Updates from NCTE: March 2009
Lobby Day: April 26-28
|Eric and Justin work
on Lobby Day
People from all over the country will be joining us for our Lobby Day, April 26-28. This is shaping up to be our largest Lobby Day ever, with over 75 people already registered. But we need your voice—members of Congress from every district and every state need to hear from their constituents about the need for legislation to protect transgender people from discrimination and violence. This year, Congress will consider bills that directly impact transgender people, our family, friends and allies—we need them to hear from us about why it is so vital to enact these laws.
We have more activities and learning opportunities at this year’s event than ever before. Here are some highlights:
- Policy Conference, with expanded training for experienced advocates and new visitors.
- Social opportunities, including our annual awards reception and a closing reception
- Events on Capitol Hill
Transgender Religious Summit: April 26-28
Join us for the third annual Transgender Religious Leadership Summit, with keynote speaker Kate Bornstein; co-sponsored with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, partnering with the Unitarian Universalist Association Washington Office for Advocacy. The Summit will feature new workshops developed by community members that address very practical ways in which people of faith are making policy differences. In addition, we’ll be joining NCTE’s Lobby Day to speak with our members of Congress. Let’s help educate them about people of faith who support transgender equality!
Chilean Trans Activist Visits NCTE
|NCTE Staff with Andrés (in yellow)|
Andrés Rivera Duarte, leader of Organización de Transexuales por la Dignidad de la Diversidad, a transgender advocacy and support organization in Chile, visited the NCTE offices as part of a trip to the United States. During his visit, Andrés and NCTE staff members attended meetings on Capitol Hill, went to a local transmen’s support group, and toured DC. This was an important opportunity to share information about differences in legal processes, medical treatment, and more. Thank you our allies at Global Rights for their help in making connections with Andrés and to Julie Kruse, Policy Director at Immigration Equality for invaluable help with translation.
Census 2010 and Transgender People
The 2010 Decennial Census is gearing up and folks are wondering whether our community will be counted. Because the law requires that the final questionnaire for the census be prepared two full years in advance, we have a clear idea already of how the finalized questionnaire does or does not impact transgender people and our households. NCTE has prepared a brief policy paper on the subject which is available at http://nctequality.org/Resources/Census0309.pdf.
In this paper we discuss the every-ten year decennial census as well as other studied conducted by the Census Bureau that may have more impact on transgender people and our families.
Administration to Rescind Dangerous “Provider Conscious” Regulations
The Obama Administration announced last week that it intends to begin a new rulemaking process to rescind a very dangerous last minute rule from the Bush Administration. The rule, which was aimed initially at ideologically further restricting birth control, abortion and other stigmatized healthcare, would have allowed healthcare workers to refuse to treat any patient with any condition because the worker objected on religious or personal grounds. It is clear that if it remains in effect, transgender people could be denied medically necessary care at even greater frequency than we are currently.
Read more background on the “Provider Conscious” Regulations.
Briefing held on Capitol Hill
On February 27, the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, led by Representatives Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis, held a briefing on LGBT issues on Capitol Hill. More than 70 congressional staffers attended the event where representatives of various LGBT organizations presented information about a wide range of issues facing our communities. Mara Keisling, NCTE’s Executive Director, addressed the need for Congressional action on issues ranging from healthcare reform and ID Documents. She joined colleagues from the Global Equality Council, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Immigration Equality, AIDS Action, National Coalition for LGBT Health, The Task Force, GLSEN and the Human Rights Campaign, each presenting a different topic of concern to LGBT people.
Financial Growth & Stability
|Steph working on the finances|
NCTE has seen strong growth and increased stability in 2008. With growth comes the need for replacing outgrown systems and building ever greater accountability. Thanks to grants from the David Bohnett Foundation, we are launching a new membership management system for NCTE and a computer server that we will share with several other LGBT organizations in our office building. Additionally, this month we are in the midst of our first full review our financial policies and procedures. During the first week of March, Berry Group CPA’s have been pouring over NCTE’s financial books, inspecting our accounting methods, and comparing our procedures to Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures (GAAP). The report that they will issue when they are finished will give our Board of Directors and our donors an added assurance that NCTE exhibits the highest level of fiduciary responsibility. We will include the financial report from this review as part of our annual report for 2008, issued this spring. The Gill Foundation has been especially generous in their support of NCTE and our efforts to ensure maximum financial functioning and accountability.
NCTE Staff Update
NCTE is working hard to provide adequate staffing to meet the incredible opportunity that we have right now to make lasting policy changes to positively impact the lives of transgender people. Here’s what is going on around the office:
We will be hiring a Policy Analyst to work on the many policy issues we are seeking to change. The Policy Analyst will work closely with NCTE’s Executive Director to advocate on federal issues affecting transgender people; monitor federal and state policy; and educate decision-makers, the media, our members and the general public. The Policy Analyst will work to ensure that the lives and needs of transgender people are reflected in our federal laws and policies by addressing issues such as employment non-discrimination, hate crimes legislation, health care reform, privacy & documentation and many others. A job description and additional information is available here. Questions can be directed to our Managing Director, Stephanie White.
Justin Tanis has increased his hours from part time to full time and has relocated to be back in our Washington office as our Community Education and Outreach Manager. He is responsible for diverse projects such as Moving Forward Together, our annual Policy Conference and Lobby Day; events; the development and distribution of resources; our webpage; and our outreach in local communities. You can reach Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Intern Eric Nguyen|
Eric Nguyen, our Spring intern, is a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he majors in sociology and LGBT studies, with an emphasis on the sociology of knowledge and sexuality and gender studies. His activism interests include the empowerment of minority populations, such as people of color, the working class, transgender people, intersexed individuals, and other historically and institutionally marginalized groups. Eric is helping out with Lobby Day, and a variety of community organizing projects.
Celebrate National LGBT Health Week
Celebrate National LGBT Health Awareness Week by taking good care of yourself. Too many transgender people neglect important preventive health care. We want our community to be active and healthy! The week is sponsored by our ally, The National Coalition of LGBT Health, and their theme this year is “Everyone Deserves Good Health.”