Thursday, February 28, 2008
Just Finished The House Protest
I thanked Republican, Rep. Jim Abler for his sacrifice on the transportation override vote. He said, "see we can agree on some things. I respect your effort here...you're brave too."
There was an anti-gun group in the rotunda today. One of them had a button that said, "Minnesotans For Not Being Shot."
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
House Meets Thursday at 10:00; Senate at 11:00
I'll be there at 9:30 and 10:30. Maybe there'll be pictures soon if I figure out how to use my phone.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Monday 100% Increase In Protest Size
Things were quiet as usual on the Senate side with just a few lobbyists around. Matt was on one side of the stairs, me on the other. Senator Mua came up all smiles and said, "It's about time you got somebody else to join you!" She's great. The two gay senators, Scott Dibble and Paul Koering came up the stairs together today. That was nice to see. I'm not sure why. Keith, the opposition lobbyist was there with about a ten year old boy. Maybe a grandkid he was showing around.
After lunch, we arrived at the House to a scene of dozens of strangers with protest signs, some of them in MY SPOT. They were there for the transportation bill veto override. We found a vacant piece of real estate across the hall from where I usually stand and "unfurled." Once the Teamsters who were around us saw what we were selling, "SAME SEX SAME RIGHTS" and "MAKE MY FAMILY LEGAL," there was suddenly more room for us to spread out. The television stations were there and a Star Tribune photog took down our names for a picture he had taken of us. I hope I wasn't picking my nose. Maybe we'll be in tomorrow.
The protesters rushed over to the entrance the Republicans use and just stood silently in the hall, waving their signs as the Repugs filed by but when the DFL came in they began shouting slogans as the Dems snaked through the gauntlet of angry transportation advocates. Wasn't it the Republicans who were standing in the way of the bill?
The House got started a half hour or so late and my meter ran out, but the excitement was worth hanging around for.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Transportation Day At The Capitol
FFA jackets filled the Capitol today. Not sure what they were trying to do as they moved around the Capitol in packs. They were well behaved and seemed generally shy and kind of giggly. Of course, the shy and giggly stuff could have just been around me.
A number of people came up and asked if I was there because as gay marriage bill was being considered today. No. I had the graphic shower curtain today with the couple symbol equals couple symbol design.
Sen. Scott Dibble told me he's found a way to tie GLBT issues to transportation and would provide me with the documentation. Should be interesting.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Wednesday's Rowdy Rotunda
I didn't do the Senate today. The 2:15 start time was just too inconvenient.
Tomorrow, the House meets at 10:00 and the Senate at 11:00. I'll be there for both.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Tuesday Live Capitol Blog
Monday, February 18, 2008
House Meets Tuesday, Noon
Blogging Live From The Capitol
Monday At The Senate
There were the usual faces with the usual exchanges but there was one anomoly. A state trooper sweeping through the area came across an unattended leather bag. He asked around briefly to see if it belonged to anyone but there were no takers so he swiftly exited the area with the bag proclaiming, "looks like I got a bag." Frankly, it was a little scary. I was happy when he was out of sight. It probably just belonged to a lobbyist.
Well, I better get back to the Capitol to do the House.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Senate Meets Monday, 11:00; House 12:30
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Valentines Day Capitol Blogging
Senator Don Betzold was the first person up the stairs who greeted me and asked how I was doing. I said, "Good morning" and "Still waiting for my civil rights," to which he responded,"yup," while looking straight ahead marching up the stairs, briefcase in hand. He's certainly a strong supporter and I wasn't harrassing him but wanted to remind him and others why I'm still there. It was uncomfortable.
Next, the openly Republican, Gay Senator, Paul Koering came smiling up the stairs. He shook my hand and asked how I was. I said, "I'm still a second class citizen and so are you." We laughed and then his phone rang so that was that. Many other senators passed by and welcomed me back.
Later as I had coffee at a St. Paul Caribou, a young man came up to my table and said he liked my "MARRIAGE EQUALITY" sticker and that it was very appropriate for Valentines Day. I had plenty of extras in my pocket so I asked if he would like one. He as very happy get it and said he would look for a permanent place to stick it.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Video At State Of The State Protest
I suppose it was a mistake to ask the police inside the Civic Center where the protests were taking place. Once inside, I probably could have just unfurled the shower curtain in a conspicuous location in the lobby of the Civic Center where people were registering and milling about, but no, I had to ask. The cops were nice though. I needed to use the bathroom before I went out to the protest gulag so the officer introduced himself, escorted me to the washroom and then out to the other side of the street. He told me that if anyone gave me trouble to let him know. I thanked him and told him I would need to go to the van to get a warmer hat, which I did. There were no barricades up at that time, but when I came back wearing my furry hat, my outdooor "free speech" prison had been fully constructed.
At first, I didn't know what the barricades were for so I stood in front of them for maximum visibility. Then a cop came across the street to tell me that I would have to stand behind them. Oh, I see. The barricades are here for me....one person with a shower curtain.
Protesting State Of The State
I did get some footage I will post later when I get to the laptop.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Opening Session Lively
The Welfare Rights group was there as well, and they were all over the Capitol. First they were outside, then marching in the rotunda and wound up in front of the House chambers, forming a gauntlet for legislators to pass through... and were they loud. They were organized and rehersed and it was impressive. I joined in some of their chants.
I spoke with lobbyist, Dave Engstrom, about Project 515, the organization that is trying to erase statutory inequities between same and opposite sex couples. He says it is being well received by legislators.
I'll try to have some pictures up soon.
Preparing For Protest
Well, I've got the shower curtains, stickers and a charged-up parking meter card so I'm good to go. Report later.
Monday, February 04, 2008
2008 Legislative Session Opens Next Tuesday, Feb. 12
As usual, anyone who would like to join me is encouraged to do so. I will have stickers and extra signs for at least a dozen people. The shower curtain du jour will probably be "LET ME MARRY MY PARTNER OF 16 YEARS", but "16" will be crossed out and "17" written above, letting the legislators know that yet another year of official bigotry has been added to Minnesota's history.