You Taught Us a Lesson (Or Five)
By Jen Jones on 08/23/2012 @ 04:00 PM
Over the past few months you've taught us some valuable lessons.
After a 17-city tour of the state on our Equality NC "What's Next?" Town Hall Tour, together we produced the crucial conversations necessary to keep our state's great Amendment One grassroots activism going into crucial races of the upcoming November 2012 general election and the insights to keep Equality NC working hard for you.
Lesson One – What We Do Together Changes Hearts & Minds
With more than a hundred thousand supporters now from all 100 counties in North Carolina and most states in the union, we have never been better able to mobilize at a moment's notice to address our state and or region’s most pressing needs and opportunities, including leading crucial conversations and community actions that change hearts and minds. And Equality NC works -- together we've engaged hundreds of thousands of fair-minded folks for pro-LGBT causes like defeating Amendment One and voting for pro-Equality legislation impacting parental and employee rights, supported community involvement and civic engagement opportunities, and helped pass decades-worth of landmark pro-equality legislation. We're growing faster than ever, and the more folks that get involved and invested, the more impact we have.
Lesson Two – And We Are in This Together
Equality NC is a massive network of citizens like you, but our organization is small–just four full-time staffers, two part-time with occasional operational and technology support. Hopefully during our town hall tour you met with me or Stuart Campbell, our dedicated executive director who led most of our local meetings, caught up with Chris Speer, our new director or organizing, kept in touch with Kay Flaminio, our dynamic director of development—all feeling safe in the knowledge that our administrative coordinator Shawn Long was running the show back in Raleigh. Our small size means not only during our town halls you were able to meet and greet with most of the people fighting for you full time, but also that we have no time for red tape, layers of bureaucracy, or being focused on anything but getting better results for you, our fair-minded friends. In short, we depend on each other and we’re in this together.
Lesson Three – Now More Than Ever, Our Advocacy Needs to Be Political
Amendment One’s very personal fight taught us a valuable political lesson: there are harsh consequences for failing to vote. And our town hall meetings made clear that you’ve never been more mobilized to get even more involved in Election 2012’s crucial general election.
So, taking a page from the opposition’s messaging playbook:
it’s not personal, it’s not payback, it’s political.
And trust us, we’ve never been more political.
Lesson 4 – We Will Go Where The Greatest Needs Are
Some organizations focus on a single issue, in a single place, over a long period of time. And while important to do, it can mean that when desperate needs or amazing opportunities for our communities arise, they get ignored. Since the Amendment One campaign, Equality NC’s organizing efforts are taking a more multidisciplinary approach to target the most urgent needs and opportunities fostered through our vast statewide coalitions. We’re working harder than ever with top quality community activists and partner organizations in the areas most supportive of pro-equality efforts, aspiring to add real value to our concerted work.
Lesson Five – There’s No One Like You
Our town halls showed that the Amendment One fight galvanized supporters like you. Equality NC—the only statewide LGBT group lobbying for LGBT North Carolinians in the General Assembly--is ready to harness that energy and make a move towards a pro-equality majority in our state legislature, fights for pro-equality legislation and policies, and to build a state of equality in North Carolina.