Tico Almeida • 35
Founder, Freedom to Work
Tico Almeida is trying hard to put himself out of a job—a surprising ambition, given the self-perpetuation tendencies of Beltway insiders. But the employment attorney and founder of the new group Freedom to Work has a singular mission: to secure LGBT employment protections.
“We tell our potential funders that none of their donations will go to purchase a fancy office building or a bloated staff,” he says. “We’re lean, efficient, and aggressive in achieving our goal.”
Lead counsel on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for the House Committee on Education and Labor from 2007 to 2010, Almeida has been a key figure in pushing President Obama to issue an executive order that would ban the federal government from contracting with companies that discriminate. As he sees it, about 16 million workers could be protected with simply the stroke of a pen.