HRC Blog

Wrapping Up HRC’s Lobby Day

Ten days ago, hundreds of HRC volunteers were in Washington, DC to lobby their members of Congress on an inclusive ENDA, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal and a number of other issues.  Many of them sent in photos and anecdotes about the power of meeting with their elected officials first hand and putting a face and a voice to our fight for equality. Also of note, tomorrow the National Center for Transgender Equality is holding their annual lobby day to demonstrate grassroots support for an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Add your voice to the chorus by contacting your Members of Congress at passENDAnow.org. From HRC Field Organizer, Jeremy Kennedy: TennesseeWith nearly 300 HRC members from across the country on Capitol Hill talking to legislators about the importance of passing pro-equality legislation, our lobby day was a fantastic opportunity for elected leaders to hear from their constituents back home. I have been with members of our HRC Steering Committee from Tennessee. Billy, Rob, and Clint have visited Senators Alexander and Corker and Rep. Cooper and Blackburn. Clint, who is a veteran of the Army Special Forces Told his personal story about why DADT must be repealed now! From Brian Endicott from Columbus: OhioIn 1992 I was inspired by the work the United State military during Desert Storm, so I enlisted in the Army as a tank driver. However, due to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) I decided not to re-enlist. On Thursday I had the opportunity to meet with Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio to discuss DADT. As a result of this meeting Senator Brown pledged to fully support legislation to repeal this discriminatory law. Senator Brown also vowed to encourage other members of the Ohio Congressional delegation to join in calling for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The President and the Pentagon have urged Congress to repeal this law. Lawmakers need to hear from you as well if we want to see a vote on this bill this year. From Tedd Lesch, a member of our Board of Governors from Long Beach, California: CaliforniaEach spring, I travel from Long Beach, California to Washington, DC to attend HRC's annual Lobby Day to meet with my local representative and my senators. Every time I come to the nation's capital I leave more informed, more educated about the legislative process, and more enthusiastic about passing HRC-sponsored legislation and helping to take our great country one step forward in the fight for equality. This year, HRC had almost 300 Lobby Day participants and we all descended upon "the Hill" with a mission and a purpose. My local group from Southern California was made up of 2 Lobby Day veterans and 5 people who were experiencing their first trip to meet their elected officials. After a morning of training at the HRC building, we headed out to Capitol Hill and met with our legislators to speak with them about repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", passing ENDA, supporting the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, supporting HIV/AIDS funding and other important HRC-sponsored legislation. At the end of the day, we had visited both of our US senators, each of our own representatives and we left with a renewed commitment from most of our legislators to support equality! I'll be back again next year and challenge everyone reading this to join me in an incredible experience!! And finally a photo from the Texas delegation before meeting with Sen. Cornyn's office:

Texas

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