By: Tim Kamermayer

I am terrible at saying goodbye. I loathe the closure and ending of it all. But, it goes far beyond just being a participant. It is something about that final transitionary moment that seems to cause great consternation. For example, I love the show Parks & Rec. I have probably watched the entire show at least a dozen times (it is my late night decompression…judge if you must). Yet, I have such a hard time with the final episodes because I know I’m going to get emotional saying goodbye. As that’s a fictional show, you can imagine the difficulty when it is something far more tangible and close to one’s heart. I love this club, and serving on the Board for over 7 years has been life altering and truly rewarding.

When I joined the Board as the PAC Chair, I had one goal as the newest board member: don’t mess up. Ok, that is not entirely accurate…I had two. I also wanted to make sure I left a positive impact. I created a new process for endorsements by revising how the PAC was organized and utilized. I am so thankful for that first set of PAC members that sacrificed so much time to work on creating something new and lasting: Jann Dorothy, Sam Catalano, Paul Curtis, Charlene Jones, Rosanna Herber, Dennis Mangers, Evan Minton, and Elaine Verbarg. Thank you for your friendship and guidance. What started on a Fall night in 2013 would blossom into a strong PAC process and revised endorsement proceedings that prioritize transparency, accessibility, and member engagement.

After serving on the PAC, I had the honor of serving as the Vice President under the first female President of our club, Jann Dorothy. Jann is more than a glass ceiling breaker, she is a mentor and leader to many in the community.  Jann always put the organization first, spending dozens of hours each week ensuring the club was a shining beacon of hope and change for Sacramento. Working under Jann was a privilege I will never forget.

Being President of this club for two years is the other great privilege I will always cherish. That you trusted me with being the proverbial captain is both affirming and an honor. As President, I had the same two goals I started with as the PAC Chair: Don’t mess up and try to leave a positive impact. For years, I worked with the leaders in our community on the idea of a training program for LGBTQ individuals in Sacramento wanting to run for public office. In 2019, after months of work by Rosanna Herber, Nate Pelczar, Emilio Perez, Kim Angulo, Lanz Nalagan, Matthew Nielsen, and Mario Guerrero, the Stonewall Candidate Academy was launched in partnership with the Victory Fund Institute. Over one weekend in December, approximately thirty LGBTQ residents of Greater Sacramento County were provided a comprehensive training program taught by VFI.

I am ending my term in the midst of chaos. Far more than I would have every expected. A pandemic has forced our meetings to be virtual since April, and our annual 4 Freedoms Gala had to be postponed indefinitely. I thought Trump winning was the darkest event that would occur in my lifetime, and now I’m just hoping it was the rock bottom. With our country so deeply divided, and the pandemic continuing basically unabated, it is easy to get lost in the negative. But, if I can offer one final word of advice: Keep up the hope.

Since I joined 7 years ago, progress has been immense. And in the past two, maybe not so much….but progress is progress. Every inch and minor battle brings us one step closer to the justice and equality we demand. And, the next Board is primed to lead and go expand our efforts even further. Our next President, Kim Angulo, has been serving on the Board for almost as long as I have and served in far more roles on the Board. Kim knows what this organization needs, and with members like Kiara, Emilio, and Matthew continuing on, things will continue to improve.

I may be leaving the Board, but I will never leave this club or my community (family).