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. Eduardo Castell
  12. Kathleen Chalfant
  13. Michael Colosi
  14. Hon. Marty Connor
  15. Debra Cooper
  16. Hon. Jon Cooper
  17. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  18. Alan Cumming
  19. Wilson Cruz
  20. Michael Czaczkes
  21. Jim Davis
  22. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  23. Jon Del Giorno
  24. Kyan Douglas
  25. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  26. Sonia Dueno
  27. James Duff
  28. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  29. Kathryn Erbe
  30. Hon. Herman Farrell
  31. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  32. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  33. Dan Gettleman
  34. Hon. Richard Gottfried
  35. Hon. Mark Green
  36. Arthur Greig
  37. Robert Grunnah
  38. Donna Hylton
  39. Tony Hoffmann
  40. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  41. Hon. Letitia James
  42. Hon. Corey Johnson
  43. Camille Joseph
  44. Phillip Keane
  45. Greg Lambert
  46. Marc Landis
  47. Dodge Landesman
  48. Philip McCarthy
  49. Cameron McFadden
  50. Michael Mallon
  51. Mike C. Manning
  52. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  53. Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito
  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. Earl Plante
  63. Noah Pfefferbilt
  64. Bob Pontarelli
  65. Billy Porter
  66. Joe Pressley
  67. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  68. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  69. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  70. Maer Roshan
  71. Dan Roskoff
  72. Toby Russo
  73. Bill Samuels
  74. James Sansum
  75. Scott Sartiano
  76. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  77. Lynn Schulman
  78. Cecile Scott
  79. Frank Selvaggi
  80. Rev. Al Sharpton
  81. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  82. Tom Smith
  83. David Spegal
  84. Marti Speranza
  85. Anne Strahle
  86. Hon. Scott Stringer
  87. Wayne Sunday
  88. Hon. Bill Thompson
  89. Hon. Matt Titone
  90. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  91. Andrew Velez
  92. Patricia Nell Warren
  93. Kathleen Waterman
  94. Wil Weder
  95. Seth Weissman
  96. Emma Wolfe
  97. Hon. Keith Wright
  98. Tim Wu
  99. Zephyr Teachout