Protecting LGBT Progress

To the OPEN Finance Community,

The results of last week’s general election have prompted anxiety and media speculation about the impact on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and other communities. For the time being, we are still gathering information to understand how laws and policies might change under a new administration. However, given current events and conversations playing out across the country, we wanted to take a moment to highlight what we are doing right now to ensure that we are prepared to assess and respond as quickly as possible to any potentially negative impacts to LGBT progress.

Over the past week, we have created a new working group to strategize about ways to ensure that the LGBT advances our community has fought to achieve are protected going forward. Over the coming weeks we will be working with our participating firms, our non-profit partners, community leaders and other organizations to understand the potential risks to our progress. We invite each of you to join this working group by dropping us an email with your contact details.

While OPEN Finance is and will remain a non-partisan and non-political organization, we have an incredible opportunity as a network of professionals and companies at the forefront of driving progress to continue to keep pushing forward. Since OPEN Finance was founded more than a decade ago, we have participated in the most rapid succession of LGBT advances in history, from the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the passage of nationwide marriage equality, to several LGBT-inclusive executive orders. Within our individual firms, we have been active participants in driving change to ensure that our companies and the financial services industry are beacons of light for LGBT-inclusive policies and benefits. And recently, we have begun to see many of our member firms use their voice against so-called bathroom bills, make the business case for LGBT equality through amicus briefs, launch LGBT-focused advertising, and more.

We have been able to contribute to this progress because of our ability to work together as an industry, and to show that our collective voice is more powerful than one of us alone. It is more important now than ever before that we focus on ensuring that our voice is unified and heard, and that we stay true to our mission to drive forward LGBT equality and diversity.

OPEN Finance has always been an all-volunteer, grass roots organization and as such we need your help. If you would like to get involved as we look to increase programming in 2017 – from community service to speaker series events, networking opportunities, and sharing of best practices – please contact us.

As we look ahead to the end of the year, a time when friends and family gather together over various holiday celebrations, please utilize the broad industry network within OPEN Finance to share your thoughts and develop bonds. You are always welcome to reach out to us as co-chairs, to any member of the leadership team, or to each other: we know from experience that by coming together and forming strong connections, our collective voices become even more effective.

We look forward to celebrating an amazing 2016 with you on Thursday, December 1 at our 5th annual holiday party at Industry, and to kicking-off an even better 2017.

Sincerely,

Jon Tilli & Matt Toole
Co-Chairs
OPEN Finance