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Arkansas has ZERO LGBT legislators. None. Nada. Zilch.

I want to change that.  I don't know how to personally run for office, but I might be able to learn or help someone.  That's where you come in.  Will you VOTE for me?

I have a simple, but potentially huge favor to ask of you.  I am competing in a mock election to receive candidate training from the Victory Institute and I want your vote.  It’s for LGBT folks who are thinking of becoming candidates for local office. I originally came to the Obama campaign in 2008 because he was a candidate who spoke to my community.  And I think sometime soon I may have to run to help my community.  After all, Arkansas has ZERO LGBT legislators.  Can I count on your vote?

I am currently in 2nd place!! Voting ends tomorrow, Thursday at 12pm Eastern/9am Pacific.

Voting is easy, it connects through your Facebook profile, but I hear that smartphones don’t work that well for some reason.

There are many great folks competing for this, but I can tell you we need it worse in Arkansas. I am in the right place in Arkansas (Fayetteville) to help make a change, but I need some training on how local elections can be won. I interrupted my life to go fight in Florida for President Obama and being jobless immediately after the campaign is the thing that is keeping me from going.  Unless you help!

My story below the fold:

Why I’m running
Whether it is me or another qualified candidate that I will someday assist, Arkansas needs openly LGBT elected officials in a bad way. For the past 6 years we had one (1) out legislator, but we now have none.  Having a place at the table matters, especially in a place like Arkansas. It made a difference in 2011 when Arkansas passed the 2nd in the South, comprehensive anti-bulling bill. (Thanks Kathy Webb!)

I owe my life to the LGBT communities in Arkansas and the South.  Whether it was the small but powerful LGBT youth group in my hometown, the donated funds that sent me to my first Creating Change Conference, or the opportunities I was given to fight for equality with statewide advocacy groups like Kentucky Fairness Alliance and Equality Florida, my LGBT brothers, sisters, and mentors have believed in me.  In my youth it made the difference between life and death, and in adulthood it led me to become the man I am today.

My experience
It started with a sudden decision to come out at 17, and it seems like it was all downhill from there! I started Arkansas’ first official high school Gay Straight Alliance at Fayetteville then became deeply involved with my campus organization at the University of Arkansas.

Later I worked at Kentucky Fairness Alliance as a Community Organizer and at Equality Florida in 2007 as a Field Organizer during the run up to the 2008 anti-marriage amendment.  In 2008 I worked on the Obama-Biden campaign in Savannah and Miami as a Field Organizer.  2012 saw me return to Florida, this time as a Regional Field Director for the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign (West Central Florida represent!).

Though my issue advocacy and campaigns have taken me all across the South, my heart is in Fayetteville, Arkansas where I have lived most of my life.  My passion there is the only LGBT community center in the state.  I have served on their Board, run their membership campaign, and cheered on their fabulous kickball team.

Originally posted to Daxton16 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 02:55 PM PST.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women, LGBT Kos Community, Invisible People, and Progressive Policy Zone.

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