ENDA Organizing Continues in the Midwest
April 18, 2014 by Lynne Bowman, Regional Field Director
This week many of the Americans for Workplace Opportunity field organizers who are working to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the Midwest got together in Ft. Wayne, Indiana to discuss strategy and share ideas about best practices in their organizing work. Organizers traveled from Michigan, Illinois and Ohio to spend the day plotting and planning how to win the votes necessary to get ENDA over the finish line this year.
Building off of the strong bipartisan vote that passed ENDA in the senate last fall, organizers are working across the nation, and specifically in the Midwest, to secure the support of moderate Republicans who should follow the lead of their senate colleagues and say "YES" to employment protections. Right now, ENDA has the support of 204 House members, but we need 218 to pass it on the floor. With the right strategy working the right priorities, we know we can make this happen before the end of 2014.
In the Midwest, the Americans for Workplace Opportunity team is on the ground in ten districts across six states; Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia. Since mid-February the field team has activated volunteers to make nearly 2,000 contacts to priority legislators. With a strategy that includes letters to the editor, phone calls to the legislators' office, support from clergy, small businesses and Republicans, organizers are generating excitement and engagement of hundreds of volunteers across the region.
The organizing work will continue into the coming months. And we need all hands-on-deck. If you're in one of these Midwest states and want to get involved, contact me at Lynne.Bowman@hrc.org and I'll get you connected to the appropriate team for your area. ENDA won't pass without YOU!
Pictured: Some of the Midwest ENDA field team: (clockwise from upper left) Alex Totten (Ohio), Lindsey Clark (Illinois), Logan Clark (Illinois), Allison VanKuiken (Michigan), Luis Roman (Illinois), Lynne Bowman (Regional Field Director).
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