Transgender Rights Under Attack: Vote Nov. 6!

Transgender Rights Under Attack: Vote Nov. 6!

In just the past couple of weeks, our nation has been rocked to its moral core by several incidents of violence and terrorism: the hate-inspired shooting of two African American people shopping at their local grocer; the mailing of pipe bombs to two former presidents, the Jewish billionaire philanthropist George Soros, CNN and several other high-profile critics of President Trump’s policies; and, most recently, the tragic murder of 11 members of a Pittsburgh synagogue as the gunman shouted that he wanted to “kill all Jews.”

Just days before this latest string of brutal attacks, the Trump administration reported plans to redefine gender in a way that would effectively render transgender and gender non-binary individuals invisible. While LGBT people have made tremendous advances over the past few decades toward achieving societal acceptance and equal treatment under the law, equal rights for the transgender/gender non-binary community have lagged behind. Since 2016 the Trump administration has zeroed in on this vulnerable population, first threatening to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military; most recently, by limiting the definition of gender to that documented on birth certificates, threatening to erase their very existence.

On behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors, we rebuke this effort by the Trump administration to deny the existence of transgender individuals in the strongest possible terms. We are honored to represent transgender business owners and individuals in our membership, and we are so proud of our LGBTQIA Rainbow Chamber Foundation Scholars, including several who identify as transgender or gender non-binary.

To those members and leaders, and to the greater transgender community, we stand with you, and we will do everything in our power to prevent the implementation of this inhumane and unjust policy.

To our LGBTQIA youth, please know that these actions taken against you or other members of our community by the current administration are wrong. They are not right or normal or moral or justified. They are not even logical. As terrible as it feels to be attacked in this way by elected officials at the highest levels, please know that most people in this country know it is wrong. We are not going to lie down, and we will not allow them to erase you.

As a Chamber of Commerce, one of our core missions is to support small business owners and to promote leadership and policies that foster small business success and economic prosperity. As an organization of LGBT and allied business owners and professionals, our core mission is to advocate for and defend diversity, inclusion and equal rights for all.

History teaches us that tyrants test their limits on the smallest and weakest populations first, before turning to larger, more challenging targets. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.

All of the above acts are attacks against American citizens and residents of our country; against freedom of religion; and against our cherished American ideals of democracy, equality and inclusion.

We know that equality–the assurance that all individuals and families have the same rights and are equally protected by the rule of law–is good for society and good for business.

Our colleagues at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) may have said it best:

The NGLCC and our partners will continue to assert that any attempt to diminish or erase transgender or gender non-binary Americans is both morally reprehensible and economically ruinous for the United States. Gender identity is distinct from biological sex, and neither is a binary to be legislated by the current administration, which has repeatedly demonstrated a desire to turn back the clock on LGBTQ progress. A proposed national policy to limit Americans’ gender identity is not only a repudiation of several major court decisions upholding LGBTQ protections under Title IX, but it also contradicts widely respected and reported scientific and economic evidence.  According to NGLCC’s America’s LGBT Economy Report, which has been referenced and acknowledged by countless public and private policy experts,  LGBT business owners across the nation bring countless innovations, contribute over $1.7 trillion to the economy, and create tens of thousands of jobs in their communities. Transgender and gender non-binary business owners across our country make up an important piece of these contributions, and their contributions make all of us stronger: they build our roads, improve our schools, and defend our nation. America’s transgender and gender non-binary entrepreneurs add too richly to the social and economic success of our country to be erased by their government.

To our LGB and allied community, we ask that you join us in solidarity with transgender and gender non-binary people against this and similar bigoted and short-sighted policies. One way to make your voice heard: Vote.

Early voting in Sacramento and surrounding counties is underway now. If you have not mailed your ballot, you can find the location and hours of voting centers, ballot drop-off locations and polls on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, as well as the status of your vote-by-mail or early ballot, at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/.

If you have already cast your ballot, thank you for fulfilling your civic duty. For those who have yet to vote, we know how hectic life can be for small business owners, working professionals and students. We understand that taking the time to get your ballot in on time might seem like just one task too many in a busy day or week. We are asking you, in this critically important midterm election, to make sure your voice is heard: Please vote! Many races this year will be decided by a mere handful of votes, and every vote really does count. Our future depends upon it.

Thank you!

#WeWontBeErased

Diana DePaola                                                    Fred Palmer
President                                                             Executive Director

Community Resources

Gender Health Center
http://www.thegenderhealthcenter.org/

Sacramento LGBT Community Center/QSpot
https://saccenter.org/

Sutter Gender Identity Support Group
http://www.sacgender.org/health-resources/medical-doctors

River City Gems
https://rivercitygems.org/

UC Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center
https://lgbtqia.ucdavis.edu/support/trans-resources

PFLAG Greater Placer County
http://www.pflagplacercounty.org/links-resources/transgender-resources

 

Connect With Major Corporations Who Want To Do Business With You!

NGLCC Business & Leadership Conference, July 30-Aug 2, 2013, Dallas, TexasWant to connect with LGBT-owned businesses and their corporate allies from all over the United States? If the answer is yes, then the 10th Annual NGLCC National Business & Leadership Conference, July 30-August 2, 2013, at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas, is for you!

Sacramento will be sending a contingent of RCC board members, Sacramento Convention & Visitors’ Bureau staff and local business leaders, and we want you to come, too!

More than 600 attendees are expected at this amazing networking conference. More than 130 NLGCC corporate partners will be there—companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wells Fargo, United Healthcare, Aetna, MillerCoors, IBM, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Motorola, Pepsico, Intel, Wyndham Worldwide, American Express, Ameriprise Financial and Ernst & Young, to name just a few. And here’s the best part: If you are a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise, all those corporate partners want to do business with you! If you want to market to the LGBT community or find LGBT business owners to partner with, you’ll have the opportunity to mix and mingle with hundreds of them.

“I have attended the NLGCC conference for the past two years,” said RCC Past President and owner of WriteAway Communications Services Bonnie Osborn. “The first year I attended for the opportunity to learn from other LGBT chamber leaders from all over the country—skills and resources I could bring back to RCC. But I was blown away by the opportunities to meet and talk with corporate diversity and purchasing officials from some of the biggest corporations in the world. Last year I got my company certified, and I went for the business connections. Best conference I ever attended.”

 

NGLCC Director of Affiliate Relations Sam McClure presents Assemblymember Roger Dickinson with Certificate of Appreciation for AB1960.
NGLCC Director of Affiliate Relations Sam McClure presents Assemblymember Roger Dickinson with Certificate of Appreciation for AB1960.

NLGCC Director of Affiliate Relations Sam McClure visited Sacramento in February to share a grant-funded internship program available to RCC member businesses and to honor Assemblymember Roger Dickinson for his sponsorship of AB 1960, which will for the first time in history count the self-reported LGBT-owned businesses who contract with the State of California. Wells Fargo sponsored the event honoring Assemblymember Dickinson at its Natomas Learning Center. Sam was quite taken with Sacramento and the warm welcome she received, and she’s hoping to see a huge Sacramento turnout in Dallas. Let us know if you’d like to attend, or if you would like information about becoming a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise—available at no cost for RCC members! (Click here for pictures from last year’s sold-out conference in Chicago!)

For more information on the Dallas conference, http://www.nglcc.org/events/2013-national-business-leadership-conference.

 

California Bill to Support Gay-Owned Businesses Advances

Bonnie Osborn

https://www.rainbowchamber.com

California Bill to Support Gay-Owned Businesses Advances

April 12, SACRAMENTO— A bill that would make California the first state in the nation to have a bill dedicated to the advancement of gay-owned businesses passed its first legislative hurdle.

On Tuesday, April 10, AB 1960, was passed out of the California State Assembly Committee on Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection on a 6-2 vote. AB 1960 is now referred to the California State Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

The bill, introduced by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) and co-authored by the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, would require that information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) owned business enterprises be included along with information about minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises as reported by the California Department of General Services. California law prohibits contracting preferences or quotas for minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises; however, data about those enterprises is collected for statistical and reporting purposes on a voluntary basis.

Committee hearing testimony in support of the bill was provided by Dr. Darrick Lawson, Rainbow PAC Chair; with Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Bonnie Osborn, and Benjamin Phillips-Leseñana, Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center Board Member and Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Board Member also appearing in support. The measure received 23 letters of support from organizations and companies, including American Airlines and Toyota Financial Services.

“Minority-owned, women-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises, along with LGBT-owned businesses, make up a large share of the small businesses that are major economic drivers and job creators for our state,” Dickinson said. “Having access to accurate information about small business owners and their needs will help inform the state on how to best serve small businesses that are vital to our economy, as well as lay the groundwork for future growth.”

“The existence of successful LGBT businesses has often been unacknowledged or ignored due to prejudice, even as they brought vitality and prosperity to their communities,” Phillips-Leseñana said. “With this legislation, the state of California acknowledges that LGBT-owned businesses are valued equally with other small businesses as important contributors to the economic growth and social fabric of our state.”

— MORE —

2-2-2-2-2 Bill to Advance LGBT-Owned Businesses Passes Out of Committee

“Simply having data about LGBT-owned businesses available will be of tremendous value to organizations serving LGBT businesses, to marketers, and to business-to-business companies interested in marketing to LGBT-owned businesses,” said Chamber Vice President Dr. Darrick Lawson. “For the first time in history we’ll be able to get a picture of the economic contributions of LGBT-owned businesses statewide.”

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is an affiliate of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), which is the exclusive certification body for LGBT business enterprises and the direct link between corporate purchasers and LGBT suppliers.

Established in 2001, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce serves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender business owners and professionals and allies in the Greater Sacramento region. The Chamber works to build a prosperous and inclusive business community and to support issues that promote business development and equal rights for all people. The Chamber and its non-profit affiliate, the Rainbow Chamber Foundation, have contributed more than $30,000 to charitable causes, including youth scholarships and programs for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. For more information, visit www.rainbowchamber.com.

###

Dickinson Introduces Bill to Include Gay-Owned Businesses in State Contracting Reports

Bonnie Osborn

https://www.rainbowchamber.com

Dickinson Introduces Bill to Include Gay-Owned Businesses in State Contracting Reports

April 3, SACRAMENTO— California would become the first state to have a bill dedicated to the advancement of gay-owned businesses under legislation introduced recently by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento).

The bill would require that information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) owned business enterprises be included along with information about minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises as reported by the California Department of General Services. California law prohibits contracting preferences or quotas for minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises; however, data about those enterprises is collected for statistical and reporting purposes. The collection of data on LGBT-owned businesses would incur minimal cost to the state.

“Minority-owned, women-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises, along with LGBT-owned businesses, make up a large share of the small businesses that are major economic drivers and job creators for our state,” Dickinson said. “Having access to accurate information about small business owners and their needs will help inform the state on how to best serve small businesses that are vital to our economy, as well as lay the groundwork for future growth.”

A 2011 meeting with staff of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, which operates the LGBT Supplier Diversity Initiative (SDI), inspired Rainbow Chamber leadership to look at ways of improving access to state and local government contracting opportunities for California LGBT-owned businesses. Rainbow Chamber board member Ben Phillips-Leseñana and other members of Dickinson’s LGBT community advisory committee worked closely with Dickinson to draft AB 1960. “The existence of successful LGBT businesses has often been unacknowledged or ignored due to prejudice, even as they brought vitality and prosperity to their communities,” Phillips-Leseñana said. “With this legislation, the state of California acknowledges that LGBT-owned businesses are valued equally with other small businesses as important contributors to the economic growth and social fabric of our state.”

“Simply having data about LGBT-owned businesses available will be of tremendous value to organizations serving LGBT businesses, to marketers, and to business-to-business companies interested in marketing to LGBT-owned businesses,” said Chamber Vice President Dr. Darrick Lawson.  “For the first time in history we’ll be able to get a picture of the economic contributions of LGBT-owned businesses statewide.”

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is an affiliate of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), which is the exclusive certification body for LGBT business enterprises and the direct link between corporate purchasers and LGBT suppliers.

— MORE —

2-2-2-2-2 Dickinson Introduces Bill to Advance LGBT-Owned Businesses

The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is an affiliate of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), which is the exclusive certification body for LGBT business enterprises and the direct link between corporate purchasers and LGBT suppliers.

Established in 2001, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce serves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender business owners and professionals and allies in the Greater Sacramento region. The Chamber works to build a prosperous and inclusive business community and to support issues that promote business development and equal rights for all people.  The Chamber and its non-profit affiliate, the Rainbow Chamber Foundation, have contributed more than $30,000 to charitable causes, including youth scholarships and programs for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. For more information, visit www.rainbowchamber.com.

###