Arts & Entertainment
Hungry for Change, Learn and Vote!
Originally printed 8/2/2012 (Issue 2031 - Between The Lines News)
Hungry 4 Equality struck a chord as soon as it was announced. During this political season many state and city politicians - in particular extreme Republicans - have been relentlessly attacking our community, it is a much-needed proactive step that resonates with many folks ready for direct action.
Affirmations Executive Director David Garcia and his counterparts in seven other agencies across the state have finally said ENOUGH! They have united under the Community Center Network banner to mobilize and bring much needed attention to the public about the assault on LGBT neighbors, co-workers and family members who have suffered at the hands of elected officials in our state.
For the next 100 days, 24 hours at a time, individuals and groups will join the hunger strike housed at Affirmations Community Center in Ferndale. Visitors, strikers and supporters will see a display of the most heinous politicians, posted in the window of Affirmations and dubbed the Equality Rights Hall of Shame.
And shameful they are.
As this hunger strike moves forward, leading up to the Nov. 6 election, an election that includes an opportunity to elect a new state House of Representatives, seat three new Michigan Supreme Court Justices, and the next President of the U.S., this hunger strike hits at exactly the right moment. LGBT families in our state can no longer simply sit passively by and suffer the consequences of discriminatory laws that will not protect us in employment, housing, public accommodation, marriage equality and adoption rights.
As Garcia said in BTL's news coverage, Michigan ranks at the lowest rung of the ladder nationally when it comes to how its LGBT citizens are treated.
As you think about the long-term consequences of doing nothing, instead choose to use this energized moment to promise to do something that helps educate and move voters to the polls Nov. 6. Affirmations has a community engagement area set up where you can participate in phone banking while dropping in to offer support to people who are willing to give up a few calories for equality. All the community centers involved will have voter education projects. Wherever you live, you can engage and make a difference.
And the strike was not the only energized base we saw during the past week. Hotter Than July was in action with its "Stand Up & Be Counted" project. HTJ attendees got to meet activist and actor Jonathan Del Arca, who was working in Michigan this past weekend on behalf of Team Obama.
BTL is so grateful for the spirit that our statewide community is exhibiting. With energy and commitment, we can educate ourselves and really make an urgent and important change in November.
In the meantime, please remember to get out and vote next Tuesday, Aug. 7. BTL has a list of endorsements for the primaries in select races where we can make a huge difference.