A group of trans individuals and allies, on April 4, announced the launch of Trans United Fundthe first political action committee dedicated to building political power for trans individuals and advocating for their full equality.
According to a statement, the Washington, D.C.-based Trans United Fund will engage trans people and their allies in the political process, build political leadership and capacity within their ranks and endorse candidates with commitment to transgender equality and pro-equality platforms. The group has also developed a questionnaire for candidates in the 2016 election as a legislative scorecard program.
According to the group's website, Trans United Fund will rank presidential candidates on their commitment to trans legal equality as well as their commitment to tackling healthcare and socio-political disparities, among other challenges. The organization will also assess campaign employment practices and the candidate's willingness to use their office as a bully pulpit on trans issues.
"The transgender community is no stranger to adversity, but what we face today is a new challengea coordinated, national and vicious attack from the far right at municipal, school district and legislative levels," said co-founder Hayden Mora. "Trans United Fund will fill a crucial gap in our movement, creating a space for transgender people and our allies. We cannot only fight these vicious political attacks that cater to fear and division, we must build a proactive politics to address other issues that impact our communityfrom HIV to homelessness to immigration and the horrific epidemic of violence."
Trans Latin@ Coalition Executive Director Bamby Salcedo added, "I'm part of Trans United because trans people need a strong political voice to support the activism, legal, policy and direct service work already happening. … We save lives every day but we can't reach everyone with direct services. We need to move from being primarily reactive to proactive, going to the root of institutionalized transphobia. And that requires a stronger political voice."
"Trans United Fund's launch is the next example of sophistication within this movement," said Robert Raben, political consultant and former assistant attorney general under President Bill Clinton. "As long as we have a privately raised finance system, participating in it is crucial to achieve the progress we need. Few in the nation have faced the challenges transgender Americans face; kudos that, despite the discrimination, they are still willing to engage in the political process to make this country stronger."
For more information, see TransUnitedFund.org .