NEVADA RATIFIES THE ERA!

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
 

NEVADA RATIFIES THE ERA! 
We now have tangible proof that our efforts to re-start the ratification train have been successful, and know legislators in 2017 can be convinced to take the issue of Constitutional equality for women and men seriously enough to make an effort to bring it about.

Both the Nevada Senate and House have passed ratification resolutions, and as soon as a few very minor differences between the bills (technical adjustments regarding the resolution’s transmittal, not the relevant text) are ironed out, that State will officially become the 36th to ratify.

The votes weren’t the traditional cliffhangers: It was 13 to 8 in the Senate and 28 to 14 in the House, so this was a very strong endorsement by the state with the highest proportion of women (40%) in its state legislature. Among the women in the House gallery on Monday was former Lieutenant Governor Sue Wagner, a veteran of the first ratification campaign in Nevada four decades ago. Nevada’s Governor, Brian Sandoval, is a supporter of the E.R.A., though state governors play no role in ratification and need not sign (and cannot veto) a ratification resolution.

Fortunately, Nevada is not alone in regard to states where there are active campaigns to ratify.

Other states have come close to ratification, but fell short by a few votes, with the fact that no state had ratified since Indiana did so in January, 1977, used as an excuse to pretend that the E.R.A. was no longer a viable issue. But if Nevada says it’s a 21st Century issue, there’s no reason why Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, or any other state where there’s an active campaign can’t be persuaded to ratify.

This ratification now adds momentum to our efforts, and pressure on Congress to take a stand on whether its original deadline in 1979 or the extended deadline of June 30, 1982 should still be valid. These deadlines were never a part of the E.R.A.’s text, but are in the proposing clause, so a simple majority vote in House and Senate could delete both deadlines if the Supreme Court agrees that such a move is valid. But the need for Congress to address the issue is directly proportional to how close we are to having 38 ratifications, so each new one is a major step toward that goal.

So let’s ratify nationwide once and for all!

Contact Your Elected Officials
Telephone numbers, physical and email addresses for every federal, state, and local elected leader.

Paradise
Virginia NOW
Communications Director / Webmistress
communicationsvp@vanow.org

“We are not safe until we have equality guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.”– Alice Paul

National Woman’s Party Convention, July 21, 1923

E.R.A. SUPPORTERS IN CONGRESS:

This is a list of Members of Congress who have endorsed at least one of the E.R.A. resolutions introduced in the present Congress. If you are one of their constituents, thank them for their support, then ask what they’re going to do to bring these E.R.A. resolutions to the floor for a vote, and assure passage in the present Congress. If your Senator or Representative is not on the list, ask why they haven’t gone on record as being in favor of Constitutional equality for women and men, something supported by 91% of the public and opposed by only 4%, according to a 2012 survey by Public Policy Polling, and is now supported by 94% of Americans in a 2016 “DB5” poll.

===================================

S.J.R. 5: 29 Supporters
(28 Democrats, 1 Independent) (Sen. Cardin, D-MD, plus 28 co-sponsors.)

California: Feinstein (D), Harris (D)
Connecticut: Blumenthal (D), Murphy (D) 
Hawaii:
 Hirono (D)
Illinois: Durbin (D)  
Maryland:
 Cardin (D), Van Hollen (D)  
Massachusetts:
 Markey (D) & Warren (D)  
Michigan:
 Stabenow (D)
Minnesota: Franken (D) & Klobuchar (D)
New Hampshire: Hassan (D), Shaheen (D)  
New Jersey:
 Booker (D), Menendez (D)  
New Mexico:
 Heinrich (D), Udall (D)
New York: Gillibrand (D) 
Ohio:
 Brown (D)
Oregon: Merkley (D), Wyden (D)
Rhode Island: Reed (D), Whitehouse (D)  
Vermont:
 Sanders (I)  
Virginia:
 Kaine (D), Warner (D)  
Wisconsin:
 Baldwin (D)

===================================

H.J.R. 53: 146 supporters
(146 Democrats) Rep. Speier, D-CA, and 145 co-sponsors.
Two E.R.A. supporters are non-voting Delegates.

Arizona: Gallego (D), Grijalva (D), Sinema (D)  
California:
 Barragan (D), Brownley (D), Cardenas (D), Chu (D), Davis (D),DeSaulnier (D), Eschoo (D), Garamendi (D), Huffman (D), Lee (D), Lieu (D) Lowenthal (D), Matsui (D), McNarney (D),Napolitano (D), Peters (D), Roybal-Allard (D), Ruiz (D),Sanchez, L. (D), Schiff (D), Sherman (D), Speier (D), Swalwell (D), Takano (D), Thompson (D) Torres (D), Vargas (D)  
Colorado:
 DeGette (D), Perlmutter (D)  
Connecticut:
 Courtney (D), De Lauro (D), Himes (D), Larson (D)  
District of Columbia:
 Holmes Norton (D) (non-voting Delegate) 
Florida:
 Castor (D), Crist (D), Deutch (D), Frankel (D), Hastings (D), Soto (D), Wasserman Schultz (D), Wilson (D).  
Georgia:
 Johnson (D) Guam: Bordallo (D) (non-voting Delegate)
Illinois : Bustos (D), Davis (D), Foster (D), Gutierrez (D), Kelly (D), Quigley (D), Rush (D), Schakowsky (D)
Indiana: Carson (D)
Iowa: Loebsack (D) 
Kentucky:
 Yarmuth (D)  
Louisiana:
 Richmond (D) 
Maine:
 Pingree (D)  
Maryland:
 Cummings (D), Delaney (D), Raskin (D), Ruppersberger (D), Sarbanes (D)  
Massachusetts:
 Capuano (D), Clark (D), Keating (D), Kennedy (D), Lynch (D), McGovern (D), Moulton (D), Tsongas (D) 
Michigan:
 Conyers (D), Dingell (D), Kildee (D), Lawrence (D), Levin (D) 
Minnesota:
 Ellison (D), McCollum (D), Nolan (D) Walz (D) 
Missouri:
 Clay (D)
Nevada: Kihuen (D), Rosen (D), Titus (D)
New Hampshire: Kuster (D), Shea-Porter (D)
New Jersey: Norcross (D), Pallone (D), Pascrell (D), Payne (D), Sires (D), Watson Coleman (D)  
New Mexico:
 Lujan Grisham (D) 
New York:
 Clarke (D), Engel (D), Espaillat (D), Higgins (D),Jeffries (D), Lowey (D), Maloney, S (D), Meeks (D), Nadler (D), Rice (D), Serrano (D), Slaughter (D), Tonko (D), Serrano (D), Velazquez (D)
North Carolina: Adams (D), Butterfield (D), Price (D)
Ohio: Beatty (D), Fudge (D), Kaptur (D), Ryan (D)
Oregon: Bonamici (D), Blumenauer (D), DeFazio (D), Schrader (D)
Pennsylvania: Boyle (D), Brady (D), Cartwright (D), Doyle (D), Evans (D)

Rhode Island : Cicilline (D), Langevin (D)
Tennessee: Cohen (D)
Texas: Gonzalez (D), Green (D), Jackson Lee (D), Johnson (D), Veasey (D)
Vermont: Welch (D) 
Virginia:
 Beyer (D), Connolly (D), Scott (D)
Washington: DelBene (D), Heck (D), Jayapel (D), Kilmer (D), Larsen (D), Smith (D) 
Wisconsin:
 Kind (D), Moore (D), Pocan (D)===================================

S.J.R. 6: 13 supporters, 13 Democrats).
(Sen. Menendez, D-NJ, and 11 co-sponsors)

California: Feinstein (D)
Connecticut: Murphy (D) Delaware: Carper (D), Coons (D)  
Illinois:
 Durbin (D)
Maryland: Cardin (D), Van Hollen (D)
Massachusetts: Markey (D), Warren (D)  
New Jersey:
 Booker (D) Menendez (D)
New York: Gillibrand (D)  
Ohio:
 Brown (D)

===================================

H.J.R. 33: 101 supporters
(96 Democrats, 5 Republicans)
(Rep. Maloney, D-NY, and 100 co-sponsors. One supporter, Holmes-Norton of D.C., is a non-voting Delegate.)

Arizona: Gallego (D), Grijalva (D)  
California:
 Aguilar (D), Brownley (D), Capps (D), Cardenas (D), Chu (D), Davis (D), DeSaulnier (D), Eshoo (D), Huffman (D), Lee (D), Lieu (D) Lofgren (D), Matsui (D), Sanchez (D), Schiff (D), Speier (D), Sherman (D), Swalwell (D), Takano (D), Thompson (D)  
Colorado:
 DeGette (D), Polis (D) 
Connecticut:
 Courtney (D), Larson (D)
Delaware: Rochester (D)  
District of Columbia:
 Holmes Norton (D) (non-voting Delegate) 
Florida:
 Castor (D), Crist (D), Demings (D), Deutch (D), Hastings (D), Lawson (D), Wilson (D)  
Georgia:
 Bishop (D), Johnson (D), Scott (D)  
Hawaii:
 Hanabusa (D) 
Illinois:
 Davis (D), Gutierrez (D), Kelly (D), Schakowsky (D)
Iowa: Loebsack (D)
Maine: Pingree (D)  
Maryland:
 Cummings (D), Delaney (D), Hoyer (D), Raskin (D), Sarbanes (D)
Massachusetts: Keating (D), Kennedy (D), Lynch (D), McGovern (D), Moulton (D), Tsongas (D)  
Michigan:
 Conyers (D), Dingell (D), Kildee (D), Lawrence (D) 
Minnesota:
 Walz (D)  
Mississippi:
 Thompson (D) 
Missouri:
 Clay (D) 
New Hampshire:
 Kuster (D), Shea-Porter (D)
New Jersey: Frelinghuysen (R), Gotheimer (D), Lance (R), LoBiando (R), Norcross (D), Pallone (D), Sires (D), Watson Coleman (D)
New Mexico: Lujan Grisham (D)  
New York:
 Clarke (D), Crowley (D), Engel (D), Espaillat (D), Higgins (D), Jeffries (D), Lowey (D), Maloney, C. (D), Meng (D), Nadler (D), Reed (R), Rice (D), Serrano (D), Velazquez (D).  
North Carolina:
 Adams (D)  
Ohio:
 Fudge (D)  
Oregon:
 Bonamici (D)
Pennsylvania: Boyle (D), Cartwright (D) Dent (R)
Rhode Island: Cicilline (D)  
Tennessee:
 Cohen (D), Cooper (D)  
Texas:
 Jackson Lee (D)  
Virginia:
 Beyer (D), Connolly (D), McEachin (D)
Washington: Larsen (D)
Wisconsin: Kind (D), Pocan (D)

===================================

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:
CHAIR:
 Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
MEMBERS: Blumenthal (D-CT). Coons (D-DE) Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID) Cruz (R-TX), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Flake (R-AZ), Franken (D-MN), Graham (R-SC), Hatch (R-UT), Hirono (D-HI) Kennedy (R-LA) Klobuchar (D-MN), Leahy (D-VT), Lee (R-UT), Sasse (R-NE) Tillis (R-NC), Whitehouse (D-RI)

Contact:
Sen. Chuck Grassley (202) 224-3744 grassley.senate.gov @ChuckGrassley
Sen. Patrick Leahy (202) 224-4242 leahy.senate.gov @SenatorLeahy

=====================================

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
CHAIR:
 Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
MEMBERS: Bass (D-CA), Chabot (R-OH), Chaffetz (R-UT), Chu (D-CA), Cicilline (D-RI), Cohen (D-TN), Conyers (D-MI), DeSantis (R-FL), Deutsch (D-FL) Farenthold (R-TX), Franks (R-AZ), Gohmert (R-TX), Goodlatte (R-VA) Gowdy (R-SC), Gutierrez (D-IL), Issa (R-CA), Jackson Lee (D-TX), Jeffries (D-NY) Johnson (D-GA), Jordan (R-OH), King (R-IA), Labrador (R-ID), Lieu (D-CA) Lofgren (D-CA), Marino (R-PA), Nadler (D-NY), Poe (R-TX), Richmond (D-LA) Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Smith (R-TX), Swalwell (D-CA)

Contact:
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (202) 225-5431 goodlatte.house.gov @RepGoodlatte
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (202) 225-5126 conyers.house.gov @RepJohnConyers

HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION AND CIVIL JUSTICE: 

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

Special thanks to David Dismore for compiling all of this info!
Giving to Virginia NOW supports our mission for women’s economic, legal, social, and personal equality in all areas of life.  

Violating the Fence – August 26, 1981 White House Action

Virginia NOW’s Treasurer, Lee Perkins provides a historical account of the 1981 ‘Women in Chains’ ERA White House Action. Thanks, Lee for this incredible contribution.

The August 26th files

One year later – again the chains. This time to the White House fence. Out intrepid chainees moved downtown to the broad sidewalk in front of the White House.

his time the action was much bigger and attracted a lot of press. Needless to say, the Park Service was not happy because the occupants of the White House were not happy (When the White House is not happy, they pass the unhappiness along), calling in the multiple ‘protective services’ to cope with the dangerous army of women in white. At least, unlike real criminals, we didn’t shoot at them. So getting in a little women bashing probably made their day. (Apologies to Dirty Harry). Since it was a chaining event, we displayed the chain banner and, as always, the full text of the ERA.

Shortly thereafter, the press arrived in force. As didthe demonstrators with their unique messages.

Frankly, we…

View original post 224 more words

We’re Not Finished With the Women’s Liberation Movement

Yes!  We’re making civil liberties victories left and right!

However, without the Equal Rights Amendment, these same civil rights will reappear in new bills in future legislative sessions, requiring another round of battles.

The ERA would place women into the constitution giving them full equality and citizenship.  Once ratified, there will be no necessity for all these individual civil rights battles.

 

The ERA is for every citizen.  Whether you’re a tea-party woman or a feminist man, the ERA will benefit you. 

 

Males Also Benefit From An ERA Ratification
by Virginia NOW’s President, Diana Egozcue

 

 ERA Factsheet

ERA Logo by Paradise Kendra



Let’s Ratify!

Paradise
Virginia NOW
Communications VP/Webmistress

Image

The 1st Woman President Needs Equal Rights!!!

Dear Virginia,

Happy ERA Monday, and Happy Presidents Day!! It’s a double day, and I have a double request of you.

First: Del. Mark Cole holds an open house at his office tomorrow, Feb. 17. Activists will be present as the weather allows,
but snow can’t stop email, or phone calls!!!

Click here for a post with a great email for Chair Cole and his contact information. Tell him the ERA MUST BE PUT ON THE DOCKET and moved into the full Privileges and Elections Committee.

Please, send the same email to Speaker Howell.

This committee is heavily resistant. We must push hard this week! On the same post, you can contact the whole committee.

When pressed, their objections tend to crumble down to traditional and fundamentalist forms of sexism. Show them that’s the only reason they could refuse us our rights.

Feel some tweetage coming on? Yeah, me too.

To tweet the House: @VaHouse.
To tweet the House GOP: @vahousegop.
To tweet the Hosue Dems: @VAHouseDems.

1st Woman #POTUS deserves full #civilrights, #RatifyERA, SJ 216 on the P&E docket!!

(*)   (*)   (*)

Second, in honor of Presidents Day, I ask you for one more action.

The fundamental political difference between the first woman president and all the men before her is that she might not enjoy fully protected civil rights under the Constitution she will swear to defend and protect.

Clinton? Warren? … Clinton/Warren?
Warren/Clinton? President Seal
Who knows.

This week, let’s focus on the Senate.

Send them this email:
Email Page for Senator Warner
Email Page for Senator Kaine
 
 
Subject: Please Support Women’s Civil Rights, Lift the Deadline on Ratification

Dear Honorable Senator _______,

You serve with women who swear to protect and defend the Constitution, but are not fully protected by it. Our nation’s daughters have long risked their lives in our wars, but are not yet fully protected by that Constitution.

On this Presidents Day, consider: our next president could well be a woman — who still may not be fully invested with the civil rights enshrined in our laws.

This is an inconsistency that should not stand for one more year. This March when Senator Cardin offers a new resolution, please sign on to support it and then encourage your colleagues to do so — especially friendlier Republicans. Cardin aims for vigorous bi-partisan support.

Ratification of Equal Rights Amendment would accomplish one civil goal: it would mend the patchwork of laws that currently tack together the rag doll of women’s citizenship.

I urge you to join which would remove the historically aberrant and wholly arbitrary deadline on ratification.

Justices Scalia and Ginsberg agree on one thing: the 14th Amendment clearly applies only to “male citizens” and “male inhabitants” of the Republic. What “rights” women do have are only supported by laws and statutes — all of which can change given a hostile political wind.

Our nation’s women are caught in a stalemate. States wait for a signal from Congress, Congress for a signal from the states. Be first, lead, honor the nation’s women with fully established civil rights. Assure us that a future female president will not be so civilly vulneralby as women are today. Send the signal — it’s time for ratification. Lift the deadline.

Let the Constitution protect and defend our women as our women do the Constitution.

With my lasting gratitude for your service to our state and the nation,
Your Name
City, State

New Foremothers Oral History Videos Up

New Foremothers Oral History Videos Up.

Aside

Session opens this week: Turn The VOLUME UP!!!

“It isn’t over. There is much more to do.”
Alice Paul’s last words 

This past Sunday was Alice Paul’s 130th Birthday.  Rights are never given, they are claimed and

When Alice Paul first introduced the ERA, this was the most popular phone in the US.

taken. Our foremothers worked for over 70 years for suffrage, and we are part of this great tradition of courage and grit. It’s in their spirit and honor that I ask you to turn that volume all the way up!

 
First, I ask you again to reach out to the Privileges and Elections Committee in Virginia to insist that they bring the ERA through to the floor of the House of Delegates for a public and proud vote! (Click here for that guide.) It’s vital that we keep the heat on these legislators in particular.

Let’s get the ERA to the Floor!!

But, we still need that roaring crowd cheering for the ERA to the ears of all our state senators and delegates. On the Contact Congress & General Assembly page of our blog, I have updated the contact information for the 2015 session members at both the state and federal level.

Second, please contact the members of Congress and ask them to support removing the ratification deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment by supporting H.J. Res. 43 (House) and S.J. Res.15 (Senate). Suggest they encourage deadline removal to colleagues in their caucus, across the aisle, and in the other house. (See Media & Messaging for more detail.)

Third, let’s continue to email / Facebook / tweet / call our state level representatives.They equate volume and consistency of contact with voter interest and urgency. So, let’s create that sense of urgency for them.
Here’s a list of some representatives we have not yet contacted. The whole kit is over on the blog. Click on their names, and you can access their websites, which gets you to all their social media. If you have the time, I invite you to go beyond this list, and start repeating contacts. Feel free to rinse and repeat as often as you like. As I say — roar of the crowd!

What to Say:
(adapt to representative’s house, embellish at will)
Dear Honorable (Senator / Delegate) ___________,
I urge you to support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in this session of the General Assembly. Your colleague, (Sen. Ebbin / Del. Surovell), is sponosoring (SJ 216 / HJ 495), and I encourage you to support and vote for this bill. Both you and the Commonwealth of Virginia deserve to stand proudly in affirmation of the constitutional equality of women.
With my thanks for your service,
Your Name
Your Address

 Delegates to email: 

Rust, Thomas Davis                DelTRust@house.virginia.gov
Scott, Edward T.                    DelEScott@house.virginia.gov
Sickles, Mark D.                     DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov
Simon, Marcus B.                   DelMSimon@house.virginia.gov
Spruill, Lionell, Sr.                  DelLSpruill@house.virginia.gov
Stolle, Christopher P.              DelCStolle@house.virginia.gov
Sullivan, Richard C. (Rip), Jr   DelRSullivan@house.virginia.gov
Surovell, Scott A.                   DelSSurovell@house.virginia.gov
Taylor, Scott W.                     DelSTaylor@house.virginia.gov
Torian, Luke E.                     DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov
Toscano, David J.                  DelDToscano@house.virginia.gov
Tyler, Roslyn C.                    DelRTyler@house.virginia.gov
Villanueva, Ronald A.            DelRVillanueva@house.virginia.gov
Ward, Jeion A.                     DelJWard@house.virginia.gov
Ware, R. Lee, Jr.                  DelLWare@house.virginia.gov
Watts, Vivian E.                   DelVWatts@house.virginia.gov
Webert, Michael J.                DelMWebert@house.virginia.gov
Wilt, Tony O.                        DelTWilt@house.virginia.gov
Wright, Thomas C., Jr.          DelTWright@house.virginia.gov
Yancey, David E.                  DelDYancey@house.virginia.gov
Yost, Joseph R.                    DelJYost@house.virginia.gov 

Senators to email:
Saslaw, Richard L. district35@senate.virginia.gov D 35
Smith, Ralph K. district19@senate.virginia.gov R 19
Stanley, William M., Jr. district20@senate.virginia.gov R 20
Stosch, Walter A. district12@senate.virginia.gov R 12
Stuart, Richard H. district28@senate.virginia.gov R 28
Vogel, Jill Holtzman district27@senate.virginia.gov R 27
Wagner, Frank W. district07@senate.virginia.gov R 7
Watkins, John C. district10@senate.virginia.gov R 10
Wexton, Jennifer T. district33@senate.virginia.gov D 33
I cannot thank you enough for your work. I know how tight time is for all of us. You have my greatest admiration.

We’re the background noise, but we need to be consistent. Members of the Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition will be in Richmond consistently over the session. Advocates from VA NOW and Women Matter will be especially focused on the ERA, and will be making personal contact with legislators and their staff daily. Our efforts will go a long way to supporting their presence.
Again, my thanks to Richmond Sunlight for your amazing work! I could not do this without you!

For Women!
Simone Roberts
Web Editor/Historian/ERA Coordinator   
Virginia NOW
Virginia ERA Network

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 (http://www.chicagotribune.com/) ,  St. Louis Post Dispatch (http://www.stltoday.com) , and the Belleville  News Democrat (http://www.bnd.com), St. Louis Beacon (from public radio station: http://www.stlpublicradio.org/info/onair.php)

(*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

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 http://bit.ly/1r6LqXr 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 http://bit.ly/1HgmMt8 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 http://bit.ly/1vmFwTZ 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.

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

Happy GoTopless Day!

   What is GoTopless.org?

A U.S.-based organization who claim that women have the same constitutional right that men have to go bare-chested in public.   “As long as men are allowed to be topless in public, women should have the same constitutional right. Or else, men should have to wear something to hide their chests.”

 

There is an annual National Go-Topless Day held intentionally on August 26th, or on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day.   In our society, men and women are supposed to have equal rights.  But women are commonly arrested, fined and humiliated for daring to go topless in public, a freedom men have had for decades.  It is patriarchy that makes women’s bodies taboo and makes women’s bodies need to be covered and controlled.  In the US, if we want to be in a culture that is better for women, we need to get over the exposure of women’s body being only sexual instead of allowing her to exist freely.  You cannot counter the “sexualized woman” by simply covering her up.

 

Women are taught from an early age that our bodies and our breasts are more taboo than a man’s – that a man mowing the lawn bare-chested in the extreme summer heat is acceptable.  A woman performing the same action would be borderline scandalous.

 

To protest this unconstitutional discrimination, GoTopless.org holds National Go-Topless Day events in cities nationwide. Thousands of women will be baring their chests that day in the name of equal rights, and we hope you’ll be there too!

 

On August 26, 1920, following a 72-year struggle, the U.S. Constitution was amended to grant women the right to vote. And in 1970, as an ongoing reminder of women’s equality, Congress declared August 26 Women’s Equality Day. But even in the 21st century, women need to stand up and demand that equality in fact – not just in words.

 

This Women’s Equality Day, celebrate and love your body!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love & Revolution!

Paradise Kendra
Communications VP
Virginia NOW
(*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

 

BeautifulWoman

Virginia NOW Foremothers Oral History Update

So I am way hard at work learning to use Corel VideoStudio X7 in order to produce the oral history videos. This is taking a little while, since it’s the first time I’ve learned to render video in this way (at all), and want to get it right. The goal is for Paradise Kendra and Simone to create 5-10 installments of each interview, edit them with necessary captions/quotes/links, post them on our YouTube channel (to be announced). Each interview will be presented in its entirety, just cut for watchability, edited for sound quality, and annotated so that viewers can navigate the videos quickly.

Collected so far:  a 4 hour interview with members of the Congressional Union and several other activists (Marianne Fowler, Pat Harley, Mary Ann Beall, Mary Peterson Hartzler, Lee Perkins, Ray Bridge, Georgia Fuller, and Emily McCoy (who now helps run the Turning Point Suffragists Memorial efforts), recorded just after the memorial for Jean Crawford in March 2014); a 3 hour interview with Bobbie Frances (who runs EqualRightsAmendment.org and has been the Chair of the ERA Task-force for NCWO), and a 3 hour interview with Barbara Irvine at the  (where Irvine is a founding board member) — drove up to the picturesque climes of northern New Jersey for those two; and a 2 hour interview with Bonnie Becker who was at the heart of implementing Title IX in Virginia. As soon as the first clips are ready for viewing, we will make lots and lots of noise. Stick with us!

ERA YES

OTHER ARCHIVAL MADNESS!

Paradise is working to build a photo archive of more recent VA NOW history and events, of which there are a considerable number of excellent photos to upload, catalogue, and tag into a database. She is also doing the video conversions, fixing format issues, and and generally working to make these clips “viewable”.  Simone, meanwhile, has been gifted with lots of photographs of memorabilia from the participants, and with lots of digital documents ranging from copies of The Washington Equality Times to a few letters and other papers Jean Crawford’s family chose to share with the archive. There is a lot of work to be done, new skills to be learned, about 30 more people to interview (if they all agree!), and only two people doing it on a volunteer basis.

Those two people are also having a blast with this work, and look forward to bringing Virginia an archive of its feminist history that will be broad and deep, multi-media and historically relevant, and very personal. Hang in there! We’re bringing this huge project along as fast as we can!

 

By the by, it’s not the Virginia NOW Foremothers because we’re only interviewing VA NOW members, but because VA NOW is funding and developing the project. Our Foremothers so far have been members of NOW, but also of the Congressional Union, of the Democratic Party of Virginia, and several other historical and extant organizations. We hope of offer an archive of history, sure, more importantly a record of who these women and men were, and who they were together.

Carry on, people!

Dr. Simone Roberts
Web Editor/Historian
Virginia NOW

Why We Need the ERA – Diana Egozcue’s Testimony (delivered Feb. 7, 2012)

Virginia NOW President, Diana Egozcue, delivered this testimony about the Equal Rights Amendment to the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012.

“Good afternoon,

I am Diana Egozcue, Virginia NOW President, Fredericksburg resident and a constituent of Senator Vogel.  I am here to testify for the Equal Rights Amendment.

The ERA simply states:  “Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”  At this time, the only guaranteed right women have in the Constitution is the right to vote under the 19th Amendment.  There are laws and acts which give us some rights, but these can be repealed or amended at any time.  The ERA acts as a blanket insurance policy or a firewall for all laws passed for women such as the Lily Ledbetter fair pay act and Titles 7 and 9 in the Civil Rights Act.  Title 9 once disappeared for four years due to a Supreme Court decision, and Congress had to pass it again.

I hear the worn out old arguments all the time that it is dead, it will bring same sex bathrooms, the draft for women, and abortion on demand.  We already have unisex bathrooms, women can be drafted at any time if Congress wishes to do it, and it will not bring abortion on demand.  Twenty-two states have ERA amendments or clauses in their Constitutions including Virginia, and it has never brought abortion in these states.  In three cases brought in the states, the judges have thrown out the cases because men can’t have abortions.

As for being dead, the Congressional Research Service in reports to Congress said:  “The ERA is still legally held timely or contemporaneous, viable, fair and just.”  The Virginia Attorney General, in 1995, in a letter answering Delegate Marshall’s query said the ERA is not dead.  The Supreme Court in Coleman vs Miller said regardless of a time limit, Article V of the Constitution said states still have the power to ratify the ERA.  It is up to the states to give an up or down vote, but not to determine its viability.  The time limit was in the proposing clause and not in the body of the amendment.  There have been seven amendments accepted back by Congress after a time limit has passed including habeas corpus.  The Madison Amendment, the 27th Amendment, was accepted back after 203 years.  It counted 9 of the 13 original state votes in its 38 total needed for passage.  This amendment nullified the time limit argument.

Why do we need the ERA?

  1. As I said before, the only guaranteed right we have in the Constitution is the right to vote.  Some say the 14th Amendment covers women, but if you study the history of the debate, it was never intended to cover women.  The Supreme Court in 1972 said in a decision that the 14th did cover women, but this has often been ineffective to support women’s constitutional authority.  Justice Scalia said in a law review last year that it does not cover women or give equal rights because there is no ERA.  Only the ERA will give the courts strict scrutiny to decide a case, and that’s why they could not find for Lily Ledbetter.  This is an umbrella insurance policy for women or a firewall.
  2.  Forty-seven percent of women support their families.  With the ERA, we will be guaranteed equal pay for the same work.  We now make 77 cents in Virginia for every dollar a man makes in the same job with the same experience.  What this means is that in old age, women receive less Social Security if they never married or (in the case of their ex-husband’s Social Security) if they have been divorced less than a certain number of years.
  3. If we make pay equal, we will increase the tax bases locally, in state coffers, and federally.  Women will have more to spend to grow the economy; more women will not need welfare, Medicaid and food stamps; and there will be a positive impact on infrastructure and other projects.  None of this includes the intangibles such as self-esteem, role models for children and other women, and better housing, which affects children and their learning environments.

Article I, Section 11 of the Virginia Constitution states in the last three lines:  “…that the right to be free from any government discrimination upon the basis of religious conviction, race, color, sex, or national origin shall not be abridged….”  I have to ask the question, if this was written in the 1950’s before the passage out of Congress of the ERA in 1972, why hasn’t Virginia extended the rights guaranteed in the Virginia Constitution to the women of the United States?

We have women fighting and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq.  They are fighting for a Constitution that affords them only the right to vote.  Last week, an all-female fighter squadron flew the first all-female mission from the US Carl Vinson.  The military knows the value of women.  Think of your mothers, wives, daughters, and granddaughters.  What if your daughter or granddaughter marries a man who leaves her with children to support?  Guarantee them the right to make an equal wage to support their families.

Opponents of the ERA say, we have bogus arguments, but give no reasons why they oppose the amendment.  Their specious arguments from the past are worn out.  We have same sex bathrooms, women can be drafted at any time, they serve in combat, and nowhere has abortion on demand been passed into law in the twenty-two states that have ERA amendments or clauses.  Time has marched on and attitudes have changed, but women are still waiting to be granted full citizenship under the US Constitution.  This is about the sex you are, not the sex you do.  A recent survey showed that over 86 percent of Americans agreed we need the ERA.  This is a civil rights issue.  This is a fairness issue. After waiting forty years, I would like to be a full citizen with guaranteed rights in the Constitution.  Thirty-five states have passed this, why not Virginia?

This is a matter of RESPECT.  Respect us enough to give us our rights and make us full citizens, not a 1/4, not a 1/2, but full citizens with the rights men enjoy.  I’ve heard male legislators say that they are protecting us.  No you’re not, not without the power of the law to guarantee our rights.  Again, respect us: that is all we are asking.”

###

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012

***

Go Diana!  She has since spoken on the floor many times on the importance of the ERA’s ratification.

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