Notes from the LGBTQ Rights Committee - Shore Area NOW
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
The Shore Area NOW LBGTQ Rights Committee had their kick-off meeting on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 6:00pm in Eatontown, NJ. In attendance were: Teresa Falcone, Lynn Hansen, Aimee Rabino, Abbie Spector and Jill Stack.
The group began the meeting discussing all the issues that were of concern to them surrounding LGBTQ Rights:
· Shore Area NOW has lost its presence in the LGBTQ Community over the last decade. This presence needs to be regained to form coalitions, etc and momentum in working the issues.
· Risk of LGBTQ Rights (especially marriage) being rolled back due to the political climate.
· Medical Discrimination
· Employment and Workplace Discrimination
· LGBTQ Youth
o Bullying/Unsafe Schools/Cyber Bullying
o Negative Family Reactions
· Violence/Gay Bashing
· Challenges Facing LGBTQ Elders
· Worldwide LGBTQ Problems/Issues – Illegal in countries, imprisonment, torture, etc
The Committee (recognizing that not everything could be worked on at once) chose two issues as their priority issues to work on over the next few months:
1. Shore Area NOW has lost its presence in the LGBTQ Community over the last decade.
2. Risk of LGBTQ Rights (especially marriage) being rolled back due to the political climate.
The Committee turned those priority issues into goals:
1. Regain presence of Shore Area NOW in the LGBTQ Community (necessary for coalition building, etc).
2. Ensure LGBTQ Rights are not rolled back in this political climate.
Then the Committee assigned the following actions to achieve the above goals:
Regain presence of Shore Area NOW in the LGBTQ Community:
· Table at the NJ Pride Festival in Asbury Park on June 4, 2017.
o Teresa is the leader of this project. She will first assess whether there is enough member interest to help set up the booth in the morning, staff the booth during the day and tear down the booth late in the afternoon. Lynn will provide Teresa with the contact information of the LGBTQ Rights Committee so she can reach out to them. Abbie will reach out to the Chapter Membership via email asking if anyone would like to help. Lynn will ask Mariel to put a blip out for help on Facebook. We will decide by April 30th if there is enough interest to move forward. If not, we stop and try again next year.
o If there is enough interest, Teresa will lead this event using Lynn’s project plan as a management tool.
· Identify other LGBTQ events that Shore Area NOW can participate in to increase presence – Abbie – by 6/14/17 (next Committee Meeting).
Ensure LGBTQ Rights are not rolled back in this political climate:
· Identify what Federal and NJ legislation is being considered that will roll back LGBTQ rights – Jill – by 6/14/17 (next Committee Meeting). Abbie will provide Jill with the federal and state website that she uses to find bills.
The Committee then discussed groups that we could potentially form relationships with:
· Garden State Equality
· Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
· Lambda Legal
The Committee determined that more groups will surface and it will become clearer on who we want to work with as we evolve through time.
Lynn then shared the expectations that the Chapter will have on the LGBTQ Rights Committee as well as all Committees:
· Meeting Notes will be issued after each meeting.
· Status on direction and activities will be given at Chapter Meetings.
· Requests for help will be given to the Chapter when needed.
· Web site section on Committee will be kept up to date.
Abbie then shared the policies that National NOW has for committees:
· In public appearances, only elected leadership and/or previously agreed upon representatives may speak for the Chapter and/or NOW in public. Anyone may answer questions and say they are a member of NOW but are asked to voice their statement as “THEIR” opinion unless otherwise advised.
· Committee Members are expected to be members of National NOW. The normal fee is $35/year but a sliding scale is available and members can sign up with a minimum fee of $10/year.
The Committee then decided it was appropriate to meet every other month. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 6:00pm in Eatontown. Lynn will assess the possibility of using the Eatontown Library for future LGBTQ Rights Committee Meetings and then provide a future meeting schedule beyond June 14th.
Submitted by: Lynn Hansen