This past week I got to spend some time in the western half of the state, meeting a lot of our coalition partners to better collaborate on advocacy efforts as the non-discrimination bill makes its way through the statehouse. On the heels of amazingly successful hearings on the bill in Pittsburgh, local activists were fired up and engaged to see the bill passed this session.
My trip culminated in an event organized by PERSAD Center in Washington County, about an hour south of Pittsburgh. Washington is a beautiful town—a small city center, gorgeous landscapes, and, yes, a community of LGBT and allied folks working to make their town more open and accepting.
PERSAD Center received a $10,000 donation from Comcast in support of their outreach work outside Pittsburgh and I spoke and took questions about how people can more effectively advocate for LGBT-friendly legislation here in Pennsylvania. About 30 people attended the event and left energized and excited to make a difference.
For me, these are my favorite types of event. Go to the middle of nowhere and turn right— that’s where we were, and that’s where we’re making inroads. Although 14 municipalities in the state protect LGBT people from discrimination, 80% of people in Pennsylvania ARE NOT COVERED. People in Washington ARE NOT COVERED. The fight for LGBT equality has moved beyond Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Thank you so much to PERSAD for inviting me and having me speak. The event was amazing and truly inspirational.
(That’s me, obviously, with the Comcast ladies and Betty Hill, Executive Director of PERSAD)