Tuesday, February 11, 2014

the acceptance speech

Thank you, thank you.
Thank you Palm Beach County. My name is Allan Hendricks and I am YOUR Equality Florida, Palm Beach County Meet Up Organizer. At least that is what it says on my business cards.

First off, I would like to thank Equality Florida for bringing me along on this journey with them. They have been patient with me, supportive and always willing to give me a fair hearing when I had concerns or suggestions. That shows confidence and able leadership in my view. I’d like to thank Stratton for answering the phone many years ago and saying, “Yes, we have something for you to do.”

The journey has been awesome. I have received and education I did not know I wanted. I have had the chance to meet the most awesome people along the way. I’ve learned organizing, event production; political lobbying and I have had the great fortune to bring a message of hope to LGBT High School students. Just being in the fight has been rewarding. There were times when the journey included complete heartbreak. Loosing the amendment 2 fight by two points and the murder of Ryan Skipper were low points, but on the whole, I would do it all again.

I have had the unique opportunity to be an inside / outsider within the organization. I feel with that unique experience with Equality Florida, I need to give you all my findings. Having worked with this organization for eight years, these are my findings; I have found the organization and the people within it to be smart. Smart to the level of wise. I have seen them meet adversity with grace and maturity and a steely spine. They are energetic, and assertive. They are politically well connected inside of Florida and nationally. I have found this organization to be excellent stewards of every dollar that comes into the organization. They have patiently and persistently built the support base that covers Florida. This foundation is exactly what we will need to win equality in Florida.
We are doing everything we need to be doing to win, but we will not win without effort.

Most importantly, I would like to thank Javier, my spouse, the love of my life for being right beside me the entire time. Javier has been drug to more city commission meetings, more fund raisers, more rallies, town halls and pride events than he wanted to. He’s been coerced into more campaigns, including my own, than he wanted to, been the political widow many nights and has stood with me through it all and for that I am thankful. Thank you, I love you, Happy 10th Anniversary.

What a journey it has been. I would not change a thing.

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