A letter from dot429 CEO, Richard Klein

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Congratulations. 

To all those who voted. To all those who educated and inspired others to vote. And to all our friends abroad who supported our nation during this time. We can now say with immense PRIDE: We’ve done it.

Across America, we sat in anticipation as the future of our country was decided state by state. Voters met every challenge – from making their way to booths despite the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, to battling biases and bigotry in swing states to make a difference. And what a victorious future we have ahead, thanks to your efforts. 

We have President Barack Obama in office for another four years. 

Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay Senator in U.S. history, winning a seat in Wisconsin. 

Maine, Maryland, and Washington become the 7th, 8th, and 9th states to legalize same-sex marriage. 

Minnesota refuses to ban same-sex marriage from the state’s constitution.

And so many more victories with elected gay and lesbian congress members, legislatures, and lawmakers across the country. Congratulations to every single LGBT candidate who ran this race. Every one of you has brought awareness and pride to the LGBT community. 

This momentous moment in our history is because of every one of you who  voted. Never let us forget the power we have as a community to define our situation, to change our circumstances, and to triumph in the face of adversity. 

We are not a niche segment of society. We are not a special interest group. We are not a minority to be pacified. 

We are Americans, and today, we are proud. 

Sincerely,

Richard Klein

CEO | dot429 

About The Author

After completing a degree in architecture and design at Carnegie Mellon University, Richard Klein moved to New York City and served as design manager for the New York City School Construction Authority. Working closely with leading architects to redesign buildings in the nation's largest school system, Richard honed an authoritative eye for detail at all levels of the design process. Motivated by the burgeoning design culture of the West Coast, Richard relocated to San Francisco to further explore his interest in design and lifestyle philosophies that were taking root there in the early 90's. Settling in San Francisco, Richard was an Art Director of Macy’s West, specifically working with Macy’s magazine. He also began to develop numerous relationships within the design community working with such companies as Wells Fargo, Levi’s and Esprit. Merging his innate ability to cultivate and curate pioneering local talent Richard created the Surface Gallery in the South of Market area of San Francisco. Through viral marketing and weekly events, the gallery gained increased popularity among the city's creative community. Richard quickly realized the need to provide a larger conduit in order to properly discuss and disseminate the work of these emerging artists. The gallery morphed into a publication and Surface Magazine was born in 1993. In tandem with the exhibitions, Surface magazine focused on inventive West Coast artists and designers hand-picked by Richard. Using his ability to identify the new and the next and to garner substantial support from the design community, Richard began to develop an international reach locating edgy talent from around the globe. Under Richard, Surface also became lauded by national media with such quotes as "It functions as a virtual swipe book of contemporary style images." New York Times; "An extraordinarily handsome publication." The New York Post; and "One of the most striking new independent magazines in America." Vanity Fair. With success abroad and attention streaming in from U.S. outlets, Surface organically evolved into a global style icon by late 1995. With accolades piling up, Richard sought to build on this increasing interest in order to grow Surface into the one source for global consumers to find the most groundbreaking concepts and provocative personalities in the design realm. Continuing with his hands-on approach to the look and content of the magazine, Richard and Surface began to attract global advertisers such as Cartier, LVMH, General Motors and Calvin Klein, among others. With advertisers lining up at Surface's door, Richard began focusing his efforts more on the publishing side, and paying special attention to developing the brand identity of the rapidly expanding media company. Within a short period of concentrating on the business side of the enterprise, Richard quickly realized the potential for the brand to move beyond the book, expanding Surface's trademark ability to locate and support new talent into larger scale three dimensional projects. RK conceived, developed and launched several brand programs that resonated with the international design community. Furthering the capacity of the Surface lifestyle, Richard collaborated with the Hotel on Rivington in New York City's Lower East Side to create a two- story penthouse that lets Surface guests and designers live in ultimate luxury as curated by Surface. 18 years later after initially launching the first issue, Surface has become the focal point for a loyal community of design enthusiasts and opinion-leading readers that reside in well over 200 countries. In 2008, Richard oversaw the licensing of the Surface brand to a Beijing publishing company - and Surface China was born. Over the last year, Richard’s focus has been building a new brand. He has lead the launch of dot429 and is currently operating as the CEO. Called a linked in for the LGBT community by the Wall street Journal, and a visually stunning facebook for gay men and women by the huffington Post – dot429 has attracted a membership of over 55,000 people in a short 13 months. Richard participates on the San Francisco leadership council of GLAAD, and is on the advisory board of MCF. Richard was the Co-chair of the San Francisco Glaad media awards in June of 2010.

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