The Obama campaign has tapped Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese for a position as a national co-chair to advocate for the president based on his work for the LGBT community and the country as a whole.On Wednesday, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying Solmonese had been selected for the role as part of a group of 35 individuals who had been chosen as national co-chairs.
In a statement, Solmonese touted Obama’s work on the LGBT issues over the course of the more than three years the president has been in office, saying the president’s leadership “has brought about great change for LGBT Americans.”
“From ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ to prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in the federal government, to signing the hate crime prevention act into law, the Obama administration has improved the lives of LGBT Americans more than ever before,” Solmonese said. “President Obama has made it clear that LGBT Americans deserve a fair shot and has taken steps across his Administration to make the lives of those most in need in our community better.”
Others on the list include Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and actress Eva Langoria, who stars on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”
In a statement, Jim Messina, Obama for America’s campaign manager, said the national co-chairs “will be tremendous assets on the ground as we build the biggest grassroots campaign in history.”
“They each share the president’s vision for a future where every American can have a fair shot at success, where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded,” Messina said.
According to the Obama campaign statement, the national co-chairs are charged with serving as ambassadors for the president, advising the campaign on key issues and helping to engage and mobilize voters. The positions are unpaid.
Fred Sainz, vice president of communications for the Human Rights Campaign, said Solmonese’s role with the Obama won’t be LGBT-specific and he’ll advocate for the president based on the entirety of his work.