On the ground in Anchorage, Alaska
By Causten Wollerman, Task Force Field Organizer
It’s great to be on the ground in Anchorage, Alaska, working shoulder to shoulder with the One Anchorage campaign. On April 3, residents here will vote on whether to extend nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people in Anchorage. A team of Task Force organizers is in Alaska to bolster the equality effort.
The fight for fairness in Anchorage has been long and hard. In 2009, the community council passed a measure to include sexuality and gender identity to the municipal code but the mayor vetoed it. That moment in 2009 was divisive, and the opposition did its best to make the LGBT people of Anchorage and their allies believe they were somehow wrong for demanding equal protections.
The One Anchorage campaign is making things right. During my week here, I have worked with incredible volunteer leaders who are laboring tirelessly to talk to voters to ensure they vote “yes” on Prop. 5. As one volunteer leader put it, “We have their hearts now we need their votes.”
During these final two weeks leading up to Election Day, the LGBT people of Anchorage and their allies have the enormous but possible task of reaching out to tens of thousands of supportive voters. In each conversation LGBT people and their allies will have to share why they believe that they, their family and friends deserve equal protections. It’s not an easy thing because it seems so obvious to some of us.
Hearing stories of discrimination and testimonies from LGBT and allies explaining why their community needs equal protections will motivate people to vote “yes” on Prop, 5. Sharing our stories and values with strangers is often hard but it’s how we win.
Please keep the people of Anchorage in your thoughts. By supporting the Task Force you are also supporting efforts like One Anchorage by making it possible for us to give them our time, expertise and resources. Please check out One Anchorage for additional ways to support them directly.
A win for Anchorage is a win for all of us.