The group responsible for many recent protests throughout the country over LGBT issues announced Tuesday its new board of directors were set this week to meet to discuss future actions.
The 10 members who comprise the new, provisional board for GetEqual have a history of activism. They are:
• Jillian Weiss, the board chair, a transgender blogger and law professor at Ranapo College in New Jersey;
• Richard Aviles, a 19-year-old Los Angeles native who founded a gay-straight alliance at his home school before going to college at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn;
• John Blake, who co-founded Montana Equality Now in 2009 and is studying at the University of Montana;
• Geoff Farrow, a former priest and activist on the 2008 “No on 8” campaign in California;
• B. Loewe, who served as planning director for the Latino Union of Chicago from 2003 to 2009;
• Cathy Marino-Thomas, a former executive director of Marriage Equality New York and current board president of the organization;
• Kelsey Phipps, a law student at Georgetown University and former staffer for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy;
• Mark Reed, a member of the executive steering committee for the National Equality March in 2009;
• Autumn Sandeen, a transgender blogger and former fire controlman for the U.S. Navy;
• and Evelyn Thomas, executive director of the Sanctuary Project, an organization geared toward ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
At the end of six months, each board member will be given the option to assess whether they want to remain on the board for a full term or step down and let someone else join, according to GetEqual.
Robin McGehee, co-founder for GetEqual, said the board members will be attending a staff retreat over the next few days in Los Angeles to discuss the future of the organization.
McGehee said GetEqual has already spoken to local organizers throughout the country about actions against members of Congress as they return home for recess, particularly targeting Democrats who have an unknown status on a whip count on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or Republicans representing LGBT-friendly districts.
“It doesn’t mean that all of them are talking about office events or direct action,” she said. “It may be that they want to organize or protest or rally outside that legislator’s office, or they may be wanting to organize their own team.”