Wednesday, December 17, 2008

WOW! This Is Fantastic News!

This was just posted on "My Husband's Betty" forum...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Paul Twitchell, 617.450.1215


Portfolio includes Healthcare, LGBT, Labor, Veterans and Census Issues

BOSTON, Dec. 17, 2008 -- Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman, House Financial Services Committee, named Diego Miguel Sanchez, APR, as Legislative Assistant for LGBT, Healthcare, Labor, Veterans and Census issues, effective Jan. 6, 2009, based in Washington, D.C. Sanchez is currently Director of Public Relations & External Affairs for AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, New England's first and largest AIDS organization, and AIDS Action Council in Washington, DC, and brings 28 years of expertise In LGBT and healthcare policy, public relations, issues and diversity management and marketing. He also drives media relations for the National AIDS Strategy Coalition that successfully urged President-elect Barack Obama to design and implement a national AIDS strategy for the United States. (

"While we'll miss Diego and are grateful for his contributions in Massachusetts, we're heartened that his skill, intelligence and compassion will be on Capitol Hill, focusing with Barney Frank on many issues of importance to our community," said Rebecca Haag, President and CEO, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts and Executive Director, AIDS Action Council. "He's heading for Washington at a time when great progress is anticipated from both the Executive and Legislative branches, including for HIV/AIDS and healthcare overall."

Sanchez is former Work Plan Committee Chair of the CDC-mandated Massachusetts HIV Prevention Planning Group and is on the Board of the Harvard/Boston Medical Center AIDS Clinical Trial Unit.

Before joining AIDS Action In 2004, Sanchez was director of JRI Health's TransHealth and GLBT Health Access Programs and directed its Ryan White Title IV Program for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Named among the Top 100 Most Powerful Latinos in Corporate America by Hispanic Business magazine and one of the 100 most powerful Latinos in Massachusetts (Poderometro/ Power Meter) by El Planeta newspaper in 2007, Sanchez has introduced more than 50 global programs and 20 global brands including Diet Coke® and The St. Regis®. Sanchez was named "Outstanding Community Activist" by the Bay State Stonewall Democrats this year.

He is the first transgender person appointed to a Democratic National standing committee, named to The DNC Platform Committee by Chair Gov. Howard Dean and appointed a Party Leader (PLEO) and At-Large Delegate to the 2008 Convention in Denver. Sanchez successfully gained historic inclusion in the Platform of his three designated priorities: calling for a National AIDS Strategy by name, adding gender identity to non-discrimination in employment alongside sexual orientation and including same-sex couples as families.

He testified before Congress this year as one of three individual transgender witnesses on the issue of employment non-discrimination for transgender people. Reps. Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin also testified at the hearing. He also delivered Congressman Frank's testimony at the Massachusetts State House hearing in support of HB1722 which would prohibit discrimination for gender identity and expression in employment, housing, hate crimes, credit, public accommodations and public education.

Sanchez is a member of the Human Rights Campaign Business Council and Diversity Co-Chair of its Boston Steering Committee, founding Board member of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and SomosLatinos LGBT, first Co-Chair of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and on The Board of Boston's Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Sanchez served on President-elect Barack Obama’s LGBT Policy Advisory Committee and Transgender Policy Sub-Committee and previously was a national LGBT advisor for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Candidacy. A University of Georgia cum laude graduate and Rhodes Scholar candidate, Diego holds a B.A. in Journalism with a major in public relations. Diego is a Senior Fellow of The Emerging Leaders Program of the Center for Collaborative Leadership in the College of Management at UMass/Boston.

This is really great news that Diego will be working with Rep. Franks, maybe we just might have some hope with passing a gender inclusive ENDA. As far as I know, Diego is the first trans-person to be on a member of Congress's staff.

Maybe there is some hope with Congressman Barney Franks, he has been talking wishy washy statements about the gender inclusive ENDA. We will have to see if Diego can persuade Rep. Franks to back the bill.

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