The passage of Prop 102 in Arizona, writing discrimination into our state's constitution like its counterpart Prop 8 in California, required our LGBT community to realize that if we didn't stop the bickering and infighting going on among our groups we'd never find the unity needed to be able to mount an effort to win anything. What it takes is a fresh approach and willingness to do coalition-building.
Arizona Stonewall Democrats reached out last September and October to Equality Arizona and HRC in Arizona to explain what our goals are for the upcoming election cycles and offered to work together in a united effort to elect progressives to the Legislature. Both have now responded, and, together with the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans, we have formed the Arizona LGBT Political Coalition. Each organization will take the part of the whole that we have historically taken, and working together where possible to share resources and information, we are united in the common goal of promoting overall agenda of equality for all.
This organization has risen out of the ashes of past attempts that have in essence burned out former participants. That's why the Phoenix rising from the ashes is a good analogy. Below is an explanation of what the 'Phoenix' is all about, and is a mighty good visionary statement for what I see happening in Arizona now.
From Mythicalrealm comes the following explanation of the power of the Phoenix.
The Mythical Phoenix Rising
"A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration." - The Feng Shui Handbook, feng shui Master Lam Kam Chuen
I'm not saying we have created "intense excitement" but the deathless inspiration part holds true. We are all inspired daily by those who have gone before to secure all of the benefits we already have. It's not enough, and so it's up to us to do what is left to do.
Together we have established goals in the following areas:
- State and Local Advocacy
- Voter Registration, Permanent Early Voter List, and Get out the Vote
- Education and Outreach
- Candidate Support and Fundraising
- Developing and implementing Earned Media Campaign
We met with the editor of a local LGBT magazine who will help us get the word out. We hope those who have contacts in Arizona through Bilerico will pass the information along.
We invite other organizations or individuals that agree with our goals to join us. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.