On Friday March 31 GALA held the first of their popular Meet the Candidate events. Close to 100 Plano citizens met at a private residence in the Deerfield neighborhood of Plano to listen to 16 candidates answer questions relevant to the LGBT community. “There are still no state laws that protect LGBT individuals in the workplace and that includes legally married couples. And with the rapid influx of new companies moving to North Texas, we have to look to our city and state leaders to bring about change. Ultimately making it an imperative to be informed about who represents us and our families at the local level,” said GALA former President Bob Shimmin.
GALA’s Meet the Candidate Events were first held in 2007, to give candidates an opportunity to interact with LGBT voters, their friends and their neighbors. “The purpose of the event is twofold- to introduce candidates to our community and encourage our community members to vote,” Bob added.
As an indication of the increased visibility and influence of GALA, for many years now, all candidates attend the Meet the Candidate events and a majority fill out the Candidate Questionnaire. This year, GALA is sending out revised questionnaires, developed by former GALA President, Bob Shimmin and board member Dawna Hubert, to candidates from Plano, Carrollton, McKinney, Frisco, Little Elm, Richardson, Allen and for Collin College Board of Trustees. “With the vitriol coming from Austin and D.C., our best game plan, as a community, is to focus on local elections and continue to work with the business community to lobby for the passage of Equal Rights Ordinances such as the one that was passed in Plano in 2014.,” said, Dawna Hubert, Board Member and Plano Resident.
Frisco Meet the Candidate event is scheduled for Friday April 7, McKinney for April 15 and Carrollton for April 19. For more information see the event on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org