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“Local and incremental campaigns are driving our movement forward,” according to new Equality Federation Institute report

Today, Equality Federation Institute released a comprehensive report examining the role of local and incremental policy campaigns in securing statewide protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

Building Momentum for Change: How Local and Incremental Policy Campaigns Contribute to Statewide Victories argues that local and incremental work (such as municipal  nondiscrimination ordinances or inclusive protections for state employees), which is often neglected or overlooked by activists, donors, and the media, has a positive impact on the LGBT movement. “Local and incremental campaigns are building real momentum for equality in the communities we call home,” said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation Institute. “While progress on marriage and federal policy often gets the most attention, we’re also celebrating wins that provide real protections for LGBT people in every corner of the country.”

Building Momentum for Change argues that local and incremental policy campaigns fuel state-level policy victories—in the same way that the movement understands that statewide wins are an important part of the strategy to secure federal protections through Congress or the courts. “No state has ever achieved statewide discrimination protections for LGBT people without first passing a policy in its major city,” said Ian Palmquist, one of the authors of Building Momentum for Change. “In every conversation we had with state and national leaders, we heard one message loud and clear: local and incremental campaigns build the capacity of our movement’s organizations and the skills of our leaders—so that we’re ready for the next win. And the one after that.”

“In the past decade the LGBT movement has made progress in leaps and bounds, and much of that change started at the local level with incremental steps. This local and incremental work, like the 33 municipal non-discrimination ordinances shepherded by Equality PA, drives our movement forward,” said Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania. “This new report from Equality Federation is exactly the kind of thoughtful analysis we need as a movement to continue our progress  toward full equality for the entire LGBT community.”

Building Momentum for Change is available online at

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