|ACLU Paralegal Marissa Gonzalez at a Fair Wisconsin phone bank on Saturday|
Greetings from beeyootiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which really is very, very cute actually -- I'd always imagined it to be a very industrial, depressing city and I'm pleased to report that it's actually got a really nifty downtown, lots of darling neighborhoods, and some stunning architecture. The roads did seem to be under endless construction as we drove home from dinner last night, and we got lost for a good hour and a half. But aside from that Milwaukee is lovely, and the people are SO nice.
Anyway, several ACLU staffers from the New York and D.C. offices have taken time off work to come here to do get-out-the-vote volunteer work for Fair Wisconsin, the group fighting the anti-gay "marriage" amendment that will appear on Tuesday's ballot in the state of Wisconsin. Within an hour of landing this afternoon I was at a phone bank downtown, calling voters to remind them to vote against the amendment on Tuesday. On Sunday morning we're handing out literature at churches, then there's a break for the Packers game (the official state religion around these parts) and back for more phone banking or maybe some door-to-door work.
On Tuesday I'm going to be a team captain, whatever that means -- I think it entails driving around to various polling places to see whether the volunteers need anything and watching out for any irregularities that need to be reported (like a precinct claiming it's out of ballots or voter intimidation or anything like that).
Saturday night a group of us went out to dinner and I was seated next to a sweet elderly gentleman named Ray. Ray and his partner Richard came out of the closet just last year to add their voices to the opposition to the amendment. Richard died a few months ago at 81. In their 49 years together, he and Ray built the kind of loving and enduring relationship that anti-gay amendments like this one damage the most. Spending time with Ray was a great affirmation of what we're here for.
Wherever you are, PLEASE don't forget to vote on Tuesday.