, follow-up meetings with officers such as myself and throughout the campaign, Tim Kennedy has pledged to support the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act and Marriage Equality. He is also pro-life, an issue which for many in the LGBT community is a crucial issue of human rights. And he is running an incredibly strong and serious campaign.
Michael Kuzma is also running a pro-LGBT campaign. Also at Stonewall Democrats meetings and throughout the year, Mike has pledged to support GENDA and Marriage Equality. Mike is pro-choice, and has the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice NY. Michael Kuzma is a proud progressive.
If you feel Tim Kennedy is the right candidate for our community, vote for him and help him get elected. If you feel Mike Kuzma is the right candidate—I urge you to do the same for him. But whatever the outcome may be, I know the LGBT community is ready to rally around a pro-LGBT Democrat to take on Jack Quinn, a member of the party that uniformly denied us Marriage hand-in-hand with Stachowski last year, and a candidate who has his own experience in bigoted voting in the Assembly.
But whoever our Senator may be come next year, in the 58th District and beyond, I hope that you join Stonewall and Outspoken for Equality in our lobbying efforts to bring GENDA and Marriage to pass; to work to change the minds of those who may not understand our issues, and work to help those who do work within the Senate to make these issues law-- in letters, in phone calls and in person lobbying in Albany.
Thank you for your time, and for being a committed Stonewall Democrat.
The Stonewall Democrats of Western New York are proud to announce our continued support again this year for NYS Senator Antoine Thompson in the 60th District. Since his days as a Buffalo City Councilman, Sen. Thompson has built a tremendous record of being a real and tested progressive. This road has led him to being the only Senator in all 8 counties of Western New York to vote “Yes” on Marriage Equality last year.
Sen. Thompson was also instrumental in the Senate’s momentous passing of the “Dignity for All Students” bill earlier this summer. The Stonewall Democrats are proud to support Sen. Thompson in his reelection, when we will stand up for our truly progressive Senator.
Volunteer opportunities are available at campaign headquarters each week day until the primary at 20 Court Street in downtown Buffalo.
By now you have likely heard the great news. The NYS Legislature has passed the Dignity For All Students bill. A tremendous and historic victory for our children, the bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 58-3. DASA will now go to Governor Paterson, who is expected to sign the bill into law. DASA will become law on July 1.First introduced in 2000, DASA had repeatedly been passed by the Assembly, never making it through the Senate. The bill will establish policies and procedures affording all students in public schools an environment free of harassment and discrimination. DASA will also establish training guidelines for teachers and administrators, create rules and preventions for discriminatory behaviors and actions and require the reporting of bias harassment incidents to the State Education Department.The bill is the first time our Senate has voted to extend protections for transgendered people.Stonewall Democrats of Western New York would like to commend our members who worked so hard over the last ten years to see this victory come to pass. This has happened because of you—because of every phone call and letter you wrote to our Senators, every trip you took to lobby in Albany, every story you have told and your commitment to seeing this issue through for our children.We thank with the utmost gratitude our State legislators who have at long last passed this needed legislation. We especially thank our WNY area representatives Assemblymember Sam Hoyt and Senator Antoine Thompson, who have championed this bill and fought to see its passage through.We thank you all.The three Senators who voted no on DASA were Republicans George Maziarz (SD 62), Dale Volker (SD 59) and John DeFrancisco (SD 50.) Call or write your Senator and Assemblymember to thank them for their vote.