Editor's Note: Adrian Shanker is an alternate delegate from the 15th Congressional District at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The 15th District also sent five delegates -- Allentown City Council President Julio Guridy, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Kathleen D. Miller of Upper Milford, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan and Miriam Huertas of Allentown.
Name: Adrian Shanker
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA
Political Office/Employment: President, Equality Pennsylvania
Marital Status/Children: Partner is Brandon Pariser
Congressional District Represented: 15th
* What makes you proud of the Democratic Party?
I am a Democrat because the Democratic Party is the party that stands up for the middle class, the working families, women, students, senior citizens, and multicultural communities, including the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) community. We are the party of progress and the party of inclusion.
* What issues matter in the Lehigh Valley?
President Obama has been the "fierce advocate" for the LGBT community that he promised to be. But we still have so much further to go -- the issues at the top are marriage equality, federal workplace and housing non-discrimination, LGBT inclusive immigration reform, safe and bully-free public schools, and equal pay for equal work for women.
In addition to LGBT equality, I am passionate about workers rights, I believe in women's reproductive choice, and short of comprehensive immigration reform - I believe strongly that we need the DREAM act to become law as soon as possible.
* What are you looking forward to at the Democratic Convention?
I am excited to witness history when my fellow Democrats say "I Do" to marriage equality. This will be the first time a national political party will be including marriage equality in a party platform.