Friday, June 15, 2012

SON OF U.S. CONGRESSMAN THAT ISSUED CHALLENGE IN 2011 TO YOUNG GRASSROOTS LGBT ORGANIZATION STARTED ON FACEBOOK WINS RECENT PRIMARY IN NEW JERSEY'S 10TH DISTRICT

Donald M. Payne, Sr.
Son, Donald Payne, Jr.

NEWS ALERT:   The subsequent passing of this Congressman is truly a sad day for all mankind.  A truly great advocate for basic human and civil rights has left the stage and will be missed by all.  Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr. issued a personal challenge to the Let's Reach 1 Million People Campaign in 2011 for LGBT Equality.  The young grassroots organization issued a release on July 18, 2011 summarizing his challenge. 

The organization is in the process of drafting correspondence to his son, Donald Payne, Jr., Newark Council President and Essex County Freeholder, who recently beat out five other candidates in the primary to get his name on November's ballot, to find out his intent on carrying out and continuing the support shown for the LGBT by his father and whether or not he was even aware of the challenge his father gave to the grassroots organization, as well as his knowing what plans his father alluded to in the challenge for potentially stepping up his support for LGBT Equality.  Donald Payne, Jr. was also the winner of a special election to fill the unexpired term of his father, who died suddenly this past March of colon cancer.

The following is an excerpt from a June 6, 2012 article written by Monica Miller in NEWSWORKS New Jersey:

"Well, I wouldn't even kid you to think that I could fill those shoes.  But, I'm standing on his shoulders," said Payne, Jr.  "I understand what he wanted for this community.  I understand what he wanted for this state.  I understand what he wanted for this world.  So, no one -- no one better than I can continue to do the work that the late Congressman Donald Payne did for everyone."


While it may appear this news alert is coming a little late being a short while since his passing; the organization thought it best to wait and see how the primary turned out last week as to whether his son looks to be the one to carry on the legacy of Congressman Payne...it does so look for that to be the case!  
  (Because this district is so heavily Democratic, Donald Payne, Jr. will most likely win in November's general election.) 

Congressman Payne was a progressive, staunch champion of civil, women's and labor rights, as well as an ally of the LGBT.  He was steadfast in his support for equality.  Congressman Payne was also up for re-election this year.  He always thought representatives, at the end of the day, should side with constituents and was quoted once in an article as saying the following, "Members listen to constituents and will side with them over lobbyists if they assert themselves and hold their representatives accountable.  Church groups and advocacy organizations can be particularly effective."  This philosophy of his can definitely be seen in the challenge he issued in 2011.

This grassroots organization is particularly interested in ascertaining that his son, Donald Payne, Jr. will stand for the same progressive values his father stood for, including civil, human, women's, workers', immigrant and LGBT rights.  He already has the support and endorsement of Jesse Jackson, Jr.

In closing:  Was the challenge issued in 2011 so confidential because the congressman was up for re-election?  I shouldn't think so as he had never really encountered any challenges of his own in continuing on in Congress for all of those years.  We hope to find out some answers with correspondence in the works to Donald Payne, Jr.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

RESULTS OF RECENT SURVEY AND SUGGESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF THE LET'S REACH 1 MILLION PEOPLE CAMPAIGN:




It appears an overwhelming common goal of many who responded, especially many of the newer members (and I will add this was one of my goals as well) is that to be more effective in our campaigns, we must take our work to a more local level as we did with the 2012 Civil Rights Marches this past April. Had we already maintained a stronger local presence at that time, the marches and messages they conveyed could have easily been quadrupled. This is an easy accomplishment and appears to be at the top of the suggestion list. This group here, along with our off facebook website is the core of the campaign where administrators, leaders, members, etc. can exchange ideas and get their own LGBTQIA related issues in the forefront for advancing our rights, as we all agreed in the suggestions is one of the reasons for our advocacy and our existence.

To accomplish this, we need to gather those interested in being on a few different committees to get this under way and while the strength of the Let's Reach 1 Million Campaign is not only in our ability to generate media attention (which, according to many messages received after the marches, many activists, both LGBTQIA and our allies, said they had never seen so much publicity generated for a one day event), but also our ability to educate and enlighten society as to our plight in many other ways. Our facebook campaign currently is focused with a group, which the majority of those who responded agreed a group carries more clout that a page with only likes, but that in our expansion to local levels of states, cities, etc. those interested in heading a Let's Reach 1 Million Campaign locally need to be assigned a territory with a corresponding facebook PAGE so as to distinguish it from the overall national group campaign and that by doing this, those leaders of the local territories can grow their local campaigns quickly in clout with likes, while encouraging those liking their page to join the national group campaign as a member as well. Many of you said you felt in doing this, more members of the national group campaign will take a more active role in their respective localities and I totally agree with that.

Another common goal of many of you were to get our activists and members to post their agenda, petitions, etc. not only in the national group to gain support and attention, but most members in the group are already an integral part of the achievement of LGBTQIA rights and these posts need to be made in other outside places to garner more support and more allies for our fight for equality and in doing this we will see a growth in support from many others not already in this with us.

Of course many had their own ways of carrying on their own work on their own goals and that is so fantastic for those who have the initiative to do this on their own and in going forward with our evolution, it would be nice to have maybe a certain day a week devoted to posts about how those members work on their own personal goals for our equality.

Lastly, a common mention by many is that we need to regroup our administrators of the main national campaign group of Let's Reach 1 Million People Campaign to include only those members who truly desire and want to be an active part in going forward and working toward LGBTQIA equality.

A great place to start would be for those interested to comment here and let us know you want to be an integral part of this evolution, especially those of you who would like to be a local leader of a branch of the Let's Reach 1 Million Campaign as mentioned above.

Please at this time, post your responses here in the group rather than by private message as that will definitely be beneficial for all members in getting this evolution going forward in this ever so important election year.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

PRESIDENT OBAMA COMES THROUGH FOR THE LGBTQIA AFTER MANY RECENT ACTIONS

Today, President Obama declared his support for marriage equality in the United States. This could not have been an easy decision, especially in an election year.  Let's Reach 1 Million People Campaign is so appreciative of the President's determination to see that all citizens be treated with dignity and respect. TRUE EQUALITY WILL PREVAIL WITH YOUR HELP...

On behalf of all LGBTQIA Worldwide, we say, "Thank You, Mr. President!"

You have to know that all of the efforts that every single one of you put forth for our Equality pays off.  This was not a decision President Obama made without a great deal of thought, encouragement, and support from individuals like each of you, as well as actions by groups such as ours.  This decision came less than 20 days after the civil rights marches and events of April 21st worldwide...this decision came after we had taken on something that had never been done in the history of gay rights!  Sure there were many that said the publicity generated was only mediocre, be it as it may, it was publicity and our event did receive tons of it and any publicity gets attention regardless and as the committee said all along, the timing was perfect for an event of that magnitude and now we must go forward and continue our work and ride this momentum all the way to the elections in November.

THIS SHOULD BE OUR NEXT CAMPAIGN.

Here is a post I made a couple weeks ago and it only received minimal response.

Please after the announcement today by our President, let's show America and the World that EQUALITY IS FOR ALL:

PEOPLE'S CHOICE: What action does Let's Reach 1 Million People campaign take on next?


The Worldwide event last Saturday, April 21st is producing great results from letters delivered from marchers, all the way to politicians acknowledging our inequality and the fight we have ahead of us and their desire to learn more about it and how they can assist. There will be advancements and positive steps resulting from the efforts of every single one of you for a long time to come. How do we follow this up? Of course, many of us will be continuing this fight and following up on progress from the 21st in the appropriate areas and incorporate this progress into any and all existing campaigns both locally and nationally, BUT WE NEED YOUR IDEAS ON WHAT TO DO NEXT AS A BUDDING AND GROWING GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION!

Please take part in determining what action we take on next. Comment below with your suggestions. After we receive several PEOPLE'S CHOICE of potential actions, then let's continue the momentum and decide together which ones to take on next.

BE A PART OF THIS NEW GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT AND FEEL SOMETHING MANY MAY NOT HAVE FELT BEFORE OR FOR A LONG TIME...it really does change your life!

Go to the fabulous website designed by our own James Vivian and look around if you want to learn more about us, go to http://www.letsreachonemillionpeople.com/

CHECK US OUT AND JOIN NOW FOR YOUR FUTURE AND THAT OF OUR CHILDREN...

Here is an excerpt from a personal letter I sent to President Obama 3 days after the 
Worldwide event on April 21st...I never expected a response personally, but the announcement he made today was far more than I could have ever hoped for,

"In closing Mr. President, I want to thank you for what you have done during this first term of your Presidency and firmly believe you will come forth with a firm position to advance the rights of every LGBTQIA citizen in these United States going forward with your campaign for reelection.  We have done it before in these United States for a segment of society highly discriminated against and we must do it again!"

Today I received the following email and in no way am I implying it was in response to my personal letter I recently sent to the President, but it still makes me PROUD to say that I am a firm supporter of President Obama:

Joe --

Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:

I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I hope you'll take a moment to watch the conversation, consider it, and weigh in yourself on behalf of marriage equality:

http://my.barackobama.com/Marriage

I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn't dawn on them that their friends' parents should be treated differently.

So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

If you agree, you can stand up with me here.

Thank you,

Barack

Friday, April 27, 2012

THE LET'S REACH 1 MILLION CAMPAIGN WORLDWIDE EVENTS ON APRIL 21 IRRITATES ESTABLISHED LGBT ORGANIZATIONS IN WASHINGTON

2012 Worldwide LGBTQIA Civil Rights March at One of Several Locations Across the Globe


If you visit and talk with any of the 6-8,000 participates worldwide, in addition to listening to any of the many amazing speeches given at various locations throughout the day, as well as view the many videos already surfacing on You Tube and the hundreds of photos already surfacing globally around the net, you will witness such excitement, enthusiasm, and commitment to equality such as you have never seen before.

Now if you read some of the articles having appeared in some of the well known LGBT publications, many of which rely on the support of and from the older established LGBT organizations (who have been working decades for our equality that we still don't have), you will see the bleak picture they are trying to paint of the worldwide event, rather than reporting on the positive aspects of this historic event at numerous locations that they were provided details on, along with some of the actual footage.  WHY IS THAT?

It is because new grassroots movements scare and intimidate many of these older established LGBT organizations because if their existence or value to our movement is diminished by the achievement of our equality, their donations and support will dry up very quick.  THIS IS THE REALITY OF OUR EQUALITY BEING A POLITICAL PAWN...

Is that what you want?  Here is a excerpt of an article having appeared in the Washington Blade:

In a statement released to organizers and supporters of the events, Knudson said between 6,000 and 8,000 people participated in the events in the U.S. and overseas.  He said the enthusiasm and impact the events would have in the U.S.and abroad would be far more significant than the number of people attending them. When asked why he thought most of the established U.S. national and local LGBT organizations chose not to participate in the marches, Knudson said sources familiar with various groups told him the groups don’t like to get involved in events that they don’t control. “I was point blank told by some that it is not proper for a new and young grassroots organization such as the Let’s Reach 1 Million People Campaign, to initiate such action as we did without first getting the approval of some of the older more established organizations,” Knudson told the Blade. "In doing so we stepped on a lot of egos and I was told egos of LGBT organizations do not heal very well or very fast,” he said.


Had they not been irritated and felt they had to make a response in one of the more respected LGBT publications around, they would not have made such an obvious egotistical statement as follows:

Veteran D.C. gay activists Bob Summersgill, former president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, and Rick Rosendall, the group’s current vice president, disagreed with Knudson’s assessment of the established LGBT groups. “Speaking for myself and GLAA, if we were so egotistical and controlling as Mr. Knudson says in his laughable generalization, we wouldn’t have the record of accomplishment that we do,” Rosendall said. “LGBT advocates in D.C. have a long history of coalition work, which is not about getting permission but about consultation.” Summersgill said organizers of the worldwide marches didn’t adequately communicate what they wanted people to do to advance their goals of equality“ other than to walk around while members of Congress were out of town.

Quite obviously Summersgill thought the efforts of the event were concentrated in DC, while failing to realize they were concentrated locally where some of the members of Congress were while being out of town from the DC area as he mentioned.  It was at these locations that the day brought about great successes.  The DC event was just that, for those members who remained during a recess and of course all of us know that the Senate and the House recess does not always coincide, which it didn't at this time as Summersgill alluded to.  It is not always about the "BIG BOYS" in DC (not necessarily the politicians, but the LGBT organizations), that has been a problem in the past.  If we don't take this education and enlightenment of society to the people who elect our politicians, LGBT equality will take so much longer to achieve and as soon as individuals like Summersgill realize that, we will see more advancement in our rights.

The comment by Rosendall about my laughable generalization is laughable in itself as that generalization came from individuals closely associated with those very LGBT organizations such as Rosendall is associated with.

I am not at all dismissing the achievements of these older established LGBT organizations and they in turn should not dismiss what grassroots movements have accomplished in history.  There are many forms, manners, and shapes activism takes and this new grassroots movement realizes that and numerous items of correspondence, telephone calls, and follow ups were made to the older established organizations and it was in the few responses we did receive, as well as conversations with some of the elder activists that the information was derived which led to the quotes in the article about the reasons, in my opinion, for their reluctance to participate.

                    
My own take on the event as occurred and the responses so noted by many...                                               Joe Knudson, Chairman of the 2012 Worldwide LGBTQIA Events

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

POST WORLDWIDE LGBTQIA EVENT INITIAL MEDIA RELEASE

2012 Worldwide LGBTQIA Civil Rights Marches & Events

While this first attempt at a Worldwide LGBT Civil Rights March was an overall success, the organizers did learn many things from putting on something of this magnitude globally. Each continued endeavor of educating and enlightening societies and governments worldwide through our grassroots movement will be stronger and better prepared for as we learn from our experiences.

We have tons of footage in various forms that we are going through currently to get a more accurate picture of the day worldwide and soon, we will have a special page on our website at http://www.letsreachonemillionpeople.com/ devoted to post-event videos, interviews, etc. and the such.

While some of the registered locations showed little or no participation, the majority of those registered reached heights of triumph of their own with specific highlights shown by their videos, interviews, etc. There are even unregistered areas reporting on ways they participated on this historic day. Certain Pride celebrations registered with our committee as well, in order that solidarity be shown for all brothers and sisters worldwide on this momentous occasion.

One area we were especially ecstatic about was the overseas participation, especially from the Philippines. With so many atrocities occurring in numerous countries against the LGBT, it was a priority of the committee to make sure our message got out loud and clear to those societies and governments overseas. 

Areas within the states that were truly exciting were the various speeches given by so many wonderful individuals both within and outside the LGBT communities. Locations such as Atlanta, Millington, Oklahoma City, Jackson, Athens, Chicago, NYC, DC and many others experienced true success and joy on this day, with a sense of belonging, along with a strong personal feeling of the timing being right and our window of opportunity wide open to fight hard and gain our Basic Human Rights by continuing to build on the momentum that continued and was enhanced on this very special day.

We had many young and exciting LGBT activists who were fairly new to activism and it was rewarding to see the fruits of their labor and know the future of LGBT activism will be left in good hands.


PRELIMINARY ATTENDANCE NUMBERS AND SHOW OF APPRECIATION FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS (post event):


After going through tons of emails, facebook messages, footage from the day, right now the preliminary unconfirmed numbers worldwide looks like we are talking about anywhere from 6-8,000 worldwide participants…we had a few pride events on this day in conjunction with this worldwide effort, private participation in many countries where atrocities are common within the communities and for safety and privacy issues their events were not publicized, many private events going on in Great Britain that were not in the media out of respect for the Queens Birthday on April 21, so there are many factors that entered into these estimates. With these items in mind and the more than 20 active locations in the event out of more than 30 registered and numerous unregistered locations participating in one way or another, spotters, lead organizer comments and many other factors allowed us today, after reviewing hours of information, footage, etc. to arrive at these numbers.

What has been done and what each of you did today will change the world as we know it. Societies and governments worldwide will now know that we DEMAND our BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS and we will not let anything stand in our way. This education and enlightenment will allow every member of every society, as well as all governments worldwide to be aware of the atrocities occurring in various parts of the world, along with the lack of existence and application worldwide of the laws necessary to assure that every individual is guaranteed those same rights regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity as those enjoyed by all other segments of societies throughout the world. THIS IGNORANCE MUST AND WILL STOP AND IS A REQUIRED STEP ON OUR JOURNEY TO FULL EQUALITY…

EQUALITY will be much closer because of EACH OF YOU and all of your efforts to make this day, April 21, 2012 a success and a day to go down in the history books as the day thousands of people united together in many different countries and states throughout the world, along with individuals from many unofficial site locations too numerous to mention, to make their voices heard. Our work is just now beginning and we will build on this momentum with a documentary on this special day that is being planned and forthcoming prior to the elections in America in November.

I am truly blessed to know each of you and my own life is forever changed because of each of you. I love all of you and care very much and please know that I will always be here for anything any of you may need.

With tears of joy in my eyes…Joe Knudson!

Friday, April 20, 2012

HILLARY WOULD BE SO PROUD OF EACH OF YOU THROUGHOUT THE WORLD





Please know what you have done and what you will do tomorrow will change the world as we know it.  Societies and governments worldwide will now know that we DEMAND our BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS and we will not let anything stand in our way.


Advancement toward EQUALITY will be much closer because of EACH OF YOU!


Please be careful tomorrow, have fun tomorrow, and most importantly, be PROUD tomorrow!


I am truly blessed to know each of you and my own life is forever changed because of each of you.  I love all of you and care very much and please know that I will always be here for anything any of you may need.


With tears of joy in my eyes...Joe!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

THIS ISN'T KANSAS ANYMORE, TOTO...This is the road to EQUALITY!

DO WE HAVE ALL THE PIECES TO THE PUZZLE?  WE WON'T KNOW UNLESS YOU BRING YOURS WITH YOU THIS SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2012!  DON'T LEAVE IT AT HOME, IT COULD BE THE PIECE THAT COMPLETES THIS PUZZLE THE LGBTQIA HAVE BEEN WORKING ON FOR DECADES...

DO YOU WANT TO CHANCE THAT MISSING PIECE NOT BEING THERE?  I DIDN'T THINK SO!

BE THERE, DON'T LET HISTORY BE MADE WITHOUT YOU!  YOU ONLY GO AROUND ONCE IN THIS LIFE; MAKE THE MOST OF IT AND LEAVE IT BETTER FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS...

DON'T FORGET YOUR PIECE; YOU WILL HAVE A LOT OF FUN PUTTING IT WHERE IT BELONGS...

2012 WORLDWIDE LGBT CIVIL RIGHTS MARCHES & EVENTS - SATURDAY APRIL 21ST AT A LOCATION OF YOUR CHOICE!
http://www.letsreachonemillionpeople.com/locations_36.html