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Arizona state senator is keynote speaker for Stonewall banquet
QSanAntonio.com, July 23, 2011

The Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio this week announced that Arizona State Senator Kyrsten Sinema will be the keynote speaker for their annual awards banquet on September 24.

Sinema is openly bisexual and author of the book "Unite and Conquer: How to Build Coalitions That Win and Last."

Senator Kinema currently represents Arizona's 15th District. She served three terms in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2005 through 2010 for the same District.

Sinema is a native of Tucson who grew up in a conservative Mormon household. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University where, on a scholarship, she earned a bachelor's degree in social work. She went on to get a master's degree in social work and a juris doctor from Arizona State University.

After college she was a social worker for a school district and eventually went on to a career as a criminal defense lawyer.

In 2006, Sinema was chair of Arizona Together, a statewide campaign that defeated Prop 107 which banned the recognition of same sex marriage and civil unions in Arizona. Two years later, she led a campaign against Prop 102, which was a similar but scaled-down version of Prop 107. Prop 102 was approved by a majority of voters.

Sinema's book "Unite and Conquer: How to Build Coalitions That Win and Last" was published in 2009. In the book, she argues that the future of the progressive movement is to be found in unity, alignment and partnership.

Using a no-nonsense approach, Sinema writes that we are all really more alike than different, and that we can get work together successfully for change when we let go of specific outcomes and focus on our shared values.

This will be Senator Sinema's second visit to Texas this year. She was in Austin last March as guest speaker for the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus' biennial meeting. In writing for QSanAntonio about Sinema's appearance in Austin, Dan Graney, president of the TSDC, wrote:

"Sinema outlined ways that Democrats can build coalitions to stop these bad bills from becoming law and encouraged LGBT Democrats to reach out to allies, even unlikely ones, and support their issues in exchange for their support of ours. 'After all, LGBT people make up only 4 percent of the electorate and you need 50 percent plus one to win,' she said. After her speech, attendees jumped to their feet to give Sinema a rousing ovation and then formed a line to have her autograph copies of her book."

An article in the June 9 issue of Roll Call suggests that Sinema is strongly considering a bid for Congress next year. However, she won't know which House district she would compete in until a final redistricting map is produced.

The Stonewall Democrats Annual Awards Banquet Saturday, September 24, 2011, 6:30-10:00PM, at the Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 South Alamo Street, San Antonio, Texas. Tickets are $75. Sponsorships are available. For more information go to StonewallSanAntonio.org.