Participants to be equipped with key campaign skills for races across the state
· WASHINGTON The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, announced today that it is launching a national program to help elect fair-minded candidates and defeat discriminatory ballot measures. The program called Camp Equality will train nearly 1,500 people in 14 cities to work on political campaigns. The first Camp Equality will take place in Orlando , Florida on May 2-4. Ft. Lauderdale training is 5/9-11 Those interested in participating in Camp Equality are encouraged to apply online before the April 25 deadline: www.hrc.org/campequality
"We are searching for talented and committed supporters of equality who are engaged in the political process and eager to build the skills necessary to win," said National Field Director Marty Rouse . "By maintaining a visible presence on campaigns, we're ensuring that the fight for equality remains a priority in this election cycle and beyond."
Camp Equality builds on the Human Rights Campaign's successful Campaign College , which brings 40 college students to Washington , D.C. every summer for intensive campaign training. Camp Equality takes that model out to the country, training individuals in their own communities and providing them with information about opportunities to engage in competitive political campaigns. By recruiting and training supporters of equality, HRC is bringing more people into the political process, training them to help fair-minded candidates achieve victory, and building support for equality across the country.
· From mobilizing the GLBT community, recruiting and training a cadre of grassroots political advocates to staff and assist political campaigns on the ground, and strategically targeting "high-impact" races, the Human Rights Campaign is gearing up to make sure that issues of equality for the GLBT community are discussed in '08 on our terms not used as a divisive, wedge by anti-gay forces on the right.
· In 2006, the Human Rights Campaign flexed its political muscle in unprecedented and strategic ways that helped alter the political dynamic in key races across the country. HRC's influence was felt in key victories for strong pro-equality candidates like Florida's Ron Klein, Arizona's Gabrielle Giffords and Pennsylvania's Bob Casey and, in addition, voters in Arizona also made history by defeating that state's discriminatory domestic partnership ballot initiative, marking the first time an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative has been defeated anywhere in the country.
· Through an expanded field team and an unprecedented focus on state-level activity, the Human Rights Campaign helped ensure victory for 211 endorsed candidates, offering up a stinging defeat for some of the most anti-gay politicians in the country, including Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. Because of these efforts, HRC was ranked the second most successful political organization in the country by National Journal ("Reversal of Fortune", National Journal, 11/11/06).
· "As in the 2006 general election, HRC will be on the cutting edge of strategic and organizational efforts to harness the political power of the organization's 700,000 plus members and supporters nationwide in addition to the larger GLBT community as a whole," said Rouse.
The Human Rights Campaign is America 's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.