Editor’s Note: GayRVA followed volunteer Holly Gordon on Tuesday during Equality Virginia’s Annual Lobby Day. She recaps her experience below.
This will be the 5th or 6th time I’ve attended Equality Virginia’s Lobby Day at the General Assembly. After this long, the years start to run together—small victories here and there, big hits at other times. It is the nature of grassroots organizations to be in flux. Equality Virginia manages to pull off the day with just two full time staff members and a whole lot of volunteers.
This year I was pleased to bring two of my students, from our newly formed, gay-straight alliance at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. Straight out of high school, they were brand new to the legislative process, but came along to all our morning meetings with legislators, even chiming in when they met with their own.
Each Lobby Day, you meet new people, ones who are taking a personal day to fight for causes they feel strongly about. You see the regulars too – those of us who’ve been fighting the good fight for awhile, you high five, give a knowing nod as you pass in the halls.
My group saw about 15-20 legislators on Tuesday. We visited those whose constituents were too far away to travel, and had fiery conversations with our own. One of those fiery conversations will hopefully lead to a YES vote on the non-discrimination in state hiring bill that is due to be heard on the Senate floor. After a 12-hour day, I’ll take that as a victory.