LGBTQ Resource Center, Gulfport Votes 100% partner for general election

ABOVE: An LGBTQ Resource Center exhibit in 2018. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

Gulfport, Fla.| The LGBTQ Resource Center has announced its partnership with Gulfport Votes 100%, the nonpartisan initiative working to increase voter turnout in Gulfport’s elections.

Housed in the Gulfport Public Library, which reopened with limited public services June 1, the resource center serves as an inclusive space for Gulfport and Pinellas County’s growing LGBTQ population. It seeks to foster community awareness and advocacy, leading its board to unanimously approve the partnership earlier this year.

“We felt very strongly that with such a strong LGBTQ presence in Gulfport that it was important,” LGBTQ Resource Center Board Member Greg Stemm says. “We’re a community-based organization and so we hope that all of Gulfport’s voices are heard.”

The nonprofit called the collaboration strategic on Sept. 17, advising the general election Nov. 3 is “the most important election in our lifetimes.” Along with Gulfport Votes, they will register voters and encourage 100% voter participation throughout the area via socially-distanced events and more.

That began with a registration drive outside of the Gulfport Public Library on National Voter Registration Day Sept. 22. “We were glad to be there,” Stemm says, noting several voters were registered. “We were visible and pushed people to vote – it was important to take part in it.”

Registration events are a key facet of Gulfport Votes’ action plan. Following the 2018 mid-term election, the organization committed to increase turnout, build community connections, use metrics to inspire action and encourage inclusion.

“Your vote is essential for Gulfport to achieve 100% voter participation,” the organization shared with supporters when they launched their 2020 efforts in March. “Why bother to vote in elections?  Because the people and issues you vote for are likely to impact you most directly. Florida is an important player in the presidential elections.”

The organizations will next partner Oct. 9 from 6-10 p.m. at the Gulfport Historical Society. Representatives will register voters and raise awareness during a socially-distant gathering featuring entertainment, food, games and more. Volunteers living in and outside of Gulfport are requested to assist in their efforts.

The groups will also be producing a nonpartisan video to encourage civic engagement. Organizers plan to mobilize supporters to form a conga line into the poll booth at Gulfport City Hall.

“These are some great opportunities to get out of quarantine for little bit and help out with the election,” they shared. “Things will get back to whatever normal is going to be soon.  Until then Gulfport finds a way!”

“I think it’s reasonable and rational that Gulfport could get to 100% voter participation,” Stemm adds. “Gulfport’s voices are going to be heard.”

For more information about the LGBTQ Resource Center or Gulfport Public Library, including volunteer opportunities, visit MyGulfport.Us/LGBTQ-Resources. For more information about Gulfport Votes 100%, visit

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