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Torie Osborn
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TORIE OSBORN is currently an executive coach, political strategist and nonprofit consultant in LA. A former Senior Advisor on poverty and Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood and Community Services for former Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, she has served as Executive Director for the Liberty Hill Foundation, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. Considered an innovative leader and effective change agent who brings a community organizing approach to her work, Torie has been on the front-lines of social justice for over four decades. She was a national leader on LGBT rights and fighting HIV/AIDS in the '80s and '90s; produced 25 records, concerts and festivals working in "women's music" in the 1970s; organized against right wing campaigns such as Anita Bryant, California's anti-gay-teach Prop 6 in 1978, and, in 1986, was Southern California Campaign Coordinator on No on Prop 64 that would have quarantined people with HIV/AIDS. Her passionate, life-long commitment to social justice has roots in her childhood when, as the daughter of a State Department employee, she witnessed food riots in Franco's Spain, and she began a lifetime of organizing in the anti-poverty, civil rights, women’s and anti-war movements of the 1960s.

Torie has been a contributor to the Nation, New York Times and Los Angeles Times; she has made appearances on The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour, Good Morning America, National Public Radio and CNN's Crossfire. Major profiles about her have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times. She was a monthly columnist for the Advocate for a year (1994), and her award-winning book, Coming Home to America (St. Martin's 1996), is about the LGBT communities’ contributions to the ongoing national debate on values and visions for America's future.

Ms. Osborn holds her B.A. from Middlebury College and her M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from UCLA's Anderson School of Management. She has lectured at over 100 colleges and universities, philanthropic groups, corporations, and communities, and been the recipient of over 50 awards, plaques and commendations from business, government and civic groups.

Entries by Torie Osborn

In Defense of Forcing the Spring: A Longtime Activist's Appraisal

(2) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 10:12 PM

Last week, KPCC/NPR reporter and gay bro' Frank Stoltze asked me to join a live-streaming conversation with Jo Becker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Forcing the Spring, and Terry Stewart, the talented attorney and lesbian sister who was an important part of both California marriage cases.

Of course I agreed...

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Sweet Vermont Vindication: Remembering Justice-Vetoing Governor Douglas Back When....

(4) Comments | Posted April 9, 2009 | 10:38 AM


by Torie Osborn
In the early 1970s, Vermont's Middlebury College, like campuses everywhere, was a-buzz with student activism. Several of us started an antiwar group (that's the Vietnam war...) that educated and agitated, bringing speakers and holding teach-ins nearly weekly. One night, the ROTC building burned...

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Channeling Harvey Milk: It's Coalition-Building, Stupid!

(23) Comments | Posted November 29, 2008 | 12:22 PM

Gus Van Sant's marvelous Milk opened Wednesday on the 30th anniversary eve of Harvey's assassination. One of its messages from beyond: Prop 8 should have been beaten; we know how to beat the Right in California. Seeing it at an Academy preview last week, I flashed back thirty years to...

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New Day in L.A with Antonio's Transition Team

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2005 | 12:23 PM

The excitement was contagious at the first (only) meeting of Mayor-Elect Antonio Villaraigosa's Transition Team at the Science Center in south LA on Monday. Many of the 82 of us were there. The cultural and ethnic diversity represented WAS the new Los Angeles -- at my table (we sat down...

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Antonio Rocks....RobocopGuv faces opposition...

(4) Comments | Posted May 26, 2005 | 12:28 PM

Yesterday I got two calls that made my activist heart jump for joy.

First was the call inviting me onto the 60-person "transition team" for Mayor-elect Villaraigosa, which I am honored to join...I am buoyed by the energy and excitement in LA about this new leader...

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Cardinal Mahoney Channels Joe Hill in Honor of Miguel Contreras

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2005 | 8:07 PM

Yesterday's funeral tribute to labor leader Miguel Contreras was a "three helicopter event", as we say in L.A. I've never witnessed such a show of power, certainly not in the name of the poor and powerless. It was quite beautiful; Miguel would have loved it. Nearly 5000 people jammed into...

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Revolution and Spirit......Introduction

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2005 | 11:11 AM

I believe we need a revolution in this country -- a revolution of values, not the Che kind we fantasized in the '60s. An uprising for democracy. Toward that end, we on the left should do what the right did in the mid-60s -- assert that all the various strands...

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