The Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee (BAYMEC) is a four-county lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) political action committee (PAC). It has been advocating for the civil rights of LGBT people since 1984. It is the only political action committee dedicated to this purpose in the central coast counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey. BAYMEC is governed by a Board of Directors and is supported solely through private contributions.
The organization’s purpose is to lobby and fight for LGBT civil rights. BAYMEC has raised its concerns with countless politicians; worked to elect LGBT people and supportive allies to political offices; lobbied Sacramento and the state on AIDS and LGBT civil rights; and worked with police, fire department, governmental, organizational, and a variety of community groups to further equality for LGBTs. However, perhaps one of BAYMEC’s greatest accomplishments is ongoing: It provides an experienced, broad-based, and coherent political voice for the LGBT community.
In the conduct of its business, BAYMEC sends out questionnaires to candidates for public office, the questionnaires include a number of questions regarding issues of immediate import to the LGBT community. The returned candidate questionnaires are reviewed to establish a priorities list for candidates, their positions on LGBT and social justice issues, their immediate chances to win the race, and to develop a judgment on the resources that will be extended to the candidate by BAYMEC.
BAYMEC board members and associates meet with and educate candidates and elected officials; publish an endorsement card for BAYMEC supporters, donors and the gay press; raise funds and develop volunteers for gay-friendly candidates; and help educate the community about candidates and their commitment to those issues that affect LGBT individuals, their families, and the community at large.
BAYMEC partners with other constituencies, minority associations and labor unions to build understanding and common effort on equal justice issues. BAYMEC also maintains a practiced visibility at political functions held by other groups and organizations, and has two annual fundraisers, one in San José and one in the Monterey Bay area, in which candidates and elected officials participate as attendees and, alongside outstanding volunteers in the LGBT community, honorees.