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. Christian Campbell
  12. Eduardo Castell
  13. David Castleman
  14. Kathleen Chalfant
  15. Louis Cholden-Brown
  16. Michael Colosi
  17. Hon. Marty Connor
  18. Debra Cooper
  19. Hon. Jon Cooper
  20. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  21. Alan Cumming
  22. Wilson Cruz
  23. Michael Czaczkes
  24. Jim Davis
  25. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  26. Jon Del Giorno
  27. Kyan Douglas
  28. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  29. Sonia Dueno
  30. James Duff
  31. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  32. Kathryn Erbe
  33. Hon. Herman Farrell
  34. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  35. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  36. Hon. Michael Gianaris
  37. Ari Gold
  38. Hon. Richard Gottfried
  39. Hon. Mark Green
  40. Arthur Greig
  41. Tony Hoffmann
  42. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  43. Hon. Letitia James
  44. Brian Jenks
  45. Hon. Corey Johnson
  46. Robert Jordan
  47. Phillip Keane
  48. Paul Kelterborn
  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. Alex Meskouris
  60. John Cameron Mitchell
  61. Donny Moss
  62. Hon. Paul Newell
  63. Hon. Jose Peralta
  64. Earl Plante
  65. Noah Pfefferbilt
  66. Bob Pontarelli
  67. Billy Porter
  68. Joe Pressley
  69. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  70. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  71. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  72. Maer Roshan
  73. Dan Roskoff
  74. Toby Russo
  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