On Saturday, October 2nd 2010, the Lincoln Memorial will be the site of an afternoon rally, headed by a broad coalition of progressive organizations under the united theme of ‘One Nation Working Together’. The march is an effort to organize one of the most inclusive progressive coalitions assembled to date. Precisely one month after this gathering in the capital, Americans will go to the polls in midterm elections that threaten to make progressive change in this country even more difficult than it has proven to be under the historic election of President Obama and majorities of fair-minded legislators in both the House and the Senate.
Such heights, however, should not obscure what is undeniably irrefutable: our chances for progress on employment protections, partner and family recognition, and perhaps even an issue on which we seem to have turned a corner, repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, will endure neglect if control of Congress falls into the hands of those legislators against equality for all. A blind eye will immediately be turned on all of the progress we have worked relentlessly to procure so far.
The day will see hundreds of thousands of people from across America gather at the Lincoln Memorial to demonstrate re-commitment to change. The One Nation March will feature human and civil rights leaders, labor leaders, environmental and peace activists, faith leaders, celebrities and sports figures – all marching together to help reorder our national priorities so that investments in people come first.
Our friend, Jasper Hendricks, III, Director of Public Engagement at the National Black Justice Coalition, an LGBT advocacy group, sees the march not only as an opportunity to energize the progressive movement a month before midterm elections, but also as an opportunity to show the Obama administration and the Democratic Congressional Leadership the aspirations of the left, and to demonstrate the power of a coalition of progressive groups coming together under united front advocating for jobs, justice and peace.
PFLAG is one of many groups mobilizing to participate. LGBT organizing for the march is being handled by an “LGBTQ table,” spearheaded by the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Stonewall Democrats, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), and Pride at Work, the LGBT group within the AFL-CIO. Their coordination has included the participation of groups including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Immigration Equality, the grassroots group GetEqual, and the Equality Federation, representing state-level LGBT rights organizations. PFLAG believes that working together as one united coalition with both LGBT-related organizations along with groups committed to the progressive movement as a whole is an overwhelmingly positive action to help amplify LGBT policy priorities. A fragmented, cleaved movement made by different associations with the same aspirations is much less powerful than a consolidated, cooperative effort, and we are looking forward to displaying commitment to such a commitment on October 2nd. We hope to see you there!
For more information on how you can participate, visit One Nation Working Together here.
This post was written by Eric VanDreason, the newest edition to PFLAG National’s Policy Team. To learn more about Eric and his role at the National Office, please visit our staff page here.