Grassroots Organizing Builds Support for DADT Repeal This Year
May 7, 2010
As we near Veteran's Lobby Day this coming Tuesday, the HRC and Servicemembers United "Voices of Honor" tour is winding down. The grassroots organizing continues in our six key states -- Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Virginia and West Virginia -- and the efforts are paying off. Just a few quick numbers for you: HRC has two dozen organizers on the ground in those six states working on events, post card campaigns, phone calls, district office visits, op-eds, letters to the editor and other earned media. Partnering with local groups we have held "Voices of Honor" tour events in more than 30 cities. We have also used these events to recruit for the Veterans Lobby Day, where we will bring more than 300 veterans from 45 states to Washington to lobby for DADT repeal. Here's a snapshot of what our organizers have accomplished and some of the great press attention we've garnered:
- Field staff present across the state working in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Pensacola.
- 6,400+ DADT postcards signed; 2800+ calls into Sen. Nelson’s district and DC offices in support of repeal; 200+ vets identified; 31 lobby day attendees
- Seven Voices of Honor events held in the following cities: Orlando, Tampa, Miami (2 including a Spanish language event), Jacksonville, Pensacola and Tallahassee.
- District visits held in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward and Fort Meyers.
- Miami Herald: "Miami gay activists and allies rally at Little Havana icon, Versailles Restaurant, to protest 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'"
- Pensacola News Journal: "'Don't ask' an integrity issue for ex-Air Force man"
- Florida Times Union: "'Don’t ask’ figure joins UNF talk on military"
- WFTS-Tampa: "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' not necessary says soldier"
- WCTV-Tallahassee: "Organizations Go on National Tour to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'"
- Watermark: "HRC wants Nelson to speak out against DADT"
- Field staff present across the state working in Gary, Valparaiso, South Bend, Ft. Wayne, West Lafayette, Hanover, Evansville, Vinncennes, Terre Haute, Kokomo and Bloomington.
- 2200+ DADT postcards signed; 400+ calls into Sen. Bayh’s district and DC offices in support of repeal; 100+ vets identified; 17 lobby day attendees
- 8 Voices of Honor events held in the following cities: Indianapolis, South Bend, Hanover, Evansville, Bloomington, West Lafayette.
- WRTV-Indianapolis: "Indiana Key State In 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Debate"
- Lafayette Journal & Courier: "Groups rally to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell' policy"
- Madison Courier: "Campaign to repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' visits Hanover"
- Partnering with MassEquality to generate constituent contacts and earned media urging Sen. Brown to vote for repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" this year.
- Several organizers based in Boston coordinating activities in the Boston area, as well as in Central Massachusetts. We have added three additional staff in the state to apply grassroots pressure.
- 1,700+ DADT postcards signed; 1000+ phone patches made to Brown’s offices; 50+ vets identified; 10 lobby day attendees
- Field staff present across the state working out of Omaha and Lincoln.
- 2,900 DADT postcards signed; 1,900+ calls into Sen. Nelson’s district and DC offices in support of repeal; 75+ vets identified; 13 lobby day attendees
- 5 Voices of Honor events held in the following cities -- two in Lincoln and three in Omaha.
- Omaha World Herald: "Vets: Drop don't-ask policy"
- Omaha World Herald letter: "We serve our nation proudly"
- Lincoln Journal Star: "Gay, straight veterans say repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'"
- Lincoln Journal Star editorial for repeal: "Brass right on 'don't ask, don't tell'"
- Daily Nebraskan: "Human rights groups advocate repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’"
- Field staff present across the state working in Virginia Beach, Richmond, Northern Virginia and Blacksburg
- 1,800 DADT postcards signed; 900+ calls into Sen. Webb’s district and DC offices in support of repeal; 100+ vets identified; 300+ hand written letters obtained; 50 lobby day attendees
- In-District meetings in Richmond, Hampton Roads, Falls Church, and Roanoke.
- 4 Voices of Honor events in Richmond, Norfolk, Blacksburg and Arlington.
- Virginian-Pilot: "Advocates for gay troops target Sens. Warner and Webb"
- WWBT-Richmond: "Don't ask, Don't tell activists come to Virginia to demand repeal"
- Field staff present across the state working in Morgantown, Charleston and Huntington
- 750+ DADT postcards signed; 300+ calls into Sen. Byrd’s district and DC offices in support of repeal; 50+ hand written letters obtained; Dozens of vets identified; 13 lobby day attendees
- Seven Voices of Honor events being held in the following cities: Huntington, Charleston, Clarksburg, Morgantown (2), Lewisburg and Shepherdstown.
- Charleston Gazette: "Discharged W.Va. soldier supports repeal of Don't Ask law"
- WOHK-Morgantown: "Organizers Gather to Support Repeal of 'Don't ask, Don't Tell'"
- WV MetroNews: "A Generation Under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'"
- WHAG-Shepherdstown: "Flag Display Aims to Get Residents Involved in Human Rights Issue"
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