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Stonewall Democrats chief to step down

The longest-serving executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats Michael Mitchell will be stepping down. Mitchell, who was the first executive director of Equality Utah, will cede his position to Jerame Davis, currently the organization’s affiliate services director, as the interim executive director. The NSD is the queer political caucus of the party and networks more than 90 chapters around the nation.

“It’s been my privilege to work for NSD the past two years and a distinct honor to have been able to work with our affiliates around the country who are doing the on-the-ground, necessary work of getting pro-equality Democrats elected,” Mitchell said in a press release. “It has been a particular point of privilege to work with such a dedicated and hard-working staff.

“The decision to leave NSD was a difficult one for me, especially with a critical election coming up next year that will define us as a nation, but it was made easier knowing that our affiliates, staff and board are fully engaged in fulfilling the mission of National Stonewall Democrats.”

Before his work with the NSD, Mitchell served as the advocacy and planning specialist for the Equality Federation and as the marriage campaign manager for the ACLU’s LGBT Project. He has also served on the national board of the Equality Federation, the national association of LGBT statewide advocacy organizations.

He was the board chair for the NY Innovative Theater Awards, which recognizes the achievements of Off-Off-Broadway; he served on the boards of the John Jasperse Dance Company and Center for Performance Research; and he was board chair of the Plan-B Theatre Company in Salt Lake City. Mitchell also chaired the Community Advisory Board for Project ACHIEVE, a preventative HIV vaccine study through the New York Blood Center and the National Institutes of Health.

“Michael has accomplished many great things while serving as our executive director, not least of which was our successful ElectEquality program he established,” said Craig Roberts, NSD board chair, in a press release. “During his tenure, he has represented the organization incredibly well and built and solidified relationships that are integral to the work of NSD. To know Michael is to know that he is incredibly committed to our organization and to electing pro-equality Democrats. I’ll miss working with him, but I know that he will continue to do good work in the next phase of his life.”

Mitchell said he plans on continuing his work in the social justice arena and taking some time off.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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