Press Releases

Oregon's Laura Calvo Is First Transgender Woman Elected to Democratic National Committee

Jan 09, 2013

Democratic Party of Oregon's Treasurer Makes History With National Position


Contact: Andrew Gorry / press [at] dpo [dot] org / (503) 239-8634

PORTLAND, Oregon (January 9, 2013) – 

On January 22nd, 2013, the day after President Obama’s inauguration, the Democratic National Committee will hold its biannual meeting in Washington, D.C., to reelect DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz. And on that day, Oregon’s LGBT community will observe history when one of those votes is cast by Laura Calvo, who recently became the first transgender woman elected to the Democratic National Committee.

Calvo, who currently serves as Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Oregon, won one of Oregon’s three elected positions on the Democratic National Committee at the Party’s State Central Committee meeting on December 9th, 2012 in Portland.

Calvo, a former paramedic and sheriff’s deputy, has worked for many years promoting social justice causes along the West Coast, and is a frequent panelist and guest speaker on human rights, diversity, and LGBT issues.

Just Out newspaper named her as one of the Top 25 LGBTQ community leaders of the past quarter century, and Pride NW gave Laura the 2008 Spirit of Pride Award. In 2010, the International Foundation for Gender Education gave her one of three Trinity Awards, dedicated to “living transgender persons who have performed extraordinary acts of courage and love in service to the transgender community.”

She has previously served the Democratic Party of Oregon in a number of positions, including Treasurer of the Party’s LGBT Caucus, Treasurer of the Multnomah County Democrats, and board member of the National Stonewall Democrats.

“Everyone who’s worked with Laura Calvo knows what I know – she’s a superstar,” said Chair Meredith Wood Smith. “We couldn’t be prouder to have her represent the Democratic Party of Oregon as a member of the Democratic National Committee.”

The election of Committee Member Laura Calvo caps off an important year for the Party and the DPO LGBT Caucus, including the selection of Oregon State Representative Tina Kotek as the first openly lesbian lawmaker to lead a state legislative chamber in the United States. In addition, on the recommendation of the LGBT Caucus, the Party’s State Central Committee voted unanimously on December 9th, 2012 to urge the State Legislature to enact a law banning the use of “reparative therapy” to attempt to change the sexual orientation of a minor.