It’s been five days on the ground here in Alaska and the excitement about repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during the lame duck session this year is growing. We’ve had hundreds of Alaskans take action to urge Sen. Lisa Murkowski to vote for the National Defense Authorization Act, the defense appropriations bill which also contains repeal language.
Not only have we been successful with mobilizing the grassroots to take action, but I have been meeting with leaders of the LGBT and larger progressive communities, as well as reasonable voices within the Republican Party to mobilize support from a “grasstops” perspective. We’ve also identified dozens of veterans who are supportive of repeal in the state who are taking action by calling and writing to Sen. Murkowski, and submitting letters to the editor of their local newspaper.
Here in Alaska, especially during the winter when it’s cold and dark much of the day, you have to go where the people are in order to get the job done. So whether that meant catching people to take action at a Rocky Horror Picture Show or grabbing students at the University of Alaska – Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University to make phone calls, that’s what we did.
It’s been long days and we’ve come so far, but the journey toward open service is not yet complete. If you’d like to help carry the torch in Alaska, please contact me at Tony.Wagner@hrc.org.