2006 LA Leadership Awards

L.A. Leadership Awards 2006

Los Angeles Leadership Awards inspires largest-ever crowd

Sen. Barbara Boxer accepts our National Leadership Award

On a sunny California Sunday, more than 350 Task Force supporters gathered for the 17th Annual Los Angeles Leadership Awards. The day began with people socializing in the garden of the Beverly Hills Hotel over cocktails and a silent auction and culminated in an inspiring, diverse and exhilarating awards brunch. The Oct. 8 event, our largest in Los Angeles to date, raised more than $130,000 to help further the work of the Task Force.

We are proud to have honored Alice Huffman, president of the California State Council of the NAACP; Sen. Barbara Boxer; and Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, co-writers and -directors of Quinceañera. Speeches about full equality, marriage and collaboration with allies in other progressive movements brought home the message that we must all work together to ensure real change and progress.

The honorees had diverse messages regarding our community and its progress. Huffman drove home the point that we must strive for equal rights for all — and that the only way we can win is by working together. Glatzer and Westmoreland said they were honored to receive their award for a movie that, in their view, simply discusses the hardships of life and shows what family values truly stand for. Boxer, meanwhile, pledged to continue to fight for the equal rights of all people.

Along with our honorees, other speakers included Marvin Burrows, who told the touching story of his 50-year relationship and the sad reality he faced upon his partner’s death. Without the protection that marriage offers, Burrows was unable to be with his partner when he died, give him the burial he’d requested, or inherit the property and money his partner had wanted him to have. Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman spoke to the crowd about the Task Force’s commitment to and involvement in defeating the anti-marriage initiative expected to be on the California ballot in 2008.

Very special thanks go to the members of the event steering committee, including co-chair and board member Mario Guerrero and co-chair Kevin Allan as well as Los Angeles board members Loren Ostrow, Stephen Macias and Andrew Ogilvie.

We extend our thanks to Platinum sponsors Jeff Soref & Paul Lombardi and Gold sponsors Planned Parenthood, SEIU United Healthcare Workers, the SEIU California State Council, United Teachers of Los Angeles, Alan Hergott & Curt Shepard, Arriba! Ski and Snowboard Club, the California Community Foundation, Loren Ostrow, Paramount Pictures and Washington Mutual. Thanks also to Silver sponsors Kevin Allan (also one of our event co-chairs), Leslie Belzberg, the American Federation of Government Employees District 12, Cary Davidson & his partner, Andrew Ogilvie, Bill Resnick & Doug Cordell, Charles Robbins & Damon Romine and Andrew Tobias & Charles Nolan. VIP table captains included the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees International joined by all of the California AFSCME affiliates, Eddie’s Pharmacy, Marc Ware and board member Kevin Wayne Williams.

And, of course, the Task Force expresses gratitude to its national sponsors for their constant support: The Advocate, American Airlines, Bacardi Limon, Olivia, here! TV, PlanetOut, Wells Fargo, the Bel Age Hotel and the Washington Plaza Hotel.