The following comes from HRC Associate Director of Membership Operations, Jason Lott. Jason is just one of 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:
I just returned from a fantastic trip to Jackson, Michigan, where I was deployed to engage our membership for the upcoming fall elections. While out, I had the opportunity to talk with our members each day, making sure that they had everything that they needed for Election Day, and filling them in on HRC-endorsed candidates. My trip was a lot of hard work, but it is always worth it to be able to talk to our membership around the country to hear first hand the stories of LGBT Americans and our straight allies.
The election in Michigan’s 7th District is an important one. Tim Walberg has proven himself to be a complete opponent of equal rights for LGBT Americans. That is one of the reasons why I have joined volunteers in Michigan to support Mark Schauer. Schauer has been a strong supporter of LGBT rights – He voted for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the House, he voted for the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and he was a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Michigan voters want pro-equality candidates like Schauer representing them in Washington.
To me, the most memorable part of the experience was an afternoon conversation that I shared with a fellow volunteer. Having overheard me speaking of HRC during one of my phone conversations, a young man working on the campaign came over and struck up a conversation with me about HRC. During our conversation, he was excited about meeting someone from our organization and was eager to show me that he had a copy of our Resource Guide to Coming Out for African Americans. I was so excited to see that he not only had used this resource, but that he carried it in his bag with him. He told me that he was so glad to see that we were on ground in places like Michigan, and that he was grateful for the work we do, because it is still so hard for many in his community.
It is moments like these that I am so proud of the work that we do; not just support of pro-equality candidates during the fall, but of all of our work, and the real impact that we have on the lives of Americans across the nation.