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.” 


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  


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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

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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Kat Skiles, LGBT CSA,
Scott Overland, Rep. Jared Polis,
Keith Fernandez ,Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,

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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PRESS RELEASE: LGBT Hill Staffers Out and Proud on Eve of National Coming Out Day


Friday, October 10, 2014

Contact: Kat Skiles, 

LGBT Hill Staffers Out and Proud on Eve of National Coming Out Day

Washington, DC – In honor of National Coming Out Day, Saturday, October 11, 2014, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Congressional Staff Association (CSA) in conjunction with the Gay, Lesbian, and Allies Senate Staff (GLASS) and Library of Congress - GLOBE commends the leadership of its out and proud members on Capitol Hill.

The LGBT CSA is an officially sanctioned organization within the U.S. House of Representatives and brings together a diversity of genders, ethnicities, political affiliations and sexual identities with the goal of creating a truly inclusive Capitol Hill community.

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PRESS RELEASE: Whip Steny Hoyer Kicks off New Speaker Series

final-lgbt-csa-color_(1).jpg FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Contact: Mitchell Rivard, (202)

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer Kicks off LGBT Congressional Staff Association’s New Speaker Series
Second-Ranking House Democrat Shares Perspective from Time As Intern, Staffer and Now Congressman on Capitol Hill
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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Congressional Staff Association