The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, named for the legendary gay rights pioneer Jim Owles, was formed in 2004 as a citywide political activist club with a mission to secure human rights, dignity, and freedom for all people. We believe that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community can no longer support candidates who are not willing to recognize our basic rights and freedoms. We need to speak out strongly in favor of issues concerning us.

As a multi-issue, progressive Democratic club, we also call for an end of all wars, increased AIDS funding, universal health care, expect continued protection and expansion of reproductive rights. We also demand economic justice, abolition of the death penalty, to name just a few of our other vital concerns.

 

Jim Owles (1946-1993), Activist

Jim Owles was one of the pioneers of the gay rights movement in the 1960s and his influence and spirit can still be felt today. In 1969, Jim was the founding president of the Gay Activists Alliance of New York, the largest militant gay rights organization in the United States, and in 1973 was the nation's first openly gay person to run for public office. 

As president of GAA, Owles advocated anti-discrimination bills in Albany and New York City. Known as a man of noticeable calm and civility, a quiet but keen thinker who, when he spoke, commanded almost immediate allegiance from hundreds of GAA members. Owles once said, “Gays must redirect anger that has been largely inward, outward—where it belongs. That doesn’t mean smashing windows. It means confronting people who do have the power and saying, ‘Look here, ours are not ridiculous or frivolous demands—they’re something every American should have!”

In 1974, Jim Owles founded the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, which was the first gay political club in the city. In 1985, he was one of the seven founding members of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which monitors the coverage and depiction of lesbians and gay men in the media. Mr. Owles was a special assistant and liaison to the lesbian and gay community for the State Senate minority leader, Manfred Ohrenstein.

Jim Owles sought "to secure basic human rights, dignity, and freedom for all gay people.” This has become the guiding principle of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club today.

Jim passed to AIDS in 1993 after years of dedicating his life to the causes of the gay community.

Officers

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

  1. Hon. Catherine Abate
  2. Hon. Eric Adams
  3. Juan Antigua
  4. Stuart Appelbaum
  5. George Arzt
  6. Charles Bayor
  7. Lance Bass
  8. Mark Benoit
  9. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  10. Chris Brady
  11. Christian Campbell
  12. Eduardo Castell
  13. Michael Colosi
  14. Hon. Marty Connor
  15. Debra Cooper
  16. Hon. Jon Cooper
  17. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  18. Alan Cumming
  19. Wilson Cruz
  20. Jim Davis
  21. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  22. Jon Del Giorno
  23. Kyan Douglas
  24. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  25. James Duff
  26. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  27. Hon. Herman Farrell
  28. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  29. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  30. Hon. Michael Gianaris
  31. Ari Gold
  32. Jake Goodman
  33. Hon. Richard Gottfried
  34. Hon. Mark Green
  35. Arthur Greig
  36. Joe Hagelmann
  37. Tony Hoffmann
  38. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  39. Hon. Letitia James
  40. Brian Jenks
  41. Hon. Corey Johnson
  42. Phillip Keane
  43. Paul Kelterborn
  44. Scott Klein
  45. Yetta Kurland
  46. Greg Lambert
  47. Marc Landis
  48. Dodge Landesman
  49. Hon. John Liu
  50. Michael Mallon
  51. Mike C. Manning
  52. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  53. Bridget Marks
  54. Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito
  55. Julie Menin
  56. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  57. Alex Meskouris
  58. John Cameron Mitchell
  59. Donny Moss
  60. Hon. Paul Newell
  61. Jason Otano
  62. Hon. Chris Owens
  63. Hon. Jose Peralta
  64. Noah Pfefferbilt
  65. Bob Pontarelli
  66. Joe Pressley
  67. Nathan Riley
  68. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  69. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  70. Maer Roshan
  71. Dan Roskoff
  72. Toby Russo
  73. James Sansum
  74. Scott Sartiano
  75. Reshma Saujani
  76. Hon. Diane Savino
  77. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  78. Lynn Schulman
  79. Mark Schulte
  80. Cecile Scott
  81. Rev. Al Sharpton
  82. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  83. Tom Smith
  84. David Spegal
  85. Anne Strahle
  86. Hon. Scott Stringer
  87. David Suárez
  88. Wayne Sunday
  89. Hon. Bill Thompson
  90. Hon. Matt Titone
  91. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  92. Jesse Vargas
  93. Andrew Velez
  94. Patricia Nell Warren
  95. Wil Weder
  96. Seth Weissman
  97. Benton Whitley
  98. Emma Wolfe
  99. Hon. Keith Wright
  100. Mel Wymore