Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Mitchell Out As Stonewall Dems Chief?

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | February 25, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Michael Mitchell, National Stonewall Democrats

The Washington Blade is reporting that there are questions about whether Michael Mitchell will continue as the Executive Director of the National Stonewall Democrats, the organization created in 1999 by, among others, Rep. Barney Frank.

The group describes itself as "a grassroots force for social change within our movement and within our party." The organization is based in Washington, D.C. and currently has over 90 chapters.

Questions are centering on the group's budget, though, as the Blade story reports, there are denials as well.

Mitchell is quoted as saying that "the budget that we approved last year is much larger than what we actually brought in this year."

There are apparently questions about whether the organization in bringing in enough money to pay staff salaries, as well.

It seems as if tough economic times are battering all of our advocacy organizations.

From The Blade:

The executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats could be out as head of the organization, according to informed sources.

Michael Mitchell, Stonewall's executive director, confirmed for the Washington Blade on Thursday evening that there's a possiblity he will soon depart the LGBT Democratic group.

"I'm officially still with Stonewall, and we're still trying to work some stuff out, so there's a possibility I will still be with Stonewall," he said. "But I don't know. But I will let you know."

Two informed sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mitchell's departure is imminent and that an announcement would be made as soon as Monday. It's not immediately clear whether he would be fired from the organization or whether he would resign.

Another source said Mitchell had overspent the budget for last year, a claim that Mitchell denied.

"That is not correct," Mitchell said. "Our budget is really, really small, considering the work that we do. And the budget that we approved last year is much larger than what we actually brought in this year, so I did not overspend the budget."

Asked whether the Stonewall board is unhappy with his performance as executive director, Mitchell replied, "I'm not going to comment on that. ... Like in any job situation, there's -- you know, folks say good things, they say bad things, and that's part of being in the job."

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Having been emailed a copy of the posted comment in question, I thoroughly object to you suppressing the above comment. Here is a copy of it again, slightly edited, and if you delete my copy, it will be the last you ever see of me on this blog:

***"Money, schmoney! How about firing him for turning NSD from "a grassroots force for social change within our movement and within our party" into a [cult group where criticizing Obama is not allowed]?"

The text between brackets is my re-wording --- AJL

Neither this version nor the original wording violates the Terms Of Service -- it merely expresses a viewpoint, however harshly worded originally, about how someone is sorely disappointed about the recent directions of NSD.

I can find other blogs to post comments at, if I am no longer welcome here. And if NSD has become a group where minority viewpoints are not even allowed to be expressed, then I have no use for them, either.

As someone close to the org (Jerame is one of the only staffers), I can say with certainty that Michael hasn't cooked the books. They don't have much cash from what I understand, but there's nothing shady going on.

I'm easily frustrated with organizations. With that said, I must say, over the past year, the National Stonewall Democrats have grown a great deal to gain standing in a political party where we sometimes need to kick down doors. NSD has also drastically improved on their efforts to educate, inform and engage LGBT Democrats and help get them closer to the administration and Members of Congress.

The NSD along with many other LGBT Democrats working within the party to advance our rights do so with incredible criticism while holding our party accountable to our community's needs remaining unaddressed.

I think it's a shame that one of our premier political organizations should have such a hard time raising money. I don't always agree with the National Stonewall Democrats, but if we're not willing to support a national organization that fights for Democratic politicians that support LGBT rights, then how can we expect to get those rights?

I'm going to give them a donation right now. Here's the donation page: http://bit.ly/aGdZg2

Update on National Stonewall Democrats:

Mitchell to stay on as Stonewall Dems chief
Washington Blade

The head of the National Stonewall Democrats on Tuesday said he'll be staying on as head the LGBT Democratic organization following talk that emerged last ...