Update from OccupyEquality Nebraska!

Update from OccupyEquality Nebraska Community Meeting!

We met on January 3, 2012 at 7:30pm at Mcfoster’s Natural Kind Café. We discussed officially building a partnership with the LGBTQ civil rights group Forward Equality. That proposal was tabled until our next community meeting when we have a more diverse meeting. Instead, we took up working with Forward Equality on specific topics such as the LGBTQ Legal Protections rally at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the National Gay-Straight Alliance Day. The community meeting agreed to work with Forward Equality on these specific topics.

The LGBTQ Legal Protections rally will be on January 24, 2012 from 12pm to 1:30pm in front of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.  Forward Equality decided to hold this rally at the Chamber of Commerce because last year with City Council member Ben Gray introduced the nondiscrimination ordinance they opposed it. Ben Gray is this year introducing his nondiscrimination ordinance on February 7, 2012. Forward Equality is working on creating a solidarity rally on February 7, 2012 for the actual introduction of the employment nondiscrimination ordinance.

The National Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day rally will be on January 25, 2012 near the Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge from 3:30pm to 5:00pm in Omaha Nebraska. GSA Day is a time to strengthen the bond between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and straight allies (LGBTQA) and in particular recognize and honor student organizations called Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). These student-led groups work to educate their peers to stop homophobia, biphobia, queerphobia, transphobia, and violence in schools and colleges throughout the country and world. This day will serve as a “day of action” for these student groups employ creative ways to be visible. Honor those who have shown dedication in ensuring all students feel safe and supported, and prepare for the future. GSA day in Omaha is particularly relevant because the city still does not protect persons based on actual or perceived gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Forward Equality and local schools will join the following groups in supporting and celebrating the event: One Colorado, Iowa Pride Network, Washington State GSA Network, GLSEN, Georgia Equality, PFLAG, Campus Pride, GSA Network, Mathew Shepard Foundation, etc.

A member of OccupyEquality Nebraska Ken Riter has organized a protest for Sunday January 8, 2012 at 9am at the UNO Alumni Center because the Dominion Covenant church meets there on Sundays. The Dominion Covenant church is an anti-LGBTQ hate group. He asked OccupyEquality Nebraska to endorse the protest. The community meeting agreed to endorse it. He is some talk from Ken’s event:

“We are protesting the Dominion Covenant Church being allowed to conduct business on or near the UNO campus. Meet on north side of Dodge st directing across Dodge from the UNO Thompson Center.

http://progressiveoasis.com/2011/12/29/anti-lgbt-hate-group-conducts-church-services-at-uno

Signs expressing a distaste for the death penalty, bigotry, hate are welcome. Also, any signs supporting equal treatment for the LGBTQ community would also be greatly appreciated.”

The Community meeting agreed that OccupyEquality Nebraska should have at least two supporters at every Occupy Omaha General Assembly to help ensure the respect and enforcement of the nondiscrimination clause.

Direct Action against the Salvation Army! We consented on the creation of a comprehensive direct action campaign against the Salvation Army. It was discussed how the Salvation Army is a anti-LGBTQ hate group. The first phase of this comprehensive direct action campaign will be a direct action social media campaign against JCPenney for supporting the Salvation Army. It was agreed that we should cut off the Salvation Army’s supporters before we directly attack the Salvation Army for their anti-LGBTQ hateful views and actions.

Mika Covington is the organizer working on leading the campaign action JCPenney as a former JCP employee. Here are some words from Mika Covington:

“In 2011, JCPenney scored a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. During 2011, JCP formed a partnership with the Salvation Army that happens to b an Anti-LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) hate group.  Thus, HRC should reduce JCP’s score, nevertheless HRC has not taken any action against JCP, and even worse HRC has not raised any concerns about JCP’s actions!

I propose as an active member of OccupyEquality that we establish a direct action campaign against JCPenney for their support and partnership with the Salvation Army! I believe that this direct action campaign should include a boycott of JCP and a petition against JCP to pull their support and end their partnership with the Salvation Army.

I propose that in addition to the direct action campaign we should establish a social media campaign against JCPenney! I believe that this campaign should include but not be limited to posting on JCP’s Facebook page demanding that JCP remove their support of the Salvation Army and we should share their link while stating what JCP is doing.”

At the end of the meeting, we consented upon working on a Fuck the Police Demonstration and March in Solidarity with Occupy Oakland’s event.  Here is the info from their event:

“Public event for Occupy Oakland Bridge Caucus. Saturday at 7pm until Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 11:30pm. FUCK THE POLICE and fuck failbook for not allowing it to be used as an event name!

*** This event is being called by the Occupy Oakland Tactical Action Committee. It will continue weekly. ***

The Oakland Police Department has harassed and brutalized Occupy Oakland and participants in the vigil. Camps and liberated foreclosed building have been raided and shut down. OOers at the vigil have been arrested for as little as standing nearby when the police decided to raid, all the way up to the ridiculous charge of lynching. People have been physically assaulted by those supposed to protect and serve, but only do so in the interest of the 1%.

With Dozen of our comrades having been arrested in the past couple of weeks, and culminating in the city’s revocation of the vigil’s permit and the immediate threat of another police raid to clear the plaza, the time has come to rise up and let them know what we think of them and that we will no longer meekly accept their violationsof our civil and human rights.

1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612”

Direct Action Against JCPenney!

In 2011, JCPenney scored a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. During 2011, JCP formed a partnership with the Salvation Army that happens to be an anti-LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) hate group. Thus, HRC should reduce JCP’s score, nevertheless HRC has not taken any action against JCP, and even worse HRC has not raised any concerns about JCP’s actions.

I propose as active member of OccupyEquality that we establish a direct action campaign against JCPenney for their support and partnership with the Salvation Army. I believe that this direct action campaign should include a boycott of JCP and a petition against JCP to pull their support and end their partnership with the Salvation Army.

I propose that in addition to the direct action campaign we should take up a social media campaign against JCPenney. I believe that this campaign should include but not limited to posting on JCP’s Facebook page demanding that JCP remove their support of the Salvation Army and we should share their links stating what JCP is doing.

I propose that while we take direct action against JCPenney we protest their working conditions and their low wages. I believe we must do this because of the way many good employees are treated while working for JCP and because of how low their wages were. I personally have experience in those said hostile working condition. I was hired at a JCP store in August of 2010 and was forced to quit in November of 2011. During my time at JCP, as an openly transgender-genderqueer employee, fellow employees and management without means of remedy constantly faced me with harassment and discrimination.  I also happened to have a lower wage then my fellow employees. Nevertheless, we I did file harassment and discrimination reports, I was informed that I simply should no express myself at work while my fellow employees were allowed to do so.

JCPenney openly harasses and discriminates against persons for being transgender-genderqueeer. We must end these harmful actions. Rise against these corporations.

National Gay-Straight Alliance Day

Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) have been around for decades working to keep high school and college campuses safe and welcoming for students regardless of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The persons who start these student run clubs and organizations are extremely brave. They put themselves out there when they confront the ignorance and bigotry that is rampant on high school and college campuses.

Therefore, we all should celebrate and honor those Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) that have pushed towards a more accepting and tolerant environments on high school and college campuses. Thus, the Iowa Pride Network created the Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day to celebrate and honor GSAs. This year they have worked to create the first National Gay-Straight Alliance Day. This day is again to celebrate and honor GSAs.

National Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day is coming up and many organizations and school clubs are going to participate in solidarity.  One of those organizations is Forward Equality. Forward Equality is a regional non-profit (501 (c) 4 pending) that works with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied (LGBTQA) youths/adults to promote civil and economic equality and respect. Forward Equality is hosting a GSA Day rallying in solidarity with National GSA Day. The rally will be in Omaha, Nebraska near the Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge from 3:00pm to 5:00pm on January 25, 2012. Forward Equality is also asking the Mayor of Omaha to proclaim January 25, 2012 National GSA Day.

GSA Day in Omaha is particularly relevant because the city still does not protect persons based on actual or perceived gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation.   Forward Equality and local schools will join the following groups in supporting and celebrating the event: One Colorado, Iowa Pride Network, Washington State GSA Network, GLSEN, Georgia Equality, PFLAG, Campus Pride, GSA Network, Mathew Shepard Foundation, etc. “GSA Day is the perfect time to point out the importance of safe spaces for students. Safe social interaction is key to their educational experience, and their emotional health in and out of school,” said Jon von Kampen the President of UNO’s Queers and Allies.

Mika’s Cystinosis

Mika’s Cystinosis

By Mika Covington

At age ten months, I became very ill and rushed into the Emergency Room. The doctors there diagnosed me with dehydration and failure to thrive. In the ER, I went through a system of tests including bone marrow taken from my hip. The doctors concluded from the tests they performed on my already weak body that I had Nephropathic Cystinosis. This was a very scary moment for my family, they had no idea what Cystinosis was, let alone Nephropathic Cystinosis. Later that evening, the doctors took my parents aside and explained to them what the illness was and that they did not know enough to effectively treat it; the doctor told them the news that they did not want to hear, that I might not make it.

In the next couple of years, my family met Dr. William H. Gahl. I owe my life to Dr. William Gahl from the National Institutes of Health. I began seeing hir in 1992. Dr. Gahl shortly before meeting me discovered that Cystagon and some other medications are successful in treating Cystinosis. I started the Cystagon treatment in 1992 during my first visit to the NIH. It is because of his research that I am still living. These medications are what keep me alive. The first group of doctors I saw when I was ten months old did not believe I would live to be six years old. They were right; I would not have made it if I did not have the Cystagon.

Nephropathic Cystinosis has become part of my life. I look at Cystinosis as a tool. I have been able to educate myself on so many things that most people do not understand because of this illness. I understand all the facts of all the medications in my treatment, the effects of Cystinosis, what Cystinosis is, what Creatinine is, and so much more. I have been able to see places that not many people ever seen because of the Cystinosis. For instance, I have been to National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland more times than I can count. I have seen that place grow from  building 10 being only one building, to now three buildings they call building 10.

Cystinosis has done many great things for me. I became more mature then the rest of my class in middle school and high school. I have become very open-minded. I try to never judge anybody because of hir actual or perceived race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, mental and physical ability or disability, physical attributes, etc. I have held the belief that I should never judge another human being. We all are humans, we all have issues and problems, and we all make mistakes.

Other positive aspects to having Cystinosis is that I am able to go see places that not everyone are able to see or go to. I have been to many states, to different hospitals. I have been to San Diego to visit some doctors that specialize in the Psychology of Cystinosis patients and I always fly to Bethesda, Maryland to go to the NIH. The NIH is the lead research facility in the Nation.

The negative aspects of having Cystinosis are that I have been to so many hospitals that I have lost count of them. I have been touched by the hands of so many medical professionals that now I try to tell them what to do, or when they are about to take my blood I tell them what arm is the best and what vain they should use. Now, when I go in to have rounds of medical testing done I tell the technicians not to waste their breath I know what they want me to do, I know what is going to happen, and I know all about the scans. All of the scans that I have been through have caused me to be exposed to more radiation then any average human would go through. I use to have blood tests every six months to check up on my kidney function. Then it got to every three months and now it is like once a month.

With Cystinosis, I have to take all sorts of medications, which make me smell badly some days. Many of those days have been when I have school, and then I am harassed and bullied throughout the day.  I always get hurt from the bullying and harassment I went through, although I knew that the kids were wrong because I did take baths and brush my teeth. I realize that I had unavoidable odor because of the medications I had to take. Thus, I was able to teach some of my fellow students about my illness and that the odor was because of my medications.

Additional, problems I have had include; issues with medical insurance and I will continue to have issues with insurance because Cystinosis is a life threating illness. I will always need to see doctors and have many medical tests done on me yearly. Cystinosis is downright expensive. Right now, I do not have medical insurance. I have applied for Disability and Medicaid, but time is running out. I am becoming sicker. I have about two months left of medications and then I am out. I need to go in and check up with a nephrologist but because I do not have insurance, hospitals do not want to see me as a priority so I have to wait another week.

The first day that I went in to the Social Security Office to apply for Disability, they did not take me seriously. The social workers that I talked to thought I was making it all up. Well, at least that was before they saw the amount of medical records I have. Then they believed me. The social worker told me that he would make sure personally, that he got all of my records to the proper person as soon as possible. After that day, I have been in and out of both the Social Security Office and the Nebraska Medicaid Office trying to get them to speed up the process. I as of the time of me typing this still am waiting for Disability and Medicaid to make their decisions.

I am now 19 years old. I am a transgender-genderqueer woman, and my name is Mika Covington (My legal name is Michael Covington). Cystinosis has had a great impact on my life good and bad. Cystinosis has given me the strength to stand up for persons with disabilities, persons with Cystinosis, and for my civil rights; I am part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Community. I am currently working on the Iowa Pride Network’s College Leadership Team. I help run the Iowa Pride Network’s Regional Southwest Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance Coalition. I have done volunteer work with GLSEN Omaha (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network). During my senior year of High School at Millard South High School, I reintroduced a Gay-Straight Alliance Club. I then ran the club as President that school year. Quiet recently I participated in the Pride Rally outside the Omaha City Council Chambers in support of the City Ordinance that would have added sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to the city’s non-discrimination laws. Even more recently, I went to Ames, Iowa to take part in Iowa Pride Network’s Queer Leadership Summit.

Before I came out as Transgender, I worked on advocating for the Forgotten Children of Uganda. I posted pamphlets in local stores and restaurants with information on them to where you can donate to help those poor children. I even created a couple presentations that I gave during my Advanced Speech class in 10th grade. I have created presentations for Speech Competitions on what Cystinosis is, the different types of Cystinosis, and how to combat Cystinosis. The presentations also included information on the Cystinosis Foundation and Cystinosis Network.

Recently I have been to the NIH in Maryland. While I was there, I was told that my kidney function was 21% and my creatinine was 3.5. Approximately 3 weeks later, I ended up in the ER at the Nebraska Medical Center. I went in because the whole day I was laying on the couch feeling like crap. I did not eat much that day. I was extremely thirsty the whole day, and I noticed my skin color was off. It was around 6:30pm that I told my roommates that I needed to go into the hospital as soon as possible. At the ER, I found out that my kidney function had dropped from 21% to 18% within 3 weeks and my creatinine levels were 3.9. The doctors there wanted to put me on dialysis but because I did not have any insurance, they sent me home instead.

Currently I am living with my Grandmother just outside of Malmo, Nebraska. I moved to her place because I had to quit my job; I just could not work anymore. I am so tired and sick to do any more work or do any standing for long periods. I am staying here until I get Disability and then get a one-bedroom apartment in Omaha so I am closer to the Hospitals there. I am hoping that I will get a kidney for my Christmas gift or one for my birthday gift in February.

I am Mika Covington

My name is Mika Covington, and I am the 99! I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and I am genderqueer. I became an activist when I was in high school and was treated like shit for being queer.  I always have looked at the world with open eyes because of the treatment I received in high school.

I began my activism when I worked to ensure all students at the high school I attended were protected under school policy. I worked on this with other students to form a high school gay-straight alliance. I did this by first asking my principle if I could start a new school club and was denied.  Once I was denied I choose to start a student/staff petition in support of the GSA where I collected several hundred signatures and brought that petition to my principle which he then sent me to the activists director which told me I would have to wait a year before officially creating a new student club.  The following year I went back to the activists director and he gave me a form to fill out and then told me the board of directors would have to approve the club and then I did not hear from him for months until he called me into his office and told me that the school cannot have a GSA that year and that I should try back next year. I decided to contact the American Civil Liberates Union of Nebraska, I informed them of my situation, they intervened, and the school allowed me to form a GSA.

A couple months after the GSA was formed the GSA decided to start a campaign called, “My Life, My Rights” where we worked to get the Board of Directors to pass an inclusive anti-bullying and anti-harassment policy. We ended up failing.

Later that year, we held the first National Day of Silence at that school. It was just amazing. Almost half of the student population took part in the event by either wearing pink tape or a NDOS sticker. There were also armbands, pins, and speaking cards for those whom wished to take the pledge to not speak the entire day. The school officials even recognized the event and asked teachers to allow the students to not speak in the class.

Later, I joined the Iowa Pride Network and volunteered for their College Leadership team where I helped run the Iowa Pride Networks Regional Southwest Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance Coalition. I did that for about two years then decided to work full time for Forward Equality. Forward Equality is the brand new LGBTQ civil rights/economic justice non-profit organization I created in early 2011 with several other friends.

At Forward Equality, I am the Executive Director and acting President. Forward Equality has several current projects. The first and the most important is our project to pass the nondiscrimination ordinance that would protect persons based on their gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation.  Forward Equality’s next project  is our economic justice projects where we will work with local occupy groups.

My more personal life, I was born with Nephropathic Cystinosis. Nephropathic Cystinosis is a lysosomal storage disease characterized by the abnormal accumulation of the amino acid cystine. It is a genetic disorder that typically follows an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. Cystinosis is the most common cause of Fanconi syndrome in the pediatric age group. Fanconi syndrome occurs when the function of cells in renal tubules are impaired, leading to abnormal amounts of carbohydrates and amino acids in the urine, excessive urination, and low blood levels of potassium and phosphates. Cystinosis is a rare genetic disorder that causes an accumulation of the amino acid cystine within cells, forming crystals that can build up and damage the cells. These crystals negatively affect many systems in the body, especially the kidneys and eyes. There are three distinct types of cystinosis each with slightly different symptoms: nephropathic cystinosis, intermediate cystinosis, and non-nephropathic or ocular cystinosis. Infants affected by nephropathic cystinosis initially exhibit poor growth and particular kidney problems (sometimes called renal Fanconi syndrome). The kidney problems lead to the loss of important minerals, salts, fluids, and other nutrients. The loss of nutrients not only impairs growth, but may result in soft, bowed bones (hypophosphatemic rickets), especially in the legs. The nutrient imbalances in the body lead to increased urination, thirst, dehydration, and abnormally acidic blood (acidosis).

By about age two, cystine crystals may also be present in the cornea. The buildup of these crystals in the eye causes an increased sensitivity to light (photophobia). Without treatment, children with cystinosis are likely to experience complete kidney failure by about age ten. Other signs and symptoms that may occur in untreated patients include muscle deterioration, blindness, inability to swallow, diabetes, and thyroid and nervous system problems.

The signs and symptoms of intermediate cystinosis are the same as nephropathic cystinosis, but they occur at a later age. Intermediate cystinosis typically begins to affect individuals around age twelve to fifteen. Malfunctioning kidneys and corneal crystals are the main initial features of this disorder. If intermediate cystinosis is left, untreated, complete kidney failure will occur, but usually not until the late teens to mid-twenties. People with non-nephropathic or ocular cystinosis do not usually experience growth impairment or kidney malfunction. The only symptom is photophobia due to cystine crystals in the cornea. It is currently being researched at UC San Diego, The University of Michigan, Tulane University School of Medicine, and at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland as well as at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and in Sunderland, UK as well as the Necker Hospital in Paris.

Cystinosis is normally treated with a drug called cysteamine (brand name Cystagon).[6] The administration of cysteamine can reduce the intracellular cystine content. Cysteamine concentrates inside the lysosomes and reacts with cystine to form both cysteine and a cysteine-cysteamine complex, which are able to leave the lysosomes. When administered regularly, cysteamine decreases the amount of cystine stored in lysosomes and correlates with conservation of renal function and improved growth.[6] Cysteamine eyedrops remove the cystine crystals in the cornea that can cause photophobia if left unchecked. Patients with cystinosis are also often given sodium citrate to treat the blood acidosis, as well as potassium and phosphorus supplements. If the kidneys become significantly impaired or fail, then treatment must be begun to ensure continued survival, up to and including renal transplantation. (Information was copied directly from Wikipedia because my medical records were used in creating these documents.) There are about 50 individuals in the United States with Cystinosis. There are around 2,000 worldwide with Cystinosis.

I am currently in stage five of Nephropathic Cystinosis and I am on hemodialysis. I was scheduled for a kidney transplant on for December 20, 2011 but some complications came up and it was canceled. These complications are that I now have cardio problems. Thus, I have a new medication. I am working with the UNMC Nebraska Medical Center Lied Transplant Center to get the transplant rescheduled for this summer.

Update from OccupyEquality Nebraska/Forward Equality

A member from OccupyEquality Nebraska, Mika Covington who also happens to be the Executive Director and acting President of Forward Equality introduced a resolution to the Board of Directors to solidify their support of the occupy movement.  Forward Equality is a (501 (c) 4 pending) nonprofit civil rights organization that works with LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied) individuals to ensure equality and respect.  The Board of Directors voted 4-0 with one absent on the resolution. Here is the text of the Forward Equality Resolution:

A RESOLUTION

Recognizing and supporting the principle of the Occupy Movement and the peaceful and lawful exercise of the First Amendment as cherished and fundamental right in the effort to seek solutions for economically distressed Americans at the federal, state and local levels; committing to work with the Occupy Movement to take steps to eliminate economic insecurity and destructive disparities in the City of Omaha; and requesting our membership and the elected Board of Directors assist in generating solutions for economically distressed Americans.

WHEREAS, Forward Equality Board of Directors and members, like others across the United States, are frustrated by the continuing economic crisis that threatens individual, family, small local business and City finances, and our community’s quality of life, and are participating in Occupy protests to make their voices heard; and

WHEREAS, the economic roots of these protests are varied, including sustained unemployment, growing income disparity, banking system failures, stalled earning power, unjust tax systems, that all contribute to ongoing wealth disparities; and

WHEREAS, the political roots of these protests are also varied, including the growing political power of corporations, influence of money on elections and public policy and inability of average citizens to have their voices heard and needs met through formal political forums, thus contributing to citizens pursuing alternative political arenas; and

WHEREAS, more than 25 million Americans are unemployed and seeking work; more than 50 million Americans are living without health insurance; and, more than one in five American children are growing up in households living in poverty without sufficient resources to meet basic survival needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter [Ref: unemployed defined as unemployed, marginally attached to the labor force, or working only part-time for economic reasons, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-15.Alternative measures of labor underutilization]; and

WHEREAS, one of the largest problems distressing our economy is the prolonged foreclosure crisis, with many owners struggling to obtain loan adjustments and too many banks continuing the use of flawed review procedures which end up flooding the housing market with foreclosures and result in blighted and de-valued housing stock due to the high number of properties being left vacant and abandoned and poorly maintained; and

WHEREAS, local governments are straining under the increasing weight of responsibility to provide for basic support services at a time of declining tax revenues and as a result of budget reductions by the state and federal government; and

WHEREAS, the structural causes of the economic crisis facing our society require decisive and sustained action at the national and state levels. Cities are harmed by the crisis and must play an important role in the development of public policy to address it; and

WHEREAS, Congress must generate solutions for economically distressed Americans by:

1. Supporting job creation, making substantial investments in the nation’s critical physical and technological infrastructure, and reducing the deficit by adopting fiscal policies with equitable corporate and individual taxation;

2. Tightening regulation of the banking and financial sector, including adoption of new rules and vigorous investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporations that violate the fraud, theft, and securities laws; and

3. Retaining or increasing community-building block grants for local schools and social services and protect public education from devastating cuts and prevent tuition levels that block fair access to higher education; and

WHEREAS, Forward Equality does not condone actions that infringe upon the lawful rights of others, obstruct or interfere with the efforts of law enforcement officers to protect such rights, or cause personal injury or property destruction; and

WHEREAS, Americans can and must resolve the divisive economic and social realities facing our nation in a peaceful way that honors our commitment to democracy, equality and justice.

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Section 1. That this organization recognizes and supports the principles of the Occupy Movement and the peaceful and lawful exercise of the First Amendment as a cherished and fundamental right in the effort to seek solutions for economically distressed Americans at the federal, state and local levels.

Section 2. That this organization commits to working with the Occupy Movement to continue taking steps to minimize economic insecurity and destructive disparities in the City of Omaha.

Section 3. That this organization requests our Congressional leaders generate solutions for economically distressed Americans.

Section 4. The Executive Director is directed to transmit copies of this resolution to local Occupy groups.

Section 5. That this resolution is hereby declared to be a measure and, provided it receives the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to Board of Directors, it shall take effect and be in force immediately upon its adoption and approval by the Executive Director; otherwise, it shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by the constitution and bylaws.

This resolution creates the possibility that Forward Equality can now engage in economic advocacy work. This means that Forward Equality would like to officially begin working with OccupyEquality to ensure economic justice for all individuals. Forward Equality does not have a web page yet.  Here is the link to Forward Equality’s facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Forward.Equality