Thanks to the generosity of donors here in Houston we were able to raise the funds to send four Houston organizers to the LGBTQ Task Force Power Summit in Miami, Florida.
The Power Summit is a collaboration between the National LGBTQ Task Force, SAVE and the Leadership LAB at the LA LGBT Center. Working together these organizations presented 3 days of workshops and real-world applications of tested methods designed to reduce the prejudice of transgender people.
Our team was able to work alongside activists fighting to protect transgender protections in the Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance and share best practices for organizing with activists from all across the country. Representatives from a variety of organizations from Maine to Illinois to Los Angeles and everywhere in between were in attendance sharing their stories and the lessons learned from other ballot initiative fights for equality.
The main reason our team was in attendance was to learn about and participate in a canvassing operation alongside SAVE (www.savedade.org), to have one-on-one conversations with voters about transgender protections recently added in the Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance.
As we have seen from fights in Houston, San Antonio, Plano and beyond Texas, our opponents are exceptionally well organized and funded. We also know that they rely on spreading false information in order to scare up support for their side.
This canvassing method has been used around the country to protect transgender and gender nonconforming people from legalized discrimination. Our team joined nearly 100 activists for a Saturday canvass with SAVE.
And while not every discussion turned up supporters of equality, the outreach that was done is capable of changing hearts and minds and, at the very least, will be remembered by the voter the next time they see or hear a story about transgender people.
It is this ongoing education effort that will benefit the fight for equality in the long-run.
It was an honor to work alongside some of the smartest and hardest working organizers in the LGBTQ movement and we are extremely thankful for the opportunity to learn and bring that knowledge home to Houston.
Thank you to all the people who helped make this experience possible!