Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Capital Lobbying with Style!

On Tuesday, May 1st, I went to Albany, the New York State Capital along with over 1,000 New Yorkers from all over the state. We took part in Equality and Justice Day organized by ESPA (Empire State Pride Agenda). We lobbied our Senators and Assembly Members to persuade them to pass a Marriage Equality bill, allowing same-gendered couples to marry, and to pass GENDA, the Gender Espression Don-Discriminatin Act. We also spoke to them about passing the Dignity for all Studendts Act, an anti-bullying law. When we arrived, there was a continental breakfast at registration. I met with Assembly Member Dick Gottfried and Senator Liz Krueger. We are very happy and fortunate that Governor Eliot Spitzer introduced legislation to make Gay marriage legal in New York State. There was a statewide rally on the beautiful Capitol Park facing the Legislative Capitol building where Melissa Sklarz (NY Transgender Rights Organization), Alan Lubin (NY State United Teachers), Barbara Smith (Albany Common Council), Alan Van Capelle (Empire State Pride Agenda) and Openly Gay elected officials Assembly Members Deborah Glick and Danny O'Donnell, and Senator Tom Duane gave speaches. "Turn around, all of you and look at the Capitol. Whose house is it? Our House!" said Senator Duane. We had a lunchone buffet in the Convention Center where I had the opportunity to meet with citizens from all over the State. After lobbying, I went to the Transgender Caucus to meet with other Trans people about our experiances and community.

photos: ESPA President Alan Van Cappelle; ESPA,;At the Capital; NY Blade newspaper editor Tranton Straube.;Trans activists JoAnne Priceavalli and Caprice Bellefleur.