House Committee to Take Action on ENDA Call in on November 18
Take action today for the next bill that will positively impact transgender people: ENDA
Read our Toolkit on how you can take action
November 12, 2009
“Now is the time that we must take action for ENDA! Whether you have never contacted your members of Congress or if you are a frequent visitor in their offices, we need you to call this week if this bill is to pass.”
Today, Chairman George Miller (D-CA) of the House Committee on Education and Labor announced that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) will take its next steps when the committee marks up the bill next Wednesday, November 18; this is one of the final steps that precedes a vote by the full House. House leadership is optimistic about the bill that would ban from the workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, although they stress the importance that advocacy efforts for ENDA remain strong. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) is the principle sponsor of the bill, joined by 189 co-sponsors, and along with Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has been a strong champion of this legislation.The Senate is also considering the bill and held a hearing in committee last week on the matter. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-WA) is the lead sponsor and strong advocate for the measure. When asked at a press conference last week whether there was any chance that gender identity would be stripped out of the bill, he answered simply, “No.”But, even with these strong optimistic signs and committed leaders, members of Congress still need to hear loud and clear from our communities.
The radical right is already in full swing on this fight, energizing their base to call and put pressure on Congress, spreading their untruths and stereotypes about who we are. Their voices must not outnumber ours. It is up to us to communicate the urgency of this bill, and to do that we must pick up the phones and call. “Never before in the history of our movement has there been a time when it is so critical that we all are active advocates for transgender rights. It really is that important,” notes Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “We are at a moment when our rights are not guaranteed but they are within our reach if we speak up about the urgent need for the employment protections contained within ENDA. We need you to take action.”NCTE is participating with a wide range of other LGBT groups in the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights call in days in support of ENDA. Our day to call is Wednesday, November 18. We hope you’ll be a part of this important effort and you’ll encourage your friends to call.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Next Wednesday, Nov. 18, or whenever is convenient for you, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak to your Representative (have your zip code handy and they’ll help identify your member of Congress). When you are connected with your Representative’s office, give your name and your city and then let them know:
I am calling in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H. R. 3017/S. 1584), which will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from job discrimination. No one deserves to be fired from their job because of who they are. Please vote yes for ENDA
If you get voicemail instead of a person, feel free to leave a message-the messages are listened to and count just as much as if you reach a staff member. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you’ve called in the past, no problem … call again or write or visit.For extra credit, when you are done, hang up and call the Capitol Switchboard again, let the operator know what state you are calling from, and they will connect you with your Senators. And please, forward this message to your friends, family members and allies.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
There are many ideas about how you can take action on NCTE’s ENDA webpage
. Visit it today. The more we all do, the more likely we are to pass this vital legislation. It is up to us.
About NCTEThe National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation’s capital and around the country. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a 501(c)3 organization.