While news of the postponement of ENDA is still fresh, and there is no word on when ENDA might get back on track, that is no excuse to slack off. It will get back on track sooner or later, and when that day comes, we will still need to make sure we have 60 Senators on board.
Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas is a key vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Meanwhile, Senator Pryor's cohort, Senator Blanche Lincoln, came out against ENDA in a letter to a constituent. She has, however, I have been given to understand, tentatively disavowed that letter as the work of a misinformed staffer.
We're at 56 likely yes votes in the Senate. Those last four are getting increasingly hard to find. Senator Pryor is not one of them, though he could be.
Please call Senator Pryor today to ask for his support for S.1584. Facts and contact info after the jump.
Senator Pryor, a Democrat, though fairly conservative on many issues, voted for the hate crimes bill. Most recently, he voted not to support the Republican filibuster on hate crimes, and he voted for the bill itself as well. He may also be willing to support ENDA. The back story on this relates to Senator Pryor's father, David Pryor, who held this Senate seat in 1996, when ENDA was poised for passage. As told by The Caucus Blog: The Blogosphere Voice of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus:
Everything was in place, but something terrible happened. Arkansas Senator David Pryor was planning to support the Kennedy sponsored ENDA bill, but he was called back to Little Rock. His son, Mark Pryor, the current junior Senator from Arkansas, was undergoing an emergency operation just as the debate and vote commenced in Washington. From USA today: "A surgeon operating on a torn tendon discovered sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that is usually fatal. Pryor underwent 13 hours of surgery to have his tendon replaced in 1996. It was 15 months before he was able to walk again unassisted."
ENDA failed of passage by one vote, but, thankfully, Mark Pryor recovered and has gone on to a successful career in the Senate. It would be a fitting tribute for the current Senator Pryor to cast that vote in the 111th Congress.
Please call him and ask him to support S 1584.
If you're not sure what to say when you call, click here for a "Step-by-Step Script For Calling Legislators On ENDA."
You may get a staffer who is unaware of the Senator's position on ENDA. Take a moment to explain what it is, and to ask if he or she can get some information on the Senator's position. Tell us what they said in the comments below.
Senator Mark Pryor
DC Phone: 202-224-2353
(Toll free DC Capitol line: 866-220-0044)
Little Rock: 501-324-6336
Click here for email