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Monday, May 7, 2012

Friend, I've been hoping to send you this email for a long time... ( Get Equal)


GetEQUAL got started just over two years ago, with the hope of creating a viable "left flank" of the LGBT movement through insistent and unrelenting pressure for full LGBT equality through direct action and civil disobedience. In 2010, we primarily pressured Congress and the Obama Administration for both the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- we won one and lost one.
Since then, we've been building a national network of organizers and activists who believe in our vision of insistent and unrelenting grassroots organizing power, through an intersectional social justice lens -- which means building deep and meaningful coalitions with advocates from other issue and identity groups. We've done exactly that -- organizing over the past two years with immigration reform activists, climate justice activists, labor activists, women's rights activists, and local Occupy groups. We know that no one -- including us -- organizes through merely one viewpoint or identity, and we've done our best to create an organizing community that recognizes and values the fullness of folks' identities...not limited to merely seeing the world through an LGBT lens.
It's with that intersectional organizing in mind that we're ramping up our field work by bringing on a new member to our team, Felipe Matos -- a DREAMer who has already played a vital role in organizing a powerful movement of undocumented youth who have changed the course of the immigration reform movement. Felipe has been part of the GetEQUAL community since 2010, when GetEQUAL worked closely with him and with other DREAM Act organizers to ensure that work to repeal DADT and to pass the DREAM Act was coordinated and that LGBT and immigration issues weren't used as a way to divide our movements, but to unite them.
Felipe has gone toe-to-toe with Democrats and Republicans alike, and is well-known in Washington and beyond as an unrelenting organizing powerhouse. As a gay, undocumented young person who is about to marry his partner, Felipe knows first-hand what intersectional organizing really looks and feels like. We've been honored to organize with him over the past year and a half, and are thrilled that he's joining our team to oversee our field work out in the states.
This is the perfect time to be increasing pressure on all political parties to step forward on LGBT equality, and also to be building bridges with other communities that are looking for progressive change. We will continue to call on President Obama to sign an Executive Order to ban LGBT discrimination by federal contractors -- to show leadership in the face of bad corporate citizens like ExxonMobil, that refuse to do so on their own and freely discriminate against their own employees. We'll continue to take action in Washington, DC, and across the country to draw attention to this simple action that the President could take immediately -- to sign this Executive Order and show Congress what leadership on ending workplace discrimination looks like.
We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we hope that you'll continue to organize with us in your local community. Felipe is already hitting the ground running, looking ahead to all of the ways that we can have an impact on the political landscape in this election year. If you have thoughts or ideas on how GetEQUAL can impact that political conversation, email Felipe those thoughts at felipe@getequal.org. He looks forward to really digging into this work, and Heather and I both look forward to the creative and impactful work that we know is ahead!
Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!
Robin McGehee, Director
P.S. -- If you'd like to welcome Felipe to the GetEQUAL community by making a donation to support the organizing and training work that he'll be doing this year, you can do so at www.getequal.org/donate. It takes resources to build relationships with organizers, put together actions, and train new activists -- we hope you'll support that work by giving $40, $30, or whatever you can to give Felipe the resources he'll need to be a game-changer in LGBT work like he has been in immigration reform work!