Josh Meltzer Joins Freedom to Marry as Director of Political Operations

9/19/2011


Marriage Movement Pro Adds to Deep Bench of Skilled Campaign Operatives


Press Contact:
Jackie Yodashkin, Communications Director, Freedom to Marry
jackie@freedomtomarry.org
917-620-4502

(New York, NY, September 19, 2011) – Today, Freedom to Marry announced that Josh Meltzer has joined its staff as Director of Political Operations.  Meltzer is the latest addition to the organization’s team of campaign professionals with decades of combined experience winning campaigns and advancing the freedom to marry at the state and federal level.   

“We’re proud to add Josh’s skills and experience as a trusted, strategic political operative to Freedom to Marry’s growing dream team of experts with proven know-how in winning campaigns,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide.  “With this team, Freedom to Marry’s ability to win marriage in more states and make progress federally is greatly strengthened.   We’re fully prepared to seize and grow the momentum and put more wins on the board.”  

Previously, Meltzer served as Communications Director for Empire State Pride Agenda; played a leading role in Fight Back New York, the independent expenditure campaign that ousted several anti-gay incumbents during the 2010 elections and helped set the stage for winning the freedom to marry in New York; and was also part of the core team that passed a marriage bill in the New York State Legislature in June. Most recently, Meltzer was a political adviser and strategist for Jon Stryker, one of the leading philanthropists in the LGBT equality movement.  

“I have worked in the trenches on several campaigns with many of the talented staff at Freedom to Marry and am honored to be joining them at this critical moment in our campaign,” said Josh Meltzer, Director of Political Operations for Freedom to Marry.  “In the year ahead, we have opportunities to make enormous strides in our work in the states, both defending the freedom to marry where we currently have it and winning in new states.  Momentum is on our side, and I am thrilled to be continuing this great work with such a stellar team.”
 
Meltzer will have primary responsibility for the next round of states on which Freedom to Marry will be focusing in the eastern half of the country, as well as a variety of special projects.
 
"Without question one of the finest political strategists to surface in the battle for marriage equality in New York was Josh Meltzer," said longtime LGBT movement leader David Mixner.  "I am in awe of his considerable talents and skills.  This strengthens an already impressive team at Freedom to Marry."

Meltzer, a Boulder, Colorado native, graduated cum laude with a degree in Journalism-Public Relations from the University of Southern California and has a Master of Arts in European Politics from Lund University in Sweden. In 2002-03 he received a Fulbright scholarship to study European integration at the University of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland.

The campaign team Freedom to Marry Founder and President Evan Wolfson (recently named “the Godfather of Gay Marriage” by The Daily Beast/Newsweek) has assembled is led by National Campaign Director Marc Solomon, who ran the historic campaign to defend the freedom to marry in Massachusetts and consulted on efforts in Connecticut, Vermont and California post-Prop 8; and includes Director of Public Engagement Thalia Zepatos, who has played leadership roles on numerous choice and marriage ballot campaigns in the Pacific Northwest  and served as Director of Organizing and Training at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Senior Adviser Sean Eldridge, who played a key organizing role for the Obama 2008 campaign; Director of Online Programs Michael Crawford, who was a crucial leader in the campaign to win marriage in the District of Columbia; Field Director Regina Clemente, who was Project Director of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s widely touted Vote for Equality program; and Jackie Yodashkin, who before joining Freedom to Marry launched earned media efforts around the Lambda Legal lawsuit that won marriage in Iowa.

The campaign team also includes a powerful bipartisan DC presence led by Capitol Hill veteran, Freedom to Marry Federal Director Jo Deutch, as well as a bipartisan team of lobbyists, operatives and communications specialists.   

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.