Equality for All

Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a huge victory for the LGBT community and all our allies, and today is a huge victory for equality. But we cannot forget the work that still lies ahead.

In Pennsylvania, there is no anti-discrimination law. Thousands of people across our state are at risk of getting fired for getting married. They could be denied a place to live or a table at a restaurant because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Add your name now if you believe equality should be a right for every Pennsylvanian>>

A Campaign of Coalitions

Friends,

Philadelphia deserved a night like last night. We saw some serious victories for Philadelphia that we can all be proud of.

I can’t believe it’s only been 24 hours since the polls closed here in Philadelphia and Jim Kenney became the Democratic nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia.

Over the past several months I’ve told you about the campaign of coalitions that Jim built, uniting Philadelphia in an historic election. Jim truly empowered all Philadelphians and his victory last night is a testament to that fact. I can’t wait to work with him to improve our public schools, strengthen working families, and tackle the great challenges that lay ahead.

Jim’s wasn’t the only victory for Philadelphians last night. We had some major victories for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Philadelphia City Council too.

While I’m not the biggest fan of selecting our state’s judges through partisan elections, I was ecstatic to see my friend Judge Kevin Dougherty win the nomination for Supreme Court. Kevin is a good and decent public servant who will bring integrity, experience, and compassion to our Commonwealth’s highest court. We need to get to work to make sure he wins in November.

My good friends Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and Helen Gym were both successful in their campaigns for City Council. Blondell has faithfully served Philadelphia since 1999 and her experience and leadership have been essential as one of the earliest supporters of LGBT civil rights in city government. Helen, a champion for public education, has fought for school and educational equality for years. There’s no one better equipped to tackle the problems facing our system of public education than Helen. She’ll be a terrific asset to Philadelphia.

Further, three of my endorsed candidates for Judge won their elections last night, including out candidates Abbe Fletman and Chris Mallios. Social justice warrior Rainy Papademetriou was also successful.

While we have much to celebrate, unfortunately we are not celebrating the election of Philadelphia’s first out member of City Council. Both Sherrie Cohen and Paul Steinke came up short in their campaigns. Sherrie and Paul ran courageous campaigns of substance and integrity of which I am incredibly proud. I know that they’ll continue their work to advocate for their communities and for all of Philadelphia. You certainly haven’t seen the last of them!

As Philadelphia enters even more onto the world stage with the first U.S. visit of Pope Francis later this year and as host of the Democratic National Convention in 2016, we’ll need leadership that is smart, determined, and energzied. I’m confident we got our leaders in our victories last night and I can’t wait to see what this city of coalitions can do.

Thank you for all of your support.

-Brian

INQUIRER – Kenney and assorted supporters take in victory

By Jeff Gammage

As the votes rolled in, the party rolled on – big, loud and growing, a celebratory scene where a son of South Philadelphia and the son of a firefighter became the presumptive next mayor of Philadelphia.

In a ballroom where supporters cheered, danced, and sang along to Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles stood the real-life evidence of the unlikely coalition that Democratic nominee James F. Kenney created – Irish Catholics, cops and firefighters, gays and lesbians, building trades unions, black politicians who crossed the color line for a white candidate.

There were men in formal gray suits, guys in T-shirts and shorts, and one young man in a shirt that simply read, ” ‘Merica.” All came out to celebrate and be part of the victory.

“It’s a great hodgepodge,” said State Rep. Brian Sims, the first openly gay elected legislator in Pennsylvania history and an early Kenney supporter. “We wanted somebody who knew all of us and had worked with all of us.”

To lead Philadelphia today requires the skill of coalition-building, he said, “and Jim did that right out of the gate.”

Read more

ENDORSEMENTS – Philly

Find out where you vote: www.votespa.com

For the #PHL2015 Primary Election, there’s a large list of great candidates from which to choose.

Here’s who I’ll be voting for:

MayorJim Kenney (68)

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Jim Kenney

I’ve known Jim for years and he’s the right guy to lead Philadelphia forward. Jim has not only fought for LGBT civil rights over the course of his 23-year career on Philadelphia City Council, but is and has been an advocate for public education, responsible policing, and working families. I have faith that Jim will deftly balance the many competing interests and priorities the City of Philadelphia will face over the next four eight years. Jim is my choice to be the next Mayor of Philadelphia.

Find out where you vote: www.votespa.com

City Council – Blondell Reynolds Brown* (90), Sherrie Cohen (93), Helen Gym (95), Ed Neilson* (96), Paul Steinke (91)

From top left - Gym, Steinke, Cohen, Brown, Neilson

Clockwise from top left – Gym, Steinke, Cohen, Neilson, Brown

Find out where you vote: www.votespa.com

Pa. Supreme CourtKevin Dougherty (3)

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Judge Kevin Dougherty

Find out where you vote: www.votespa.com

Court of Common Pleas – Abbe Fletman* (23), Chris Mallios (46), Rainy Papademetriou (22), Stella Tsai (35)

Clockwise from top left - Fletman, Mallios, Papademetriou, Tsai

Clockwise from top left – Fletman, Mallios, Tsai, Papademetriou

Find out where you vote: www.votespa.com

* – denotes incumbent
(xx) – ballot number


Click here to see Brian’s endorsements for candidates outside Philadelphia

ENDORSEMENTS – Pennsylvania

Here’s my list of endorsements for candidates running for office outside of Philadelphia:

Find out where you vote: www.votespa.com

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Dan Clifford – Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas

 

 

 

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Eric Gutshall – Dauphin County Controller

 

 

 

heisler

 

Dwayne Heisler – Columbia County Treasurer

 

 

 

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Hugh McGough – Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

 

 

Find out where you vote: www.votespa.com


 Click here to see Brian’s endorsements for offices in Philadelphia

Equal Pay For Equal Work!

Yesterday, Brian reintroduced the Pa. Equal Pay Act with his friend and colleague, Rep. Tina Davis.

For more than half a century Pennsylvania has had an equal pay bill on the books, yet wage inequality still exists. We can change that!


Add your name to those calling on the General Assembly to pass HB1160, the Pa. Equal Pay Act!


Equal Pay Twitter(1)

Helen Gym and Sherrie Cohen for City Council!

Brian made a huge announcement this morning where he endorsed Democrats Helen Gym and Sherrie Cohen for Philadelphia City Council At-Large!

“Both Helen and Sherrie are champions for their communities and will bring energy, hard-work, and new ideas to keep us on track in creating a city of which we all can be proud,” Sims said.

SimsGymCohen

Helen Gym for City Council          |          Sherrie Cohen for City Council

Helen is a mother, a teacher, a parent of three children in our public schools, and a big believer that quality schools can transform our neighborhoods, our communities, and our city.

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of Rep. Sims, someone who shares my priorities of fostering safe school climates for young people free from harassment and discrimination,” said Gym. “Rep. Sims has supported the work of immigrant youth to push back on intolerance and uplift diverse voices in a broader civil rights struggle.”

Helen Gym for City Council          |          Sherrie Cohen for City Council

Sherrie has dedicated her life to being an advocate for those who have had no voice in government, the law, or their community. As an attorney, she has fought toxic polluters, tobacco companies, and those in City Hall who would have forever closed 11 wonderful neighborhood public libraries.

“Rep. Sims is a leader in the community and I am honored to receive his support today,” said Cohen. “I look forward to doing the hard work to create a Philadelphia that works for everyone.”

Women make up just 29% of City Council. That needs to change. We’re making great strides in Philadelphia, but we know we are at our best when decisions are made by a diversity of voices. Let’s make sure all Philadelphians have a seat at the table.

Click on the links below to find out how you can help elect Helen and Sherrie to City Council:

Helen Gym for City Council          |          Sherrie Cohen for City Council

WASHINGTON BLADE: Victory Fund welcomes new CEO at annual brunch

At the Victory Fund’s annual brunch in which the group named its new President & Executive Director, Aisha Moodie-Mills, Brian spoke about the need for out and proud elected officials.

Read more below:

By Lou Chibbaro Jr.

The newly hired president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund on Sunday vowed to continue the organization’s mission of helping to elect out LGBT people to public office across the country during the group’s National Champagne Brunch in D.C.

Aisha Moodie-Mills told those attending the $250 per plate event that she is committed to carrying on the organization’s mission of helping to raise money and provide professional campaign training for hundreds of out LGBT candidates running for office on the local, state and national levels.

“What we do here is we are pipelining the next generation of leadership who will lead those foot soldiers who are sitting in the legislatures, who are sitting in the city councils, who are sitting in Congress,” she said

“And I don’t know, maybe they’ll be sitting in the White House at some point too,” she said, drawing loud applause.

The Victory Fund’s board selected Moodie-Mills in March to succeed Chuck Wolfe as head of the organization following his decision to step down to pursue other endeavors.

Continue reading: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/04/20/victory-fund-welcomes-new-ceo-at-annual-brunch/

Paul Steinke for City Council!

Earlier this week, Brian endorsed Paul Steinke for Philadelphia City Council At-Large in the upcoming May 19th primary election. Brian is supporting Paul because Philadelphia City government needs new blood, new vision, and some new bold ideas, and Brian knows that Paul is the leader we need right now.

Sims & SteinkeAs you may know, Philadelphia is the largest city in the nation that has never elected an openly LGBT member of City Council. And, although our Council reflects the diversity of Philadelphia in many ways, it has yet to do so in this one key way.

Candidates of Paul’s caliber are all too rare, and in him we have an opportunity to elect someone who shares our values, our drive and our ambitions as well. Let’s pull together and help Paul make history!