The Employment Non-Discrimination Act bill (ENDA), which was originally planned for a House vote in September or October, then November, now looks like it's headed for a February landing. That's problematic because it puts ENDA into the Senate during an ultra-difficult time: a major legislative logjam, a major jobs initiative, midterm election campaigns, and a promised Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal.
The House Committee responsible for moving ENDA along, the House Committee on Education and Labor, has been slow-walking it, claiming that it needs some minor "tweaks" on language that has been vetted for years. Rex Wockner's blog today features quotes from some high profile activists questioning the delays, including political consultant Steve Hildebrand and former National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has also been quoted as saying that delay is not good.
Meanwhile, community action calls to Committee Chair George Miller of California over the past week have been unsuccessful in obtaining any statement or action. However, under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives [see page 8, section c(2)], three members of the Committee can demand a markup, which must be scheduled within three days. (Update: DC friends advise that it would be best just to ask for the markup, as this rule might be seen as "mutinous.") The names of friendly Committee members are provided after the jump so you can call and demand action.
A nation-wide community conference call has been scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 1st, at noon (ET) to discuss actions we can take to push a vote on ENDA now. It will last one hour. The agenda is posted after the jump. All are welcome, and I hope you will join us. Register here.
Look at which of the following members of the House Committee on Labor and Education are in or near your state. Call (202) 224-3121 and ask the House operator to connect you to one of the Representatives listed below. When you get their office, here's what to say:
"Please tell Rep. ___ that I would like him/her to ask Chairman George Miller for an immediate markup on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, HR 3017"
You should probably repeat the message so the receptionist can get it all down. You might want to ask them to repeat it back to you to make sure they got it all. These offices are busy places, and sometimes they might not write down the whole message.
I have bolded the names of members who are worth an extra call, as I think they might be most sympathetic to calling Chairman George Miller to get this moving.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ)
Rep. Judy Chu (CA)
Rep. Susan Davis (CA)
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA)
Rep. Joe Courtney (CT)
Rep. Jared Polis (CO)
Rep. Mazie Hirono (HI)
Rep. Judy Biggert (IL)
Rep. David Loebsack (IA)
Rep. Phil Hare (IL)
Rep. John Tierney (MA)
Rep. Dale Kildee (MI)
Rep. Dina Titus (NV)
Rep. Carol Shea Porter (NH)
Rep. Robert Andrews (NJ)
Rep. Rush Holt (NJ)
Rep. Donald Payne (NJ)
Rep. Tim Bishop (NY)
Rep. Yvette Clark (NY)
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY)
Rep. Paul Tonko (NY)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH)
Rep. David Wu (OR)
Rep. Todd Platts (PA)
Rep. Joe Sestak (PA)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX)
Rep. Bobby Scott (VA)
Agenda for Tomorrow's Community Conference Call
Here's what is planned for tomorrow's community conference call at noon (ET).
Opening conversation and intro info about MaestroConference features
Todd Fernandez of Equality NYC: Greetings, outline of call, poll questions
Dr. Jillian T. Weiss: Status briefing, suggestions for immediate actions and intro to open discussion
Open group discussion and input on possible "group actions"
Breakout into 4 facilitated action sessions to coordinate "group actions"
Reports from breakout sessions on commitments to group actions.
Invitation to join online groups
Call to action and close
I hope you will join us. Register here..