Lane Lewis has been in politics for nearly 30 years in the Houston and Harris County Area. At age 19, Lewis spoke for the first time in front of Houston City Council, and since then, he has been working as an educator, activist, organizer, and politician.
At age 21, Lewis put his Social Work license to work as a crisis intervention specialist for a treatment facility in the Medical Center that specialized in LGBT issues. His work led him to the Houston LGBT Caucus where he met and become friends with prominent local activists and mentors like Ray Hill, Sue Lovell, and Annise Parker.
He learned quick how to get things done and was appointed to numerous committees for the City of Houston Health and Human Services, Houston Police Department, and many others.
“The two things I am most proud of, the youth center I started and MY work on LGBT equality.”
At about age 22, he co-founded a youth center to provide services and shelter to homeless and thrown away LGBT youth. The organization, founded in the early 1990’s, lasted only two years after Lewis left the board, but had already served and saved hundreds of kids (one of which was a young man that was eventually adopted by Annise Parker and her wife Kathy Hubbard).
His work to save homeless LGBT youth had a huge impact on the lives of many, but his work with LGBT issues and human rights eventually led him to focus on one statue in particular. Lane’s work on 21.06 would forever change the National landscape for all LGBT Americans; Texas Penal Code 21.06 made LGBT sex illegal.
In 1999, when Lewis got his hands on the police report from John Lawrence and Tyron Garner’s arrest regarding their alleged violation of Texas’ “Sodomy Law,” he knew it was what he had been looking for, but he first had to convince the defendants that being part of history was the right decision, rather than pleading their case out. The men agreed and Lane set out to find them an attorney. After talking to local activists everyone agreed that the men had a case and Mitchell Katine should be their lawyer. “The reason I called him is, from the very beginning, I didn’t want this to be my case,” Lewis says. “This was a community case. Mitchell was well liked in the community and had spent years giving away his legal services and helping others.” The case went on to the U.S. Supreme Court as Lawrence v. Texas, possibly the most prominent victories in gay-rights history and it paved the way for Marriage Equality.
As Lewis began to advocate for more issues, he decided to run for office. After making a close, but unsuccessful attempt at Houston City Council in 2009, he decided to become involved in local Democratic politics where he was elected Chair of Senate District 15 in 2010. After a successful tenure of getting out democratic voters, he successfully ran for Harris County Democratic Party Chair in 2011. As the party chair he has emphasized mail-ballot voting. Prior to Lewis Democrats would lose to Republicans mail ballots at around 60%. “With those numbers, we practically lost all the races before the polls even opened,” Lewis says. In his tenure as County Chair, Lewis has leveled the field when it comes to mail ballots. In 2014, Lane designed a program that narrowed the gap to 2% and has made a myriad of improvements to the Democratic infrastructure in Harris County.
Lane has been an outspoken voice for equality and justice for 25 years and urges everyone to vote Yes on Prop. 1 (H.E.R.O ordinance).
Lane Lewis is currently the Chair of the Harris County Democratic Party and he is running for a Houston City Council At Large Position 1.
Early voting begins October 19th – October 30th and Election Day is November 3rd.
More information can be found at www.LaneLewis.com