Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why I Support Randall Thacker for President of Affirmation

I support Randall Thacker's candidacy for president of Affirmation in 2013.

I first became acquainted with Randall in conjunction with the planning for the Affirmation conference in Kirtland, Ohio, in 2011. Since then, I have had a number of opportunities to interact with him in different forums for LGBT Mormons, where he has been involved in various leadership and service capacities, such as Circling the Wagons, and the historic so-called "summer of Mormon pride, " when Randall and I helped organize Mormon LGBT Pride contingents in our respective cities of Washington DC and Minneapolis. Most recently Randall and I served together on the conference planning committee for the 2012 Affirmation conference in Seattle.

I have been deeply impressed by Randall's maturity, dependability, patience, openness and love. He is smart, energetic and well organized. He is committed to the important work that Affirmation has to do now and in coming years. He understands how organizations work. In fact, he is a professional organizational consultant. He is conciliatory in his nature, and has the skills to successfully deal with the kinds of organizational conflict that are natural in a volunteer organization like Affirmation.

These skills also suit him well to play a leadership role in the various dialogues that are opening up in the Mormon community right now, dialogues that are so very vital to the long-term well-being of LGBT Mormons. These are dialogues that Affirmation needs to be involved in, and Randall is the one I believe best equipped to help us do that.

Randall and I share a vision of Affirmation as an organization that can fully and unconditionally support us as both Mormon and Gay.

The "vision thing" is very important. An organization without vision will perish. But neither can a volunteer organization survive on vision alone. Affirmation needs leaders with organizational experience and qualifications. In the past I have voted for leaders of Affirmation with whom I did not see eye-to-eye from a vision perspective, because I understood they had the skills and commitment to keep Affirmation in business.

With Randall, however, I am delighted see a unique combination of vision and leadership qualifications. I believe with Randall as president, Affirmation can not just survive but thrive. This is why he has my enthusiastic support, not just for this immediate election, but in its aftermath, when we will all need to come forward and offer our time and talents to help Affirmation live up to its full potential and accomplish the important work set before it.

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