New group kicks off push to register gay Democrats

WASHINGTON, DC: Gay activists have unveiled Raise the Bar (RTB), a new PR-centric organization hoping to register two million ’gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender’ voters for the Democratic Party in time for the November elections. But given that the effort is just now getting off the ground, several activists are wondering whether the PR push will do little more than interfere with existing campaigns.

WASHINGTON, DC: Gay activists have unveiled Raise the Bar (RTB), a new PR-centric organization hoping to register two million ’gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender’ voters for the Democratic Party in time for the November elections. But given that the effort is just now getting off the ground, several activists are wondering whether the PR push will do little more than interfere with existing campaigns.

WASHINGTON, DC: Gay activists have unveiled Raise the Bar (RTB), a

new PR-centric organization hoping to register two million ’gay,

lesbian, bisexual and transgender’ voters for the Democratic Party in

time for the November elections. But given that the effort is just now

getting off the ground, several activists are wondering whether the PR

push will do little more than interfere with existing campaigns.



’Is this group going to duplicate what’s already been done?,’ asked Bob

Witeck of Witeck-Combs, a gay activist. But Witeck speculated that the

gay vote could be pivotal in deciding the next president. ’In a close

race, because of the electoral college, (the gay vote) will matter more

than ever before. Gays represent many votes in key states like New York,

Florida and California.’



RTB board member Keith Merryman said that the PR effort is designed to

overcome existing apathy in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender

communities. ’People feel that both candidates are the same on issues,’

Merryman said. ’They’re not.’ Hence Raise the Bar plans to concentrate

its messaging on a few issues that are important to the gay community:

hate crimes, AIDS and employee-protection laws.



One of the group’s more innovative ideas for reaching unregistered

voters is producing PSAs to be aired in gay bars and restaurants. ’If

the music is blaring, the message is designed to be carried visually

alone,’ Merryman explained.



Similarly, the group plans to be aggressive in its use of the

Internet.



RTB’s site is linked to other sites allowing voters to register online,

and the group is working with several gay-oriented portals, including

PlanetOut.



To bolster its cause, RTB has hired LA-based PR firm Kelman Burditch and

has partnered with many Hollywood artists and designers. Groups

supporting RTB’s push includes the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against

Defamation and the California Alliance for Pride and Equality.



Merryman promised that whether or not the group achieves its

registration goal, RTB will remain active after the November elections.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in