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. Juan Antigua
  3. Stuart Appelbaum
  4. George Arzt
  5. Lance Bass
  6. Mark Benoit
  7. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  8. Andrew Brokman
  9. Robin Byrd
  10. Chris Brady
  11. Hon. Gale Brewer
  12. Christian Campbell
  13. Eduardo Castell
  14. David Castleman
  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. Jim Davis
  24. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  25. Jon Del Giorno
  26. Kyan Douglas
  27. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  28. James Duff
  29. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  30. Kathryn Erbe
  31. Hon. Herman Farrell
  32. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  33. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  34. Hon. Michael Gianaris
  35. Ari Gold
  36. Hon. Richard Gottfried
  37. Hon. Mark Green
  38. Arthur Greig
  39. Tony Hoffmann
  40. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  41. Hon. Letitia James
  42. Brian Jenks
  43. Hon. Corey Johnson
  44. Robert Jordan
  45. Phillip Keane
  46. Paul Kelterborn
  47. Yetta Kurland
  48. Greg Lambert
  49. Marc Landis
  50. Dodge Landesman
  51. Michael Mallon
  52. Mike C. Manning
  53. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  54. Lisa Mehos
  55. Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito
  56. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  57. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  58. Zenaida Mendez
  59. Alex Meskouris
  60. John Cameron Mitchell
  61. Donny Moss
  62. Hon. Paul Newell
  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. Cecile Scott
  80. Frank Selvaggi
  81. Rev. Al Sharpton
  82. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  83. Tom Smith
  84. David Spegal
  85. Anne Strahle
  86. Hon. Scott Stringer
  87. Wayne Sunday
  88. Hon. Bill Thompson
  89. Hon. Matt Titone
  90. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  91. Jesse Vargas
  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