A Letter from the Executive Director

This year SAVE Dade is celebrating its 20 year anniversary and there has never been a more exciting time to support your local LGBT advocacy organization. For 20 years we have been your voice for equality in City Halls and ballot boxes across the county.

What a year we had in 2012: electing the first openly gay state legislator; passing a domestic partner ordinance in Coral Gables; and experiencing an 86% win rate in the 2012 General Election.

Our success was due to the unwavering support provided by our staff, board, donors, and most importantly, our volunteers. I want to thank all of you who wrote checks, knocked on doors, and made phone calls in the name of equality – your efforts paid off.

And the work continues…

Last year was not a finish line; it was merely a victory, in a war that wages on.

We delivered, and now we are planning an ambitious strategy that takes us through the gubernatorial race of 2014. We want to help elect a pro-equality Governor and to do that we are developing a plan laser focused on advocacy, policy, and elections.

Next week our board meets for our annual strategic board session under the leadership of newly elected Chairman, Brian Adler. I'm excited to work with Brian and believe that there is no better person to follow in the footsteps of our immediate past chair, Joseph Falk. Under Joe's leadership we increased our impact, expanded our political powerbase, and directed more money to pro-equality candidates than ever before in our history. Brian's focused on leveraging the political power we've built and enhancing our organizational capacity. We are off to a great start and are in very capable hands.

I'd also like to take a moment to recognize Joshua Dunkelman as he moves on from SAVE Dade. His hard work and passion helped us raise the money we needed to be successful last year. He also started the Young Guardian Society as a way to get young professionals to donate to SAVE Dade. We wish him well on his future endeavors and appreciate his service to our mission.

I'd like to close with a message I've echoed for the four years I've been at SAVE (I know, I can't believe it's been four years!) and that is that this organization, this movement, this push towards a day when we can close our doors is dependent upon YOU! The longevity of our struggle rests entirely on YOUR shoulders and not on the shoulders of activists. It is YOU, the everyday average LGBT American that our future depends on.

How much extra money can you give this year? How much extra time are you willing to donate? Where else can you lend a hand? As I write this email from the National Gay and Lesbian Creating Change Conference, the recurring message from activists around the country here is clear... we are doing everything we can and then some, but we need help. We need help from YOU.

We appreciate your support and look forward to a prosperous year together as we continue to Safeguard American Values for Everyone!

CJ Ortuño

Executive Director

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