Today LGBTQ Victory Institute and 18 partner organizations are participating in the first National Out to Win Day, which aims to raise awareness about the severe underrepresentation of LGBTQ people in elected office. Partner organizations and influencers throughout the country are urging LGBTQ people to pledge to consider a run for office and to nominate LGBTQ people they believe should consider a run. Additionally, LGBTQ elected officials across the nation will wear rainbow to raise the visibility of out officials.
People can take the pledge or nominate an LGBTQ person to run at outtowin.org.
Currently in the United States, LGBTQ people hold just 0.1 percent of elected positions despite being 4.5 percent of the population. America needs to elect 22,272 more LGBTQ people to achieve equitable representation. In an effort to increase representation, those who pledge to consider a run or accept the nomination will receive videos of encouragement from LGBTQ elected officials, resources from campaign experts, and other information intended to make running for office more accessible.
April 2 was chosen for National Out to Win Day because of Kathy Kozachenko’s election to the Ann Arbor, Michigan city council on this day in 1974, becoming the first openly LGBTQ person ever elected to public office. This National Out to Win Day marks the 45th anniversary of that historic achievement. More information about the day is available at outtowin.org.
“Many barriers to entry exist for LGBTQ people considering a run for office, but among the most significant is that we need to be asked more times than white straight cisgender men before we give it serious consideration,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “Forty-five years ago, Kathy Kozachenko achieved what many thought impossible, so today we continue her legacy by telling LGBTQ people that they can do it too. We need to be asked more times – and we hope for many LGBTQ people, their first ask comes from a friend or colleague or family member on National Out to Win Day.”