PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies.
Hosting a Collaborative Candidate Forum: Strength through Partnership
Lead by Example
Mark Houser, PFLAG Jackson
Workshop Block 2: Saturday, October 21 - 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
In August, 2016 PFLAG Jackson co-hosted a candidate forum in Jackson, WY. The forum addressed local issues of discrimination, immigration, housing, and social services—topics not otherwise at the forefront of our local campaigns. The partner organizations were One22, which expands access to the underserved in our community, including our substantial Latino population, and, ShelterJH, a housing advocacy organization created by, and advocating for, middle and working class employees. Collectively, we asked probing questions to mayoral, town council and county commissioner candidates, and shared their answers to a pre-forum questionnaire. This workshop will share our successes and challenges and offer a tangible roadmap and post-workshop support so you can create a similar forum in your home community. Change through effective collaboration will be explored.
Mark is a case manager at Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center in Jackson, Wyoming. He is the local PFLAG coordinator and advisor to the local GSA. Mark co-founded the Jackson Hole Middle School Human Rights Club, as well as the Teton Grassroots Project, a human rights advocacy group. Mark helped establish the Wyoming Teen Human Rights Network. He has hosted several Youth Leadership Institutes; summer programs addressing tolerance and diversity issues. He has served on the Wyoming Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, board of the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity, the Portland Public Schools Sexual Minority Parents' Advisory Group and the Multnomah County, Oregon Sexual Minority Youth Network Coordination Project. He served as coordinator of the Teton County Suicide Prevention Coalition and continues to facilitate support groups for Survivors of Suicide Loss and for friends and family members who are connected with individuals who face mental health challenges.