One Woman Begins Her Walk Across the USA for the ERA!!

VA NOW members, friends, allies, I have a good friend who lost everything. And there is nothing like a woman with nothing left to lose! Helene made one pilgrimage to India to prepare herself, and now she’s making another. In the name of her mother-in-law Katrina — the first female Episcopal priest, herself, and all women of all kinds in the US, she is walking across the US in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. Helene will pass through all 15 of the states that failed to ratify this simple affirmation of justice and freedom.

>> EQUALITY OF RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW SHALL NOT BE DENIED OR ABIDGED BY THE UNITED STATES OR BY ANY STATE ON ACCOUNT OF SEX.
>> THE CONGRESS SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO ENFORCE, BY APPRORPRIATE LEGISLATION, THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.
>> THIS AMENDMENT SHALL TAKE EFFECT TWO YEARS AFTER THE DATE OF RATIFICATION.
__ THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT, full text

She has been training for sometime, and now she’s on her way. Helene will arive in Washington DC on International Women’s Day, March 8 of 2015, if all goes to plan. You can join that event on Facebook and be in DC to greet her in front of the White House — the traditional scene of protests and vigils for women’s rights for the last many, oh so many years. Alice Paul and the Suffragists, the Foremothers of the 2nd Wave, and soon Helene de Boissiere-Swanson and hosts of lovers of liberty.

For information on meeting her and making some noise, join this event: ERA March 8 2015 at the White House.

One reason for such a dramatic effort is that states like our Commonwealth have all manner of procedures (and therefore available strategies to kill proposed bills) designed to ensure lots of public debate on amendments: (click). So, legislators disinclined to recognize women’s civil equality use them to great effect. Like, denying us our civil equality. In fact, in 5 states conservative legislatures have attempted to *rescind their previous ratification* of the Equal Right Amendment (click).  As you might intuit, this delay to 2015 puts the ERA smack against its federal (and completely arbitrary, and nearly unique) ratification deadline. After which, welcome to another generation of fighting the same old battles all over again, and for the ERA by starting all the way over again — as in 1919 — with a federal Congress not much enamored of expanding or securing civil liberties.

Move On is supporting Helene’s petition to Congress. You can find that here: (click).

NOTE: It is often *much* more effective to write your own letter to your representatives in your state or in Congress. Most savvy politicians count mass emails and petitions as one (1) letter, but count a personal letter/eamil/call as many hundreds. See the websites linked below for facts to use in your letters, and contact guides for VA’s General Assembly and the federal Congress.

Two Facebook Events pages will chronicle Helene’s sojourn across the United States: Katrina’s Dream and Internaltional Women’s Day San Francisco.

Code Pink and Occupy Women, and a number of other women’s and Equal Rights Amendment organizations are also involved. March 8 next year is shaping up to be quite the party.

To write your letters to officials, and to inform any friends who don’t understand the Equal Rights Amendment and its implications for women and men, you may use these sites: EqualRightsAmendment.Org, and our own political action pages at VANOW.ORG/Ratify (about the ERA) and VANOW.ORG/Represent (where you can find contact guides for legislators).

With any luck, we will also be posting our first around of interviews for the Virginia Foremothers Project at VANOW.ORG/History. We recently had the honor to record a group of these activists recalling their public actions and their strategies for supporting them, and the incredible bonds of solidarity and friendship they formed in their work for women in many, many areas of public and private life. There is much editing and annotation under way! Expect updates as we archive this history in order to support exactly the kind of present efforts like Helene’s in the name of the future equality and liberty of all women and men, in the US and everywhere!

In the name of justice and liberty for all women, thrive and flourish!
Dr. Simone Roberts
Web Editor / Historian VA NOW
webeditor@vanow.org

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