It has been an incredible few weeks up here in Maine. Along with my fellow organizers, David Turley and Jeremy Kennedy, I have been working around the clock and braving cold New England temperatures to keep the pressure on Maine’s senators to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year. We had a big breakthrough last night, when shortly after the House passed a standalone repeal bill, Senator Olympia Snowe announced her support of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” To have both of Maine’s Republican senators now in support of repeal is a wonderful testament to the progress made.
Last week we worked with the Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland, Maine. Eager parishioners, some of whom were military veterans, signed petitions and called their senator to urge them to support repeal. Over the last several weeks, we have generated an absolute blitz of constituent phone calls and letters from all over the state.
It could have been the petitions, handwritten letters delivered by local veterans, phone calls and meetings that helped move the ball down the field. Whatever it was, Snowe’s announcement told me that we had been successful in delivering the message that Mainers overwhelmingly support repeal. Thank you for all of your hard work!
To see the work of volunteers, veterans and organizers pay off is among the most rewarding feelings. We are all so overwhelmed by this progress, but we can’t yet rest on our laurels yet. We’re now thanking the senators for their support, and urging them to keep up the pressure to bring this to a vote before the end of the 111th Congress.
Contact your friends, family, and neighbors and ask them to call their Senators and do the same. No matter where you are, I hope that you will call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to connect you to your Senators. Urge them to support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year. If you’d like to volunteer with us in Maine, please contact Jessica Osborn at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org.