Note from Syd: I first met Tracy Greene at Camp Courage in 2009; in 2010, we served on the same organizing team for Marshall Ganzâ€™s Leadership, Organizing and Action class at the Kennedy School. These days, Tracy works for NPG/VAN, where she programs campaign finance software used by democrats and other progressive campaign. She also serves as Volunteer Coordinator at Vote For Equality. She lives with her wife and two dogs in the San Fernando Valley.
Dialing for Equality, Dialing for New York
by Tracy Greene
Volunteers from around the country made approximately 3,000 calls to New Yorker voters last week as part of a phonebank by New Yorkers United for Marriage, a coalition of organizations working for marriage equality in New York.
Bex Ahuja of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force estimated that 150 volunteers per day made calls on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week, the final days before the historic vote that made New York the sixth state (plus the District of Columbia) to legalize marriage equality.
Using Callfire, an online application, any volunteer with a computer and phone was able to call the constituents of undecided New York Senators. If the contacted constituent supported the bill, volunteers were able to transfer them directly to her or his senatorâ€™s office to leave a message.
â€œPeople from around the country were getting fired up about what was happening in the New York state Senate. Â As each day passed, more and more people contacted me asking for a way to help out,” said Ahuja, a Senior Field Organizer at the Task Force. â€œI was thrilled that the Human Rights Campaign made their remote access phone bank system available because as an organizer, it’s my job to always make taking action to create change more accessible to the community.”
New York is the largest state to legalize marriage equality. Â Following last week’s vote in New York, twice as many same-sex couples now live in jurisdictions where they can legally marry.
Syd Peterson contributed to this story.