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. Stuart Appelbaum
  3. George Arzt
  4. Lance Bass
  5. Mark Benoit
  6. Hon. Rodneyse Bichotte
  7. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  8. Robin Byrd
  9. Chris Brady
  10. Hon. Gale Brewer
  11. Josh Buscher-West
  12. Bryan Buscher-West
  13. Christian Campbell
  14. Eduardo Castell
  15. David Castleman
  16. Kathleen Chalfant
  17. Louis Cholden-Brown
  18. Michael Colosi
  19. Hon. Marty Connor
  20. Debra Cooper
  21. Hon. Jon Cooper
  22. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  23. Alan Cumming
  24. Wilson Cruz
  25. Michael Czaczkes
  26. Jim Davis
  27. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  28. Jon Del Giorno
  29. Kyan Douglas
  30. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  31. Sonia Dueno
  32. James Duff
  33. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  34. Kathryn Erbe
  35. Hon. Herman Farrell
  36. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  37. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  38. Hon. Michael Gianaris
  39. Ari Gold
  40. Hon. Richard Gottfried
  41. Hon. Mark Green
  42. Arthur Greig
  43. Tony Hoffmann
  44. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  45. Hon. Letitia James
  46. Brian Jenks
  47. Hon. Corey Johnson
  48. Phillip Keane
  49. Yetta Kurland
  50. Greg Lambert
  51. Marc Landis
  52. Dodge Landesman
  53. Michael Mallon
  54. Mike C. Manning
  55. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  56. Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito
  57. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  58. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  59. John Cameron Mitchell
  60. Donny Moss
  61. Hon. Paul Newell
  62. Hon. Jose Peralta
  63. Earl Plante
  64. Noah Pfefferbilt
  65. Bob Pontarelli
  66. Billy Porter
  67. Joe Pressley
  68. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  69. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  70. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  71. Maer Roshan
  72. Dan Roskoff
  73. Toby Russo
  74. Bill Samuels
  75. James Sansum
  76. Scott Sartiano
  77. Reshma Saujani
  78. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  79. Lynn Schulman
  80. Cecile Scott
  81. Frank Selvaggi
  82. Rev. Al Sharpton
  83. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  84. Tom Smith
  85. David Spegal
  86. Anne Strahle
  87. Hon. Scott Stringer
  88. Wayne Sunday
  89. Hon. Bill Thompson
  90. Hon. Matt Titone
  91. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  92. Andrew Velez
  93. Patricia Nell Warren
  94. Wil Weder
  95. Seth Weissman
  96. Emma Wolfe
  97. Hon. Keith Wright
  98. Tim Wu
  99. Mel Wymore
  100. Zephyr Teachout