About Us

Our Mission

LPAC builds the political power of lesbians and queer women by electing candidates who champion LGBTQ rights, women’s equality and social justice.

LPAC achieves its mission by increasing the political power and engagement of LGBTQ women and their allies, and building a network of lesbians and queer women who take political action.

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Our Wins

Since the creation of LPAC in 2012, we have distinguished ourselves by raising over $2 million from supporters in 48 states. So far, LPAC has been involved in over 40 races and independent expenditure campaigns across the country. Lesbian and queer women have made it known through LPAC: We are a force to be reckoned with.Our commitment to supporting candidates who support LGBTQ women and the issues important to them is evidenced by a few of the candidates and campaigns we supported and helped win over the past three election cycles:Notable Successes:

  • 2012— President Barack Obama (D)
  • 2012— Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Our first openly gay U.S. Senator
  • 2012— Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • 2012— Marriage Equality in Washington and Maine
  • 2013— Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)
  • 2013—Houston Mayor Annise Parker
  • 2013— Marriage Equality in Illinois
  • 2014—Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D), The first out lesbian Attorney General in the nation
  • 2014—Arizona Congresswoman Krysten Sinema (D)
  • 2014—California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D)

While we celebrate our wins, we know that the work of LPAC is far from over. In most states, LGBT know that the work of LPAC is far from over.

In most states, LGBT Americans continue to suffer legal, political, and cultural discrimination, even with marriage equality. As we look toward the future of LPAC, we will continue to be the political voice that represents the needs of LGBTQ women. Join us as we support candidates who support us–from the state house to the White House.

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Our Story

LPAC is the first lesbian Political Action Committee, with the mission of advancing women’s and LGBTQ equality by working to influence the current political and social landscape and to give lesbians a real and meaningful seat at the political table. LPAC believes that the engagement of lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) women in politics can translate into greater protections for LGBTQ women and all members of the LGBTQ community. LPAC operates with a commitment to LGBTQ equality, gender, sexual and reproductive justice, and racial, social and economic justice.LPAC was founded by a group of committed lesbian donors and activists. Since its formal launch in July of 2012, LPAC’s work has focused on establishing LPAC as a strong political entity with national reach. LPAC has implemented a values-based approach to investing in candidates and ballot initiatives that advance gender, LGBTQ and social equality.This approach has already produced real results. LPAC has been instrumental in electing candidates who push forward progressive, feminist and pro-LGBTQ policies, including the fight for pay equality, LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws, reproductive justice, and voting rights.

We have also engaged thousands of people in political giving, raised more than $2 million in contributions from 48 states and built a grassroots contact list of 25,000 people LPAC has a broad base of support both nationally and economically, yet the majority of LPAC’s donors have contributed under $100, proving that unlike other Super Pacs that are funded by a few wealthy individuals, LPAC is a political movement bolstered by many.

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Our Work

LPAC builds the political power of LGBTQ women by electing candidates who champion LGBTQ rights, women’s equality, and social justice.

Founded in 2012 by experienced leaders in feminist, LGBTQ, and social justice movements, LPAC is laser focused on:

  • Building the political power of LGBTQ women across the country;
  • Working at the intersection of LGBT rights, women’s equality, and social justice to fight for a broader agenda, one that fights for ALL OF US;
  • Stewarding your dollars by utilizing a small but dedicated team of political professionals to keep our administrative costs low and to effectively invest your generous contribution towards achieving LPAC’s mission;
  • Whether it’s reproductive freedom, access to quality and affordable healthcare, or fighting for the rights and dignity of immigrant families, our rights are threatened when any vulnerable community is under attack. It’s why we speak out – and why we do so every day;
  • Bundling candidate donations – from the $5 donor to the $50,000 donor – through LPAC. It is important that the mainstream political establishment is clear about the role lesbian and queer women play in getting people elected; and,
  • Electing outspoken champions of our values to public office at the local, state, and national level by raising resources for these campaigns from our network across the country.

Facts & Figures

LPAC is now celebrating 5 years since its inception. Below you will find a few facts and figures to give you an idea as to what we as a values-driven PAC have been able to achieve.

  • Since our founding, we have invested over $2.1 million from more than 1,500 donors across 48 states and the District of Columbia to build the political power of LGBTQ women;
  • LPAC was the FIRST national LGBTQ organization to endorse Hillary Clinton for President in 2016;
  • In 2016 LPAC invested over $550,000 in its endorsed slate of candidates running for office; and,
  • We value diversity across the board. In 2016, of our slate of candidates was 78% women, 38% candidates of color, and 45% identified as LGBTQ.

Our plan for 2017:

LPAC will endorse a slate of candidates who can benefit from LPAC’s early and committed support. These candidates are running on the local, state and federal level. They identify as straight or LGBTQ; they are men and women; and they all have one thing in common: they stand up for the issues that lesbians and our families and friends care about: women’s equality, LGBTQ rights, and social justice.

This year, LPAC seeks to finally tackle that age-old question: where are all the lesbians? It’s a question we’re often asked at political events, LGBTQ gatherings, and by friends who straddle both of those worlds. Our plan this year is to build the community of LGBTQ women by building an analytic voter model – going to where LGBTQ women are, counting them and activating them in local, state, and national campaigns on behalf of our candidates and the campaigns they are running.

For too long, LGBTQ women have been counted out when it comes to politics – from donating, to being heard in our political discourse, to running for office. LPAC looks to change that by building the political power of LGBTQ women in all aspects of our democracy.

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Our Team

Board


Laura Ricketts, Chair of the Board

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As director and part owner of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball Club; and Chair of the Board for Chicago Cubs Charities; Laura Ricketts is the first openly gay woman to own an MLB franchise. She is a former corporate attorney, a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Executive Committee, and a former co-chair of the DNC National Finance Committee’s LGBT Leadership Council. She also sits on the board of directors for EMILY’s List.

She served on the Steering Committee and co-chaired the Finance Committee for Illinois Unites for Marriage, a statewide campaign to pass the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act in the Illinois General Assembly, which granted full marriage equality to Illinois same-sex couples.

Tina Podlodowski, Vice Chair

Most recently the Democratic candidate for Washington Secretary of State, Tina Podlodowski is the daughter of two naturalized U.S. citizens who fled post-WWII Europe as refugees. A first generation American, Tina has spent her life fighting for equality and leading in the LGBTQ community nationally. Tina’s 30+ years of leadership in technology (at Microsoft), government (as a Seattle City Councilmember) and management (at Portner Novelli, and leading HIV/AIDs and mentoring nonprofits) has saved taxpayers millions of dollars, improved public safety and health, and revolutionized technology. Tina has closely worked on over 50 different initiative and candidate campaigns locally and nationally.
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Hilary Rosen, Treasurer

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Hilary B. Rosen, Managing Director, SKD Knickerbocker and Political Analyst on CNN, is a well-known Democratic strategist who navigates the intersection of communications, media and politics. She is an advisor to several elected officials and the DNC.Hilary is the former Chairman and chief executive officer of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade group representing the U.S. sound recording industry where she served for 17 years before retiring in June 2003. At RIAA, Hilary was a guiding force in the entertainment industry.Hilary is a founder of Rock the Vote, the organization that promotes youth political involvement and currently serves on several non-profit boards including Business Forward and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. She is a sought-after advisor to many Democratic candidates for federal and local offices.

Alix Ritchie, Secretary

Alix Ritchie is a media strategy consultant, a self-described agitator and an activist who is passionate about the principle of stewardship: the long-term commitment to leaving this world a better place than you found it. She is a political leader in the women’s and LGBTQ equality movements. Alix is the founder and, until recently, also the owner and publisher of the Provincetown Banner, a community newspaper covering the outer arm of Cape Cod, which was recipient of the New England Press Association Newspaper of the Year Award. She has long been a feminist activist and is a member of the advisory board of Ms. Magazine.She is a board member of GLAD and an advisory board member of the Stonewall National Museum and Library.

Alix and her spouse, Marty Davis, have been in a committed relationship for 39 years and were married in Massachusetts in 2009. They are residents of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

P. Kay Coleman

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P. Kay Coleman is a management consultant specializing in helping companies improve their performance by designing and implementing major changes in their processes, systems, and culture. She has over twenty-five years of management consulting experience in strategic planning, process improvement, human resources, and sales management. In addition to consulting, Ms. Coleman co-founded an angel investment firm, Del Mar Venture Group LLC, in 2005 to help startup companies get the capital and management expertise they need to grow in the critical early years.

Ms. Coleman is Chair-Elect of the American Cancer Society’s Board of Directors, California Division, and currently chairs the Division’s ACS Cancer Action Network Team. In addition, she is a member of The President’s Circle at the University of Tennessee where she has endowed a softball scholarship.

Meg Columbia-Walsh

Meg Columbia-Walsh is recognized internationally as a pre-eminent authority in digital marketing, mobile, social, sales, marketing communications, CPG and pharmaceutical business processes. She has pioneered efforts to improve the health care process and empower consumers to manage their own health via the Internet. Meg has served as a CEO and President for over 20 years. She has managed companies with valuations over 200 million, helped raise over 200 million, participated as an officer in an IPO, has had complete P&L and operational responsibilities, and managed people for over 15 years including staffs as large as 300 in multiple divisions and all levels.

Ms. Columbia-Walsh has founded and been CEO of 4 successful companies including HealthTech Digital Communications, the first online advertising agency and web development firm in healthcare (Founder, CEO, sold to Interpublic Group), CBSHealthwatch (Founder, CEO, officer of Medscape Inc., sold 33% to CBS Corp., IPO, sold to WebMD), and Oncology.com (CEO, Company founders were Michael Milken, Andy Grove, Paul Allen, sold to Pharmacia and Upjohn). Inverse Mobile, Founder and CEO, premier mobile advertising agency since 2011 and founding partner in adtheorent.com.

Currently, Ms. Columbia-Walsh is the CEO of Wylei, Inc., a venture backed, next generation predictive and adaptive content technology company. Columbia-Walsh is a frequent lecturer and has appeared as an expert guest on radio and television. She is also on the Board of Directors of numerous profit and non-profit companies.

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Ana Cruz

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Ana Cruz currently manages Ballard Partners’ Tampa practice. Ms. Cruz brings over 20 years of experience in lobbying, strategic communications and political consulting. During her career, Ms. Cruz has represented a wide array of clients throughout Central Florida in both the private and the public sectors and has successfully advocated for several high profile clients, including HMS Host, Avis Budget Group, Verizon, Motorola, UBER, Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority and the Orlando Magic. Ms. Cruz has extensive legislative knowledge having worked in the Florida House of Representatives and the United States Senate. For the past decade she has focused on building a strong Central Florida practice representing clients in the development, sports, and technology arenas. Ms. Cruz stays active in local, state and federal politics and is often quoted in state and national publications and currently serves as a political correspondent for Bay News 9, Florida This Week and as a spokesperson for corporate clients.

Karen Dixon

Karen serves on the Lambda Legal National Board of Directors as a member of the Executive Committee and is currently a Co-Chair of the Development Committee. She was recently named as one of the National Co-Chairs of the LGBT Leadership Council for the Democratic National Committee. Dixon resides in Washington, DC with her wife, Dr. Nan Schaffer, and together they are working to save the critically endangered Sumatran rhino in Southeast Asia.
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Diane M. Felicio

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Diane is the Director of Resource and Business Development for Community Catalyst, a national not-for-profit consumer advocacy and policy organization that works to build a health justice movement serving a variety of populations including LGBT groups, racial and ethnic minorities, and the economically vulnerable. Most recently, under Diane’s leadership, Community Catalyst received a $14.8M grant to launch the Center for Consumer and Community Engagement in Health Innovation.

Diane is also a social psychologist (Ph.D., UVM) and prior to her work as a development professional, she was a faculty member at Goddard College in psychology and feminist studies. She co- wrote one of the first articles written about lesbian couples formally divorcing/separating: “Beyond the Dominant Narrative: Intimacy and Conflict in Lesbian Relationships,” (Mediation Quarterly, 2001), which is still widely cited nationally and internationally.

Among other volunteer activities she serves as an advisory board member of the Equality Fund at The Boston Foundation. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts with her spouse—writer, artist, and educator, Jan Donley.

Dawn Laguens

Dawn is the Executive Vice President and Chief Experience Officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its Action Fund; she led the successful campaign to defeat the Pence amendment, a congressional effort to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s access to federal funding. Since then she has shaped the organization’s message and strategy through the Komen Foundation’s defunding of Planned Parenthood affiliates, defending insurance coverage for birth control, and helping to reelect President Barack Obama. Dawn is a CLIO award-winning writer and director. She has been one of the leading ballot measure consultants in America, having worked on a wide range of critical social issues. As the founder and president LKK Partners, her clients included governors, members of the U.S. Senate and House, EMILY’s List, the National Education Association, the Nature Conservancy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Planned Parenthood, Basic Rights Oregon, and Freedom to Marry, to mention just a few.

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PJ Layng

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Pamela “PJ” Layng currently serves as Chief Development Officer for the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida in Jupiter, FL. Ms. Layng is also President and founder of PJL Associates, a management consulting firm specializing in non-profit development, fundraising, special events, executive search and Board of Director recruitment. PJ is also the founder and leader for several years of the highly successful Provincetown International Film Festival in Provincetown, MA.PJ and her wife of 21 years, Dr. Maryann McCarthy, reside in West Palm Beach, Florida with their dogs Buddy and Gracie. They enjoy entertaining, golf, dancing and good friends.

Chastity Lord

Chastity Lord is currently the Chief External Officer (CXO) for Achievement First. Prior to joining Achievement First, Chastity was a Regional Vice President for The Posse Foundation, Inc.Chastity Lord holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and a MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. Ms. Lord is a 2012 Pahara-Aspen Fellow with the Aspen Global Leadership Network; she also serves on the board of directors for Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty and Law and is the creator of #proofpointday a social awareness campaign bringing visibility and voice to first-generation college graduates and allies proofpointday.org.

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Jill Nash

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Jill Nash leads all aspects of financial, consumer, and enterprise public relations, as well as issues management, employee communications, educational programs, corporate social responsibility, and government affairs for the country’s leading identity management company.

Nash has a passion for transformative brands and has built and led strategically focused, global teams for companies in a variety of industry sectors. She led global communications and public affairs teams for Levi Strauss & Co., Yahoo! and Gap Inc. Earlier in her career, she was senior vice president, corporate communications with Charles Schwab.

Nash serves on the board of directors of Water.org. She’s received numerous industry awards, and was recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times. Nash is also a member of the Arthur Page Society, an organization composed of distinguished corporate communications or public relations professionals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Diego State University, where she graduated with honors.

Joyce Newstat

Joyce Newstat is the Founder and CEO of Rocket Science Associates, a consulting firm with expertise in public policy, communications, media relations and fundraising.

Joyce spent most of the last 25+ years working in public policy and on national, statewide and local political campaigns. As Director of Public Policy, Joyce led the development of then Mayor Gavin Newsom’s public policy agenda during his first mayoral campaign and first year in office – including same-sex marriage and developing assets and financial empowerment for low-income families. In 2012, Joyce was the Director of Attorney General Kamala Harris’ transition team. She works and volunteers on political campaigns raising money and does pro bono work in the women’s, Jewish and LGBT communities. She served for 10 years on the Board of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute. She currently serves as Chair of the Council of the Holocaust Center of San Francisco and on the Advisory Board of the Horizons Foundation.

She lives in San Francisco with her spouse Susan Lowenberg. Their daughter is a senior in college.

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Rachel Robasciotti

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Rachel J. Robasciotti is the founder of Robasciotti & Philipson, an LGBTQ-owned wealth management firm in San Francisco. Over 80% of the firm’s clients identify as women and over 70% identify as LGBTQ. An entrepreneur who started her company at the age of 25, she is a lesbian, woman of color, and directly manages over $80 Million in client assets.

Rachel currently heads an industry-wide effort to integrate emotional intelligence into financial decision making. Through her work with hundreds of clients over nearly 17 years of practice, she developed and continues to use a progressive model that invites client emotions into the conversation and allows them to strategically inform key financial decisions.

Prior to founding Robasciotti & Philipson, Rachel was a business strategist at Prudential Financial and the top financial planner at MetLife Securities. During that time, Rachel obtained the Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination) and Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law Examination) licenses. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied economics.

As recognized leader in the San Francisco LGBTQ philanthropic community, Rachel serves on the board of directors of Horizons Foundation and is co-chair of that organization’s Professional Advisors Council. Previously, she served on the boards of Face Value, the Foundation to End Sexual Violence, and for seven years on the board of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. She is the founder of LGBTQ Tech Philanthropists, a community of young donors in technology. Rachel lives in San Francisco.

Barbara “Babs” Russo

Barbara is an Executive/Organizational/Life Coach, trained and certified through New York University’s School of Continuing Professional Studies. As a coach, coach-trainer, facilitator, workshop and teleconference leader, presenter and moderator, Barbara’s focus is career transition and leadership development.

A former executive vice president of a national, New York-based personnel staffing firm and entrepreneur, Barbara combines the synergy of these roles and the breadth of her professional and personal experience to support executives, career professionals and individuals through career transition and leadership development; in addition, works with entrepreneurs, teams and organizations to facilitate successful strategic transition and growth.

Barbara serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations enjoys living life and does so in both New York City and the San Francisco Bay area.

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Rennae Stubbs

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Rennae Stubbs is a former professional tennis player who was ranked #1 in the world in doubles and has six Grand Slam titles, 60 WTA Tour titles, and four Olympic appearances under her belt. After her retirement from the WTA, Stubbs transitioned to TV sports broadcasting. She is currently a contributing broadcaster at ESPN Tennis, The Tennis Channel, and Channel 7 Australia Tennis, and has previously been a lead analyst for NBC at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. She also works with life skills educational program Train Up First.

Urvashi Vaid

Urvashi is an attorney and organizer whose leadership in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and social justice movements spans legal, advocacy, philanthropic, and grassroots organizations. Urvashi is Founder and CEO of Vaid Group LLC, which works with social justice innovators, movements and organizations to address structural inequalities based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, gender and economic status. She is a co-founder of the Creating Change Conference; Board member of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and a former Board member of the Gill Foundation, a leading funder of LGBT rights in the U.S.

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Team


Beth Shipp, Executive Director

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Beth Shipp is the first Executive Director of LPAC, the lesbian Super PAC that builds the political power of lesbian, queer, bisexual and transgender women by electing candidates who champion LGBTQ rights, women’s equality and social justice. She is a political strategist with more than 20 years of experience working for women’s reproductive rights, Democratic candidates and progressive causes.

Prior to joining LPAC, Ms. Shipp was the political director for NARAL Pro-Choice America for 10 years.

Prior to her arrival at NARAL, Ms. Shipp worked on a variety of federal and state campaigns throughout the nation. Her experience includes working on congressional, gubernatorial and U.S. Senate campaigns in Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, and local and legislative campaigns in Virginia.

Erica Benjamin

Erica Benjamin has a master’s in international affairs with a focus on political economic and security issues in East and Southeast Asia at American University. She was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and received her bachelor’s degree in political science at Texas A&M University in the great state of Texas. While at American University, Erica has served on the Graduate Student Council both as a program senator as well as the chief of staff and the Director of Operations of the student lead Graduate Journal of International Service. Erica worked as a policy fellow at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, where she researched and drafted detailed policy and legislation analysis as well as LGBT pro-business draft legislation. She also prepared policy briefs on healthcare and other LGBT policy issues as well coordinated with federal agencies and LGBT organizations to establish substantial partnerships.

Conor Gaughan, Consultant

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Conor Gaughan serves as strategic communications consultant to LPAC. He is the founder of Collective Conscience, a digital communications and social impact firm focused on advocacy, nonprofit, and political campaigns. In his role, Conor develops digital media strategy for clients and partners, overseeing the strategy, production and distribution of innovative digital content. Prior to founding Collective Conscience, Conor was SVP of Media and Entertainment Investment Banking at McCafferty & Company, a Los Angeles-based boutique investment bank. Conor spent nearly in corporate finance and capital markets before deciding to use his powers (and knowledge of media strategy and operations) for good.

Conor graduated with honors from Harvard University with a degree in Economics. He remains active with the Hasty Pudding. He is also a founding board member of the Foundation for a National AIDS Monument.

Jason Mida, Consultant

Jason Mida is President of Mida Associates, LLC, a DC based consulting firm that he founded in 2011. Mida Associates works to strengthen and enhance fundraising operations for non-profit, advocacy and political organizations across the country. Prior to founding Mida Associates, Jason worked at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute (Victory) from 2005-2011 where he served as Vice President of Development. During his time at Victory, Jason raised millions of dollars to support LGBT candidates running for local, state and national office across the country. Jason resides on Capitol Hill with his husband, Drew Hammill, and their beloved French Bulldog, Hugo.

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