IL to VOTE on ERA Thursday, ACT NOW!

From the Coalition on the ground in IL today, see below. Easy things to do to support their lobbying. They will meet with legislators today. A vote on the ERA is scheduled for tomorrow, but the speaker of the IL House (and the most powerful politician in IL) isn’t coming to work to convene the House for business. His name is Michael Madigan, he’s chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois, and you (or the press) can contact his office here: (773) 581-8000. He’s not on social media, but this satirical Twitter account is:  @KingofIL.

Newspapers to contact: Chicago Tribune ( ,  St. Louis Post Dispatch ( , and the Belleville  News Democrat (, St. Louis Beacon (from public radio station:

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ERA Action in collaboration with other activist groups including PDA ERA 3 State Strategy Team, Illinois NOW, AAUW, Katrina’s Dream will be on the ground in Springfield, IL, Wednesday, November 19 to ensure the “Land of Lincoln” becomes the first state to #RatifyERA in the 21st Century.

WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW! The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) will be moved to a final vote in the Illinois House of Representatives in the first few days of the Veto Session. Likely dates for the vote are Thursday, November 20th or Tuesday, December 2nd. However, the vote depends on two things: 1) Having the last handful of YES commitments for votes from Illinois State Representatives and 2) Those Representatives showing up for the vote.

What can you do? A lot actually.

FIRST CALL – You can use this link for a target list of Illinois State Representatives to call, along with a call script that will work whether you live in district, in Illinois, or anywhere in the US.

SECOND SIGN PETITION – You can sign the following petition by clicking this link urging House members to vote YES for ratification of the ERA in Illinois. The petition will be presented to Representative Lou Lang to show the solidarity we have with him, the women of Illinois, and all supporters of the ERA in this fight. And please share the petition on Facebook and Twitter.

THIRD – Use this link to get access to additional information and talking points on the ERA, Twitter hashtags, Twitter address for legislators in Illinois, and other resources. SPECIAL THANKS to Simone Roberts of Virginia NOW who created this list and graciously made it available for sharing.

# # #
Simone Roberts
Historian and ERA Coordinator
Virginia NOW   
VirginiaERANetwork (blog for ERA project)

Your Story Can Keep VA’s Health Centers Open


In an effort to highlight the potential impact of health center closures due to TRAP, we are actively recruiting patients and impacted women to share their stories with us. Thus far, we have collected stories around a first visit to get birth control, cancer screenings that led to early diagnosis, and choosing a women’s health provider because it was a trusted place to go.

Ultimately, we want to make sure our stories are representative of the women across the Commonwealth and that Planned Parenthood/Abortion Rights Coalition have enough stories to pull from for Board of Health meetings, reporters, and the General Assembly.

To do that, we ask you to contribute your story. Or, ask a friend to contribute hers. There are many reasons women and families access these health centers. The Board of Health, the media, and our representatives need to be made unable to deny the quality and trusted care that women in Virginia will be denied if the Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers are allowed to take their full effect.

At this link you may write your story, state your levels of comfort concerning privacy and publication, and/or share a video of you telling your story.

We encourage you to share this post/email with your friends and colleagues who support choice, responsible family planning, healthy families and children, and access to reasonably priced health care. The Coalition is particularly interested in stories about sexual and reproductive health care.

Please, contribute and share.

For women,
Simone Roberts, Historian / ERA Coordinator
Virginia NOW

Nov. 15 VA NOW State Council Meeting

Members of the several chapters of Virginia NOW are cordially invited to join VA NOW for elections, by-laws approval, updates on state and chapter activities, and general good cheer!

Meeting Agenda:


10:15 am Welcome and introductions of Officers and Chapter Leaders
10:30am President’s Report
Treasurer’s Report (5 min)
Legislative Report (5 min)
Communications Report (5 min)
VA NOW PAC Report (5 min)
Chapter Reports (5 min each)
Report on Foremothers Project (5 min)

11:15am Program Priorities & Plans for 2015
11:45am Bylaws – Proposed Changes & Vote

12:30pm Lunch on campus

1:45pm Report on Young Feminist Conference
2:30pm New Business
BRAAF (Blue Ridge Abortion Fund)
3:00pm Officer Elections -Nominations & Candidate Remarks
3:30PM Officer Elections – Voting

The agenda may be updated. We will post updates in the comments to this post. See below for the when and where. We look forward to seeing you!

Saturday November 15, 2014

10 am — 4 pm

      Ern Commons
567 McCormick Rd
      between Balz-Dobie and Watson-Webb houses
      University of Virginia
      Charlottesville, VA 22903
To RSVP, please email Diana Egozcue at
Lunch available by 3 minute walk to O’Hill Dining Hall
Parking and Accessibility
Parking is available on the street (right side) on McCormick Rd
Parking is also available in lot W6, across the street from venue
Handicapped spaces next to venue, first come first served

Friday Nov. 7: Meetings, Media Contacts, Twitter and Facebook Blow-ups

Friday Nov. 7: Meetings, Media Contacts, Twitter and Facebook Blow-ups.

Teleconferences, media storms, phone calls to the Capitol. Friday is Missouri’s day to feel the energy and dedication we have for the Equal Rights Amendment.

JOIN IN!! Everything you need is at that link.

Thank you!! We love you for everything you do for equality for all!

Walkin’ this road for so long now…

Dr. Simone Roberts:

Soon, oh soon, many of you will hear about this new and very intense effort to RATIFY. Virginia ERA Network is a project of Virginia NOW, and it’s about to become a very active network indeed!!!

Originally posted on Virginia ERA Network:

This poster drew together a coalition of women who Locked the gates at the Mormon Temple in Maryland to protest the excommunication of Sonja Johnson, Chained closed the GOP Headquarters in DC to protest the removal of the Equal Rights Amendment from the national platform, and Chained the women of the Congressional Union* to Ronald Reagan’s White House Fence. All for Ratification.

ERA Chains 1908s Congressional Union Actions

Photo by Paradise Kendra, 2014. Interview with members of the Congressional Union.

These women walked from Alexandria to Richmond for ratification in 1982. They arrived 20 minutes after a handful of delegates shot down the ERA in Virginia. It was a hard, cold blow.

Right now, Helene de Boissier-Swanson is hiking and sleeping in parks and on the street on her pilgrimage for the ERA. She’s started in San Francisco and will get to Virginia in April of 2015.

Endoresed by National NOW, she’s meeting with state and…

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Meet Me in St. Louis – A Prayer Vigil & Rally for the Equal Rights Amendment

Dr. Simone Roberts:

Virginia, you can support this effort for the ERA!!! We’ll be explaining how very soon! This woman is personally lobbying federal and state office holders to get the ERA ratification deadline lifted and the amendment ratified. A big, but loose coalition of groups is working on it. Get connected, and make noise, and get your walking shoes ready for International Women’s Day 2015.

Originally posted on deboissiere:

St Louis Mosiac       Graphic Design by Helene Swanson

As I leave the Kansas City area heading towards Jefferson City and then on to St. Louis, where I will be meeting with Senators Roy Blunt and Clair McCaskill to urge them to co-sponsor S.J. Res. 15,  l give serious consideration to this past week. But before I get ahead of myself I want to make sure that I get the word out that we are holding a Prayer Vigil & Rallyat the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, MO on November 8, 2014 at noon to 2pm.  The Old Courthouse is where the Dred Scott Decision was issued March 6, 1857.

Please be sure to JOIN, INVITE, SHARE and POST this Facebook Event Page everywhere

After the St. Louis vigil my grassroots organizer Portia and I will head out with a small group of women as we walk into…

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For information on VA NOW PAC priorities, click here.
For consideration by the PAC, candidates must request endorsement.

The National Organization for Women and Virginia NOW endorse the following the candidates for the US House of Representatives:

Suzanne Patrick,  for Virginia’s Second District:

Number 1 on her priorities list, Jobs and the Economy: To me, standing up for the middle class means fighting to create and protect high paying jobs here in Virginia. I’ll do that by fighting for our port, military facilities, and the small businesses that keep our local economy thriving. My business and military background fuel my commitment to growing our local economy to strengthen opportunities for middle class families.”

One violence against women: “I agree with Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth’s approach of giving victims two options: (1) stay within the chain of command, or (2) give victims and alternative option outside the chain of command but still within the military to bring perpetrators to justice.”

Lawrence Gaughan, for Virginia’s Fifth District:

Gaughan hopes to represent a large and diverse district, and one of Virginia’s most conservative. Jobs and education are his top two issues, but he clearly states his support for women’s and LBGTQ equality, for reproductive justice, for protecting voting rights, and for background checks for weapon purchases.

John Foust, for Virginia’s Tenth District: 

Foust is challenging Rep. Barbara Comstock, one of our more notable anti-feminist female politicians. Vienna Area NOW is running phone banks supporting Foust. Of the effort, Val Dutton, president of the chapter writes:

“Dial it up for a Woman-to-Woman phone bank for John Foust, candidate for the 10th District, from 3 to 5 pm on Oct. 12th at the Foust McLean headquarters, 6888 Elm St. Even if you’re not in the 10th District, we need your help in this race against the formidable and well-funded extremist Barbara Comstock. I’ll provide snacks and beverages. Phone banking can seem intimidating, but this is a process that really works and is fun once you get your groove! Additionally, we’ll speak only to the women of the household, telling them why we think John is a pro-woman kind of guy!”

Also, he’s got a sharp sense of humor (click here).

 Elliot Fausz, Virginia’s Fourth District, for the US Congress:

Fousz is particularly keen to bring better infrastructure, student loan debt relief, and economic stimulus to Virginia’s 4th. We can’t tell you what candidates say on our questionaires, but we can tell you this: Fousz was detailed, original, and energetic in describing his positions on our issues. He has a dedicated Twitter hashtag: #FouszintheHouse.

In the election for Manassas City Council, Virginia NOW has endorsed:

Patricia Richie-Folks, for City Council:

Richie-Folks is deeply interested in economic development in Manassas such as developing heavier use of the local airport, promoting the area to the technology industry, and working to improve commuter infrastructure — especially the Route 28 corridor. She will look to protect and enhance Manassas public school system, and deepen the city’s support of its police department by bringing the number of officers more fully inline with the city’s population.

The council is, at present, well populated with male representatives of the city. A woman with good ideas is running, Manassas, we do hope you will welcome and vote for her energy and forward thinking agenda!

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