Post submitted by Trevor Chandler, former HRC Associate Regional Field Director
With the Minnesota House scheduled to vote tomorrow on the marriage equality bill, followed soon after by the Senate and then signed by Governor Mark Dayton, it has been a homecoming of sorts for the HRC family who have poured talent, finances, and volunteers for years leading up to this moment.
From its founding in 1980 right here in Minnesota, the Human Rights Campaign has played a pivotal role in the state, helping to shape the debate around LGBT equality. Realizing early that Minnesota had the potential to be one of the emerging equality states HRC put boots on the ground to elect pro-equality Governor Mark Dayton as well as investing tens of thousands of dollars in the campaign and activating our thousands of members across the state through e-mail and in-kinded staff such as Regional Field Director Tony Wagner.
That commitment continued when HRC became a founding member of Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition to defeat the anti-marriage amendment that would be the first ever campaign to successfully do so. HRC was the first national organization to hire local staff to serve at all levels of the campaign. HRC’s Leah Solo served as the Political Director for the Vote No effort helping to build a coalition of over 700 organizations and HRC also hired five organizers to work within Minnesotans United to reach all over Greater Minnesota. As Leah’s Deputy and now as Political Director for the effort to pass marriage equality I have been on the ground for over a year working to expand and maintain the coalition and provide strategic assistance to the campaign.
Now on the cusp of a major victory for marriage equality, it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come, and HRC has been there every step of the way. Though our work will not be done when this bill is signed into law, it is certainly a testament to the thousands of HRC members in the state, particularly the Twin Cities HRC Steering Committee, who have been the reason we are where we are today. Onward to history!