Task Force builds LGBT political power from the ground up in Kalamazoo

August 26, 2009

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

Three-day campaign training prepares community leaders to affirm passage of Kalamazoo's nondiscrimination law on the Nov. 3 ballot

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in collaboration with One Kalamazoo, trained lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activists this past weekend at a three-day intensive campaign training. One Kalamazoo is the campaign working to affirm passage of the city's LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination law on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The Kalamazoo LGBT Power Summit taught fundamental campaign skills vital for organizing any successful pro-LGBT initiative campaign. With just 10 weeks remaining before Election Day, the Power Summit grew the ability of One Kalamazoo's field operation to build the larger volunteer team necessary for talking with voters face to face at the scale needed to win this November.

"This training and expertise shared by the Task Force are invaluable," says One Kalamazoo's Jon Hoadley. "It allowed supporters of equality and campaign leadership to hone a variety of skills to win this critical battle."

During the training, participants learned and practiced organizing and fundraising skills, including:

  • How to recruit and build a volunteer team. Participants fanned out across churches, cafes, restaurants and neighborhood parks to sign up numerous new volunteers.
  • How to talk effectively with voters about LGBT issues. Participants went door to door to educate voters about the nondiscrimination law. The campaign identified more than 300 new voters who supported the city's nondiscrimination law.
  • How to raise money. Participants called lists of friends and family to raise money for One Kalamazoo. In just one hour, participants raised more than $7,500 for the campaign. The Task Force has also pledged to match dollar for dollar all local money raised up to $10,000 by Sept. 7. Online donations made to before this date will qualify towards the match.
  • Participants pledged to put the training immediately to use and signed up for multiple volunteer leadership roles.

"The Task Force has worked with countless local partners to organize successful initiative campaigns for preserving nondiscrimination ordinances against ballot measure attacks. The ability to live and work without fear of discrimination is fundamental, and we're proud to partner with One Kalamazoo to prepare the community for victory this November," says Dan Hawes, director of the Task Force's Academy for Leadership and Action.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.