Effective advocacy enables individuals and organizations to shape public debate on important issues. It also ensures that we have a voice in the policies that impact our daily lives. If ever there was a time for the LGBTQ+ community to work together with a shared voice of inclusion, this is it. In 2017, LGBTQ+ Community Centers across the nation partnered with CenterLink to form ActionLink – the Center Action Network.
ActionLink enables LGBTQ+ community centers, including Affirmations, and the people they serve to act as effective and powerful champions, protecting the social services, health care, programming, and funding necessary for our communities to thrive. We advise our network of threats and changes to policies affecting the LGBTQ+ population, then offer quick, simple ways to take action.
Combat Racial Violence
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Those words, written over 30 years ago by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remind us that indifference can never bridge the divide of hate. And, today, they should serve as a call to action to all of us, and to the Movement for LGBTQ+ equality.
This spring has been a stark and stinging reminder that racism, and its strategic objective, white supremacy, is as defining a characteristic of the American experience as those ideals upon which we claim to hold our democracy — justice, equality, liberty.
We recognize we cannot remain neutral, nor will awareness substitute for action. The LGBTQ+ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected. We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.
We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter. Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.
Click here to watch the powerful weekly update from Affirmations’ Executive Director, Dave Garcia, where he shares his thoughts regarding the racial violence happening in our nation.
Get Out the Vote
The LGBTQ+ community includes people from all racial, ethnic, gender, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. That means we are uniquely positioned to improve voter turnout and make a difference in election results.
This year’s presidential election has high stakes for the LGBTQ+ community with laws around anti-discrimination protections in housing, education, employment, health care, and more hanging in the balance. If you aren’t registered to vote yet, get started by clicking here.
Having ID that doesn’t match your gender identity or presentation should not affect your right to cast a ballot, in any state. But with increasingly strict voter ID laws, trans people may face barriers. The National Center for Transgender Equality can help if you click here.
#GetOutTheVote: Michigan LGBTQ+ Community Centers Network Virtual Event – Watch Now
The Michigan LGBTQ+ Community Centers Network hosted a virtual National Voters Registration Day webinar.
Learn more about the voter registration process, overcoming barriers to voting, and how you can get involved in the process. The program will be followed by a panel Q&A with LGBTQ+ leaders from across Michigan.
Help with Election Day
Election workers are democracy’s Most Valuable Players. Democracy is a team sport and every Election Day, thousands of Michigan citizens come together to assist voters and process ballots.
This year, in both a statewide primary on Aug. 4 and the presidential election in November, very large numbers of citizens are expected to vote by mail and also at polling locations. One of the best ways you can help today is by signing up to serve as an election worker on Election Day to assist voters and count ballots. Election workers are the front lines of our democracy.
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, democracy will march on in August and November. Election workers are pivotal to the success of these upcoming elections and will adhere to health guidelines and best practices to keep all staff and voters safe.
If you are a registered voter in Michigan looking to do your part in this critical moment, learn more and sign up at Michigan.gov/DemocracyMVP. If you’re not yet registered to vote but would like to get involved, you can register to vote online (at Michigan.gov/VoterRegistration) and then sign up to serve as an election worker. You will be paid for your time on Election Day, and you will be a crucial part of the team helping to protect and defend Michigan’s elections.
Apply today and join the team. Our democracy needs you now more than ever.