Today is the fourth straight day that members of Congress have been gone from DC. Fortunately this means that people all over the country have been able to meet with Congresspeople back in the districts, in their offices, at parades, at town hall meetings. And we are getting feedback that it is working. It will take through Tuesday and into Wednesday to get a good read on what members of Congress think once they are back at work. NCTE and others will be all over Capitol Hill all this week, while people in the states are doing visits and calls there.
PFLAG is having its national lobby day this week and NCTE will be participating in their national conference this weekend. I need to say a word here about PFLAG. They have been amazing allies for several years now–at least as long as I have been in DC and probably longer. They are very welcoming of trans people, they have more and more transgender-specific programming and they have stood absolutely solid with us on federal policy. They rock.
While on the subject of PFLAG, they are a good symbol of what has happened over the past couple of weeks. When the PFLAG national office sent out their first action alert about this ENDA crisis, they received intense feedback and mobilization. One of their chapters even asked if they could get back from Congress the 600 cards that they had collected in support of an inclusive ENDA. I just love PFLAG and encourage everyone (and their mother) to get involved in PFLAG.
An interesting thing I have never seen before happened today. All over the Internet people started posting an opinion about the ENDA situation and HRC’s part in it that was attributed to me, but which was actually written by a different Mara, a friend of mine. It spread so quickly that the Advocate magazine on line did a story about ENDA and HRC and attributed Mara’s views to me even though they contradicted what I had told them earlier in the story. Neither me nor the other Mara can be blamed for sloppy reporting or blog posted, but both of us took it very seriously and had the reporter fix the story. I know Mara is not that common a name, but that’s just plain sloppy not looking at a last name.
On Tuesday, Congress is back in DC and the intensity begins again. NCTE will be there.