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ESPA Names New Director

ESPA Names New Director

The Empire State Pride Agenda named Ross Levi, its current director of public policy and education, as its new executive director after the group's first choice withdrew his name from consideration Friday.

Levi has been with ESPA, which operates with a $4 million annual budget and 25 full-time employees, for more than 10 years. He's been the director of public policy and education since 2006.

"We are at a pivotal moment," Levi said in a press release. "The majority of New Yorkers support our issues: marriage equality, banning discrimination against transgender New Yorkers, and making sure schools are safe from bias and harassment for all students. Government needs to catch up to where the people already are. This is our opportunity and mandate."

Levi emphasized that a broad coalition of New Yorkers, from Albany to Manhattan, would need to work together to achieve ESPA's myriad goals.

Brian Ellner, an aide to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, was originally tapped to take over ESPA after former director Alan van Capelle took a job in February with New York City's comptroller. Ellner faced fierce resistance because of his connection with his Republican boss, who has demonstrated lukewarm support for marriage equality.

Click here to read more about Levi.

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