Posts Tagged ‘activist’

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Tim Miller tells Anchorage about the Lay of the Land

September 18, 2009

For those of you who missed it tonight, Tim Miller performed his Lay of the Land show at Out North Theatre.  Miller pulled inspiration from his own childhood and adult life, wrapping it in with experiences he’s had fighting for equal rights around the country.

At the same time, Miller made sure to draw allusions between the struggles that we’ve gone through with Ordinance 64 and similar fights going on in other communities.  He was full of energy, humor, and a sense of awareness about the state of the country that’s quite refreshing.  There was a great discussion afterward, as well, where audience members could bring up some of the topics connected with his show, or ask his opinion on things going on in our own community.

I highly recommend catching his show if you can.

Miller will be repeating his performance tomorrow, Saturday, September 19 at 7:30pm at Out North Theater.  Check here for ticket information.

Thank you to Tim for your great show, and to Tiffany McClain from Equality Works for helping make it happen!

Tim Miller, Me, and his spirit bear.

Tim Miller, Me, and his spirit bear.

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New Update from Equality Works

September 3, 2009

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Dear Equality Works Supporters,

Thanks to all of you have called and e-mailed Debbie Ossiander encouraging her to help override the Mayor’s veto of AO 64. Many of you have forwarded your letters to us and we have been impressed by your passion and commitment to this cause. We believe that Assemblywoman Ossiander’s concerns with AO 64 are matters that could easily be addressed by overriding the veto and offering up amendments to Title V. Unfortunately, she has not responded to attempts to work with her productively to craft the best and most inclusive nondiscrimination law possible.

The deadline for overriding a veto runs out this coming Monday, September 7th, and while we are still willing to work with Assembly members to achieve an override, we have also begun to look ahead at other ways in which we can work with members of the LGBT community and our allies to ensure that Anchorage becomes a city that protects all of its citizens from discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In the short run, one way that you can help us achieve our goal is to contact Senators Begich and Murkowski and encourage them to become co-sponsors of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). If passed, ENDA would make employment discrimination a violation of federal law. While it is not a law that is expansive as our local laws—it would not protect people from discrimination in housing and public accommodations, for example—it would nonetheless be a huge step forward in our goal of achieving equality for all in Anchorage. While we would have preferred for such a law to be passed on a local level, we are willing to use every tool available to us. As we said months ago, our opponents may have prepared for a sprint, but we are prepared to go the distance and hope that you are too.

Thank You,

Tiffany McClain

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Where do we go from here?

August 22, 2009

I’ve been feeling a little directionless this past week.  This past Monday, my husband and I woke up and immediately checked the local blogs and adn.com to find out if Mayor Sullivan had made a decision.  We made plans to check out the UAA campus, as our classes would be starting the next week.  We spoke to our friends on facebook, each of us manically updating the page and then checking adn.com to see if an announcement had been made yet.  I called the Mayor’s office, trying to find out if the rumors of Mayor Sullivan making an announcement that day were true.  She confirmed the rumor, but wouldn’t confirm a time.  Less than twenty minutes later, John shouted from the other room.

Veto.

I was expecting the news in an intellectual sense.  We had heard from numerous people who had talked to the Mayor that he would veto.  Reading it in his pitiful press announcement, however, was very different.

“My review shows that there is clearly a lack of quantifiable evidence necessitating this ordinance,” Sullivan said. “My review also shows that the vast majority of those who communicated their position … are in opposition.” from adn.com

I couldn’t believe what I was reading.  A lack of quantifiable evidence?  I know he wasn’t there for every Assembly meeting that I was, but surely he managed to hear one of the testimonies from those supporting the ordinance?  In the words of Barney Frank, “On what planet to do you spend the majority of your time?”

And so the word came down the line that there was going to be a protest outside of City Hall.  We had short notice, but made some signs and found a parking spot close to Kaladi Brothers Coffee. (Sidenote: I was please to hear a rumor that Kaladi Brothers pulled their endorsement of Mrs. Alaska after she showed up in red at the Assembly meetings.)  There were already a few dozen people there, but our numbers would grow to over a hundred people, venting a Summer full of hurt and frustration at a mayor who refused to hear them.

If we scream loud enough, will Dan Sullivan hear us?

If we scream loud enough, will Dan Sullivan hear us?

In the days after, many people have reached out, trying to figure out what the next course of action is.  Some people want to try to change Debbie Ossiander’s mind.  Some people want to force Dan Sullivan into talking to a GLBT contingent.  Some people want to curl up and disappear from the world for a bit.

We here at sosanchorage.net are still taking a look at what the best options for moving forward are.  But we can guarantee you this, dear readers, we’re not done.  Not by a long shot.

What do you think the next best thing  to do would be?  I’m not asking in a rhetorical sense, I really want to know what the readers of this site think.  If you’re not up for leaving a comment, send us an email.

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Rally at McGinley’s Pub

August 21, 2009

Word has come out from the almighty internet that there is a protest going on tonight outside of McGinley’s Pub, of which our Mayor, Dan Sullivan, is a 10% owner.  I don’t have much time to write, as I have to get over there soon, but here are some links that show the reasons for the protest.

We hope you’ll be able to make it out there.

6:30pm

Outside of McGinley’s Pub on G Street – follow the waving signs

Facebook Event Page – Rally at McGinley’s Pub

McGinley’s Protests Protests – From Henkimaa.com

Protest at McGinley’s – From Henkimaa.com

Protest Sullivan’s Veto – from Bentalaska.com

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We came, we saw, we protested

August 17, 2009

My husband and I joined over fifty people today down at city hall in order to protest Mayor Sullivan’s veto of Ordinance 64.  The energy was amped but positive as we shouted for “Equal Rights Now!” and “United We Stand, Divided We Fall!”  Michael Mason did a great job of keeping the energy up and everyone organized.  Tiffany McClain of Equality Works was there, as well as Mel from Henkimaa.com.  John was interviewed by one of the news crews, and I was interviewed by Christy Harvey, who took the time to come down and talk to protesters after she had only half an hour’s notice.

We heard rumors that members of Anchorage Baptist Temple had plans to come down to City Hall and throw bologna at us, but fortunately that didn’t happen.  However, Anchorage’s own personal pile of bologna, Eddie Burke, did show up.  He spent about fifteen minutes trying to bait people into an argument, but I think he was unprepared to find that lots of us were well read on many of the issues surrounding Ordinance 64.  He drove off in his shiny, red mid-life crisis not too long after.

Supporters of Ordinance 64 protest outside of City Hall after Mayor Sullivan's veto.

Supporters of Ordinance 64 protest outside of City Hall after Mayor Sullivan's veto.

We were there from 5:00pm-7:00pm, stopping twice to take a stroll over to protest outside of McGinley’s Pub, of which Mayor Dan Sullivan is a partial owner.  The tone was kept civil and positive, and we were pleased to be a part of it.  It was also nice to blow off a little steam from the frustration of Mayor Sullivan’s poorly based decision.

If anyone has any photos from the protest, we’d very much love to post them here, with permission of course.

There is another protest planned in the near future, so please check back frequently so we can get the information to our readers as soon as it’s available.  If you have any information about organized events that you want to let people know about, please let us know and we can post up information.

A great big “Thank You!” to all those who have worked so hard to get this ordinance passed.  We knew this would be a long battle, but we’re still here and we’ll keep fighting.

Update: Mel from Henkimaa.com posted a great summary of the protest with lots of pictures, so check it out when you have the chance!

Christy Harvey of Studio 1080 at KUDO also posted some pictures of the event.  Listen to her show on AM 1080 tomorrow at 3pm to hear the interviews she got while she was downtown with us this afternoon.

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Protest at City Hall at 5:00pm

August 17, 2009

For those of you who would like to let Mayor Sullivan know that you disagree with his veto of Ordinance 64, some of us are going down to City Hall to form a little protest. Christy Harvey from Studio 1080 on KUDO will be walking around, talking to people who are upset about the Mayor’s decision.

If you can make it, we need you.

5:00pm
Anchorage City Hall
632 West 6th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501

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Sullivan disappoints with Veto on Ordinance 64

August 17, 2009
Mayor Dan Sullivan

Mayor Dan Sullivan

Mayor Dan Sullivan, like his father before him, has carried on a legacy of bigotry by vetoing Ordinance 64.  He made the announcement around 2:30pm today.  Many of us were eagerly watching facebook and the anchorage daily news website in order to get the most up-to-date information.  We didn’t have long to wait to find out that our Mayor would be dancing on the strings of Jerry Prevo and Jim Minnery.

The Anchorage Assembly has 21 days to override the veto.  The Ordinance was passed through the Assembly 7-4.  We need to contact out Assembly representatives and ask them to make a stand for Equal Rights in Alaska.  We need to ask them to not let history repeat itself with this veto.  We need to politely but firmly tell them that the needs of the minority override the opinions of the majority.

Take heart that this fight will continue.  It’s not over, not by a long shot.

Update: The link to the Anchorage Assembly Contact page has been fixed.