Making History in Tempe, Arizona
July 21, 2014 by Josh Zaragoza, Senior Regional Field Organizer
After months of building, HRC’s grassroots operation in support of Tempe, Arizona’s, Proposition 475 came to fruition last week. Prop 475 would make Tempe the first city in Arizona to include sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status in their city charter as protected classes from employment discrimination of any kind.
As we hit each door, block and neighborhood in Tempe, we believe that virtually everyone, regardless of political party, respects the idea that no hardworking taxpayer, who might be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or a veteran, in Arizona doing their fair share should be treated differently than any other employee. Up to this point, this has only been reinforced through our conversations at the door or on the phone. Direct voter contact by volunteers communicating this are getting supportive responses that echo our central message that Prop 475 will help keep Tempe a world class city and a place we’re proud to call home.
Having said that, we need more people to come forward with their personal stories of discrimination or perseverance and what Prop 475 means to them. On Thursday, for example, Jeff and David, whom are married and both veterans, came in to make calls. Their story of what Prop 475 means to them is pivotal and unparalleled in our fight for fairness and equality in Tempe. Along with our robust grassroots effort, these volunteers and their personal stories are the backbone of our campaign.
Through these phone banks and neighborhood canvasses, we succeeded in contacting 1,402 Tempe voters thus far. That’s nearly 6 percent of projected turnout and 12 percent of our win number. Responses have been largely favorable and, to say the least, provide momentum each day to keep pushing. But with early ballots dropping in ten days on July 31, the opportunity to make equality a cornerstone of Tempe is shrinking.
This is where you step in. We need your help. Not just your vote, but your voice. All Tempe residents or those in surrounding areas that want to make an impact on Arizona families and economic growth, this is your chance.
Despite initial support, we are still finding this important initiative of workplace LGBT protections widely unknown. This unfamiliarity, compounded with our time constraint, is precisely why we are accelerating our grassroots efforts.
Please don’t stand by, be a part of Arizona history. Sign up here for a phone bank or canvass.
Get involved further by visiting the HRC Phoenix steering committee or contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. HRC is part of the Why Marriage Matters Arizona campaign and is working to pass new non-discrimination ordinances in cities across Arizona.
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