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.

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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!

Jim Kenney for Mayor!

I’m proud that Philadelphia is one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the nation, but we know that didn’t just happen over night. A large part of it was due to the advocacy, hard work, and dedication of one city council member: Jim Kenney.

In the 1990s, way before equality was a buzzword, Jim introduced legislation to provide benefits to life partners of city workers. In 2013, he fought to pass a ground-breaking LGBT Equality Bill. And just last year, Jim worked to pass the strongest hate crime legislation in the country.

Jim has always stood for Philadelphia’s LGBT community, and now it’s our turn to stand with him. I’m throwing my full support behind him today—will you join me?

Jim isn’t just the best candidate to make equality a way of life in Philadelphia, he has the passion and the experience to make our schools better, strengthen our neighborhoods, and fight economic inequality.

He is the leader Philadelphia needs.

The election is on May 19th and we don’t have a day to waste. Add your name today, and let me know you’re backing Jim Kenney for mayor.

I know, as mayor, Jim won’t just talk about equality, he will make sure it is a way of life in Philadelphia – so let’s get to work!

-Brian

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Kenney receives LGBT endorsement

By Claudia Vargas

Former City Councilman James F. Kenney received an endorsement for mayor from Philadelphia’s LGBT leaders.

At a Friday morning news conference, state Rep. Brian Sims said Kenney has been a “tireless advocate” for the LGBT community for more than 20 years and wants him to be Philadelphia’s next mayor.

“More than anything it’s been having a guy that is so traditionally Philadelphian standing up for the LGBT community,” Sims said following the endorsement announcement at the William Way Community Center. “It’s brought us support, it’s brought us allies in a way that we weren’t seeing before.”

Kenney was also endorsed at the event by other local LGBT leaders, including Mike Marsico, Kathy Padilla, Sharron Cooks, and Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou.
Continue reading: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/heardinthehall/Kenney-receives-LGBT-endorsement-.html#0TrX5yuicwIfXKrK.99

NEWSWORKS: After marriage equality in Pa., there’s still much to be accomplished

Commentary by Andrea Anastasi

Last year, Pennsylvania made significant progress toward LGBT equality when a federal court overturned the State’s ban against same-sex marriage allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in the commonwealth. Notwithstanding this critical step forward, Pennsylvania still has a long way to go to protect LGBT individuals within its borders.

A ‘weak’ grade on LGBT non-discrimination

The current situation in Pennsylvania is not only regrettable, but also disconcerting. As the Center for American Progress Action Fund notes, Pennsylvania is very “weak” at protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination. At present, Pennsylvania is the only Northeastern state where it is legal to discriminate against LGBT people in areas of employment, public accommodations, and housing. No state law protects LGBT Pennsylvanians from violence against them based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity. However, neighbors New Jersey The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination) and Delaware (employment, public accommodation, and housing) both offer extensive protections for their LGBT citizens.

Continue reading: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/essayworks/78876-after-marriage-equality-in-pa-theres-still-much-to-be-accomplished

WEEKLY PRESS: Education big concern at Representative Sims 182nd District Town Hall

By Nicole Contosta

Center City residents braved the blustery wind for Representative Brian Sims’ first Town Hall Meeting Thursday, February 12th.

“This is an opportunity to ask me about issues that matter to you so I can better represent you in Harrisburg,” Sims told the audience gathered at Community College’s Bonnell Auditorium. “This may be the start of a conversation. Maybe we can meet and talk about this further,” Sims said, adding, “There’s an advantage to serving this district. I don’t have to go out and pay experts. I have a district chocked full of them.”

Those in attendance proved Representative Sims right by asking pointed questions. This proved particularly true when it came to public education and its funding deficit.

Referencing the disconnect between Philadelphia and the rest of the state, one resident asked Sims if he knew of other commonwealth’s that dealt with similar situations more effectively when it comes to education funding.

“Illinois,” Sims said, explaining, “It has one major first class city, kind of like Philadelphia.” At the same time, “Chicago operates differently with the state government than Philadelphia,” Sims continued, explaining that after the Democratic primaries, “Chicago Democrats pump their money back into the state to make sure that their interests are not taken over by the rural legislature the way it is in Pennsylvania and a lot of other states.”

However, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does not have a good relationship with the city’s teachers unions, Sims said, noting, there isn’t one successful model or solution.

Continue reading: http://weeklypress.com/education-big-concern-at-representative-sims-nd-district-town-hall-p5076-1.htm

GPHILLY: Sims Heading to Africa to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

By Josh Middleton

On December 26th, State Representative Brian Sims will hop a plane to Africa, where he’ll climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Military Assistance Project (MAP), an initiative that provides legal and housing services to Philadelphia veterans.

During a phone chat last week, Sims told me he signed up for the adventure because it hit close to home. “My parents are both retired army lieutenant colonels. For years, during my time with the Bar Association, and even with Equality Pennsylvania, if there was a veterans component, or an opportunity to work with veterans I tended to take it,” he says. So when MAP approached him about this project last spring, it was a no-brainer.

Read more: http://www.phillymag.com/g-philly/2014/12/24/brian-sims-mount-kilimanjaro/

Happy holidays!

Christmas and the New Year is finally upon us and I’m enjoying my final hours of 2014 in my favorite city. This is one of my favorite times of the year to reflect on the months and seasons that lead us all here and I hope you find a few moments to do the same.

It goes without saying that this year has seen some really incredibly gains and some very notable losses for far too many people. I’m hoping to use both to inspire and challenge me in the year ahead.

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I also remember that the holidays can be tough for some friends and neighbors so please make sure to keep them in your thoughts, prayers, and your actions.

I’m so grateful for the communities I come from, the messages we carry, and the job I get to do! I want to say thank you, Merry Christmas, and have a wonderful holiday season.

-Brian