Former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, former Pennsylvania representative Joe Sestak and author Marianne Williamson will speak at a September 20 forum on the lives of LGBTQ people and other civil rights issues impacting them in the heartland and rural America. All Democratic presidential candidates actively campaigning in Iowa have been invited to participate.
One Iowa, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization, The Gazette, Eastern Iowa’s daily paper and online news source and The Advocate, the world’s leading source for LGBTQ news, will host this event in Sinclair Auditorium at Coe College, a small private institution located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This event is free with required pre-registration now available at www.thegazette.com/2019LGBTQforum or by calling 319-398-8345.
Several leading elected officials from Eastern Iowa are serving as honorary co-chairs for the LGBTQ Presidential Forum:
- Congressman Dave Loebsack
- Iowa Senator Zach Wahls
- Iowa Senator Rob Hogg
- Iowa Representative Liz Bennett
- Linn County Democratic Party Chair Bret Niles
- Hiawatha City Councilwoman Aime Wichtendahl
“This event will focus on LGBTQ people living in the heartland and their needs,” One Iowa Interim Executive Director Courtney Reyes said. “The overarching narrative that LGBTQ people in the U.S live in urban coastal areas ignores the millions of LGBTQ individuals living and working in the middle of the country. We look forward to hearing what the presidential candidates have to say to this often overlooked, but politically powerful community.”
“At The Advocate, we are committed to serving LGBTQ populations living in big cities and small towns with vital news and information to educate, inform and inspire,” stated Zach Stafford, The Advocate editor-in-chief. “Creating a forum where our
issues are front and center will allow the LGBTQ community to make clear and informed decisions about the candidates seeking our valuable votes.”
Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., and the program will run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Each candidate will have individual stage time to address the audience, followed by a one-on-one moderated Q&A session. Moderators are:
- James Q. Lynch, The Gazette political reporter
- Zach Stafford, The Advocate editor-in-chief
- Keenan Crow, One Iowa director of policy and advocacy
Candidates and campaign staff interested in participating are encouraged to contact Quinn Pettifer, The Gazette community outreach manager, at [email protected] or 319-981-0307.