TransGriot Note: For the purposes of journalistic integrity I did serve for a year as the secretary on the CFAIR board.
The 2010 midterms were not a good night for the liberal progressive side, and we will have to regroup and retool for the next election cycle.
In this post mortem period we'll need to take a look at the things and strategies that worked in this cycle and what didn't.
If I told you there was a GLBT organization that on Tuesday night managed the goals of expanding the number of fair minded judges in their county court system, helped a friendly school board member under attack from the left and right stay on the school board, kept an anti-gay Republican mayoral candidate from being elected, defeated a long time anti-gay nemesis in his city council reelection bid, kept one house of their state legislature from flipping to Republican control by limiting the damage to just seven defeated Democrats, and they did it in a red state, wouldn't you want to know what the name of that organization was, who was running it, and finally how they did it?
Well, the organization that pulled off all those tasks was CFAIR, the Committee for Fairness and Individual Rights, the political arm of the Louisville, KY based Fairness Campaign.
Not bad for a organization that was once told by the national GL establishment when they appealed for help over two decades ago to pass inclusive GLBT civil rights laws in Louisville and Lexington that they were a 'backwater' that would never pass anything.
But you have to admit those were daunting tasks facing a GLBT rights political org in a less than ideal election environment for a progressive leaning organization.
CFAIR is currently run by co-chairs Nick Wilkerson and 2000 IFGE Trinity Award winner Dawn Wilson
When you ask them the question why they are so successful doing what they do in a red state like Kentucky, they'll say it's because they have a great team of people that do whatever it takes to get the job done.
They did have a few setbacks on Tuesday. One of their endorsed judicial candidates and a JCPS school board candidate narrowly lost their races. It was a wash because the opponents of both those candidates also sought the C-FAIR endorsement. An openly gay man they endorsed for Metro Council lost his race along with three longshot candidates, but overall those folks who received the CFAIR seal of approval were successful.
The next major projects on the CFAIR horizon? Prepare for the upcoming critical Kentucky legislative session and continue the work in conjunction with the Statewide Fairness Coalition to pass a statewide Fairness law to cover all GLBT residents of the Bluegrass state not covered by the civic laws now in place in Louisville, Lexington, Covington and Bowling Green.