March 29, 2011
>On the Eve of GLSEN’s Lobby Day at Our Safe Schools Advocacy Summit
> A message from GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard (left, in photo) on the eve of lobby day at our Safe Schools Advocacy Summit in DC. For more on #SSAS, follow @glsen on Twitter. For more insight and commentary on the Safe Schools Movement, follow Eliza on Twitter @EByard.
I’ve just spent the day in DC with GLSEN staff, country music singer and author Chely Wright and a terrific delegation that will have more than *90* meetings on the Hill tomorrow to tell their stories and garner support for critical legislative progress in the form of the Safe Schools Improvement Act and Student Non-Discrimination Act.
As has become an annual tradition, Mara Keisling, founding Exective Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (hugging Eliza in photo), addressed the group at dinner, bringing humorous perspective to the work ahead. (For those who have never heard Mara speak, ask someone to tell you the “chifferobe story.” Classic legislative lobbying humor.) By the end of a long day of training, the delegation is well-prepared and generally needs a little laughter to help them remember that their most important task – to speak honestly from their own experience – is well within their grasp.
Our work is to bring individuals with stories to tell into contact with the people who need to hear them, and to prepare those folks to make the most of the moment. And with a delegation trained and a record number of meetings secured – most with key committee members – I’m very proud of the work that the team has done and of the remarkable people who have chosen to work with us this year.