While we stand around, twiddling our thumbs, waiting for the doorman to check his clipboard and open the velvet rope to let ENDA inside the House for markup, we have some extra time to pull out our cellphones and dial that cute Senator playing hard-to-get. There is, by the way, some interesting news on that markup postponement, and more to come, which I will review in my Weekly ENDA Update on Monday. Today's sweetheart is Senator Bill Nelson.
Senator Bill Nelson (the second sitting Congressmember to fly in space), has generally been a supporter of the LGBT community.
But where is he on ENDA? We don't know, because he's said he's undecided. We're at 56 likely yes votes in the Senate. Those last four are a bit of a challenge, though there are 9 possible yes votes according to my calculations. Senator Nelson is one of those possible yes votes.
Please call him today to ask for his support of S1584. Also, please share this info with your social networks by clicking on the "Share" link at the bottom of this post. There, you will see buttons to share this post instantly in less than a second with your Twitter and Facebook crowds. That will help get this message out far and wide.
Facts and contact info after the jump.
Sen. Nelson is a Democrat, and usually good on LGBT issues. For example, he has consistently voted for the hate crimes bill, unlike the disappointing vote by Sen. LeMieux last month to continue the Republican filibuster. However, constituents who contacted Senator Nelson's office back in June and July were told by his office that he is "undecided" on ENDA. We've heard nothing different as yet.
Interestingly, it was reported over the summer that Senator Nelson's formet adviser, Matt Nosanchuk, has joined the civil division of DOJ as a liaison to the LGBT community. Let's hope that Mr. Nosanchuk will talk to Senator Nelson to help him get on the right track.
Meanwhile, LGBT people have been meeting with Senator Nelson, and asking him to support the bill. The HRC "No Excuses" campaign issued a story about meeting with Senator Nelson's office in September. Senator Nelson unfortunately couldn't make the meeting, and so they met with Nelson's district director, Ms. Brown. Participants gave her high praise for being quite attentive.
I tried for some months this summer to schedule a meeting with Senator Nelson's office at the request of several Florida residents, as part of the Inclusive ENDA Facebook campaign, to talk to him about ENDA, but we couldn't even get an aide.
Meanwhile, I have been in contact with several groups in Florida that have been working on Senator Nelson with great vigor. But so far, Senator Nelson has remained mum. Please call and ask him to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, S1584.
If you're not sure what to say when you call, click here for a "Step-by-Step Script For Calling Legislators On ENDA."
You may get a staffer who is unaware of the Senator's position on ENDA. Take a moment to explain what it is, and to ask if he or she can get some information on the Senator's position. Tell us what they said in the comments below.
DC Phone: 202-224-5274
(Toll free DC Capitol line: 866-220-0044)
Ft. Myers 239-334-7760
Coral Gables 305-536-5999
West Palm Beach 561-514-0189
(Click here for email)