Caucuses Supporting Regional Participation

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2013 National LGBT Conference
30 July 2013

Conference notes some regions are reporting reduced attendance at their open regional lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group meetings and in particular a distinct lack of Black, disabled, bisexual and transgender members.

The National LGBT Committee is made up of 24 representatives of the regional groups (two per region). These representatives are elected by the regional LGBT groups, and as such they have a responsibility to attend their regional group meetings to relay information between the National LGBT Committee and the group.

However, there are also 14 caucus representatives on the National LGBT Committee (five each for Black and disabled and two each for trans and bi members) who are not elected by regional groups but by an annual caucus network day. Although of course each caucus representative is from a region, they have no formal connection to their region by virtue of their national position alone. Nonetheless, many of our National LGBT Committee caucus representatives are active and valued members of their regional groups. However, conference notes that some National LGBT Committee caucus representatives do not participate in their regional LGBT group.

Conference welcomes the work many regional LGBT groups have undertaken to increase participation and recruitment from under-represented groups. For example, the London region regularly attend UK Black Pride and both the South West and Scottish regions have improved either their communications or publicity materials to encourage disabled, Black, bi and trans members to become more active. However, regions still need to do more work to prioritise the recruitment of these groups.

Attendance by National LGBT Committee caucus representatives at regional LGBT meetings helps regional groups to attract and support new Black, disabled, bi and trans members and grow the regional groups.

Conference therefore calls on national committee caucus representatives to fully participate in their regional LGBT group and urges the National LGBT Committee to:

1. Encourage National LGBT Committee caucus representatives to attend their regional LGBT group meetings;

2. Encourage Regional LGBT groups to publicise the disabled, Black, Bi, Trans Network days;

3. Work with the national caucus co-convenors towards ensuring a standing item on the Network Days’ agendas to promote attendance at regional LGBT group meetings.