Dr. Darrick Lawson, owner of Healing Touch Chiropractic, civic leader and LGBT activist, has been named Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business Leader of the Year.
Lawson is a former board member and past president of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and founded the organization’s RainbowPAC. He was instrumental in helping to pass AB 1960 in 2012, which requires the state Department of General Services to collect and report voluntarily submitted information on LGBT-owned companies who contract with the state.
“I am proud to have built a successful business as an openly gay man, and to have worked with organizations such as the Chamber, the Stonewall Democrats and other institutions to create a diverse, inclusive economic environment in Sacramento where all people can be valued for their contributions rather than excluded for their differences,” Lawson said. “I am honored to receive the Business Leader of the Year recognition.”
“Darrick is an example to all of us of someone who has succeeded in business, in his family and personal relationships, and in his community,” said Chamber President Paul Weubbe. “Despite the demands of running a thriving practice Darrick gives generously of his time and leadership experience. He is an excellent choice for our 2015 Business Leader of the Year.”
The Business Leader of the Year is selected by a panel of Chamber and community leaders and recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership success within his or her business and the business community as well as within the Sacramento LGBT community and who has and will continue to serve as a role model for the Greater Sacramento community.
Lawson received his doctorate from the Cleveland Chiropractic College in 1991, passed his state exam and joined a Central Valley practice, where he became a partner within one year. In 2000 he relocated to Sacramento, helped build a successful practice in Orangevale, and in 2003 opened his own Midtown Sacramento office, which has grown steadily every year since.
Lawson has served on the Human Rights/Fair Housing Commission for six years and is a former chair of the commission. He was appointed by then Senate Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg to the Capitol Area Committee, which oversees development of state-owned property located near the Capitol. He has served on U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
Lawson is a founding vice president and former president of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento and a co-chair of the LGBT Redistricting Committee, which helped establish Sacramento’s LGBT community as a “community of interest” for city and county redistricting purposes. He is a 2012 recipient of the Stonewall Democrats Founder’s Award.
You’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still a long way to go…
To date individuals and organizations have contributed nearly $13,000 to the Lavender Heights Rainbow Crosswalk Project. The rainbow-striped crosswalks to be installed at the intersection of 20th and K streets are projected to cost approximately $35,000 for installation and maintenance.
Why does it cost so much? Because it’s not just a matter of slapping down some paint: the crosswalks must meet city codes for street construction and signage. Colored stripes will be embedded into depressed strips in the asphalt of the street; the paint will have a long-lasting, durable rubberized texture and will be luminescent for night-time safety. Cost estimates are based on projections from a contractor who has installed similar crosswalks in other cities.
Will the project come to fruition? It all depends on you. While we have the support of the Midtown Business Association, Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen and local business owners and residents, the project will be funded from private donations. We must raise $35,000 before construction can begin.
Want to help? Share the news with your friends. Like us on Facebook. Make a donation. Or consider hosting a fundraising event or party at your home. The Rainbow Chamber Foundation has agreed to serve as the fiscal agent for the project and has made a $500 contribution. Because the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, contributions to the project are tax-deductible.
For more information about the Lavender Heights Project and the rainbow crosswalk, visit our Facebook page and share it with all your friends, or contact the Chamber office at email@example.com or 916-266-9630. Help us spread the word about this historic project commemorating the heritage of Sacramento’s LGBT community.
Rainbow Crosswalk Donors Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Sacramento LGBT Community Center David Carr John Woodward Michael Sestak Ian Montgomery Paul Weubbe Bonnie Osborn Heath Buckmaster Falcon F. Lee Gary B. Ferderer Jason McCoy Eric Brummer Michael Olman Nicole Ruszczycky Ralph West John Linker Catherine Smith Robert Longer Patrick Riordan Mark Peters Adele Sakler Elizabeth Campbell Aaron Avery Laura Braden Charles Malone & Roger Lundberg Jacques Graber First United Methodist Church CGNIE Lumens Light + Living Mayflower Building Partners Jewish Community Foundation from the Rosenbaum Family Philanthropic Fund Richard Hernandez
July 1, SACRAMENTO—The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce has taken over operation of Sacramento’s long-standing monthly charity fundraising event, Drag Queen Bingo. Under the management of Outword Media Marketing Events, the Bingo fundraising event has raised more than $100,000 for local non-profit organizations since its inception in August 2009. Under the Chamber’s management, it will continue to be held monthly, from 7 to 9 p.m. on first Thursdays at Mango’s, 1930 K Street in Midtown Sacramento, with a different organization benefiting each month. The Thursday, July 2, event will benefit the Chamber’s non-profit Rainbow Chamber Foundation, which provides academic scholarships for LGBT and LGBT-supportive students. The August 6 game will benefit the Sacramento International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (SIGLFF), and the September 3 game will benefit Camellia Gay Softball Tournament.
“The Outword team and I are very proud of the support we have provided for local non-profit organizations with Drag Queen Bingo,” said Fred Palmer, president and publisher of Outword Media Marketing Events. “One of the best things about the event is that it has raised funds for all kinds of organizations and has brought together people from all Sacramento communities.
“The event is still successful and more popular than ever. But I have taken on other business and personal commitments, and it is simply time for us to let another organization take it on. We felt very strongly that we wanted to be sure Drag Queen Bingo would be operated by an organization with a solid staff and volunteer base and the infrastructure to keep it going and make it even better,” Palmer continued. “We have confidence that the Chamber will be a good steward of the event.”
Sacramento Rainbow Chamber President Paul Weubbe said Chamber board members and volunteers will run the monthly games and plan to preserve the event’s somewhat bawdy ambiance. Drag personalities Rusty Nails, Felicity Diamond and Do Me Moore will continue to emcee the events.
“The Chamber board is honored to take on the mission of continuing this great event that has done so much good in our community,” Weubbe said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity and want to use it as a way of connecting our LGBT community and causes with the greater Sacramento community. And we know it will be a lot of fun!”
A broad range of organizations have benefitted from the Bingo fundraisers, including WEAVE, Alzheimer’s Association, NorCal AIDS Cycle, Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus, Sacramento LGBT Community Center, Gender Health Center, and Front Street Animal Shelter, to name just a few. Beneficiaries currently are scheduled through the end of 2015. The August 6 game will benefit the Sacramento International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (SIGLFF), and the September 3 game will benefit Camellia Gay Softball Tournament. Each beneficiary organization is responsible for providing Bingo prizes and volunteers to staff the event. Organizations typically raise between $500 and $1,500 per game. Organizations wishing to be beneficiaries of future Drag Queen Bingo events may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Rainbow Chamber office at 916-266-9630.
Established in 2001, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is a regional chamber serving LGBT business owners and professionals in a six-county area, as well as straight allies who support our mission of fostering a prosperous, diverse and inclusive business climate.
June 26, SACRAMENTO—Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Paul Weubbe issued the following statement on behalf of the Chamber board of directors in response to today’s historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage:
“With today’s Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. Constitution gives LGBT people the equal right to marry whom they choose, the movement for LGBT equality has taken an enormous step forward,” Weubbe said. “In parts of the country where bans on same-sex marriage are in place and legal recognition is denied, thousands of LGBT couples have been denied health and financial benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples and often forced to go through expensive legal measures in order to ensure their parental rights and protect their children. While we know in many places the judicial and legislative wheels will turn slowly, with today’s ruling we know that, over time, those barriers to the wellbeing and prosperity of LGBT Americans will come down.
“However, it’s important that we don’t forget that there is still no federal law protecting LGBT people from being fired from their jobs, evicted from housing, or refused service simply because of their sexual orientation, and in many places, those types of discrimination still exist.
“The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber is proud to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and its 42 affiliate chambers in celebrating today’s tremendous court victory and in vowing to renew our efforts to ensure that no family, employee or business owner suffers discrimination simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”