From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/enda-freedom-to-work-act_b_3534606.html
The marriage equality movement has been a success for a lot of reasons. One of them, no doubt, is branding and framing. And it’s time to learn from that and apply it to other battles, like the battle against employment discrimination, which has been a dismal failure. For almost two decades we’ve tried but failed to get federal workplace protections. If we truly believe that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should be free from fear of being fired at any moment or turned away from a job simply because of who they are, then we’ve got to, right now, get rid of the 20-year-old, dull and wretched terminology for the federal law we’re trying to pass and replace it with something vibrant and real, something that captivates and connects with the lives of every American.
It’s time for a rebranding. The president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Chad Griffin, following on the success of the “freedom to marry” movement that he helped advance rapidly, should get to work right away and change the name of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which will be voted on in the Senate in coming days, to the “Freedom to Work Act.”
The group Freedom to Work, launched by its current president Tico Almeida in 2011 to end workplace discrimination against LGBT people, clearly understood, by the choice of its name, the importance of messaging today. The term “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” has been around since the early ’90s, signed on to by HRC and congressional leaders who surely thought it was the hottest thing since Nintendo at the time, but like a lot of other things from 20 years ago, it is now outdated and, more importantly, out of sync with the American people. And the acronym “ENDA” just seems to make people’s eyes glaze over. While ENDA proponents have towed the same line year after year, marriage equality activists completely reimagined their entire movement. And they’re winning big. That’s not a coincidence.
“ENDA is not as new, as sexy, and frankly, I think the branding around ENDA is just terribly bad,” said Michael Crawford, director of online programs at Freedom to Marry and a man who’s mastered the messaging on marriage, speaking on a panel I moderated at the annual progressive activist conference Netroots Nation, which aired on my radio program two weeks ago. Crawford, speaking for himself as an activist and not as a rep of Freedom to Marry, pointed out that marriage is something that most Americans are raised to believe they want to do, and so marriage equality activists tapped into the public’s imagination. He said the same needs to be done on workplace protections.
Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/enda-freedom-to-work-act_b_3534606.html