Tag Archives: LGBT Rights

Louie Lopez, Father

Luis “Louie” Lopez is a retired professional jockey and father of a transgendered young adult. He explains why it is important for us to support the passage of a comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance in the city of Jacksonville, FL. Read more of his family’s story here: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-8i

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Rabbi Jesse Olitzky, Jacksonville Jewish Center

Rabbi Olitzky serves as Rabbi and is part of the clergy team at the Jacksonville Jewish Center in Jacksonville, FL., He received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. In addition to ordination, he received an MA in Jewish Education from JTS’ William Davidson School of Education. Prior to relocating in Jacksonville, Rabbi Olitzky served communities in Kingston, New York and Parkchester, New York. His mission as a rabbi is lower barrier of access to Jewish ethics and values, promoting social justice in order to fulfill the Divine vision of peace, equality, and harmony. Read more about Rabbi Olitzky here: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-bs

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Ally Profile: Steve Halverson

Steve Halverson_FP_Print_new logo

Steve Halverson is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Haskell Company, one of the nation’s largest integrated design-build organizations, with operations throughout the United States and Latin America and headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida.  During his 12-year tenure as CEO, Haskell has expanded its operations internationally in Latin America and more recently into Asia.

Steve received his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s University, his Juris Doctorate degree from American University in Washington, D.C. and has completed executive business education at Dartmouth University and Wharton.  He is co-author of two books, as well as numerous articles in professional publications.  He is admitted to the bar in Minnesota and Virginia (inactive status).

Steve is active in both professional and civic organizations.  He serves as Chairman of the Construction Industry Roundtable and was past Chairman of the Design Build Institute of America and the National Center for Construction Education and Research.  He is also a corporate director of CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (Florida Blue).

In terms of civic activities, Steve is Chairman of the Jacksonville Civic Council, Immediate Past Chairman of the Florida Council of 100, and Past Chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.  He is also Chairman of the Teach for America Jacksonville Advisory Board, past chairman of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, past Vice-Chairman of Regis University and the University of North Florida, and a life trustee of the Council for Educational Change in Miami.   He is a member of the Jacksonville University Public Affairs Institute Advisory Board and was 2002 campaign chair for the United Way of Northeast Florida.  Steve is a 2007 recipient of the Prime Osborn Distinguished Business Leader Award and in 2008 was elected by the Florida Council on Economic Education to the First Coast Business Hall of Fame.  He is a recipient of the UNF Presidential Medallion (2011) the Governor’s Business Leader of the Year Award (2012) and the OneJax Humanitarian Award (2013).

Steve believes that employees want to work for a company that is both fun and exciting, but also safe and fair.  Work should be a “place that they feel comfortable” and a “place that is tolerant”.  Steve says, “if Jacksonville is not that, it won’t attract the best talent….We’ve lost people who wanted to come to Jacksonville…because they didn’t feel it was a safe, tolerant place to live.”  For these reasons, Steve supports the passage of a comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance in the city of Jacksonville and is a Straight Ally.

Steve lives with his wife Diane in Jacksonville.  They have two children, John and Anne.

Ally Profile: Rabbi Jesse Olitzky

Rabbi Jesse Olitzky

Rabbi Olitzky formerly served as Rabbi and was part of the clergy team at the Jacksonville Jewish Center in Jacksonville, FL., He received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. In addition to ordination, he received an MA in Jewish Education from JTS’ William Davidson School of Education. Prior to relocating in Jacksonville, Rabbi Olitzky served communities in Kingston, New York and Parkchester, New York. His mission as a rabbi is lower barrier of access to Jewish ethics and values, promoting social justice in order to fulfill the Divine vision of peace, equality, and harmony. He is married to Andrea and is the proud father to Cayla and Noah. Follow his writings on his own personal blog at rabbiolitzky.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter at @JMOlitzky.

Rabbi Olitzky affirms his role as an ally because Judaism maintains the belief that “Kulanu B’Nei Elohim”, meaning “we are all God’s children.”

“As a rabbi, I believe that God created each individual in God’s Divine image. I believe that each individual is holy; each individual is sacred. I cringe when I hear preachers and people of faith spew hate in God’s name or try to make conclusions of discrimination or inequality based on scripture. My responsibility as a rabbi, member of the clergy, and person of faith, is to promote inclusion, promote love, and promote the holiness of every individual, regardless of background, faith, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity. That is why I am coming out as a straight ally. We need to stand up for the rights of all of God’s creations and celebrate the sanctity of all.”

Brennan Campa, Age 14

Brennan believes that everyone should be treated with respect and that everyone deserves to have equal opportunities, including his mother, who is a lesbian. Read more about Brennan here: http://wp.me/s3PnKk-brennan

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