BY BTL STAFF
DETROIT- Equality Michigan, the statewide LGBT political advocacy organization, has announced the appointment of new senior staff.
Advocate and political strategist Jennifer Judd joins Equality Michigan as the newest addition to the team, serving as director of field operations.
“I am honored to be part of the largest LGBTQ Anti-Violence and Advocacy Organization in the great state of Michigan,” Judd said in a recent EQMI Newsletter.
Judd was born and raised in Saginaw County and has extensive background working on issue campaigns such as the Detroit Council by District Initiative and other political candidate campaigns. She has worked in fundraising for a national political party, worked for former governor of Illinois Pat Quinn, lobbied for the Affordable Health Care Act on Capitol Hill in D.C. and has worked on numerous political campaigns in Michigan, Illinois and Missouri.
Over the course of the summer, Judd attended Motor City Pride, Kalamazoo Pride and Up North Pride in Traverse City and has spoken with hundreds of new EQMI supporters and volunteers in the state.
LGBT advocates and supporters in the state still have much work to do before the LGBT community has full equality. Efforts will include working with both Democratic and Republican politicians so that state laws reflect the majority opinion of strong LGBT support in Michigan. According to EQMI, Michiganders support an amendment to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, the state’s civil rights act, to reflect protections for sexual orientation and gender identity by a three-to-one-margin.
“I have been touring the state on an Equality Michigan ‘Listening Tour.’ I have been to Marquette, Traverse City, Alpena, Grand Rapids, Saginaw and Kalamazoo,” Judd said. “I have been meeting with regional leaders listening to the needs of these communities and discussing how Equality Michigan can be effective and relevant in these regions.”
Judd believes it is time to mobilize and begin educating Michiganders by having tough conversations with neighbors and family and by engaging members of the legislature to let them know it is time to modernize ELCRA to include sexual orientation and gender identity.