2021 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference Survey (Elected & Appointed)

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  • Hotel review and conference timing:

  • For the third time, we have held the conference at the JW Marriott Washington, DC. Please provide your thoughts on the location (for Victory Institute use only):
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  • Nightly Networking events

    Victory Institute hosted a number of networking each night. Please only review/rate the events you attended.
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  • Wednesday, December 1st

    LGBTQ State Legislators Forum, State Legislators Happy Hour, Global Equality Reception,
  • Review of the conference sessions:

    Please only review sessions you attended in person. Thank you for your help!
    Presentations by: Sen. Shevrin Jones, Hon. Jessie Ulibarri, and Fundraiser Matthew McCllelan.
  • Thursday, December 2nd

    LGBTQ Elected Officials Summit Conference Opening Keynote Opening Plenary: The Congressional Rainbow Wave in 2022
  • Review of the conference sessions:

    Please only review sessions you attended in person. Thank you for your help!
    Speakers and workshops with; Senator Tammy Baldwin, Congressman Dr. Brian Baird, Representative David Cicilline, Mario Enriquez, Ruben Gonzales, Reggie Greer, Elliot Imse, Councilmember Rosemary Ketchum, Sean Meloy, Representative Roger Montoya, Ross Murray, Mayor Annise Parker, Courtney Snowden, Representative Adrian Tam, and Representative Brianna Titone.
    2022 presents an opportunity to increase the number of LGBTQ members of the House of Representatives – leaders who can pressure Congress to pass protections for LGBTQ people, including the Equality Act. To grow the number of LGBTQ representatives, candidates will have to navigate redistricted maps, face an increased number of anti-LGBTQ attacks, and win over a polarized electorate that is often hostile to equality. But representation matters more than ever. The opening plenary will feature LGBTQ candidates for Congress and experts who will forecast the impacts of redistricting and the politics of the 2022 election cycle.
  • Friday, December 3rd

    Social movements worldwide have inspired marginalized people to raise their voices in the fight for equality. Moreover, connectivity has highlighted the similarities in the battle for social justice around the globe. Protests against police brutality in the U.S. were echoed in Germany, France and Brazil; the demand for a new constitution in Chile inspired protests in Colombia; and the fight against gender-based violence has become an international rallying cry. Panelists will discuss how these social movements have grown and gained strength in the last year and the challenges they face in the near future.
    Communities around the world are facing unique challenges due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the LGBTQ community is no exception. Systemic racism and antiquated practices in healthcare have existed far before the pandemic, but now they have come to light through this new global challenge. Unfortunately, the LGBTQ community is no stranger to healthcare discrimination or pandemics. How has this history impacted the response of our community to pandemics? What lessons learned from the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic can we use while still in the midst of COVID-19? Join leaders from government and healthcare as we discuss the LGBTQ community’s response to pandemics.
    With economic pressures and housing prices skyrocketing, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the already urgent homelessness and housing affordability crisis to a head. The LGBTQ community is disproportionately impacted by this crisis. Due to factors such as family rejection, lack of access to physical and mental health services, and unemployment, members of the LGBTQ community experience homelessness at approximately twice the rate of the general population. For trans people, the rate is even higher, as social services and shelters frequently deny trans people housing or place them in a gendered space that do not match their identity. These issues underline the urgency of passing the Equality Act, which explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, employment and housing (including shelters). Join leaders in this area to explore how to shift these trends and discuss the positive impact the Equality Act will have.
    LGBTQ Victory Institute trainees share many concerns about running for office, but among the most common worries is personal safety on the campaign trail. Whether harassment on social media to death threats to vandalized campaign signs, the fear of verbal and physical violence remains a barrier that prevents many LGBTQ people from running. In this session, panelists will share their strategies for keeping safe and responding when faced with harassment or violence during their campaigns or as elected leaders. They will discuss the importance of creating safe spaces and building solidarity in the fight for LGBTQ political representation.
    Between the “off-election” years of 2019 and 2021, genderqueer and non-binary candidates grew by 260 percent, according to LGBTQ Victory Fund’s 2021 “Out on the Trail” report. There is little question we are on the cusp of a watershed moment for non-binary leaders., Panelists from all walks of life will share their unique lived experiences and help to answer the questions: How can non binary candidates win more races? What can allies – both within and outside of the LGBTQ community – do to support non-binary candidates as they run and serve in elected office? Join a discussion on the experiences of a growing number of non-binary elected officials as they share what it is like to run for office and win.
    In recent years, a wave of polarization and hate has plagued a number of issues across the country with a direct impact on marginalized communities of color. From the Black Lives Matter Movement, the politicization of wearing masks, to hate-based attacks on members of the AAPI community – our country is in crisis. Attend this session to hear from elected officials and subject-matter experts on what they are doing to address the politicization of our communities and to learn best practices that can be used to mitigate it
    The unsustainable pace of global warming and the rise in climate-related disasters has left leaders in America and the entire world at a crossroads. With increased wildfires in the West and severe floods in Southern and Eastern states, the world is facing a massive crisis that will affect everyone. Yet underserved communities are dealing with the worst impacts of climate change —including LGBTQ people. According to several key experts – including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the past seven years have been the warmest on record and sea levels have risen since 2013. Learn from policymakers and advocates about the short-term and long-term solutions necessary to tackle climate change and save our planet.
    The United States has had a challenging history with LGBTQ asylum-seekers wanting to enter the country who are facing anti-LGBTQ violence in their home countries, yet violence against LGBTQ people in detention centers is common and policy towards migrants continues to be hostile. The issue is often a matter of life and death – especially for trans and gender-non-confirming people -- as many are fleeing countries where it remains dangerous to live as an out LGBTQ person. As allies in governments and civil society groups work to draw attention to this continuing humanitarian crisis, LGBTQ elected officials are also stepping up. In this session, panelists will discuss local responses and explore a broad range of issues related to asylum policies and border experiences.
  • Saturday, December 4th

    Voting rights are under attack nationwide as states pass restrictive voter suppression laws. This year alone, 19 states passed more than 33 restrictive voting laws, making it more difficult to vote by mail or vote early. These laws also impose stricter voter ID requirements – a challenge for all underserved communities, including trans and gender non-conforming people whose IDs may not reflect their gender identities. Yet, there is hope. In response to these restrictions, 25 states have enacted 62 laws to expand voting access – and there are other opportunities to fight voter suppression as well. Join this plenary to hear from legislators and activist fighting to ensure that all voices are heard, and their votes counted.
    Through generous funding from The Ascend Fund, LGBTQ Victory Institute produced a first-of-its-kind report, “The Decision to Run: Uncovering the Barriers and Motivators for LGBTQ Women Running for Office,” which explores both the barriers and the motivators LGBTQ women experience when running for office. To begin reducing barriers for LGBTQ women in pursuit of higher office, Victory Institute launched the Women Out to Win (WOTW) mentorship program in early 2021. Join our 2021 WOTW cohort and their mentors for a panel about what it’s like to be an LGBTQ woman running for and serving in elected office.
    Social media has undeniably changed the nature of American politics, allowing politicians to get messages to audiences quickly and inexpensively. This low-cost campaign tool has widespread ramifications as it reduces the barriers to entry for less-known candidates that lack incumbent benefits. However, social media can also be a liability, with years of information and comments available to the public and media. Honing the art of social media is critical for successful campaigning, so join experts and elected officials as they discuss how to refine your online personal brand, increase audience retention, and promote your campaign.
    More LGBTQ state legislators are serving in red states than ever before. yet these leaders face unique obstacles, including hostility to their identities and opposition to pro-equality legislation. Advancing LGBTQ equality in these circumstances requires context-specific approaches that may differ from the tactics used by LGBTQ elected officials in more pro-equality states. In this session, LGBTQ leaders who have served in red states will discuss the recent progress made and how LGBTQ state legislators can continue to advance equality in their states.
    In 2021, school boards, city councils and state legislatures across the country made passing anti-LGBTQ legislation a priority, particularly legislation targeting trans people. While federal protections for trans Americans improved, by June 2021, there were already more than 100 anti-trans bills introduced in state legislatures across the nation, aiming to limit the healthcare access and civil rights of trans youth and adults alike. As America heads into 2022, these anti-trans attacks are likely to increase further, as anti-LGBTQ politicians attempt to use trans lives as a political weapon. Hear from trans elected officials on how they’ve navigated anti-trans legislation and what everyone can do to help prevent more hateful laws from passing.
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  • Save the Date: November 30 - December 3, 2022