LGBT Congressional Staff Association Condemns Vandalism of Pride Flag Outside of Congressional Office

Today, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association (CSA) released the following statement in response to the pride flag vandalism outside the Capitol Hill office of U.S. Rep. Lowenthal of California:

“The LGBT Congressional Staff Association vehemently condemns this bigoted attack on the LGBT community that occurred at the heart of our government,” said Todd Sloves, President of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association. “The U.S. Capitol is a symbol of our nation’s longstanding tradition of bringing together people from all walks of life to promote the Constitutional ideal that we are all created equal. The Pride flag is a symbol of this American ideal within the LGBT community, and an attack like this is an attack on all of us. We are relieved that no one was injured and we want our colleagues to know that the LGBT CSA is here as a resource and will continue working to make Capitol Hill a welcoming place for all.”

Background:

On March 15, 2017 an individual removed the Pride Flag from outside Rep. Alan Lowenthal’s office in the Cannon House Office Building, threw it to the ground, and stomped on it, exclaiming that the flag was "disgusting, immoral, and goes against everything that is right."

The LGBT CSA is the official, non-partisan organization in the U.S. House of Representatives whose mission is to advance the interests of current as well as prospective LGBT staff members. To learn more about the organization, please visit www.lgbtcsa.org.

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LGBT Congressional Staff Association’s Yesenia Chavez to receive Latino GLBT History Project’s Mujeres en el Movimiento Award

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The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association (CSA) shared that tomorrow its Vice President, Yesenia Chavez, will receive the Latino GLBT History Project’s Mujeres en el Movimiento Avocacy Award for her work to empower and increase the visibility of LGBT Latinas and Latinos in Washington, D.C.
 
“We’re so proud of Yesenia for this well-deserved recognition,” said Todd Sloves, President of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association. “In her time serving on the board of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association, Yesenia has worked hard to expand our organization’s diversity and has served as a mentor to numerous junior LGBT staff of color. She is a trailblazer for LGBT Latinas at the heart of our government. On behalf of our members, we congratulate Yesenia and thank her for her service to our organization and to the Hispanic LGBT community.”
 
“I’m grateful to the Latino GLBT History Project for selecting me as a recipient of this distinguished honor,” said Yesenia Chavez, Vice President of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association. “As Vice President of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association and organizer of Latinas in the House, I have strived to build a pipeline for queer and women staffers on the Hill. While the work is never done, I am honored to work on behalf of my community, to push for space for LGBT people and Latinas on the Hill, and to foster a sense of community amongst ourselves that enables us to create policies that reflect our needs.”
 
Yesenia has taken a leading role in organizing events for the LGBT Congressional Staff Association that focus on creating a safe space for women and queer people of color, including an annual “Galentine’s Day” Breakfast, regular Queer People of Color (QPOC) and women’s events, and various guest speaker events. Most recently she helped to organize a special QPOC Happy Hour that brought together more than 50 House, Senate, and D.C. advocates in an informal, community setting.
 
The Latino GLBT History Project (LHP) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit volunteer-led organization whose mission is to investigate, collect, preserve and educate the public about the history, culture, heritage, arts, social and rich contributions of the Latino GLBT community in metropolitan Washington, D.C.
 
Mujeres en el Movimiento is an annual event coordinated by LHP's Women's committee as an effort to recognize and celebrate Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Latina activists who have made significant contributions to empower and increase the visibility of LGBT Latinas and Latinos in metropolitan Washington, D.C.
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LGBT Congressional Staff Association Announces New Board of Directors for 2017

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association (CSA) announced today that its membership has elected its new board of directors for 2017, with Todd Sloves serving as the organization’s president. A picture of the new board, along with biographies, can be viewed here.

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LGBT and Muslim Staff, Members of Congress Hold Vigil and Moment of Silence for Orlando Shooting Victims at U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON –  The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association (CSA) and Congressional Muslim Staff Association (CMSA) held a joint vigil and moment of silence on the U.S. Capitol steps today to stand in solidarity with the Orlando community and remember the victims of Sunday’s shooting during Latin night at Pulse, an LGBT night club in Orlando, FL. At the vigil, the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, Father Patrick J. Conroy, gave an interfaith prayer followed by a moment of silence for those lives lost or injured.

The vigil was attended by Members of Congress as well as congressional staff and interns. Several staff associations also attended, including the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association, the Women’s Congressional Staff Association, the Gay and Lesbian Allied Senate Staff (GLASS), Congressional Black Associates, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association.

“In the aftermath of this heinous act of terror, today we join together on the Capitol steps to show the world that we are stronger when we stand together,” said Mitchell Rivard, President of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association. “Our diversity and love of country makes us better citizens. Hand in hand, we will stand together to speak out against violence and hate – today, tomorrow and in the future.”

“Time and time again the LGBT community has stood by the Muslim community in the face of hate, bigotry and marginalization,” said Omair Mirza, President of the Congressional Muslim Staff Association. “Today, shoulder to shoulder, we proudly stand with LGBT congressional staff to honor the victims and send a strong message that American Muslims will not tolerate hateful words or acts of violence against our friends in the LGBT community. During this Holy month of Ramadan, we will keep the victims and their loved ones in our prayers.”

The LGBT CSA is a non-partisan, officially sanctioned organization in the U.S. House of Representatives. To learn more about the organization, please visit www.lgbtcsa.org.

The Congressional Muslim Staff Association (CMSA) is a non-partisan, bicameral organization that strives to improve the institution of Congress by serving Muslim staffers on Capitol Hill and create a pipeline for young Muslims who aspire to serve their country. 

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LGBT Congressional Staff Association Announces New Board of Directors for 2016

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association (CSA) announced today that its membership has elected its new board of directors for 2016, with Mitchell Rivard serving as the organization’s president. A picture of the new board, along with biographies, can be viewed here.

“The LGBT Congressional Staff Association is dedicated to helping LGBT staffers succeed on Capitol Hill and our new board of directors is already putting together great career and networking events for the new year,” said Rivard. “We are always welcoming new members, both Democrats and Republicans, and look forward to expanding the great progress the LGBT CSA has made over the last year. We are a safe and diverse space for any LGBT Capitol Hill staffers looking to meet new people and get advice for their career.”

The LGBT CSA is a non-partisan, officially sanctioned organization in the U.S. House of Representatives whose mission is to advance the interests of LGBT staff, promote professional development opportunities and advocate for the LGBT community at large. The LGBT CSA has previously held successful events year-around on Capitol Hill, including monthly speaker series events with distinguished guests, networking happy hours, and career workshops. For a list of upcoming events, please visit www.lgbtcsa.org.

The new board of directors elected are listed below:

President: Mitchell Rivard; Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05).

Vice President: Todd Sloves; Legislative Assistant for Congressman Joe Crowley (NY-14).

Communications Director: Ross Arnett; Legislative Assistant for Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-36).

Professional Development Director: Robert Edmonson; Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (CA-12).

Social Events Director: Raghib Allie-Brennan; Legislative Aide for Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12).

Membership Director: Yesenia Chavez; Legislative Assistant for Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03).

At-Large Director: Michael Wong; Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09).

At-Large Director: Megan Crouch; Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-36).

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LGBT CSA Board Member Yesenia Chavez Named ‘Best Hill Staffer’ by Washington Blade

WASHINGTON – The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association (CSA) today congratulated Yesenia Chavez, who was voted “Best Hill Staffer” in the Washington Blade’s recent “Best of Gay D.C.” reader poll. Yesenia serves on the LGBT CSA board as the association’s Membership Director.

“We are so proud of Yesenia and thrilled for her much-deserved recognition by the Washington Blade,” said Mitchell Rivard, President of the LGBT CSA. “Yesenia’s hard work every day, combined with her energy and passion she brings to the job, is helping to make Capitol Hill a more welcoming place for LGBT staffers. We are lucky to have her drive and determination on our board.” 

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Yesenia Chavez is a first-generation Mexican-American that serves as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva. She advises the congressman on policy matters pertaining to LGBT, Human Rights, Women's Issues, Gun Violence, Small Business, Veteran’s Affairs, Transportation, Voting Rights, Military and Defense, and Commemorations. As Membership Director of the LGBT CSA, Yesenia works to create safe and inclusive spaces for all staffers, especially queer women and people of color, to meet one another and foster relationships to promote membership growth.

The LGBT CSA is a bipartisan organization on Capitol Hill whose mission is to advance the interests of LGBT House of Representatives staff, and advocate for the LGBT community at large. For more information, visit www.lgbtcsa.org.  

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Coming Out Day 2015

The LGBT Congressional Staff Association joined colleagues with the Senate GLASS Caucus and the Library of Congress GLOBE for our 2015 National Coming Out Day photo.

Check out an op-ed we penned on the importance of coming out.

 

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Scouts for Equality Honors LGBT Congressional Staff Association

Scouts for Equality honors LGBT Congressional Staff Association

LGBT CSA’s president, Mitchell Rivard, is an openly gay Eagle Scout

Scouts for Equality, the national campaign to end discrimination in the Boy Scouts of America, honored Chuck Wolfe and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association at a reception held at Long View Gallery in Washington, D.C.

“It’s a privilege to recognize the tireless work of advocates like Chuck and Mitchell, both of whom embody the spirit of friendly service at the core of Scouting,” said Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality. “We’re grateful for their support and look forward to working with them and other advocates to ensure a swift and decisive end to the Boy Scouts of America’s discriminatory ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.”

In recent weeks, the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay adults has been challenged by the Greater New York Council’s hiring of Pascal Tessier, a Scouts for Equality member and openly gay Eagle Scout from Kensington, Maryland. Nearly thirty other Boy Scout Councils, regional organizing bodies, have publicly stated their opposition to the BSA’s decades-old ban on gay leaders.

Mitchell Rivard, president of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association, the non-partisan organization on Capitol Hill for LGBT staffers and interns, is also an openly gay Eagle Scout. He spoke strongly about the importance of LGBT visibility in both Scouting and government.

“From Boy Scout Troops to the halls of Congress, everyone should be accepted for who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Rivard said. “As a nation we’ve made progress, but there’s still work to do in order to achieve full equality and inclusivity for everyone, including gay Americans. The LGBT Congressional Staff Association looks forward to working with organizations like Scouts for Equality to ensure that the principles of Scouting – being true to oneself, respect for others, and honesty – guide our public servants and strengthen our country.”

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LGBT Congressional Staff Association Announces New Board of Directors

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association (CSA) announced that its membership has elected its new board of directors for 2015, including Mitchell Rivard as the organization’s new president.

“The LGBT community has a strong presence on Capitol Hill and the board of directors is excited and eager to advocate for our members in the coming year,” Rivard said. “The LGBT Congressional Staff Association has grown over the last year – we now have more members, more financial resources and more support from other LGBT organizations than ever. We are excited to build off these successes and expand our office outreach, programming and mentorship opportunities for openly LGBT staff on Capitol Hill.”

“It has been a pleasure serving as LGBT CSA president and working with inspiring individuals who have worked so hard to advance the interests of LGBT staffers on Capitol Hill,” said Mittler.  “I look forward to continuing the mission of the LGBT CSA as a member and building upon the work undertaken during my time as president.  I’m pleased to have helped grow our dues paying members to the highest since our Association’s founding.  And while more work remains, our organization is more diverse than ever before, and I am confident that the LGBT CSA's achievements will keep growing. I congratulate the incoming board on their election and I am excited to witness all they will accomplish in the coming year.”

The LGBT CSA is a non-partisan, officially sanctioned organization in the U.S. House of Representatives whose mission is to advance the interests of LGBT staff, promote professional development opportunities and advocate for the LGBT community at large. 

The new Board of Directors elected today are below:

President: Mitchell Rivard; Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05). He previously served as the LGBT CSA’s Vice President.

Vice President: Brian Walsh; Scheduler for Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02).

Communications Director: Malaika I. Robinson; Deputy Director of Speechwriting for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12).

Professional Development: Robert Edmonson; Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (CA-12).

Social Events: Todd Sloves; Legislative Assistant for Congressman Joe Crowley (NY-14).

Membership Director: David Gellman; Staff Assistant/Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03).

At-Large: Michael Wong; Legislative Aide to Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09).

At-Large: Yesenia Chavez; Legislative Assistant to Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03).

For more information on the LGBT CSA, visit www.lgbtcsa.org.

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PRESS RELEASE: Ros-Lehtinen, Polis to Co-Sponsor LGBT Congressional Staff Association in 114th Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Contact:

Kat Skiles, LGBT CSA, kat.skiles@mail.house.gov
Scott Overland, Rep. Jared Polis, scott.overland@mail.hous.gov
Keith Fernandez ,Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, keith.fernandez@mail.house.gov

Ros-Lehtinen, Polis to Co-Sponsor LGBT Congressional Staff Association in 114th Congress

Ros-Lehtinen First Republican Member of Congress to Sponsor Organization

WASHINGTON – The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association (CSA) announced today that Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), along with Democratic Congressman Jared Polis (CO-2), will support the organization’s charter in the 114th Congress. This historic new co-sponsorship represents the first time that a Republican Member of Congress has authored the group’s charter.

An officially sanctioned, non-partisan organization within the U.S. House of Representatives, the LGBT CSA is required to operate under the sponsorship of one or more sitting Members of Congress.

“I'm proud of so many dedicated congressional staffers who have created the CSA to increase awareness and mentorship on Capitol Hill,” said Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. “Congressman Polis is a great leader on LGBT issues and I look forward to continue working with him to promote inclusiveness and acceptance on Capitol Hill and across our nation.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen in supporting an organization dedicated to promoting diversity and openness here in Congress,” said Congressman Polis. “The values the CSA promotes, by encouraging staff to be honest about themselves and mentoring leaders for tomorrow, help make Congress a better place and I’m excited to join Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen in supporting their bipartisan work.”

“The LGBT CSA has been sponsored historically by Democrats. However, the fight for LGBT equality is not a partisan issue, it's a human one,” said Michelle Mittler, President of the LGBT CSA. “It's incredibly meaningful to have someone who is both a Republican and a woman take on this kind of leadership role. Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen's co-sponsorship undoubtedly strengthens our organization and recruitment of new Capitol Hill staffers in the coming term of Congress.”

“We are honored and proud to partner with Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Jared Polis to continue advocating for openly LGBT staffers on Capitol Hill,” said Mitchell Rivard, Vice President of the LGBT CSA. Having two champions of LGBT rights sponsor our organization in the 114th Congress – one Republican, one Democrat – sends a strong message that promoting equality isn’t a partisan issue. It is our hope that all Members of Congress can follow the leadership and bipartisan tone set by Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Polis to order to promote equality for all.”

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