Press

Task Force Organizing & Training staff complete record-breaking training in New Mexico

Date: 
August 01, 2003

Just three months after celebrating victories in the passage of both a hate crimes and non-discrimination law, New Mexico lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists and allies are gearing up to fight anti-gay extremists who are threatening to introduce legislation repealing those laws.

Dozens of activists gathered in Albuquerque, NM at the end of July for a multi-day National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Organizing & Training department field organizing training, including door to door voter contact and fund-raising trainings.

Beating all past training records, the Task Force fund-raising track at the New Mexico electoral training spurred the local team to raise more than $50,000 in their 90 minutes on the phones Sunday morning. "In addition to providing this electoral training, the Task Force also announced to fund-raising participants that we would match dollar for dollar everything they raised," said Dave Fleischer, Task Force Director of Organizing and Training. "The result is that Basic Rights New Mexico, the campaign committee fighting to defeat the anti-LGBT ballot measure threatened here, has gone from a bank balance of zero to more than $100,000 in seed money, which will allow them to hire their campaign manager and get their operation up and running 15 months before election day. This puts them in an incredibly strong position to win."

Marshall Martinez, Interim Campaign Committee member for Basic Rights New Mexico, said "It's hard to believe that in this modern day we are still fighting battles over LGBT civil rights, especially in places like New Mexico, which is a home to multi-culturalism. Thankfully, the deep electoral expertise that the Task Force has brought with this training has better prepared the LGBT community to defeat the anti-gay measure and win full equality for all."

The Task Force and training attendees identified 424 supportive voters from door to door canvassing and raised $51,400 in the fund-raising training to be matched dollar for dollar by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The Human Rights Campaign also made a $2500 donation, for a total amount raised of $105,300.

Gabriel Serna an attendee from Las Cruces said, "Living in Las Cruces, we often feel out of the loop and disconnected with the larger New Mexico LGBT movement. This training made us feel connected with the LGBT movement in a bigger way. And, as the results of the successful Sunday fundraising action showed, it demonstrated how local, state, and national LGBT groups can effectively partner to achieve great accomplishments."

–30–

The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.