Monday, March 1, 2010

Act Now: ENDA Lobby Day, 3/16

On Tuesday, March 16, the National Center for Transgender Equality is sponsoring a lobby day specifically for the national Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in Washington, DC. LGBT people and allies from around the country who support ENDA will be there, and we need folks from North Carolina.

It is particularly important to ENDA that people attend from the eight states in which Senators are on the fence, including North Carolina, where Senator Kay Hagan is still undecided. These states include:
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • West Virginia
There will also be a policy conference, lobby training, and phone bank on Sunday and Monday, March 14 and 15. Registration for all of this is free.

ENDA is closer to passing than ever before.

The House has enough votes (223 likely yes votes, which is five more than a majority). There are 29 unconfirmed votes, many of which will probably be favorable.

Here's where our Reps stand (brought to you by the "Inclusive ENDA" Facebook Campaign):

Definite Yes Probable Yes Probable No Definite No

G. K. Butterfield

Bob Etheridge

Walter B. Jones

David E. Price x

Virginia Foxx

Howard Coble

Mike McIntyre

Larry Kissell

Sue Wilkins Myrick

Patrick T. McHenry

Heath Shuler

Melvin L. Watt x

Brad Miller x

The Senate, however, is missing a few votes. There are 55 likely yes votes (again, five more than a majority), but 60 votes would be needed if there were a filibuster.

That's where the list of states above come in. Senators in those states - including, surprisingly, our Senator Kay Hagan - are unconfirmed. Based on their previous positions they may support ENDA, but only if people from their states talk to them in sufficient numbers.

Here's info on Senators (also brought to you by the "Inclusive ENDA" Facebook Campaign):

Unconfirmed Confirmed no
Richard Burr (R-NC) NC
Kay Hagan (D-NC) NC x

To make federal employment nondiscrimination happen, we need to have North Carolinians there at ENDA Lobbdy Day.

Travel can be expensive, though, but Dr. Julian T. Weiss of the Bilerico Project is willing to help folks get there.

"If you would like to come to DC for the lobby day, and you are unemployed because of sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination, and you are from one of these crucial states, I think our community should help get you there. After all, you are the ones who need this legislation. I have talked to some people who are behind ENDA 100%, and ready to put their money where their mouth is."

"If you would like to come to DC for the lobby day, and you currently reside in one of the states listed above, and you are currently unemployed because of sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination, send an email to me at describing your situation and how your presence in DC for the lobby day would make a difference for your US Senator."

"I cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate you, but I will make every effort to accommodate all those whose presence would make a difference. Please be as specific as possible in your email about how your presence would make a difference. Include your name, email address and telephone number. The subject line should read "DC LOBBY DAY ASSISTANCE REQUEST." Please send your email no later than March 5, 2010."

Not only is this the best chance for ENDA to pass than we've ever had before, but this is also an amazing opprotunity to individually, directly affect an important piece of national legislation.

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