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Michigan Equality announces new goals, programs

By | 2018-01-15T17:15:35-05:00 February 1st, 2007|Opinions|

I am excited to announce some of our goals and programs for Michigan Equality. The purpose of a statewide LGBT centered political and legislative organization is simple: Equality for all Michigan Citizens. During the 2006 election cycle Michigan Equality began a process of internal renewal to more poignantly focus on the passage of pro-LGBT legislation and the election of pro-LGBT candidates. We hope to provide a needed vehicle for the LGBT unified political process. We have implemented three important stages: Identification, Education and Promotion.
Before there is an opportunity to educate we feel it is important to know the Michigan voting constituency. We have identified over 37,000 LGBT and allied individuals throughout the state. From this we know that just over 27,000 are active registered voters. We are working to identify patterns within this data to help develop literature and educational campaigns to elect LGBT-friendly candidates. Michigan Equality is also planning to increase the overall capacity of this database by 1/3 by years end.
Our educational programs will start online ( with monthly articles that address history, current events, community leaders and the current legislative progress. Through ally meet and education programs we will continue our outreach into religious organizations and non-lgbt organizations throughout the state. Finally we will be able to use our expanded database as a tool to educate the general population on the importance of LGBT equality.
Promotion of LGBT issues by Michigan Equality will center on legislative candidates and elected officials. This will be accomplished in part with a massive unified effort to create a statewide army of volunteers. We are working with leaders throughout the state to identify potential volunteers who would then be trained on basic campaign tactics, issue development, public speaking and volunteer recruitment. Issue lobbying efforts are also well under way and we have a constant presence in the legislature.
From its inception Michigan Equality has been a working partner with many statewide and community organizations. Our renewal process will continue to champion this unifying path. We have been meeting regularly with countless LGBT and ally organizations to plan strategies surrounding our unified legislative and campaign agenda. There are many more organizations that we need to contact and bring into the ongoing efforts. As an organized coalition we will succeed, Michigan Equality is here to help.
In February we will announce new Board members that have joined our organization. If you have interest serving in some capacity please contact (517) 484-5120.

Derek Smiertka
Executive director, Michigan Equality

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.