LGBTQ+ Congressional PAC Rapidly Expands in Preparation for 2018 Elections

 

The LGBTQ+ organization Run with Pride has been hard at work over the past few months preparing for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections that will decide control of Congress. The PAC, which was formed in November of last year, has endorsed 18 candidates and has hired 5 staff members in the short 10 weeks it’s been in existence. “The support that we have seen has been amazing” said Jessica Sanders, the organization’s deputy executive director. “We have seen support from coast to coast.”

Run with Pride was founded with the goal of supporting and electing LGBTQ+ Democratic candidates to Congress. “Our goal is to see that the LGBTQ+ community gets fair representation at the federal level,” said Sanders. A study by the Victory Institute in December revealed severe under-representation in government for the LGBTQ+ community. The comprehensive report showed that there were only 448 LGBTQ+ elected officials (0.1% of all elected officials) in the United States, only 7 of which serve in Congress. “This lack of representation is why we haven’t seen laws passed that would protect LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination, such as the Equality Act. It’s time we change that. We are aiming to elect a record number of LGBTQ+ candidates to Congress this year. With the wave that seems to be forming right now for Democrats across the country, hopefully we can take back Congress and pass, for the first time in history, the Equality Act.”

The organization’s dreams are big, but they are making moves to ensure it will be a reality. This month, Run with Pride announced it’s first round of hires for the new year. Jordan Allen, the Editor in Chief of Millennial Politics and host of the Millennial Politics Podcast, was brought on as National Communications Director. Blaine Milligan, a former congressional campaign staffer, was brought on as National Fundraising Director. And Julie Coburn, former field coordinator for Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, was brought on as the National Field Director. “Each of these positions is key,” stated Sanders. “These are all areas where campaigns can struggle or additional help is appreciated.”

Jessica goes on to say that how the organization plans to be effective is by being able to provide a stable infrastructure for LGBTQ+ candidates: “We want to ensure that LGBTQ+ candidates always know they have the tools and resources they need to be successful. One of the things that’s difficult about campaigns is that at the end of the day there is an election and a campaign will come to an end. Then the next campaign that comes along has to reinvent the wheel all over again. That’s where we come in because we aren’t going anywhere. That stability allows us to maintain that critical infrastructure that LGBTQ+ candidates need to be successful, year after year.”

In its short life, Run with Pride has managed to break through as an organization on the rise garnering thousands of supporters, hundreds of donations, and an amazing slate of LGBTQ+ candidates -- all fueled by the national energy the Trump administration has caused. This organization plans to help Democrats take back Congress later this year by raising their rainbow flag high and ensure their candidates can run with pride.

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Jordan Valerie Allen