Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Is ENDA dead for the year?

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | December 02, 2009 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts, Politics, Politics
Tags: employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA

Guess what's on next week's markup schedule? Not ENDA.

The House Committee on Education and Labor has published its schedule for next week, and ENDA is not there. ENDA could be marked up the following week, but there wouldn't be enough time to get it to the floor for a vote before the House left for the winter vacation.

However, I spoke to a contact on the Committee, and was advised that it is possible that ENDA could still be scheduled for a markup next week, with the proviso that 72 hours notice are required. No answer to my question about how likely that is.

So, although the sands of time are slipping rapidly to the bottom of the hourglass, a miracle could still occur. Let's go for it! Call the members of the House Committee on Education and Labor and ask that they move ENDA forward.

Yesterday, through the magic of technology (thank you MaestroConference, which donated its services), and with the help of Todd Fernandez of Equality NYC, I co-hosted a national open conference call on the subject of how to get the Employment Non-Discrimination Act moving. We had about 50 people on the call, and though our numbers may have been few, there were a lot of heavy-hitters and good ideas.

We generated several action ideas, but after consulting with my DC friends, I learned that some of them might be counterproductive. My best guess at this point is to call the Committee Members and demand action.

Demand Action!

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, ask that they request a markup from Chairman George Miller on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, HR 3017.

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)

We may or may not be able to get the bill moving in time to get it to a floor vote this year, but at least we will know that we did not let our rights slip away quietly without a fuss. We will not go gentle into that good night.

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In addition to calling your members of Congress, you can also record their response in the Public Whip Count of Act On Principles:

- ENDA in House: http://www.actonprinciples.org/enda-house/

- ENDA in Senate: http://www.actonprinciples.org/enda-senate/


Meghan Stabler | December 2, 2009 1:14 PM


We appreciate these links to capture the counts, and I very much appreciate the collation of yay/nay's on the Act on Principals site. But let's make sure readers understand that Jillian's request on this post is not to get a member to support the House or Senate version of inclusive ENDA, but to request specific members of the Committee on Education and Labor to schedule HR 3017 for Markup now, to vote it out of committee and back to the House for a floor vote.


Let's make sure we tell people that ENDA is DOA in the Senate while we're at it, because half passage is still a victory, right? This will spare the sense of failure or defeat for all those given "false hope" about our make-believe influence with politicians. LGBT issues are non-negotiable.

To actually pass ENDA we need to change politicians or change the minds of their constituents. Time would be better spent in that regard.

Thanks Jillian,

I plan to make some calls tomorrow. What else came of the conference call?

Give it a rest Andrew. If you don't wish to participate in the process, step aside. Your comments are tiresome. I am very curious as to your relentless interest in discouraging anyone from contacting their reps.

Curious? Then read the comments. Explain why you believe we should ask people to spend their time and energy doing something that does not create results. Just saying it does, doesn't make it so.

Plus, there is the waste of resources at stake. ENDA is important. LGBT Equality is important. Figuring out how to accomplish both of those goals is incredibly important.

Accountability - for all efforts - and honest analysis are critical.

Instead of pretending something is working (or can even work) we owe the entire community the courage to make unpopular but accurate assessments. Sooner or later we need to organize an effort to actually win. To do that we need to stop burning people out by asking them to do something we know doesn't work.

In your words "calling their reps" may seem valuable or even effective, but it isn't. It seems only those in the business of promoting that belief are willing to suggest it works, but they do so without any evidence. That should make you curious, not my unwelcome honesty.

Stonewall Girl | December 2, 2009 9:55 PM

Calling, visiting and positive activism can only help! The more the merrier! Silence and invisibility are our worst enemies!

"Silence and invisibility" are not the alternative to "calling, visiting and positive activism." We should be reaching out to neighbors, co-workers and even strangers - instead of politicians.

Politicians won't change their votes because we harass them, they'll change their votes when "public opinion" changes.

I think there is a kernel of truth here, and I address that in my new post today. Our LGBT and progressive communities have not put the word out there on ENDA to their friends, families and allies. Everything else has gotten top billing - marriage equality, DADT, DOMA. I don't agree with Andrew/Travis on stopping our work in Congress, but I also think that the community and the media have dropped the ball, and we can't make up for that by tiny little phone drive. Let's keep working on that, but let's not ignore the elephant in the room.


I have never said "stop working on Congress." I have said stop giving "false hope" to people by suggesting that you can get anything LGBT-related past the US Senate.

I hate to see people mislead, so at least tell them the truth before stealing their time and creating unnecessary disappointment.

You could also put some thought into what can work. Maybe give people some real hope? "One of these days" isn't good enough. We have to shift our collective genius to winning, instead of simply congratulating each other for "fighting." After 50 years of fighting, I think focusing on "winning" is long overdue.