<![CDATA[Stonewall Democrats of Western New York - News]]>Fri, 17 Feb 2017 23:15:44 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[SDWNY 1st Annual Winter Cocktail Fundraiser]]>Thu, 12 Jan 2017 03:01:32 GMThttp://sdwny.org/news/sdwny-1st-annual-winter-cocktail-fundraiser

SDWNY has begun our 2017 membership drive, and will be holding our 1st Annual Winter Cocktail Fundraiser. All funds raised will go toward helping our legislative efforts in 2017. 

SDWNY Winter Cocktail Fundraiser 
January 21, 2017
Encore Restaurant 
492 Pearl St
Buffalo, NY 14202

$45/Person - $80/Couple 

Sponsorships Available: 
$100- Ally / $200- Advocate / $250-Champion / $300- Gold Champion 

For those of us not participating in the Women's March in Washington-- come, have fun and raise awareness for the work of SDWNY. This event is the perfect opportunity to come and see exactly what Stonewall Democrats is about-- and how you can help us make and keep progress in our society in government. Discounted memberships to SDWNY will also be available. SDWNY will also be participating in local events around the inaugural and Women's March, and more details will be made available soon.

<![CDATA[January Monthly Meeting]]>Mon, 09 Jan 2017 08:00:00 GMThttp://sdwny.org/news/january-monthly-meeting​   SDWNY meets this month on Tuesday, January 24th. We will again meet at the Brent House, 3105 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214 (parking is available in the rear lot, off of Lisbon Avenue.) We will start at  7PM and our agenda will include officer elections and discussion of the year ahead, politically and legislatively. 

 SDWNY January Membership Meeting
Brent House 
3105 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214


We hope to see you there! 


Contact: Bryan Ball, SDWNY

"Stonewall Democrats of Western New York vehemently condemns Buffalo School Board Member Carl Paladino's recent hate speech in the publication "Artvoice." Once again, Mr. Paladino has gone on public record with vile, racist, misogynistic and transphobic comments-- and SDWNY is again calling on his resignation from the Buffalo School Board. No person who holds such hate should ever be in a position to affect our children's schools and futures. As Stonewall Democrats, we have always stood against hate in whatever form it takes, and we stand united against Mr. Paladino."

Bryan Ball
President, Stonewall Democrats of WNY 

Source of hate speech:
<![CDATA[Take Action: Support the Conversion Therapy Ban in Erie County ]]>Tue, 13 Dec 2016 03:05:21 GMThttp://sdwny.org/news/take-action-support-the-conversion-therapy-ban-in-erie-county

December 12, 2016

Now that Erie County Legislator Pat Burke has introduced legislation to ban anti-LGBT conversion therapy on minors in Erie County, we have a chance to finally make history and pass the ban locally in Erie County. In order for the legislation to become a reality, we need the rest of the legislature to act, and hold a public hearing on the bill. Help pass the ban-- contact your legislator today! Take a moment to call your legislator's office, and/or write them a letter of support. While personal stories and handwritten notes are preferred, our SDWNY support letter is avaialble here, as well. We also have links to notecard templates at the end of this post if you are able to write out a note to your legislator letting them know who supporting the ban is important to you!

​Tell them our story by telling your story. Let them know that protecting LGBTQ youth is not a partisan issue, and in this election year, we will be watching on whether and how they take action on banning conversion therapy. Find your legislator here. Unsure who your legistor is? Contact us at info@sdwny.org for help. 

Take action-- contact the Erie County Legislature's leadership today. Let our legislators know that you support protecting LGBTQ youth by passing the ban. 

EC Legislature Chair- John Mills
District Office: 92 Franklin St / Fourth Floor / Buffalo, NY 14202 
Phone: 716-858-8850

EC Legislature Majority Leader- Joseph Lorgio
District Office: 92 Franklin St / Fourth Floor / Buffalo, NY 14202 
Phone: 716-858-8922

EC Legislature Minority Leader - Tom Loughran 
4549 Main Street, Suite 203
Amherst, NY 14226
Telephone: 836-0198
Fax: 836-0199

Full Contact for the EC Legislature 
(Unsure who your Legislator is? Email us at info@sdwny.org for help!)mailto:info@sdwny.org

Legislator Contact Information: 
District No. 1: Hon. Barbara Miller-Williams District Office: 427 William St., Buffalo 14204 - Phone: 842-0490; Fax: 854-5722; E-Mail:Barbara.Miller-Williams@erie.gov

District No. 2: Hon. Betty Jean Grant District Office: 790 East Delavan Ave., Buffalo 14215 - Phone: 894-0914;Fax: 896-1463; E-Mail: Betty.Grant@erie.gov

District No. 3: Hon. Peter J. Savage, III District Office: 1701 Hertel Ave., Buffalo 14216 - Phone:  832-0493; Fax: 832-0494; E-Mail:Peter.Savage@erie.gov

​District No. 4: Hon. Kevin R. Hardwick Legislative Office: 92 Franklin St., 4th Floor, Buffalo 14202 - Phone: 858-8672; Fax: 858-8895; E-Mail: Kevin.Hardwick@erie.gov

District No. 5: Hon. Thomas A. Loughran District Office: 4549 Main St., Ste. 203, Amherst 14226 - Phone: 836-0198; Fax: 836-0199; E-Mail: Thomas.Loughran@erie.gov

District No. 6: Hon. Edward A. Rath, III Legislative Office: 92 Franklin St., 4th Floor, Buffalo 14202 - Phone: 858-8676; Fax: 858-8895; E-Mail: Edward.Rath@erie.gov

District No. 7: Hon. Patrick B. Burke District Office: 469 Abbott Rd., Buffalo 14220 - Phone: 823-0752; Fax: 826-2870; E-Mail:Patrick.Burke@erie.gov

District No. 8: Hon. Ted B. Morton Legislative Office: 92 Franklin St., 4th Floor, Buffalo 14202 - Phone: 858-8856; Fax: 858-8895; E-Mail: Ted.Morton@erie.gov

District No. 9: Hon. Lynne M. Dixon Legislative Office: 92 Franklin St.,4th Floor, Buffalo 14202 - Phone: 858-8671; Fax: 858-8895; E-Mail: Lynne.Dixon@erie.gov

District No. 10: Hon. Joseph C. Lorigo Legislative Office: 92 Franklin St.,4th Floor, Buffalo 14202 - Phone: 858-8922; Fax: 858-8895; E-Mail: Joseph.Lorigo@erie.gov

​District No. 11: Hon. John J. Mills Legislative Office: 92 Franklin St., 4th Floor, Buffalo 14202 - Phone: 858-8850; Fax: 858-8895; E-Mail: John.Mills@erie.gov

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<![CDATA[SDWNY November Meeting- LOCATION CHANGED]]>Fri, 18 Nov 2016 08:00:00 GMThttp://sdwny.org/news/sdwny-november-meeting-location-changedPicture
Dear Stonewall Democrats and Allies,

 We will hold our November Monthly meeting, the first since the past election, on Tuesday, November 22. Please note the change of venue, as we anticipate a higher turnout following the election results. 

SDWNY November Membership Meeting
Tuesday, November 22 
at the Brent House
3105 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214
(Parking available in the rear lot, off of Lisbon Avenue.) 

 This meeting is your chance to come join us, talk through the election and the way forward. While we may not know the path ahead, we will make it through, together. 

 We hope to see you there!

<![CDATA[SDWNY Statement on Transgender Awareness Week]]>Mon, 14 Nov 2016 08:00:00 GMThttp://sdwny.org/news/sdwny-statement-on-transgender-awareness-weekPicture
​SDWNY Statement on Transgender Awareness Week
November 15, 2016

On this Transgender Awareness Week, SDWNY stands, as always, with our transgender community members. In a time of great bigotry and uncertainty, we pledge to continue to fight for every American-- transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially-- to be openly embraced, and treated equally under the law.

Together, we will continue to fight against hate, and for legislation, policy and elected officials who will further transgender civil rights. Here in New York State, we stand thankful our Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order establishing transgender rights, and we stand proud with our pro-equality WNY delegation to the state legislature-- including Sen.Timothy Kennedy, Assemblymember Sean M. Ryan and Assemblywoman Crystal People's-Stokes, to continue to push for the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) so that trans rights may officially become the law of our land.

We also pledge to continue to stand with our federal representatives-- Sen.Chuck Schumer D-NYKirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Brian Higgins to support transgender rights in the United States Congress.
In every aspect of life, we pledge to continue to stand with and support civil rights and dignity for our transgender community. We will never give up the fight for transgender rights, and we will contribute to fight against bigotry, ignorance and intolerance wherever it is found.

<![CDATA[SDWNY President's Statement on Election ]]>Wed, 09 Nov 2016 08:00:00 GMThttp://sdwny.org/news/sdwny-presidents-statement-on-electionNovember 9, 2016

"No, it is not okay, and it- at best- is not going to be okay for many marginalized peoples like those he built and spent his campaign on further attacking and marginalizing- women, LGBTQ people, people of color, not the least of which Hispanics, the disabled, immigrants- the list goes on. We cannot and should not condone the hatred and bigotry that has been exposed over this campaign cycle, and we should not normalize it. This is not normal, this is not what America is. It is ok to be scared and saddened by what has happened, but we should never let that fear define us. Let us mourn what we have lost, but waste no time in getting back up-- to organize more, to organize stronger and never let this do all we can to stand against hate, and prove that love truly will end the end trump hate. I am not going anywhere, and hope you won't, either."

​- Bryan Ball
<![CDATA[SDWNY- Get Out the Vote! ]]>Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:10:47 GMThttp://sdwny.org/news/sdwny-get-out-the-votePicture
​ Dear Stonewall Democrats and Allies, 

 This Tuesday, November 8 is the General Election! A great thank you to all of our SDWNY who have been working to create our Voter's Guide and in getting out the vote for all our pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot. 

 Please continue to share our 2016 SDWNY General Election Voter's Guide, to spread the word on our endorsed candidates. Our guide is available on our website here. 

 There could not be more on the ballot this Tuesday-- for President, we have the chance to elect Hillary Clinton to continue the progress of President Obama, and offer a rebuke to the Republican candidate, who will go down in history as being one of the most hate-filled, anti-equality candidates in history. And here in WNY, we have the opportunities to elect Amber Small to the NYS Senate and break through the gridlock of the GOP's refusal to vote on LGBTQ bills in the Senate with a fierce advocate of equality. And when we elect Grace Hanlon to the NYS Supreme Court, we will have gained not only an experly qualified judge, but the first judge in the 8th Judicial  District who is openly LGBTQ. 
  We will be helping get out the vote for our candidates until the polls close on Tuesday. 

Hillary Clinton for President GOTV

Erie, Pa. Trips: NOVEMBER 5, 6, 8
These are volunteer driving/carpooling trips to Erie, PA. We meet at 8AM at 671 Seneca Street for a morning briefing and depart at 9AM for Erie, Pa. Volunteers will leave Erie to come back to Buffalo at 6PM. (Please confirm your attendance with Naeem Jenkins-Nixon, 716-348-9674) We are doing GOTV phone banking every day through the election from 9AM-9PM. Four shifts: 9AM-12PM, 12PM-3PM, 3PM-6PM and 6PM-9PM

Amber Small for State Senate GOTV 

Volunteer opportunities to help elect Amber Small on Election Day include covering polling places starting at 6am throughout the day. Lit drops start at 9am, phone calls and canvass starting at 10am. We'll be working out of our Buffalo HQ at 464 Amherst St and our Hamburg HQ at 6000 South Park Ave (in the Town Hall Plaza next to Supercuts)

Anyone interested may contact volunteer coordinator Sarah at 716-335-3466.

Grace Hanlon for NYS Supreme Court GOTV

On Monday 11/7 and Election Day, we will be phone banking for Grace Hanlon. Contact Jake Wagner (jake@ecdems.com / 716-536-8190) for more information. 

John Flynn for Erie County District Attorney GOTV

On Monday 11/7 and on Election Day, there will be multiple phone banking and canvassing opportunities available. You may call 716-835-5353 or show up at the HQ at 3364 Sheridan Drive, at the corner of Sweet Home, next to Crunch Fitness. 

Erie County Democratic Committee Victory Party 

Join Chairman Jeremy Zellner, the Erie County Democratic Committee, and democratic canidates for the 2016 Victory Party. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
9:00 PM - 11:30 PM
701 Seneca Street, 6th Floor
Buffalo, NY

Pizza, soda and beer will be provided. Free parking is available in the lot across the street. 

This event is free.

 We hope to see you there! 

<![CDATA[Stonewall Democrats of Western New York: 2016 Democratic General Election Voters Guide]]>Sat, 05 Nov 2016 16:50:03 GMThttp://sdwny.org/news/stonewall-democrats-of-western-new-york-2016-democratic-general-election-voters-guidePicture
This Tuesday, November 8th, is the General Election in New York State!

SDWNY’s 2016 Endorsed Candidates

President of the United States:
Hillary Clinton
U.S. Senate:
Sen. Chuck Schumer
United States House of Representatives:
Rep. Brian Higgins, District NY-26
New York State Senate:
District 60: Amber Small
District 63: Sen. Timothy Kennedy
New York State Assembly:
District 141: Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes
District 143: Monica Wallace
District 149: Assemblymember Sean Ryan
District 150: Jason Perdue
New York State Supreme Court (Vote for Two Candidates):
Grace Hanlon
Hon. Lynn Keane
Erie County District Attorney:
John Flynn

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.

     “This Tuesday, all the gains we have made as the LGBTQ community are on the line. It’s as simple as that. In a year when our community has experienced great violence and loss, our history, our present and our future are on the ballot. For the highest elected office in our country we have Hillary Clinton, running to follow President Obama’s historic work advancing LGBTQ rights. As our President, Hillary Clinton has pledged to work for and sign the Equality Act, and finally pass federal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. She will work to defend our children against conversion therapy, and she will appoint US Supreme Court Justices who will defend the constitution and Marriage Equality from attacks on our freedoms. Her opponent is an abomination on LGBTQ rights. He has pledged to appoint justices who would overturn equality, supports legalized discrimination and has regressive immigration policies that would harm LGBTQ asylum seekers, such as those fleeing the terror of ISIS or the anti-LGBTQ government of Russia. As Stonewall Democrats, we believe in equality for all. Equality for all means equal treatment and dignity for LGBTQ people, African-Americans, Hispanic and Latino people, women, Muslims, Christians, Jewish people, the disabled—any and everyone one. There is only one candidate running for President who stands for equality for all. And that is Hillary Clinton.

     Here in Western New York, we can use our LGBTQ vote to further LGBTQ rights. In the 60th NYS Senate District, we are working to elect Amber Small, who will be a fierce advocate on LGBTQ issues, especially transgender and LGBTQ youth rights. With Amber Small’s election, we can help the Democrats retake the State Senate, and then be finally able to get votes on the GENDA and the conversion therapy ban; bills that the Republicans have stalled session after session.

     And in the 8th Judicial District of the New York State Supreme Court, we also are going to make history by electing Grace Hanlon as our first openly LGBTQ Supreme Court Justice in WNY. Grace Hanlon is an expertly experienced, tested and qualified prosecutor, attorney and legal mind. Let’s make history by election her, Amber Small and Hillary Clinton—and all our SDWNY-endorsed candidates. The lives of countless Americans—LGBTQ and beyond—depend on it.”
-Bryan Ball, President, SDWNY
<![CDATA["Stonewall Voices: One Critical Election" by Bruce Kogan]]>Tue, 18 Oct 2016 02:17:08 GMThttp://sdwny.org/news/stonewall-voices-one-critical-election-by-bruce-koganI don't think one of us will forget where we were when we heard about the massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.  For me I was up late doing a film review of a movie where the subject was a M to F transgender woman who was killed.   In the film we learned that she was shot to death by a man who had gotten a peak at her in a bathroom and decided that this person was not fit to live  according to this person's religious dictates.   Finished the review and saw on AOL news that someone had decided that 49 of us were not fit to live either according to their religious dictates.
With our very lives and quality thereof in the balance this November I think it is very clear we have no choice but to vote for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine on November 8.   In the history of this Republic I don't think we've ever had a major party nominate so massively an incompetent candidate as Donald Trump.  Trump doesn't understand the rudimentary workings of government nor has he any desire to learn.   Ignorance and incompetence are bad enough, add to it bigotry we have to do our level best to keep him from the White House.    The forces of intolerance are emboldened as I've never seen them before in my 69 years because of his candidacy.   It's Hillary or oblivion as far as I'm concerned and I know I'm not alone.
Sitting on the Democratic Executive Committee of Erie County as I do I'm glad of the fact that in a small way we endorsed successfully several highly competent women candidates for office.   For the two Supreme Court Justice vacancies running are Lynn Keane and Grace Hanlon both highly qualified attorneys.  Grace Hanlon is in addition one of our own and she would be the first openly gay Supreme Court Judge in our region.
Last year I was part of a lobbying group that met with now disgraced Assemblymember Angela Wozniak where we talked about GENDA and banning Conversion Therapy.   After that Angela made a fool of herself trying to demagogue 'the bathroom bill' and then decided after a sexual harassment scandal she wasn't going to run.  Jumping into that race was law professor Monica Piga Wallace and she is the Democratic candidate in the 143rd AD covering Cheektowaga, Lancaster, and Depew.   At the Executive Committee she told me that she got into the race precisely because she hated the GOP demagoguery on transgender rights.   I am real proud to urge your support of her.
Proudest of all I am happy to urge your support of Amber Small for State Senate in the 60 SD which has had one checkered history.   When I first moved here it was represented by Anthony Nanula and I was part of it in Allentown.   It has had one checkered history since.          
Every two years we strive for that elusive control of the State Senate which means so much to us. Transgender rights, banning of conversion therapy, banning of the gay panic defense, care for our LGBTQ elderly and so on, these things will at least get a debate and a vote we're guaranteed that if the Democratic caucus controls the Senate.   Look how long it took to get SONDA and Marriage which might have been accomplished decades earlier with the Democrats in control.
Amber Small is emphatically for all these things, her opponent is not.   She is pro-choice her opponent at best waffles.   She is for the Safe Act her opponent courts the National Rifle Association.  That is particularly important to me having spent 23 years working at NYS Crime Victims Board and paying for God knows how many funerals for gun violence victims.   And we're both pet owners and Amber Small is big on animal rights.  I've heard the past couple of days what a fine man her opponent, what a great philanthropist how his family has benefited Western New York.   All that to me is irrelevant and should be to you.   He runs on the Republican and Conservative Party lines, the parties of Trump/Pence, Collins, and Paladino.
To empower that party once again in the State Senate is bad for all of us, especially our young and most vulnerable and the elderly of which I'm part of now. 
Two more races of interest in Chautauqua County Jason Perdue, head of the Jamestown Pride Committee is running for State Assembly.   That would be something, the first one of us elected to the State Legislature from Western New York.
Finally I urge your strong support of John Flynn for District Attorney.   Our position in terms of law
enforcement is the pits in this region.  Coming from New York City I know exactly what we lack in this region and we sure didn't get meaningful support from the past couple of District Attorneys in this county.   John's opponent is registered Conservative Joseph Treanor running on the GOP and Conservative lines.  It's critical to get someone sympathetic in both the Sheriff and DA offices in this county.  
As someone who was a victim advocate in working life I've heard too many stories of intolerance and incompetence from law enforcement, sometimes both on the same case since I moved here.
Far more per capita than I heard from in New York City.   One thing that John Flynn did say that impressed me was that at one time the DA worked with the police from the gitgo on homicides.
The ghosts of our brothers Christopher Rudow and William Foster still cry for justice from January of 2010.   That will be done again pledges John Flynn.
After Orlando we cannot afford to take our civic responsibilities lightly.   Make sure to vote this year for president on down and please give the candidates I've suggested your support and vote.

-Bruce Kogan
​Bruce Kogan is a former president of Stonewall Democrats of WNY