Chris Donnelly To Serve As New GS Action Fund Chair
Luanne Peterpaul, one of the state’s champions for LGBT rights and equality, is vacting her position as Chair of Garden State Equality’s (GSE) Action Fund. Peterpaul has served as a board member and chair for 12 years, and has proved to be a fundamental partner of Garden State Equality.
Peterpaul has played an influential role in most, if not all, of the over 250 laws and local ordinances passed with the guidance of Garden State Equality. She was one of the pioneers in the fight for equality, while also advocating for greater emphasis on educating our youth on diversity, equality and respect for their peers. “Garden State Equality has evolved from a single mission organization – Marriage Equality – an important one at that – to an organization that makes an impact on the lives of the LGBT community and its allies every single day,” said Peterpaul. “I am confident that with the GSE’s executive director, staff and board members, GSE will continues the great work being accomplished. We all must be mindful that we can’t continue to make strides forward and justice will not be served until, as Benjamin Franklin said, ‘those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.'”
One of her most notable accomplishments is co-authoring the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, which sailed through both the State Assembly and Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in January 2011. She was also the recipient of last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the LGBT Rights Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the time and dedication that Luanne has put into this organization,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “She has taught and will continue to teach me so many valuable lessons that I apply to my work every day. She will be missed on our Board, but I know she will never stop being a loyal partner of Garden State Equality.”
Outside of Garden State Equality, Peterpaul is a partner and principal at Peterpaul Law, LLP located in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Her practice involves the handling of complex litigation including employment law, business litigation and school law issues. She is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts of New Jersey, and the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Chris Donnelly, who currently sits on Garden State Equality’s Action Fund Executive Committee, will step into
Peterpaul’s position as Chair. Donnelly offers a background in LGBT advocacy, having served as the communications director for New Jersey United For Marriage, a grassroots campaign to bring marriage equality to New Jersey.
“It will not be easy following the incredible legacy Luanne is leaving behind,” said Donnelly. “She has been a mentor to me, but more importantly, a great friend. I look forward to continuing the great work she, Christian, and Garden State Equality have performed over the years. Whether it is combating rampant homelessness and addiction among LGBT youth, ensuring greater understanding of our LGBT brothers and sisters, or doing away with outdated laws that ingrain bias, there are still battles to be won in the fight for true LGBT equality in our state and in our Nation.”
Donnelly is currently a Principal at Kivvit, a public affairs and communications strategy firm located in Asbury Park. Prior to joining Kivvit, Donnelly served as Press Secretary to State Senate President Steve Sweeney. He has also worked in the administrations of three New Jersey governors and served as communications director for the 2010 reelection campaign of Congressman Rush Holt.