“In 2011, we saw a need in the LGBT movement,” Freedom to Work founder and President Tico Almeida recently told Metro Weekly. “We saw how effective Freedom to Marry had been in pushing marriage to the forefront of the LGBT agenda. We saw how effective [Servicemembers Legal Defense Network] and Servicemembers United had been pushing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal. ENDA was the only issue within the LGBT movement that did not have a single issue specialist organization dedicated to it exclusively.”

Nearly two years after its founding, Freedom to Work has seen an increase in donations from small and large contributors and is staffing up as ENDA begins to see movement in the Senate and as the White House faces increasing pressure for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from anti-LGBT workplace discrimination.

Almeida, who was lead counsel on ENDA for the House Committee on Education and Labor from 2007 to 2010, says Freedom to Work has raised several hundred thousand dollars in the past year and will now be joined by a new staff dedicated to shoring up the support needed to see ENDA become law.

Perhaps most notably, Christian Berle, who has served on several Republican campaigns and as deputy executive director of Log Cabin Republicans before leaving in 2012 to work for out congressional candidate Richard Tisei’s campaign in Massachusetts, will serve as Freedom to Work’s legislative director.

Read more of Metro Weekly coverage here.


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