Of the 36 Utah Democratic Party delegates and alternates elected to the Democratic National Convention this July, eight identify with the LGBTQ community; five of them are board members of Utah Stonewall Democrats. Becky Moss, USD chair, is pleased at the outcome, but daunted at the fundraising needed to get them all to the convention.
Moss says they are all on their own in raising $3000 to $4000. The Stonewall Democrats is holding a fundraiser for delegates who are members of the caucus, July 5, 6-8:30 p.m. at Club Jam, 751 N. 300 West, Salt Lake City.
The convention begins July 25 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia. The last Democratic convention in Philly was 1948, which witnessed a walkout by the Southern Delegations over President Harry Truman’s pro-civil right stance.
With the tension between the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wings of the party, a walkout is not beyond possibility. Utah Delegates will have a front row seat, which is exciting for them as they all have a long history of political activism.
- Kyle Hoyt — Member USD. Contact: email@example.com
- Rudy Meira — Vice Chair of USD and a Legislative Chair. He was president of the College Democrats of Utah and on the board of LGBT Caucus, College Democrats of America. He has worked with Congressman Matheson, and Representatives Angela Romero and Larry Wiley. He was a volunteer in the 2008 election for Clinton. Contact: www.gofundme.com/SendRudytoPhilly
- Sheila Raboy — Volunteers for Hillary Clinton and raises funds for the Weinholtz and Owens campaigns and People’s Health Clinic. 2014 found her volunteering as Utah Pride Center director of operations, helping keep the doors open until the appointment of the current director. She’s a Vietnam veteran and lives with her wife in Park City. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jandalynn Kay Stelter — This USD board member is a two time national delegate and was on Salt Lake Democrats executive committee; she has been a legislature and precinct chair for over a decade. She volunteers with Weinholtz for Governor. Contact: jandalynnkay.weebly.com
- Josie Valdez — She has been a candidate for the Utah State House of Representatives and is on USD board. Contact: email@example.com
- Cristobal Mauricio Villegas, Jr. — A graduate from Utah Valley University in Political Science he was Multicultural Student Council Executive Chair and Liaison on student council at UVU. He was named UVU’s Student Champion of Inclusion and received UVU’s Latino Initiative Community Engagement Award. Contact: www.crowdrise.com/doughnate-to-the-delegate/fundraiser/cristobalvillegas or Cristobal.Delegate@gmail.com
- Ed Lalone — An alternate, he has chaired Precinct and Leg Districts and has run for Orem City Council and State Legislature, District 60. He is treasurer and secretary of South Valley Progressive Action Committee and treasurer of Misty K. Snow’s U.S. Senate campaign. Contact: www.gofundme.com/edwardlalone
- Sophia Hawes-Tingey — A longtime LGBT activist, USD board member and sometime candidate, Sophia Hawes-Tingey says being a delegate has become personal.
Most recently she ran for Midvale City Council, but reports running for “things” since age 16. Her first run for elective office was for the Utah State House of Representatives in 2014. In her run for Midvale City Council she received 42 percent of the vote.
She decided to run for delegate because of the “vitriol” directed against transgender people. “In those races, (H of R and City Council) my gender identity was never part of the issues, as it is only one aspect of who I am. In my race for National Delegate, however, it was why I ran.”
Sophia believes she is the first transgender person elected to political office in the state of Utah.
She echos Becky’s concern about funds to make the most of the convention experience. “It will take $3000 at minimum for travel, lodging and meals,” she says. More if she hopes to attend some of the convention related activities during week.
All delegates are raising money, relying on family and friends and many have set up online fundraising accounts. “We all really need the community’s help to represent Utah and the LGBT community in the right way,” says Hawes-Tingey.