HRC Blog

SUNY Students Fight to Pass ENDA Now!

The following post comes from Tyler Sliker, a student at SUNY-Potsdam: SUNY LWC02For the past few months, students at the State University of New York -- Potsdam have been pushing to get support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). It started in February with a letter writing campaign to collect letters of support from students, faculty, and staff on campus to give to Congressman Bill Owens of New York’s 23rd district. After a week of persistence, a little over 200 letters were collected, which is an overwhelming amount of support for small town of Potsdam. The campaign expanded to local businesses. Some students and I went out on a Saturday to as many local businesses that would listen, informing them about the current legislation. We talked about how New York State doesn’t provide employment protection for transgender individuals, and secondly, that employment equality isn’t a federal law. Many business owners were shocked by this and wrote their letter of support. The main goal of this campaign was to meet with Congressman Bill Owens and hand deliver the letters in support of ENDA, to talk about the importance of employment equality, and secure Owens’ support and hopefully gain his co-sponsorship. Unfortunately, the scheduled appointment ended up being cancelled and despite multiple attempts to reschedule an appointment, nothing worked out. With the recent movement with ENDA occurring, now was the time to let our representatives know how we wanted them to vote. After deciding that the 230 letters needed to get to Owens as soon as possible, I mailed them all to his office in Washington, D.C. I’ve written letters to the editor, sent an electronic message to Owens and have spread word on campus through our school newspaper about how important this legislation is. We have told everyone who will listen that they need to contact their representatives. HRC couldn’t make it easier for you to do the same by going to ENDA is on the move, NOW is the time to take action. SUNY 100_0506

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