Last week Equality Illinois organized buses to Springfield so that we could talk to our legislators about the Civil Union Bill - SB1716 - that is currently in the House of Representatives.
My best friend, David, and I got up early last Thursday, 5:30AM, to met up with other activists at the Equality Illinois office on Halsted in Boystown to get on the bus to Springfield.
We watched a few movies on the way, played games, talked, made new friends and strategized on what we were going to say when we finally met our legislators.
CLICK THROUGH FOR THE REST OF THE STORY AND MY VIDEO LOG OF OUR JOURNEY
We arrived in Springfield right on schedule, met up with the other buses and sat down to a boxed lunch while the folks from Equality Illinois and State Representative Greg Harris instructed us on how to discuss the issue of Civil Unions with our elected officials. We got off a bit easy because our elected officials - Harry Osterman and Heather Steans, among others, already support the Civil Unions bill - but others had a more difficult time in getting their legislators ears to let them know how important this bill is.
Although the Senate was in recess the House of Representatives was in full swing and we had a chance to see the pomp and circumstance of the voting process and even got a chance to go onto the Senate Floor.
It's important that you talk to your legislators and let them know that the Civil Unions bill is important to you. You need to let your legislator put a face with the issue and have them tell you face-to-face that they don't think that the Civil Unions bill is important. You need to let them know that they represent YOU and that it is an important issue. Right now there are somewhere in the mid-50 YES votes, but we need to have a super-majority - somewhere in the high 60's, to get it passed. We are struggling with YES votes in the southern half of the state, so if you have friends that don't live in Chicago or Cook County then you need to forward this post to them so that they can get the information they need to talk to their legislators.