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. Marty Connor
  14. Debra Cooper
  15. Hon. Jon Cooper
  16. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  17. Alan Cumming
  18. Wilson Cruz
  19. Michael Czaczkes
  20. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  21. Jon Del Giorno
  22. Kyan Douglas
  23. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  24. Sonia Dueno
  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. Philip McCarthy
  49. Cameron McFadden
  50. Michael Mallon
  51. Mike C. Manning
  52. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  53. Artyom Matusov
  54. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  55. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  56. John Cameron Mitchell
  57. Donny Moss
  58. Barry Mullineaux
  59. Ali Najmi
  60. Hon. Paul Newell
  61. Hon. Jose Peralta
  62. Noah Pfefferbilt
  63. Bob Pontarelli
  64. Billy Porter
  65. Joe Pressley
  66. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  67. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  68. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  69. Maer Roshan
  70. Dan Roskoff
  71. Toby Russo
  72. Bill Samuels
  73. James Sansum
  74. Scott Sartiano
  75. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  76. Lynn Schulman
  77. Cecile Scott
  78. Frank Selvaggi
  79. Rev. Al Sharpton
  80. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  81. Tom Smith
  82. David Spegal
  83. Marti Speranza
  84. Anne Strahle
  85. Hon. Scott Stringer
  86. Wayne Sunday
  87. Hon. Bill Thompson
  88. Hon. Matt Titone
  89. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  90. Andrew Velez
  91. Derek Walker
  92. Jessica Walter
  93. Patricia Nell Warren
  94. Kathleen Waterman
  95. Wil Weder
  96. Seth Weissman
  97. Emma Wolfe
  98. Hon. Keith Wright
  99. Zephyr Teachout