SAVE CEO Tony Lima said his nonprofit "made a great deal of progress in 2017," but the organization is looking to accomplish so much more in 2018.

Lima sent a message to subscribers of his newsletter, reflecting on the year's biggest milestones and looking ahead to the organization's future.

"Where did this year go? It seems as if it was just yesterday that the new administration settled into the White House, unleashing a wave of chaos and uncertainty across the nation," Lima said. "Although a scary time for most, the team at SAVE viewed this as an opportunity to unite, organize and push back harder than ever before."

As bad as 2017 was for victims of natural disasters and gun violence, it was a great year for SAVE, which helped do a number of things to advance LGBT rights in South Florida and nationwide. The organization's list of accomplishments include: banning conversion therapy in six municipalities; supporting and helping elect nine pro-equality leaders such as City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber; reaching thousands of South Florida voters through SAVE's Prejudice Reduction Initiative; and adding hundreds of local small businesses to SAVE's Business Equality Network, an initiative that educates and recruits businesses to stand up for non-discrimination policies in the workplace.

SAVE's goal in 2018 is to raise funds and solicit donations to help "continue to fuel SAVE’s efforts as we work hard to defend LGBTQ rights across South Florida."

On the agenda are: to endorse more than 75 local and statewide political candidates who pledge to protect LGBT rights and who will represent the community's interest as representatives; provide training to new activists and volunteers; offer programming, seminars and more to educate and empower the community on transgender issues; expand the Business Equality Network and create new educational opportunities for participating businesses to promote equality and anti-discriminatory practices; and widen the new "Safe Place" initiative to extend to the City of Miami Police Department and Miami Mayor Suarez. "Safe Place" originally launched as a pilot program in Miami Beach alongside the Miami Beach Police Department and the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

"Despite our best efforts, the road to equality remains a long and treacherous one. Our future depends on you. Will you help me keep the fight alive in 2018?" Lima said. "Please consider making a contribution today."


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