Friday, October 30, 2020

Join the Impact

Activism Rooted in the Internet

Equality Can’t Afford to Take a Vacation!

Posted by willow On August - 7 - 2009

Willow Witte, who authored this post, co-founded Join The Impact with Amy Balliett last November. She currently serves as JTI’s Executive Director and has since moved to Washington, DC. Email her at willow@jointheimpact.com or find her on twitter @wonderwillow.

For months many of us have been contacting our Senators and Representatives in Washington, DC urging them to support key pieces of legislation. While phone calls, emails, petitions and letters have been imperative to our efforts to get positive legislation passed, they are relayed to our legislators, through their staff, as numbers for or against an issue. We must continue these contacts, but they do not tell out stories.

August presents an unique opportunity. In August all of our Senators and Representatives will be at home, in their districts, giving us just the opportunity we need to gain their full support and send them back to the House and Senate Floor armed to fight on our behalf- and know what they are voting against if they choose not to support us.

The most effective tool we have is our stories. Discussing how discrimination affects us and our loved ones every day is most effective, and most powerful, in person.

Join The Impact and Equality Across America are joining together for an August campaign called Change Comes Home. The campaign is focused on encouraging grassroots story telling in the offices of our legislators because they are the ones who will design and VOTE on the bills we need for full equality.
It’s a simple campaign in which you need to:

1.    Schedule in-district visits with your Representatives

2.    Meet with the other folks you’re working with ahead of time to prep for your meeting

3.    Have a one-on-one talk with your legislators on the day you’ve scheduled

If you’ve never met with your legislators before, don’t worry! It just takes passion for civil rights and a willingness to speak up for them. We’re providing an informational toolkit found here including a sample letter to send to request your visit, resources on ENDA, DADT, DOMA and other guidelines & information to help make your visit as successful as possible.

Get your toolkit now to get started by clicking here!

Don’t lose this chance to have your voice heard in Congress. You have the power to make change.

Let’s show our legislators that when we say “full federal equality for the entire LGBTQI community in all matters governed by civil law- Now!” We mean it!

Schedule your visits TODAY!

What is Equality Across America?
Have you heard of the National Equality March happening in DC in October? Many people that have organized previously with Join The Impact have already begun organizing to get their district represented at the march. Equality Across America is a network of decentralized organizers growing out of the march to continue the work for full equality in all 435 Congressional districts- as a unified movement. Learn more at http://equalityacrossamerica.org/about

Beyond California

Posted by amy On March - 9 - 2009

Prop 8 is a huge fight that we have going on when it comes to equal rights for members of the LGBTQ community.  When JTI began, we called for everyone around the nation (and the world) to unite as one voice for equal rights.  We explained that Proposition 8 is much more than California’s problem.  If Prop 8 is not repealed, it sets a precedent that the majority can vote on the rights of the minority.  As argued on Thursday, it states that people who are NOT affected by a lack of rights, can choose to keep those rights from a suspect class.  This is appalling.  California is a HUGE battleground right now which we will all continue to be a part of.  Beyond California, there are many many issues at stake that we all need to support and take actions on.

  • Only 13 states have laws protecting LGBTQ citizens from employment discrimination based on sexual or gender identity.
  • There are 7 more states that protect LGB citizens, but do not protect Transgendered citizens from employment discrimination.  Soon we will all come together to support a federal ENDA law that secures equal protections in the work space.
  • Throughout the country, families are at risk of deportation because we can not legally sponsor our partner to become a citizen of the US.  The Uniting American Families Act has been reintroduced to Congress, and we encourage you to call your representative and ask that they support this act and support our families!
  • In the state of Washington (my current home) a Domestic Partnership Expansion Bill has been introduced and will hit the Senate and House this week.  This bill will give Washington LGBTQ citizens protections under the law at a state-wide level that are equal to the state-wide protections of marriage. Those who oppose same-sex civil protections are stating that this law (which again uses the semantics of Domestic Partnership) is seeking to redefine the word marriage, even though we are not.  They are taking action and we need to respond by educating our representatives on the realities of this bill and how it will help us.
  • In the state of Hawaii, another battle surges as our LGBTQ brothers and sisters fight for Civil Unions.  The opposition has come out in full force and Hawaii needs you!  If you are from Hawaii or know someone who is, please contact your representative (or ask your friend to) and ask that they support HB444.
  • HB2234 is going to the House floor for a vote in Illinois.  This same-sex civil union bill does not grant all of the state-wide rights of marriage, but it does grant some very important protections.  Please take action by contacting your representative (if in Illinois) and asking that they support this bill.
  • Here’s a great state by state breakdown on LGBTQ adoption rights.  Clearly we have work to do.  With an average of 500,000 children needing families every year, only 50,000 get adopted.  In a country where so many go without family, why do we have to fight to provide safety, shelter, and parental care?
  • Despite the evolutions in the field of science, we still live in a country where gay and bisexual men cannot donate blood.  This ban on blood donations began with the AIDS crisis and a fear that blood donations would be tainted with the disease.  According to the CDC, the incidence of AIDS is lowering in gay and bisexual men and raising in the heterosexual community.  Yet this ban does not extend to members of the heterosexual community.  A JTI member and amazing organizer for many great grassroots groups has worked hard on this front with her program called the Right to Save.  She is calling for national actions on May 16th 2009 to send a message to the FDA that this policy is discriminatory.
  • These are just a FEW of the many battles brewing in this EQUAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.  Add more in the comments and let’s organize together to work toward winning these battles and our equal protections under the law.

Get Active Today – A Long Delayed Tools of the Week

Posted by amy On February - 24 - 2009

OK it’s official: my Flu is gone. This means that it’s about time I catch everyone up on some amazing things happening all over the nation as we continue moving toward equality. To begin, the conversation of equality has been going on for many many years, but the passage of Proposition 8 has made this conversation surge in ways never seen before. EVERYONE is talking about equal rights these days… and it’s making our opposition louder as well. We need to stay strong, stay loud, and STAY PROUD!

Here are some amazing ways that you can get out there and keep this conversation going, make some changes, and push us another step (or leap) forward on the path to full equal rights:

  1. “PROcott” Pepsi – so there is no official antonym for “boycott”  as such, I give you “procott.”  The American Family Association (the group that brings the nation anti-gay propaganda videos making members of the LGBTQ community out to be in-human), is now calling for a national boycott of Pepsi. They are angered by Pepsi’s pro-LGBTQ stance and outraged by the latest Pepsi Ads.  They have almost 200K people signed up to boycott Pepsi.  So, let’s show Pepsi how much we support them.  Check out this great Facebook Group asking you to BUY PEPSI.  We have millions of people involved with JTI… let’s show the AFA just how easy it is for us to cancel out their numbers!  Once you’ve agreed to Buy Pepsi, call them and thank them for their support (especially since they are getting calls from those against the LGBTQ community right now: 914-253-2000 or  1-800-433-2652).
  2. March Forth on March 4th: March 4th is the “Eve of Justice” and MEUSA is putting together an amazing candlelight vigil across California.  Join in from your home, your city center, or use The Impact to setup an event in your city.
  3. March 5th Wear White: Willow did a great post on this yesterday.  On March 5th, the CA Supreme Court will be hearing the opening arguments for and against Prop 8.  Please wear white (or a white knot) that day to support those fighting for all of us.
  4. March 5th – COME TO SF: That’s right… I know that the economy is in a downward spiral right now, but that also means that plane tickets are SUPER CHEAP.  Join myself, Willow, and thousands of JTI members from around the country outside of the SF Supreme Court to witness this amazing historical event!  Virgin Airlines and Travelocity are selling super cheap tickets to SF right now!  Let’s join the goal of getting 100K people outside of the courthouse on the 5th!
  5. Even if you can’t come to SF, help us share this with EVERYONE!  MEUSA is raising money to get a Jumbotron in front of the SF courthouse so that everyone in attendance can hear the opening arguments.  ANY DONATION HELPS!!!  Please DONATE TODAY!
  6. Ask Your State Rep to Support UAFA: The Uniting American Families Act was reintroduced on February 12th.  Call your state rep and ask that they support the UAFA.
  7. Stay tuned to this site for updates on future events.  If you have an idea for an event and would like the help of JTI, please submit your event here.