Dear members, friends, and supporters,
How is it that we find ourselves in December? Where has 2011 gone? As I stare at my blank computer screen, I rewind through hundreds of cups of coffee, long hearings at the State Capitol, dozens of meetings, hundreds of phone calls, dozens of road trips, and empty hallways and staircases. As this rewind comes to a halt, I am filled with an intense sense of pride in the work that all of us have done.
We fought hard for safer Louisiana schools in the 2011 legislative session. Ultimately, the forces of intolerance and ignorance were too great for the Safe Schools Bill to pass, but the community mobilization and coalition-building that came out of that hard battle were the kind of results which will unquestionably bring us closer to victory in the near future. We worked with various groups and individuals all over the Louisiana to push for the Safe Schools Bill. On the day that the bill was heard in the House Education Committee, the room was filled with our friends from Spectrum of LSU, Capital City Alliance, and many others.
Perhaps not as loud as the fight for safer schools were our bills pushing for equality in the workplace and equal rights for all parents and families. All of these issues will remain close to our hearts as we hit the ground running in 2012, because we know that Louisiana cannot move forward until all of us are free, equal, and able to pursue our dreams, whether those dreams include raising a family, career success, or simply knowing that your child will be safe in school when you walk her to the bus in the morning.
Along with our legislative work, I have been working to develop chapters in Baton Rouge and Lafayette. We are very proud of our new Acadiana Chapter Chair, Robert Wilson, a fantastic entrepreneur and a huge asset to our organization. Along with the League of Women Voters, AOC Community Media, and our amazing Forum for Equality volunteers in Lafayette, Robert helped me to organize the Creative Economy Summit, which took place on November 9. The Summit was the kickoff event for a quarterly series of talks, panel discussions, and collaborations focusing on diversity, creativity, and innovation as major driving forces behind Lafayette’s economy. This event and series helps to bring people from all walks of life together to network and talk about how we can make Lafayette and Louisiana a better, more progressive, more prosperous, and more tolerant place for everyone.
I want to close by expressing my deepest gratitude to you, our friend and supporter. You helped to make this year possible by giving your energy, your resources, and your valuable time. Your donations put our tires on the road, our feet in the hallways, and the educational packets in our hands. We cannot do this without you. Thank you.
Southern Field Director