Friday, April 17, 2009

Give Your State Legislators Your Two Cents!

You haven't heard from us in a little while, partly because those of us behind GLBT|ATL have been catching up with real life, but mainly because we didn't want to get our message lost in the national political shift that has kept the country's attention.  Now that Washington has started to settle, we still have important work to do here at home in Georgia.

So what has happened in the meantime?  Marriage equality has arrived in two more states, with the most surprising (or least surprising, depending on which historian you believe) being Iowa.  Equality has come to America's "heartland" while the South, as usual, lags behind.

As we hinted during the We Still Have a Dream event, we're kicking off a new campaign to get citizens in touch with their elected officials.  We're calling it My 2¢ (My Two Cents), and you'll understand that name in a moment.

Tomorrow at Kennesaw State University, GLBT|ATL will have a table set up at the Kennesaw Pride Alliance Summit.  Our goal:  to get citizens to pull out their pens and write to their legislators, about how equality matters in Georgia just like it does in Iowa and Vermont.  To drive the point home, we're asking participants to tape two pennies to each letter--both literally and figuratively "giving two cents".  We will make it clear that the LGBT community and our friends are just as much part of Georgia as everyone else, and we want our legislators to bring change to Georgia too.

The Summit is only the kickoff of this extended campaign.  We must sieze this historic opportunity to engage our elected officials in a real conversation about equal rights.  It's not just an issue for Iowa or Vermont or California; it's an issue for all Americans, Georgians included.

So get ready!  Over the next week we'll be preparing useful Web resources, including a legislator lookup service, printable template letters, and suggestions on how to get your legislators to sit up and pay attention.  You'll also see some event invitations very soon for opportunities to talk face-to-face with GLBT|ATL organizers, and perhaps some of our Representatives, Senators, and Atlanta mayor hopefuls too.

You can get more information about this campaign at any time by going to glbtatl.org/my2cents or by subscribing to our announcement list at glbtatl.org/announce.  If you don't get involved, someone else will speak for you--and will that person give the universal message of equality too?