Monday, May 14, 2012

A long month full of organizing

This past month has been a whirlwind for my family and for myself.  On top of preparing for our move from NM to FL, lots of crazy overtime at work, school stuff for our daughter, we have been involved in some very important organizing on both local and national levels for Equality.  Since the Easter Egg Roll trip to DC, I have worked with my great group at NM GetEQUAL on organizing a series of visits to OFA offices in our area, particularly the state headquarters located in Albuquerque, .  GetEQUAL groups around the country have been paying visit to campaign offices to have dialogue about the executive order, and demonstrate in creative ways.  In NM, during the first week, we had a prepared statement about the EO and the need for a signature (and the lack of a valid reason for not signing from the White House).  Our second visit to OFA NM's office included an open letter to OFA. the letter was delivered with more pens, a spine, and the mock thank you card.  We then engaged our local OFA LGBT liaison in discussion about the executive order and about Obama's LGBT advocacy record.

Week three consisted of nearly two dozen activists from around the country traveling to DC to further escalate our issue.  We had things planned out pretty well, but as we were all heading to DC on Wednesday, news broke about the President announcing his support for equality (I will write more on my own views on that later).  So when everyone arrived that night, we had a long, difficult planning session on how to proceed.  In the end, the decision was made to forgo a pre-planned arrestable action at the White House and instead, picket with messaging of "Thank you" to the President, "AND.... sign the executive order, AND... stop LGBT bullying, AND... stop deporting our families".  So we picketed the White House Thursday morning with those signs.  It was important to give thanks for the support the President gave while reminding him of things that still need to be done, some of which he can do TODAY rather than next year.  The picket went well, and we all felt great about the work we had done.   

The next morning, we pulled together another action out of thin air.  Stories were going around the media about Mitt Romney's bullying activities (holding a kid down and cutting his long hair) in school.  Our managing director, Heather Cronk set out to hunt down scissors at some stores, while others worked on messsaging and signs.  Then we marched a mile to the RNC headquarters and protested just outside their door.  Great chants, like "Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Mitt Romney has got to go", and signage insisting that the RNC "cut out" bullyiing of LGBT people.  We received a lot of support from the public on this one, way more than I can remember receiving at any action ever!  It was a great action, and we got our messaging across just fine.  

What a month!  I've had a couple days of complete down time, and now time to get up and regroup, so much more work to be done (including packing for our move at the end of this month)! 


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