Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A message from Pride Agenda Executive Director Ross Levi

The Pride Agenda is proud to share this message from our new Executive Director, Ross D. Levi:

I am honored, humbled and excited to begin leading the Pride Agenda team as its Executive Director. The LGBT community is at such a pivotal moment here in New York State. We have achieved recent victories that range from banning transgender discrimination in state employment, to being able to make medical decisions for incapacitated domestic partners, to having out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples recognized by NYS government to expanding access to millions of dollars of public funding for LGBT health and human services. At the same time, we are on the brink of achieving equality under the law through vital measures like the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), the Dignity for All Students Act and marriage equality legislation.

As important as our work to achieve legislative and governmental victories is, equally important is our work to galvanize a statewide movement for equality and justice. We know that equality, in many ways, is only the beginning of our journey. The Pride Agenda is also committed to justice for LGBT people—and furthermore, a more just New York State for all. Even after our legislative victories are won and secured, we must all continue to do the work to make sure those laws are fully realized, to change hearts and minds, and to make sure that all LGBT New Yorkers are able to live free, fulfilling lives, in which we are able to fairly compete in our workplaces, walk safely on our streets and care for ourselves and our families.

I see the Pride Agenda’s job as providing opportunities for ALL New Yorkers to join the efforts to achieve LGBT equality and justice statewide on issues that matter to them. And I firmly believe that we will win when we work together as a united community: from upstate to downstate; across differences of race, class, age, sex and gender; in the streets, on the web and in the halls of the Capitol. I know that if everyone commits to doing something, we cannot fail. Whether becoming an educated and active voter, calling and meeting with our elected officials, organizing in our workplaces, union halls, schools and places of worship, rallying in public or, yes, supporting organizations like the Pride Agenda with donations of time or funds, the only wrong move is to do nothing.

The Pride Agenda stands ready and committed to march with you shoulder to shoulder until victory is achieved.

Onward to justice!

Ross Levi

(In his first action as incoming Executive Director, Ross also recently spoke at the Pride Agenda’s Spring Dinner in Rochester. You can click here to watch the video.)

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