Entries from: Mark Pocan

Pocan seeks protections for homeless LGBT youth

pocanU.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (who is openly gay) and Gwen Moore, both Wisconsin Democrats, last week introduced legislation that would bar homeless shelters that receive federal funds from discriminating against LGBT youth, and require them to gain competency in serving their unique needs.

“Homelessness is one of the most pressing matters affecting LGBT youth,” Pocan told the Washington Blade. “Young people in the LGBT community are disproportionately at-risk for homelessness, often as a result of the rejection, discrimination, or violence they face simply for being themselves.”

Katie Miller, a former Victory Congressional Intern who is now a researcher at the Center for American Progress, wrote in June about four pieces of legislation Congress could enact this year to combat LGBT youth homelessness.

Pocan will be next out Member of Congress

pocan221Democratic Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan will succeed Rep. Tammy Baldwin in the U.S. House of Representatives, marking the first time an openly LGBT member of Congress will be followed by another in the same Congressional District.

Pocan easily won his general election in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, which Baldwin has represented since 1998.  She decided to leave the seat to run for the U.S. Senate this year, a race that has not been called yet this evening.

“Mark is an outstanding public servant and he will be a fantastic member of Congress,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund.  ”Nobody is better suited to follow in Tammy Baldwin’s footsteps in the House.  He’s a fighter, and he’ll be a strong voice for LGBT equality.”

Gay congressional candidate wins key primary in Wisconsin

The next openly gay member of Congress will almost certainly be Wisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan, a progressive small business owner who won the Democratic primary tonight in the Congressional District that has been represented by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin for the past 14 years.  (The primary winner is normally the heavy favorite to win the general election in the Democratic-leaning 2nd Congressional District.)

Pocan has been active in local and state politics since 1991, and he’s owned a small business in Madison since graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1986.  He married his longtime partner, Philip Frank, in Toronto in 2006.  Pocan currently represents the state legislative district once represented by Baldwin, who is now running for the U.S. Senate after serving seven terms in the House.

“Mark Pocan is an outstanding public servant who will be a strong and authentic voice for LGBT Americans in Congress,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which endorsed Pocan.  ”It’s fitting that as Congresswoman Baldwin fights to win a historic victory in the Senate, Mark Pocan will follow in her footsteps as one of the most powerful voices for LGBT equality in America.”

Mark Takano kicks off race to double LGBT representation in Congress

Mark TakanoYesterday Mark Takano came out strong in his primary race and will face Republican John Tavaglione in November to represent California’s 41st Congressional District. Takano would become the first openly LGBT person of color elected to Congress.

“We’re proud of Mark’s win in last night’s primary,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund. “His victory in November will help us achieve the largest Congressional LGBT Caucus in history and ensure LGBT Americans are heard on Capitol Hill.”

Takano’s primary is the first of eight LGBT candidates for Congress endorsed by the Victory Fund.

There are currently four openly LGBT members of Congress, including Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.). Last fall, Frank announced he would not seek reelection and Baldwin launched a bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

In addition to Takano, the out non-incumbent candidates for the U.S. House endorsed by Victory are:

  • Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who would become New York’s first openly gay Member of Congress.
  • Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), who is vying for the seat currently represented by Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin.
  • Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who would become the first-ever openly bisexual member of Congress.
  • Richard Tisei (R-Mass.), who would become the only out Republican in Congress.

Gay legislator builds support in race for Congress

pocanWisconsin State Rep. Mark Pocan is on a roll, according to the Capital Times.  He’s racked up numerous local and national endorsements in his race to replace Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, who is running for the U.S. Senate:

State Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, has started fast in his race for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison. He has secured support from five major unions and national groups such as the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and the Human Rights Campaign.

What seems to distinguish Pocan at this point is the remarkable level of grass-roots support he has attracted in the 2nd District. His list of backers, including not just elected officials and activists but workers, farmers and small-business owners in every community across this diverse district, is striking.

Pocan is one of three openly gay, non-incumbent Congressional candidates endorsed by the Victory Fund recently for 2012 House races.  Victory has also endorsed incumbent Reps. Barney Frank, Jared Polis and David Cicilline in their reelection bids.  Along with Baldwin, these seven represent the largest number of endorsed federal candidates in Victory Fund’s history.