This week constituents of Representative Dan Lipinski from South and West Chicagoland headed to his office for our first big meeting with the Congressman’s staff to talk about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The group included a couple South siders who had experienced workplace discrimination in the past due to their sexual orientation; several founding members of Bridgeport’s LGBT Neighbors group; a gay man who’s been laid off from his factory job and might otherwise expand his job search to Indiana, but can’t because of the lack of workplace protections there; and a local small business owner with strong ties to the LGBT community.

The meeting included some very hopeful dialogue, but also confirmed that we still have work to do in this key district. In the coming weeks, we’ll be ramping up our efforts to collect signatures from district residents on behalf of ENDA and demonstrate wide support for this much-needed and overdue legislation. If you’re from the Southside or SW Suburbs and would be interested in helping us with our signature collection project, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we’ll get you plugged in to the important work that we’re doing.

Meanwhile, our efforts continue to ramp up around phone banking from Downtown Chicago. Volunteers from across the city have been coming together week nights and Saturday mornings to call into priority districts and connect supportive constituents with their legislators. Of the many tactics we use, these calls have proven to be one of our most effective and one of the strategies most talked about in meetings with our legislators. Our operation needs to growing over the coming weeks if we’re going to produce the results we need to lift up ENDA once and for all. If you’re in the Chicago area and haven’t already joined our ranks, email me at and I can get you more information about our many volunteer opportunities.

ENDA field Illinois

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