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Out Alex Walker wants to end Boebert’s ‘bulls**t’

“I see Lauren Boebert as an obstacle – the same way I would see a traffic cone as an obstacle,” he said, adding: “Bring it on.”



Courtesy of Alex Walker

AVON, Colo. – The video starts innocently enough: A man washing his car; a young girl playing with a stuffed animal; a woman enjoying a large ice cream sundae. Then, out of nowhere, that woman with the sundae screams in terror – “ahhh!” – before being crushed by a pile of feces. 

Suddenly, animal excrement is falling from the sky. “Oh, s**t,” the man washing his car yells as people run for cover. 

Then, Alex Walker emerges about one minute in, holding a stuffed teddy bear covered in dung. The video isn’t a comedy sketch – it’s Walker’s introduction to the political world. Having never run for office before, he wanted to “cut through the noise.”

“I realized how tired I was of political advertisements – it’s one of the reasons I’m doing this is because politics are so stale,” he told the Blade. “But it’s hard to just rag on how stale politics are because it’s old hat. Whereas if you can find a way to show it to people in a way that resonates a little bit more. So it kind of just hit me like a bolt of lightning, and now will follow me for the rest of my life.”

But Walker’s campaign ad isn’t aimed at politics in general, at least not directly. The target of the video is the woman he seeks to unseat: U.S. Rep Lauren Boebert (R-Co.), an extreme right-wing politician who has attacked LGBTQ+ people and communities of color, heckled President Joe Biden during his State of the Union address and spread election fraud falsehoods about the 2020 election.  

“Alex Walker announces his candidacy for CO-03 to unseat Lauren Boebert and put an end to her constant jetstream of bulls**t,” read the description of the video on YouTube. 

Walker isn’t the only one with this goal. In fact, he is joining a crowded Democratic primary for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers most of the rural western part of the state, as one of 10 Democrats looking to replace Boebert.

Yet, he has the confidence that he will not only win the primary but go on to defeat Boebert in the general election. 

Still, in 2020 Boebert garnered 220,634 votes, 51.4%, besting her Democratic opponent, Diane Mitsch Bush, who earned 194,122 votes, 45.2%. The district was represented by longtime incumbent Scott Tipton, a Republican, before Boebert upset him. Overall, the district hasn’t been represented by a Democrat in over a decade. New congressional maps won’t make the district any friendlier to Democrats, either. 

But Walker thinks the people in his district are desperate for change. He attributed Boebert’s 2020 election to low voter turnout and a “vocal minority.”

With a population of over 750,000 people, according to Data USA, the nearly 430,000 people who voted in the election are close to the average voter turnout in the U.S. – which is low compared to other Democratic nations. In fact, the district saw an uptick in voters in 2020, possibly accounting for the “vocal minority.” 

If he makes it past the primary, Walker knows he will have to figure out a way to mobilize voters and get them to the ballot box. And with even her base “tired of her,” according to Walker, he thinks people will be motivated to vote Boebert out, citing her “abysmal” polling.

More than 47% of over 7,000 people said Lauren Boebert “should resign immediately,” according to a “highly unscientific” poll published last week by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the largest newspaper in western Colorado. Close to 28% said they “love her, keep it up!” 

Still, Boebert is far outpacing all of her opponents in fundraising, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Thus far, Boebert has raised over $3.5 million, with more than $2 million on hand. Her significant war chest and the GOP-friendly district will make her a formidable opponent.

Courtesy of Alex Walker

But if he can just get people to vote, Walker believes, it could be enough to upset Boebert before her second term in the House. 

“A lot of urban elections are about cutting through the noise, but most rural elections are about cutting through silence. And we did,” Walker said. “The ad may have been polarizing, but it electrified people. A lot of younger folks were electrified in a good way. Some older folks reached out to me and they were like, ‘we actually want to believe in you because we’d like you as a candidate.’”

However, as a political newcomer, Walker’s name recognition is low, he admitted. To overcome that, he is running an ambitious social media campaign to reach voters, which has pushed him out of his comfort zone. 

“I deleted all my social media six years ago for my mental health,” the former engineer and businessman said, but added that “it’s critical exposure.”

“I’ve gotten 25,000 followers on Tik Tok, and I’m building out an Instagram presence and a Twitter presence,” Walker added. “That’s all very daunting, and hard for me. I have anxiety and depression, so social media is like kryptonite for me. But that is a weakness of mine, which I have had to deal with and confront.” 

TikTok, the widely popular short video app that many politicians are still trying to figure out, is one of Walker’s most powerful tools. His nearly 25,000 followers on the platform are far more than he has on other social media apps, with one of his videos getting over a quarter of a million views. 

“It’s confusing, exhilarating and horrifying at the same time,” he said of TikTok.

He also contributes much of his early campaign success to the LGBTQ+ community, calling it “a pillar of this campaign.”

“Our community picked up on it instantly. They’ve accounted for a significant portion of our donations and a very significant portion of our social traction and sharing,” he said. “So I just want to thank our community for that.”

Walker is running as a moderate Democrat, meaning “parts of both parties’ platforms, which makes sense to me,” he said. Walker added that the “soul of America” is in the Democratic party, saying that the “Republican Party does not resemble the Republican Party I grew up in,” as it is “morphing into something far more hateful.”

Uniquely, his campaign website lays out where his policy goals fall on the political spectrum. He leans right with his vision for the economy: lower income taxes, small business incentives, and less corporate “bullsh**t.” But environmentally, he leans left, wanting to “protect Colorado” and create jobs. 

One policy view sure to ruffle some feathers within the more liberal side of his party is his view on “medical freedom,” saying he doesn’t believe in Medicare for All. 

“It’s not that I disagree with Medicare for All on paper, but I’m a realist,” he said. “I know that if we build Medicare for All, it’s going to cost twice as much and work half as well as what we think it will.”

“I hope there’s a day when the federal government can effectively use $5 trillion in tax revenue, which is how much money they have to play with right now. But clearly, that day is not today,” he added.

Walker also said he is excited to work with Congresspeople on both sides of the aisle while emphasizing that he believes in nonpartisanship, not bipartisanship. 

Courtesy of Alex Walker

“I think there’s a difference between bipartisanship and nonpartisanship – and I’m pointing that out not to be semantically annoying, but I don’t know if I do believe in bipartisanship anymore,” he said. “It’s sort of like saying, ‘Do you believe in trying to reach a compromise with two drunk idiots in a bar? Or do you just want to leave the bar?’ And I favor the ladder.”

Other than policies, voters may also ask why they should vote for a candidate with no political experience. 

“If the candidate’s heart and head aren’t leading a strong message, nothing, nothing is a substitute for that. I think that is my main advantage as an inexperienced candidate,” he said. “I look at all this stuff in a different way. I don’t build my policies based on the policies of the senator I used to clerk for because I don’t want to look flip floppy or inconsistent. I don’t decide what creative to put out based on what I think 10 years worth of political cronies would approve of or not approve of. I simply lead my campaign based on what this district needs.”

“In that sense, I think being an experienced politician is one of the worst things you can claim to your name,” he added. 

Though it will be a challenge, Walker said he is ready to take on Boebert. 

When asked if running as an openly gay candidate against a politician with an anti-LGBTQ+ record adds a personal layer, Walker said no. “I see Lauren Boebert as an obstacle – the same way I would see a traffic cone as an obstacle,” he said, adding: “Bring it on.”

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California Politics

Karen Bass & her LGBTQ staff discuss commitment to equity & justice

“Diversity is something you have to do consciously,” Bass said. “I always look at my staff and [ask myself] ‘who’s missing?’



Karen Bass with campaign staff, supporters, and former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (Photo by LeRoy Hamilton)

LOS ANGELES – U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), a leading candidate to become the next mayor of the city Los Angeles, has hired LGBTQ+ folks with diverse backgrounds to leadership positions on her Congressional staff and in her mayoral campaign because of “their dedication to fighting for social and economic justice,” Bass told the Los Angeles Blade over the phone Thursday morning. 

“Diversity is something you have to do consciously,” she said. “I always look at my staff and [ask myself] ‘who’s missing?’ to make sure we have representation. I think it’s really important to approach it that way.” 

Meanwhile three senior members of Bass’s staff, all of whom identify as LGBTQ+ – Senior Advisor and Policy Director Joey Freeman, Campaign Manager Jenny Delwood, and Chief of Staff Darryn Harris — spoke to The Blade about their personal relationships with the Congresswoman. 

They also highlighted what they described as a throughline in Bass’s adherence to principles of equity and justice, beginning with her early career as a nurse and physicians’ assistant through to her candidacy for mayor of Los Angeles. 

Bass is slated to square off against billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso in the November 8 election to replace term-limited incumbent Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The two candidates advanced from the June 7 primary elections, having each received less than 50% of the vote. 

A longtime ally of the LGBTQ+ community, Bass kicked off her “LGBTQ+ for Bass affinity group” Wednesday night at the historic Black Cat restaurant in Silver Lake.

Bass has been a mentor to the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders on her staff.

When it comes to her staff, Bass said, “I see my role as helping to develop their leadership and helping to support them however I can.” 

“I was able to be my full self here; fully black, fully gay,” said Harris, Bass’s chief of staff, who has known the Congresswoman for his entire adult life and served in multiple positions before being appointed to lead her congressional office. 

“When you have a boss who’s that supportive of you, it helps in so many different ways,” he said. “Not only with the work we do, but also it was one of the things that helped deepen our friendship and deepen our mutual trust, because I was able to bring my whole self to work.”

Delwood, Bass’s campaign manager, has also known the Congresswoman for more than a decade and served in multiple positions before her appointment to lead her mayoral campaign. As a human being, as a professional, and as a lesbian, Delwood said Bass has embraced every part of who she is. 

“The Congresswoman has been not only a boss, but also a mentor,” Delwood said. “I started working for her as a fellow/intern in 2007 in the California Assembly, and she and I have built a very strong relationship over the years. She is part of my extended family, now.”

Jenny Delwood, pictured right, with Bass (center) officiating her wedding to wife Christine
(Photo courtesy of Jenny Delwood)

Beginning with her early career in healthcare, Bass has been an ally of the LGBTQ+ community

“When I went to school to be a physicians’ assistant in the early 1980s,” Bass said, the virus that would become known as HIV/AIDS began to emerge, disproportionately impacting gay men. “It was unbelievable, in the first few years of the epidemic, how [badly] these patients were treated,” she said. 

In her work treating patients, and as a full-time clinical instructor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, Bass pushed for better treatment of HIV/AIDS patients, practicing what she preached. 

“From that time on, she’s been standing for and with the community,” said Freeman, Bass’s senior advisor and policy director, who identifies as gay. 

“She was on the ground floor of the HIV AIDS epidemic,” Delwood said, “providing medical care for people with HIV/AIDS when folks were steering clear of and being discriminatory [against those who were positive].” From those early days of her career, Delwood said, “Congresswoman Bass has been in deep solidatiry with the LGBTQ community.”

“It wasn’t just gay men with HIV,” said Zach Seidl, Bass’s communications advisor, “but trans folks, too.”  In the best of cases, doctors would greet HIV/AIDS patients in hazmat suits; in the worst, refusing treatment, Seidl said. Bass, meanwhile, insisted she needed to help them, he added.   

Bass believes in consulting people who will be directly impacted by policy

Policymakers often speak with subject matter experts without consulting those who will be directly impacted, Bass said. It’s an oversight the Congresswoman has been careful to avoid. 

For example, Bass told the Blade she visited a federal prison yesterday morning to hand out copies of draft legislation that concerns women in the criminal justice system, inviting incarcerated women to read and share comments or input by email. 

This will extend to her work as mayor, Freeman said. If elected, Bass will be charged with selecting staff, commission members, and general manager appointments, roles where she will ensure LGBTQ+ people are well represented, because this is how she prefers to govern – by consulting with people who are directly affected by policy. 

Working so closely with Congresswoman Bass, “I have the opportunity to see that every single day,” Harris said, “Ordinary people influencing public policy at state, federal, and – soon – the citywide level” under her leadership. 

Bass believes the most effective way to create lasting change is to work with community members and to bring forward solutions that are community driven, Delwood agreed. “In order to actually solve homelessness or address crime in LA or deal with our lack of affordable housing, it’s imperative” to work with a variety of stakeholders from the community as well as in the county, state, and federal government, she said. 

Bass and her staff have big plans to address problems afflicting Los Angelinos 

“I could have stayed in Congress to fight for a leadership spot,” said Bass, who was reported as a front runner for President Joe Biden’s vice president during his 2020 electoral campaign. But there are crises in Los Angeles, she said, pointing to the latest figures on the city’s unhoused population as an example. 

Bass Policy Director Joey Freeman (Middle) and Campaign Manager Jenny Delwood (far right)
(Photo by LeRoy Hamilton)

It was the second time in her career that Bass was faced with such a decision, she said. “I was a full-time faculty member of the medical school” when Los Angeles began to experience a crack-cocaine epidemic in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

“I was mortified at how the city was responding to crack cocaine and gang issues,” Bass said. “These were health, social, and economic issues, but the response of policymakers was to criminalize everything and everyone in South LA.”

Leaving USC, Bass formed the Community Coalition and began her work as a community organizer. “I worked to prevent the city from locking everyone up, and to steer people away from gangs,” the Congresswoman said. “And then I looked for how we organize people to fight for drug treatment instead of incarceration for those who were addicted.” 

Likewise, Bass said, the current moment calls for coalition building and working across the government to improve the lives of Angelenos and effectuate just policymaking for, especially, vulnerable communities.

Members of Bass’s staff pointed to how the Congresswoman could be particularly effective as mayor on issues of homelessness, LGBTQ+ rights, child welfare reform, foster care reform, housing affordability, and violence against Black trans people. 

“Forty percent of young people on the streets are LGBTQ+,” said Delwood. “Being able to address that is a top priority of the congresswoman as well as our entire team.” Many children land in the foster care system because of discrimination over their sexual orientation or gender identities, she said, and while LGBTQ+ adoptive or foster parents are greeted with “open arms” in LA, such is not the case in many other parts of the country. 

As Mayor, in coordination with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Bass will be able to champion foster youth, reform the child welfare system, and prove to the rest of the country how successful LGBTQ adoptive and foster parents can be, Delwood said. 

Freeman agreed. There is a lot of overlap, he said, with issues concerning the foster care system, with high rates of homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth, with the housing crisis. “What we need to do to address homelessness and prevent future homelessness is to tackle the root cause,” Freeman said. “Are LGBTQ  youth receiving the support they need?”  

Congresswoman Bass “has deep relationships with folks here, in DC, and in Sacramento, so when you’re dealing with challenges in LA, she knows how to go in there and how to pool the resources in order to solve them,” Harris said. 

Harris highlighted Bass’s community organizing and coalition building roots, arguing she is the best candidate to represent all of Los Angeles as the city’s mayor.

One issue Harris said he is eager to see Bass’s leadership in addressing is the high rates of murder and violent crime against members of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly Black trans people. “I’m excited to see how she would be able to ensure that they are safe, tracking some of those federal dollars to ensure that they have protections against domestic and sexual violence,” he said.

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California Politics

Rep. Karen Bass greets LGBTQ+ affinity group at the historic Black Cat

Bass has been a longtime ally of the LGBTQ+ community. In her remarks she listed some of her achievements in the battles for LGBTQ+ equality



Screenshot via video by Troy Masters for the Los Angeles Blade

LOS ANGELES – Surrounded by well-wishers, supporters, and former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez at her side, U.S. Representative Karen Bass launched the official “LGBTQ+ for Bass affinity group” Wednesday evening at the Black Cat, an LGBTQ+ historic site located in the Silver Lake neighborhood of the City.

Pérez, an openly Out gay man served as the 68th Speaker of the California State Assembly, succeeding Bass as Speaker in 2010. Bass made several warm references to their mutual past political history. She also spoke on subjects that are critical to furthering LGBTQ+ equality and equity in her six-minute chat.

U.S. Representative Karen Bass & former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez
(Photo by Troy Masters)

The congresswoman is locked in a close race with billionaire real estate tycoon Rick Caruso to succeed current Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti in the Fall elections on November 8. Both candidates advanced from the June 7 primary election since neither received 50% of the vote. Incumbent Mayor Garcetti is unable to stand for re-election due to term limits.

Bass has been a longtime ally of the LGBTQ+ community. In her remarks Wednesday at the Black Cat she listed some of her achievements in the battles for LGBTQ+ equality, first in the California Assembly, then in Congress.

The venue where the Congresswoman launched the LGBTQ+ political affinity group is famed as an LGBTQ+ historic site. The Black Cat was the site of one of the first demonstrations in the United States protesting police brutality against LGBT people, preceding the Stonewall riots by over two years.

From the One Archives at USC: A New Year’s 1967 raid by the Los Angeles Police turned brutal as LAPD undercover officers began beating several of the patrons and ultimately arrested fourteen patrons for “assault and public lewdness.” As reported by the local gay newspaper Tangents, two bartenders were beaten unconscious. The paper also noted that patrons fled to another gay bar, New Faces, but they were followed by police and arrested. The officers mistook the manager, a woman named Lee Roy, for a man (named “Leroy”) wearing a dress, and beat her severely.

Photo by Troy Masters

The historical account continued: Contrary to popular myth, there was no “riot” at the Black Cat, but a civil demonstration of 200 attendees to protest the raids was held on February 11, 1967. The demonstration was organized by a group called PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) – founded by Steve Ginsberg – and the SCCRH (Southern California Council on Religion and Homophile). The protest was met by squadrons of armed policemen. Demonstrators carefully adhered to all laws and ordinances so that the police had no legitimate reasons to make arrests.

Two of the noteworthy events that arose from the Black Cat arrests and later protests was the establishment of The Advocate, which began as a newspaper for the group PRIDE and has continued publishing to this day and formation of the Metropolitan Community Church led by Los Angeles LGBTQ+ pioneer, the Reverend Troy Perry.

Karen Bass speaks at LA’s iconic Black Cat:

Editor’s Note: The Los Angeles Blade has endorsed Rep. Bass in her election campaign to become the next mayor of the city of Los Angeles.

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Gay man wins Democratic congressional primary in Ill.

Eric Sorensen running for retiring U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos’ seat



Eric Sorensen (Photo courtesy of Eric Sorensen)

MOLINE, Ill. — Illinois Democrats are hoping to send a gay person to Congress for the first time in the state’s history.

Voters in the 17th Congressional District in northwest Illinois on Tuesday voted to have Eric Sorensen, a former meteorologist, become the Democratic nominee for the district’s U.S. House of Representatives seat currently held by retiring Democratic Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.

“THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of this movement,” Sorensen wrote on Twitter following his primary victory. “From day one this campaign has been built on three pillars: Trust, science, and communication. I’m honored to be your #IL17 Democratic nominee for Congress.”

Sorensen, who bested his closest primary opponent by more than 13,000 votes, has centered much of his campaign messaging around the issue of mitigating the effects of climate change.

Sorensen’s candidacy and potential to become the state’s first openly gay member of Congress has been met with celebration from those advocating for more of such representation on Capitol Hill. After Sorensen claimed victory on Tuesday, advocacy groups and political organizations like Equality PAC and the LGBTQ Victory Fund were quick to offer their support.

“It has never been more important to defend our pro-choice, pro-equality majority in Congress,” Victory Fund President Annise Parker said in a statement. “As a meteorologist, Eric spent the last two decades keeping his local community safe by telling the truth and promoting a pro-science agenda. His success tonight is a testament to his continued leadership and grassroots support, as well as a highly effective ground game focused on candid conversations about how to make government work for all Americans.”

Hoping to keep the district from flipping to Republican control in a midterm year that is expected to be an uphill battle for Democratic congressional majorities, Sorensen has also gained the backing of the district’s current congresswoman. Bustos took to Twitter following Sorensen’s victory to announce her support.

“Illinoisans deserve a representative who will fight for working families, help build our local economy and continue to lift up Midwestern voices,” Bustos wrote. “Eric will do that.”

Sorensen’s ultimate ascension to Illinois’ 17th Congressional District seat, however, is not assured. Though the district leans Democratic, it is widely labeled as a competitive race following nationwide redistricting of congressional maps ahead of this year’s midterms.

Such a competitive landscape is coupled with a competitive rival battling Sorensen for the seat.

His Republican opponent, lawyer and Army Reserve Capt. Esther Joy King, previously ran for the seat in 2020, losing to Bustos by just four percent of the overall vote.

Having already secured a number of high-profile Republican endorsements including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, King has already begun her November messaging campaign after besting her primary opponent by more than 30 percentage points.

“It doesn’t have to be a choice if we elect leaders who will put their constituents first rather than far-left, out-of-touch policies and that’s exactly what I’m running to do,” King said in a statement Tuesday night. “Let’s come together to win this in November.”

Groups like the Victory Fund, however, are remain optimistic that Sorensen’s potential to make history will be within reach when voters enter the polls on Nov. 8.

“Voters are clearly enthusiastic about Eric’s vision for a more equitable future,” Parker said. “We trust Eric will be a vital voice in Congress come November. The stakes have never been higher.”

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