Election 2011: Where you’ll find us & what we’re doing to create change!

November 8 is Election Day, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is on the ground working hard from coast to coast to improve the lives of LGBT people and create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all!

From Alaska to Minnesota to Mississippi, we’re involved in a slew of campaigns that directly impact our lives, and those of our friends, allies, families and neighbors.

Canvassing in Michigan.

For nearly 40 years, we’ve been working to create a better world for LGBT people and our families. And that has meant working toward a better world for all of us. It has meant standing with our friends in the women’s, immigrants’ and labor communities, as well as others, against those who would target them. We’ve been at this a long time. We know that those who attack our friends are often the same people who target LGBT people and our families. We believe we have an obligation to stand with each other to create a better future, a better world, for us all.

This election season, you’ll find us in:

Traverse City, Michigan, where a team of Task Force organizers is helping get out the vote in the nation’s only LGBT-specific ballot campaign this Election Day. We’re working with Traverse City Equality to pass Prop. 1, which would protect and retain the city’s existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Just last month, we held a Michigan Power Summit with a phone-banking session specifically aimed at raising critical dollars for this important effort. You can check out the highlights from the phone-bank in the video below:


What you can do: Volunteers are needed now through Election Day to help contact LGBT-supportive voters through door-to-door canvassing or by phone, as well as provide food and drink to the hardworking volunteers. To find out more about how you can help protect this important law, contact Sarah Reece at sreece@thetaskforce.org or 202.841.0714.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, where loving, committed couples are under attack by those who would deny our common humanity. We’re building a foundation of support to defeat a proposed state constitutional amendment poised for the November 2012 ballot that would ban marriage equality. We are supporting Minnesotans United for All Families by organizing and hosting a Task Force Minneapolis House Party on Nov. 6 to raise critical early funds necessary to secure victory next year. Our House Party is one of over 100 events that will be happening statewide.

What you can do: RSVP for the Task Force’s Minneapolis House Party on Nov. 6 from 4-6 p.m., by contacting Kathleen Campisano at kcampisano@thetaskforce.org or 202.577.3139. If you can’t attend the party, you can also donate directly to the campaign.

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, where our organizers are on the ground training volunteers for an Election Day action at polling places. North Carolina same-sex couples and their families are under attack by those trying to pass a proposed constitutional ban denying marriage equality/relationship recognition. The measure is poised for the May 2012 ballot. For more information, visit http://equalitync.org/.

What you can do: Volunteer! You can sign up to volunteer with Equality North Carolina.

Reading the turf map in preparation for canvassing.

Holland, Michigan, where we are working to identify LGBT supporters to bolster future efforts to include sexual orientation and gender identity in the city’s nondiscrimination law. This past summer, a measure to include LGBT people in existing housing and employment protections failed by just one vote in the Holland City Council. Let’s put an end to this injustice and make sure LGBT people and their families in Holland are not left vulnerable to discrimination any longer!

What you can do: If you live in the area, Holland is Ready is looking for volunteers to help: contact Emily West at 616.856.6667 or hollandisready@gmail.com.

Anchorage, Alaska, we’re working toward future victories to improve the lives of LGBT people and their families. A top-notch fund-raising organizer of ours is leading workshops at the One Anchorage Leadership Training Boot Camp. Our local partner, the One Anchorage Campaign, is in the process of collecting and verifying voter signatures in order to proactively place a pro-LGBT equality measure on the April 2012 ballot. It takes money to get the job done, and our expert is there to share proven strategies and tactics. Together at the Boot Camp, they will raise thousands of more dollars so they can keep creating change.

What you can do: Learn more about the upcoming training, by contacting Jeffrey Mittman at jeffrey@oneanchorage.com.

Jackson, Mississippi, where we are standing in solidarity with our friends at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Mississippians for Healthy Families campaign.The health of families is under attack this Election Day through Initiative 26, a ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to establish legal “personhood” at the moment of fertilization. Not only does this restrict a woman’s right make her own personal decisions, it could also have the effect of banning common forms of birth control like the pill and IUD and in-vitro fertilization. It’s no secret that the goal of the initiative is to challenge the longstanding precedent set in Roe v. Wade, and the consequences of this law could be deadly.

Canvassing in Maine.

What you can do: Volunteer! Calling voters is one of the most effective things you can do to help defeat Initiative 26. We’ll make sure you have everything you need. Every “no” voter we reach will help us towards our goal. Contact the campaign at www.votenoon26.org.

Portland, Maine, where we are working with the Protect Maine Votes campaign to protect voter rights. Since 1973, eligible Mainers have been able to register and vote on Election Day, but in June the GOP-controlled state Legislature voted to overturn law. Then, a coalition of progressive organizations, including our local partner EqualityMaine, launched a People’s Veto campaign to restore same-day voter registration, gathering the required petition signatures in a record-breaking four weeks. We’re on the ground with EqualityMaine to get out the vote!

What you can do: Sign up to volunteer with EqualityMaine to protect voter rights at: whymarriagemattersmaine.com.  If you’re not in Maine, you can make calls from home, or better yet, contribute to the campaign at protectmainevotes.com.

Los Angeles, California, where our organizers are working side by side with coalition partners such as the ACLU of Southern California to gather signatures and raise awareness for the Savings Accountability Full Enforcement (SAFE) California campaign’s effort to abolish the state’s death penalty. The Task Force has been a long-time opponent of the death penalty. In 1999, we passed a formal resolution against it, and continue to call for an end to this discriminatory and inhumane policy.

What you can do: Look out for the petition to qualify the SAFE California Act in the November 2012 election at your local grocery store. Sign up to volunteer today to help qualify the measure for the Nov. 2012 election ballot by contacting Trystan Reese at treese@thetaskforce.org or 202.329.2871 or Moof Mayeda at mmayeda@thetaskforce.org or 323.854.3287.