It should be a very interesting live event in DC as Michelangelo Signorile and the crew at Sirius XM are hosting a offline and online Town Hall on Thursday April 22, from 2 PM ET until 4 PM ET. The official name for it is “The Path Forward: An LGBT Leadership Town Hall. Mike:
Obviously, with all of the issues being debated and protested, from “don’t ask, don’t tell” to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and marriage equality, there will be a lot to discuss.
The panel will include: National Gay & Lesbian Task Force executive director Rea Carey; National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling; Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese; Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis; former Clinton White House advisor on gay rights Richard Socarides and blogger and activist Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend.
The event will include a studio audience, from which I’ll also take questions for the panel. It will be streamed live online (no 7-day trial of Sirius XM will be necessary to listen online and the event will be open to all) and I’ll be taking questions on the phones from people across the country as well.
So yes, I’ll be there and I will be quite curious about what people think about the path forward and, in particular, the path we’ve traveled already.
More below the fold.There’s a clear disconnect between the Netroots and advocacy organizations, much of it focused on what the shape, image and direction that our movement should be taking with a President and Congress that seems equally reluctant and curiously unafraid of ticking off the LGBT community.
I’d love to discuss what is it about the Beltway that causes such compromises that render our groups ineffective or neutered after we’ve waited so many years under Republican rule to get an administration and favorable Congress to move equality legislation. Were they not ready for this moment as donations were collected? It all seems to be slipping away.
The traditional dodge of “you just don’t understand how it all works in DC” has to hit the ashcan, because we’ve seen that GOP orgs know how to get the job done — they play hardball. Our orgs have often seemed invisible or reluctant to push until the grassroots rise up in frustration — from the last march for Equality during the same weekend as the HRC dinner, to the direct actions by Dan Choi and GetEqual — the apple cart is upset and tactics (if not action) by the orgs then ratchet up. Why has it been so hard for our orgs to coordinate joint actions to pressure the WH and the Hill? That’s a lot of food for thought.
We have so little time to achieve progress, and it is no time to be tone deaf or impotent in pushing the powers that be to do the right thing. Mostof all, accountability and credibility is on the line. Every dollar extracted out of our community for equality must not be wasted.