Senate Makes History as Committee Votes in Favor of Employment Protections for LGBT Americans
July 10, 2013 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
With a strong bipartisan vote, today the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee markup in a 15-7 vote with all Democratic Senators plus three Republicans - Kirk (IL), Hatch (UT), and Murkowski (AK) - voting in favor.
Now HRC shifts attention to assuring that the bill passes on the full Senate floor in the coming months. Over 15 field organizers will spread across the country building on the momentum coming out of today’s strong Committee vote.
In advance of today's mark-up, HRC was working in the field to generate constituent contacts focused on Senators Murkowski, Burr, and Hatch. In each state, we had organizers on the ground, mobilized our members, supporters, and allies with a three-part action alert series, and generated thousands of constituent contacts in support of ENDA. In addition to our online work and the work of our organizers on the ground, Senators are receiving a regular flow of calls from HRC members and supporters.
This week, we passed 12,000 combined constituent contacts to these three senators. Postcards were delivered in state-last week to Senators Murkowski and Hatch. They were delivered yesterday to Senator Burr in conjunction with a press conference in Charlotte featuring HRC President Chad Griffin and local business and political leaders.
Last week, we launched action alerts to the targeted states asking HRC members and supporters to contact their Senator, and this week, we launched the final series of alerts asking people to call or email their respective senators.
We also worked to educate our ENDA coalition partners about our work on the ground in these states and to provide them with tools they can use to mobilize their own constituencies.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the work HRC has been doing to ensure Congress hears from its fair-minded constituents.
The HRC field staff and volunteers gathered hundreds of postcards at the Solstice and 4th of July Festivals. We delivered postcards to Sen. Murkowski’s Anchorage office on Friday, July 5th.
In total, the team in Alaska generated 2,229 constituent contacts, including 1,932 postcards, 80 e-mails and 217 phone calls.
The North Carolina field team, which includes three field staff members, is spread out across the state, with one organizer covering Charlotte and Asheville, another in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle, and a third in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. They have engaged the HRC steering committee and local partners, including Equality North Carolina and the North Carolina NAACP, and have been working with individuals to conduct in-district visits.
In total, the team in North Carolina generated 5,915 constituent contacts, including 4,243 postcards, 1,137 e-mails and 512 phone calls.
The Utah team, which includes three field staff members, is partnering with Equality Utah, the Salt Lake City Pride Center, and other allies throughout the state. A push to collect hand-written letters began last week. Postcards were delivered to Sen. Hatch’s Salt Lake City office on Wednesday, July 3rd.
In total, the team generated 4,107 constituent contacts, including 3,281 postcards, 357 e-mails and 433 phone calls.
HRC is committed to its work to pass federal workplace protections that would ensure no American could be fired simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Join us by calling on your senator to end workplace discrimination now.
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