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|Georgia Equality to offer free citizen advocacy training|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|January 08, 2013 15:09|
Georgia Equality, the state's largest LGBT advocacy organization, will host a free advocacy / lobby training event at the Phillip Rush Center on Sat., Jan. 12.
The event is aimed at teaching participants to effectively communicate with elected leaders on the local, state and federal levels. The program is free to attend, but pre-registration is required.
“For the last four years, we’ve seen a softening of some of the hard attitudes toward the LGBT community,” Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said last week. “We’ve been able to pass bills. HIV prevention, anti-bullying, we’ve been able to consistently fight back against anti-gay and anti-transgender legislation that different lawmakers have expressed interest in trying to introduce.”
The Phillip Rush Center is located at 1530 DeKalb Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307.
The 2013 legislative session under the iconic Gold Dome begins Monday, Jan. 14.
The top priority for Georgia Equality in the upcoming session will be introducing and passing a LGBT state employment protection bill that would prevent state employees from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. A similar bill introduced last year received some bipartisan support but faltered in committee.
Other bills with LGBT impact include HB 12, a hate crimes bill, and HB 16, a bill that would require primary and secondary institutions of education to issue annual reports on incidents of bullying. Both bills have been prefiled by Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta), one of three openly lesbian lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly.
Other goals for Georgia Equality include expanding Georgia's Medicaid program, which could help the state permenantly eliminate its AIDS Drugs Assistance Program waiting list.
To register for the training, please click here.
Top photo: Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham (file)
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