By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
ANN ARBOR – The Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality has hired Penny Gardner, former program director for Michigan Equality, as its community organizer. Gardner has been hired to mobilize constituents in the west and central regions of the state to help pass Representative Paul Condino’s Second Parent Adoption Bill, House Bill 5399.
“CARE is thrilled to be able to hire such an experienced and dedicated professional as Ms. Gardner,” said Beverly Davidson, president of the Board of Directors at CARE. “Her work in the west and central regions of the state is particularly important now since the bill is awaiting a response from the House Judiciary Committee, a committee made up of many representatives from districts in those regions.”
In her new role as community organizer Gardner will work with CARE supporters to lobby members of the House Judiciary Committee, where HB 5399 is currently awaiting a hearing. She will also be seeking support and endorsements from child-serving agencies in those parts of the state.
“I love the community organizing part of it, I’m committed to CARE’s goal of legislation to protect children, and I’m a damn good community organizer,” Gardner said of her new part-time position.
Of her reported “retirement” from Michigan Equality, Gardner stressed that she left that organization in order to pursue a variety of projects.
“The retirement was from full-time work, not leaving Michigan Equality,” she said.
CARE is a children’s advocacy group working to secure the legal recognition of parent-child relationships in all families regardless of the parents’ marital status or sexual orientation. CARE is currently seeking new board members. For more information visit www.SecondParentAdoption.org. Those interested in serving on the board of directors should contact Marlowe B’sheart at [email protected]