Community briefs: News from our progressive base

WiG reports

Business Equality Luncheon

Cream City Foundation’s 2013 Business Equality Luncheon drew a record number of nearly 300 people to Milwaukee’s Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 4 for lunchtime business networking. Aurora Health Care president and CEO Nick W. Turkal, whose organization is the largest employer in the state offering employment benefits to the same-sex partners of workers, presented the keynote address at the event, which grossed $43,000 for CCF.

“Cream City Foundation, along with its many partners, is creating a wave of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion across the business community in southeastern Wisconsin,” said CCF president and CEO Paul Fairchild. “We are proud of the work we have done over the past year, and happy to bring everyone together today to celebrate the success of this movement.”

Youth organizing for social justice

High school students will gather in Milwaukee on Nov. 18 to learn what they can do to further social justice causes — and how to carry out their missions. The 14th annual Youth Social Justice Forum takes place with the support of a number of organizations, including the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation.

Students will attend programs on new media, public art, government and politics, bullying and violence, racial profiling, LGBT equality and other issues. They also will cast ballots in a mock election and create public service announcements.

Supporters and participants include Urban Underground, TRUE Skool, Running Rebels, Pathfinders, Overpass Light Brigade, Alliance High School, Amnesty International, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee Election Commission, Milwaukee Public Theatre, YWCA of Milwaukee, YES/Youth Empowered in the Struggle, the League of Young Voters, Peer Solutions, UWM Peck School of the Arts and the NAACP.

For more, including registration information, email Emilio De Torre, ACLU of Wisconsin youth and program director, at

Out candidate seeks Assembly seat

Democrat Elizabeth Coppola is running in a special election on Nov. 19 to replace state Rep. Mark Honadel, R, who resigned after a decade to take a private-sector job.

The vacant seat in the state’s 21st Assembly District (Oak Creek, Franklin, South Milwaukee) presents a unique opportunity to elect a strong out candidate, according to pro-equality activists.

Coppola graduated from Alverno College, where she was student government president. She also completed the seven-month Emerge training program for women interested in public service.

Coppola’s professional background includes managing 50 employees for Target Corporation. She currently works for the United Way, where she acts as liaison between the nonprofit group and 40 businesses. She’s volunteered for the Hunger Task Force, the Research Center for Women and Girls and the office of the Milwaukee County Public Defender.

“Given my passion for serving my community and my work in both the nonprofit and business sectors, I have the experience to best represent the people of the 21st District,” Coppola says.

For more, go to

In other community news …

• The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce have partnered to advocate for a change to a federal Security and Exchange Commission rule with the goal of providing equal opportunity for LGBT investors to participate in startups. In a joint letter to U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, the chambers asked for help urging the SEC to revise Rule 501 of Regulation D so individuals in civil unions, domestic partnerships and similar relationships can have the same right and opportunity to qualify for accredited investor status as do married people. For more, go to

• The Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed on Nov. 20. Activists around the world are planning observances in memory of the victims of anti-transgender violence. In Milwaukee, TDOR is to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Fri., Nov. 22, at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center. The worldwide events honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 inspired the Remembering Our Dead web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Hester’s murder has yet to be solved.

 — L.N. and L.W.