The White House and the NAACP at Netroots Nation
On this final day of the Netroots Nation conference, Gautam Raghavan, White House liaison to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community joined the LGBT caucus and shared the President’s LGBT Pride month proclamation with participants. He also spoke on the panel “Winning Without a Vote: Working with Federal Agencies to Advance a Progressive Agenda.”
Brad Jacklin, Task Force project director moderated the panel giving an intro on the regulatory process and some of the areas where LGBT people have seen concrete change. Maya Rupert, federal policy director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights focused on the progress made on housing discrimination protections, specifically the new rule from HUD announced earlier this year. Emily Hecht-McGowan, director of public policy for Family Equality Council, talked about her work on changes to federal forms and the real impact that changes to simple questions has on families. She mentioned multiple victories including one very recent win that included a change the Department of Homeland Security made to Customs Declarations Forms.
Kellan Baker, health policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, emphasized the importance of data collection and the work that has been done to implement the Affordable Care Act. Gautam Raghavan emphasized the importance of people’s stories to changing hearts and minds in Congress and helping to make changes in the administration, while highlighting the many advancements for LGBT people that have occurred during the Obama Administration.
For the closing Netroots Nation plenary, the White House shared a video message from President Obama which you can watch here. NAACP President Ben Jealous also addressed Netroots Nation and implored everyone to work together to stand up against injustice. The NAACP recently endorsed marriage equality and the Task Force will be marching on June 17 with the NAACP to end stop and frisk.
Finally, Van Jones with Rebuild the Dream closed out the conference, also urging our movements to work together as a united progressive movement to create change, with emphasis on getting out the vote and winning the budget battle in December. We’ll be joining Rebuild the Dream at the Take Back the American Dream Conference June 18-20, in Washington, DC.
Next year’s Netroots Nation conference will be held June 20-23 in San Jose, Calif.