One Anchorage campaign to begin gathering signatures
by Melissa S. Green[caption id="attachment_4832" align="alignright" width="384" caption="One Anchorage spokesperson Trevor Storrs describes the One Anchorage campaign at a community forum Wednesday evening."][/caption]
About 50 people gathered last night in Waldron Hall at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Anchorage to learn about One Anchorage, the campaign by Equality Works to add sexual orientation and transgender identity to the Anchorage equal rights code through a ballot initiative. The initiative, if successful, will provide the same legal protections against discrimination already provided in Anchorage on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, physical disability, and mental disability. The One Anchorage campaign was announced on September 1.
The meeting at St. Mary’s was led by One Anchorage spokesperson Trevor Storrs. Among the attendees were former state senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate Arliss Sturgulewski, initiative sponsor and co-chair of the One Anchorage campaign, and Rev. Michael Burke of St. Mary’s, also a campaign sponsor. The meeting was what promises to be the first of many community forums to inform the LGBTQA community about One Anchorage and how to get involved. Members of the One Anchorage Youth Committee are already at work to get university and other youth active in the campaign through existing LGBTQA clubs like The Family at University of Alaska Anchorage and Spectrum at Alaska Pacific University. Interested people of whatever age can learn more by contacting the One Anchorage campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (907) 263-2006. One Anchorage expects to have its website up shortly.[caption id="attachment_4834" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Volunteers sign up to help at One Anchorage Community Forum, September 14, 2011"][/caption]
The biggest news of the evening: the Initiative Application and Proposed Petition filed with the Anchorage municipal clerk on September 1 has been approved, and One Anchorage can now begin gathering signatures. The campaign has 90 days to gather the nearly 6,000 signatures needed to put the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative on the ballot for the April 3, 2012 municipal election. Voters registered to vote in the Municipality of Anchorage can sign a petition anytime before December 12, 2011.
Bent Alaska will continue to cover the One Anchorage campaign as it unfolds.
Petition title: Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative
Proposed Petition: Shall the current Municipal Code sections providing legal protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, physical disability, and mental disability be amended to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity?
See the full application for the ballot initiative in PDF format. The application includes the petition language and proposed changes to Title 5 of the Anchorage Municipal Code, adding sexual orientation and transgender identity to the list of personal characteristics for which it is prohibited to discriminate in employment, housing, financial practices, education, and practices of the Municipality of Anchorage. The personal characteristics already included in Title 5 are: race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, and physical or mental disability.Tags: Arliss Sturgulewski, Equality Works, One Anchorage, Rev. Michael Burke, Spectrum (APU), St. Mary's Episcopal Church (Anchorage), The Family at UAA, Trevor Storrs