I want your names and I want your addresses!
No, not because I'm a stalker; unless you count Barack Obama -- who I'll be stalking relentlessly for the rest of this year to ensure he repeals Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2010.
But neither Barack -- nor myself -- can do it alone, which is why I am appealing to you, dear readers.
My appeal is fairly straightforward. A few weeks back I went to a meeting at New York City's venerable Gay and Lesbian center. It was attended by some of the very same folks inhabiting that ultra-exclusive power-Gays summit you may have read about last week. But this meeting was in Greenwich Village not Tennessee -- and the message was clear: How to get the American power structure to take LGBT issues seriously.
About 25 people showed up to the meeting including one political insider who let us know loud and clear that if we want our politicians to respect our voices -- then those voices must be heard loudly and clearly.
Politicians, he said, only care about one thing: Staying in power. Which means incumbents want to be reelected, while challengers are battling to take their places.
This all translates into one key thing: Politicians listen to voters and if their constituents want the President to repeal DADT, they'll want the President to repeal DADT.
Although the military operates on a national scale, this debate is very much local. Because in order for Pres. Obama to enact a comprehensive, nationwide, fully-enforceable and completely-lasting DADT repeal, he'll need Congress and the Senate to approve it.
Yes, Pres. Obama could issue an executive order to end soldier discharges right now. But it could be overturned by his successor -- whether in three or eight years.
In order for DADT to become law, it must be passed by both the Senate and the House -- and this is where you come in. The majority of Americans want DADT repealed -- we just need to make sure our elected officials understand this.
YOUR Senators and Congressmen need to know that YOU want DADT repealed and that you demand they take a similar position.
To do this, they must hear from you -- either via email or phone. And they need to hear from you now. Earlier this week I sent emails to my representatives -- Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York's 15th District and Senator Kirstin Gillibrand urging them to demand Pres. Obama end DADT.
Imagine if thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of other American did so, too. Simply called or emailed their Congressmen/women and Senators to say we want DADT repealed and we want you to help make it happen.
So this week I've launched a new program -- The December Project. My goal is to get 1 million people to contact their representatives by December and let them know they want DADT to end.
At the end of this piece, I will list the contact info for senators and congressmen/women nationwide. Just scroll through the list and you'll find your own representatives.
As for those who feel Obama has let them down -- that they no longer have faith in his promises.
Fine: I'll contact your congressman/senators for you! Send me your name and your COMPLETE zip code and I will do the rest. I'll even shoot you a confirmation email letting you know it's been done. Contact: email@example.com
Many LGBTs out there feel Pres. Obama's DADT promise is too little/too late. That a year of false-starts renders the man un-trustable.
So be it.
I, however, take a very different view: That the President's promise is an opportunity we cannot ignore. That LGBTs finally have an identifiable, actionable, deadline-promised goal that we must make happen. From Maine to New Jersey and most recently Hawaii, the past year has seen a slew of LGBT defeats and we must not miss-out on this chance for an LGBT success.
I say the Obama promise gives us a core issue to rally around and secure the success we need as a community to confirm our clout and move forward in 2011 to achieve additional wins -- most notably the enactment of ENDA and repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Again, the goal is 1 million representative shout-outs -- by any means necessary. And while we're at it, I've opened a PayPal account -- the goal, once again, is to support politicians who will vocally declare their opposition to DADT and commit to working/voting toward its repeal.
We want as many elected officials officially on our side -- and one of the best ways to get them there is by supporting their candidacies financially, particularly in an election year.
So there you have it -- The December Project. Get 1 million Americans to contact their elected officials to demand they help Pres. Obama repeal DADT.
Don't wanna do it? Fine -- I'll contact them for you. Just send me your details and let's make it happen!
The December Project on Facebook