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. Eric Adams
  2. George Arzt
  3. Lance Bass
  4. John Blair
  5. Mark Benoit
  6. Hon. Rodneyse Bichotte
  7. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  8. Robin Byrd
  9. Hon. Gale Brewer
  10. Christian Campbell
  11. Kathleen Chalfant
  12. Gus Christensen
  13. Hon. Martin Connor
  14. Debra Cooper
  15. Hon. Jon Cooper
  16. Wilson Cruz
  17. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  18. Alan Cumming
  19. Valorie Curry
  20. Michael Czaczkes
  21. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  22. Jon Del Giorno
  23. Kyan Douglas
  24. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  25. James Duff
  26. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  27. Kathryn Erbe
  28. Hon. Herman Farrell
  29. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  30. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  31. Dan Gettleman
  32. Hon. Richard Gottfried
  33. Hon. Mark Green
  34. Arthur Greig
  35. Robert Grunnah
  36. Donna Hylton
  37. Tony Hoffmann
  38. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  39. Binn Jakupi
  40. Hon. Letitia James
  41. Hon. Corey Johnson
  42. Camille Joseph
  43. Phillip Keane
  44. Greg Lambert
  45. Marc Landis
  46. Dodge Landesman
  47. Chris Marchitello
  48. Cameron McFadden
  49. Michael Mallon
  50. Mike C. Manning
  51. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  52. Artyom Matusov
  53. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  54. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  55. John Cameron Mitchell
  56. Donny Moss
  57. Barry Mullineaux
  58. Ali Najmi
  59. Hon. Paul Newell
  60. Noah Pfefferbilt
  61. Bob Pontarelli
  62. Billy Porter
  63. Joe Pressley
  64. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  65. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  66. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  67. Maer Roshan
  68. Dan Roskoff
  69. Toby Russo
  70. Bill Samuels
  71. James Sansum
  72. Scott Sartiano
  73. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  74. Lynn Schulman
  75. Cecile Scott
  76. Frank Selvaggi
  77. Rev. Al Sharpton
  78. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  79. Tom Smith
  80. David Spegal
  81. Marti Speranza
  82. Anne Strahle
  83. Hon. Scott Stringer
  84. Wayne Sunday
  85. Hon. Bill Thompson
  86. Hon. Matt Titone
  87. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  88. Sam Underwood
  89. Andrew Velez
  90. Derek Walker
  91. Jessica Walter
  92. Patricia Nell Warren
  93. Kathleen Waterman
  94. Wil Weder
  95. Seth Weissman
  96. Emma Wolfe
  97. Hon. Keith Wright
  98. Zephyr Teachout