Today, the Victory Fund holds its third annual National Out to Win Day, a campaign to encourage LGBTQ+ individuals to seek political office.
With only 979 out candidates in office around the country, LGBTQ+ people make up only .19% of elected officials although they represent 5.6% of the U.S. population, the organization reports. It’s goal is to elect 28,123 more LGBTQ+ persons to office in order to achieve equal representation in government.
“While more LGBTQ people are running for office than ever before, we still hold a tiny proportion of election positions when compared to our numbers in the U.S. population,” said Victory Fund President and CEO Annise Parker in a statement released to the press. “The disparity has a profound impact on our nation’s politics and policies and slows our move toward full equality. Yet when LGBTQ people run, they win.”
The Victory Fund will host a Facebook Live event at 1 p.m. E.T. today, April 2nd, which will be opened by New York Congressman Ritchie Torres. It will include a panel of out LGBTQ+ politicians discussing both opportunities and challenges of seeking office, and will feature state Representative Daniel Hernandez (D-AZ), Washington County Justice of the Peace Evelyn Rios Stafford, and Washington D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Rehana Mohammed.
The organization’s website also includes information for anyone interested in running for office, including a 35-minute “First Steps” training video and video messages from 17 LGBTQ+ elected officials, including U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-MN), Georgia state Senator Kim Jackson (D), and California Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D).
National Out to Win Day commemorates the April 2nd election of Kathy Kozachenko to Ann Arbor’s city council in 1974, making her the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to office in the United States.