Alabama’s first openly gay lawmaker Patricia Todd to lead LGBTQ coalition

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One Orlando Alliance, central Florida’s largest coalition of LGBTQ advocacy groups, on Tuesday named Birmingham-Democrat state Rep. Patricia Todd executive director.

Todd, Alabama’s first openly gay lawmaker will lead the LGBTQ coalition in Orlando, Fla., in an effort to bring together LGBTQ+ organizations and work to transform Central Florida into an accepting and unified community for all.

Eighteen organizations formed the alliance in June 2016 following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando to offer short-term crisis counseling, emergency care packages, and money to victims and their families. Since then, the alliance has grown to more than forty groups with a long-term vision to support and empower LGBTQ residents in central Florida.

Todd has over three decades of experience advocating for justice and equality. Born and raised in Kentucky, Todd served two years in Washington, D.C. with the National Organization for Women before moving to Alabama. She went on to serve as Executive Director for AIDS Alabama, the statewide HIV/AIDS organization, and State Director for the Human Rights Campaign. In 2006, she garnered national attention when she became the first openly gay elected official to serve in the Alabama House of Representatives. She was re-elected in 2010 without opposition. After serving 12 years, she did not seek re-election. Her farewell speech to the House received a standing ovation.

“Patricia has been training for this role her whole life. She’s a natural fit and we’re delighted she’ll be joining the coalition in this important work,” remarked Jennifer Foster, Chair of the Board of Directors and one of the original co-conveners of the Alliance.

Todd said of her new position, “I am honored to be selected as the Executive Director for One Orlando Alliance. I look forward to working alongside Alliance members to create a more inclusive Central Florida community.”

“The work of One Orlando Alliance serves as a national model for how to pull community together in the wake of unimaginable tragedy,” Todd added. “I’m humbled to help tell that story of the origin and even more excited about our shared vision for a stronger, more unified future. Together, the Alliance will ensure that justice and equality are rights of all who call Central Florida home.”

The selection of Todd followed an extensive nation-wide search that began in August, 2017.

 

She will begin her new role on June 1.

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