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

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.

Virginia NOW
Communications Director / Webmistress

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

National Woman’s Party Convention, July 21, 1923


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) 
 Hirono (D)
Illinois: Durbin (D)  
 Cardin (D), Van Hollen (D)  
 Markey (D) & Warren (D)  
 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) 
 Brown (D)
Oregon: Merkley (D), Wyden (D)
Rhode Island: Reed (D), Whitehouse (D)  
 Sanders (I)  
 Kaine (D), Warner (D)  
 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)  
 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)  
 DeGette (D), Perlmutter (D)  
 Courtney (D), De Lauro (D), Himes (D), Larson (D)  
District of Columbia:
 Holmes Norton (D) (non-voting Delegate) 
 Castor (D), Crist (D), Deutch (D), Frankel (D), Hastings (D), Soto (D), Wasserman Schultz (D), Wilson (D).  
 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) 
 Yarmuth (D)  
 Richmond (D) 
 Pingree (D)  
 Cummings (D), Delaney (D), Raskin (D), Ruppersberger (D), Sarbanes (D)  
 Capuano (D), Clark (D), Keating (D), Kennedy (D), Lynch (D), McGovern (D), Moulton (D), Tsongas (D) 
 Conyers (D), Dingell (D), Kildee (D), Lawrence (D), Levin (D) 
 Ellison (D), McCollum (D), Nolan (D) Walz (D) 
 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) 
 Beyer (D), Connolly (D), Scott (D)
Washington: DelBene (D), Heck (D), Jayapel (D), Kilmer (D), Larsen (D), Smith (D) 
 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)  
 Durbin (D)
Maryland: Cardin (D), Van Hollen (D)
Massachusetts: Markey (D), Warren (D)  
New Jersey:
 Booker (D) Menendez (D)
New York: Gillibrand (D)  
 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)  
 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)  
 DeGette (D), Polis (D) 
 Courtney (D), Larson (D)
Delaware: Rochester (D)  
District of Columbia:
 Holmes Norton (D) (non-voting Delegate) 
 Castor (D), Crist (D), Demings (D), Deutch (D), Hastings (D), Lawson (D), Wilson (D)  
 Bishop (D), Johnson (D), Scott (D)  
 Hanabusa (D) 
 Davis (D), Gutierrez (D), Kelly (D), Schakowsky (D)
Iowa: Loebsack (D)
Maine: Pingree (D)  
 Cummings (D), Delaney (D), Hoyer (D), Raskin (D), Sarbanes (D)
Massachusetts: Keating (D), Kennedy (D), Lynch (D), McGovern (D), Moulton (D), Tsongas (D)  
 Conyers (D), Dingell (D), Kildee (D), Lawrence (D) 
 Walz (D)  
 Thompson (D) 
 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)  
 Fudge (D)  
 Bonamici (D)
Pennsylvania: Boyle (D), Cartwright (D) Dent (R)
Rhode Island: Cicilline (D)  
 Cohen (D), Cooper (D)  
 Jackson Lee (D)  
 Beyer (D), Connolly (D), McEachin (D)
Washington: Larsen (D)
Wisconsin: Kind (D), Pocan (D)


 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)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (202) 224-3744 @ChuckGrassley
Sen. Patrick Leahy (202) 224-4242 @SenatorLeahy


 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)

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (202) 225-5431 @RepGoodlatte
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (202) 225-5126 @RepJohnConyers


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.  

New Foremothers Oral History Videos Up

New Foremothers Oral History Videos Up.


Keep the pressure on Illinois legislators, it’s working! #RatifyERA

If you are calling Illinois about the #ERA today, please call ONLY the legislators on the list attached. UPDATED call list to #RatifyERA in Illinois, plus scripts and talking points at the link!

Calls are flooding in, on both sides, to all offices, and staffers are unable to do anything else. Hurray!  But let’s focus just these 10 or so.

Pro-Life and Schalfley lobbyists are also in the house. This is not over and we’re not finished!

Courtesy of

Would you like to make a few calls for the ERA?

All legislators on this list are considering voting YES on the ERA in Illinois!

Call numbers, email addresses, a script, and talking points below…

Once a legislator is moved to YES, please confirm carefully.
Then ask that legislator to contact Rep. Lou Lang in order to confirm their support for the bill SJRCA0075
Please also contact Jeanne Dauray either via mobile phone at (814) 598-8532 or via email at to report the change.

State Rep’s First Name State Rep’s Last Name Party District Springfield Office # District Office # Email
Daniel Beiser D 111 (217) 782-5996 (618) 465-5900
Brandon Phelps D 118 (217) 782-5131 (618) 253-4189
Jerry Costello D 116 (217) 782-1018 (618) 282-7284
Sue Scherer D 96 (217) 524-0353 (217) 877-9636
Dennis Reboletti R 45 (217) 782-4014 (630) 628-0045
Ed Sullivan, Jr. R 51 (217) 782-3696 (847) 566-5115
Sandra M. Pihos R 48 (217) 782-8037 (630) 858-8855
Katherine Cloonen D 79 (217) 782-5981 (815) 939-1983
John Cabello R 68 (217) 782-0455 (815) 282-0083
John E. Bradley D 117 (217) 782-1051 (618) 997-9697
Michael Tryon R 66 (217) 782-0432 (815) 459-6453
Robert Pritchard R 70 (217) 782-0425 (815) 748-3494

Call Script for Tuesday, December 1st

Hi, my name is __________ and I am a voter. I know that the Equal Rights Amendment, bill SJRCA 0075, is coming up for a vote Wednesday and I want Rep. _________ to vote YES on the ERA.

This is an issue for me because my (daughter, grand-daughter, sister, mother, etc.)…
…lives in (insert state here) where there is no equality for women.
…could live or work in a state in the future where there is no equality for women.

Without a United States Constitutional amendment, equality is not guaranteed. For instance, in April of 2013 Wisconsin removed their equal pay clause. Therefore, this vote in Illinois has the potential to extend the rights that women in Illinois enjoy, to all 50 states. Thus, I would expect that Rep. _______ will be voting YES on the ERA during the session.

Additionally, I know that many people are concerned about how pro-life issues will be impacted by this amendment. The truth is, it will actually help reduce abortions. Countries that have passed an ERA have seen documented increases in their GDP. This means that the pay for women increased, and economic security for women and their families increased too. When that happens, we know the number of abortions go down, since women often choose abortion due to poor economic circumstances. The increased economic security that ERA would bring also means that less people would need government assistance programs. Thus, the ERA is a win-win situation for everyone.

Would you please pass this information along to Rep. _________ and confirm their position on this bill? They may also contact Rep. Lou Lang to confirm their support for the ERA.


Important Call Tips and Information…

  • If you live in the legislator’s district, please identify yourself as such. It is VERY important. If you are a resident of Illinois, please also identify yourself as such.
  • No matter who you call on the list, please keep your conversations positive, hopeful, respectful, and filled with expectation that these legislators will do the right thing. All the legislators on this list have expressed support for the ERA at one point or another, and many are actively searching for ways to continue expressing that support. Many live in very conservative districts, rural districts, and pro-life districts which include constituencies that may have difficulty and reservations about supporting the ERA, as well as groups within that are actively opposing the ERA. Illinois is a battleground state when it comes to the ERA and you are calling into the heart of those areas. Be cautious and extraordinarily diplomatic. We are confident you can do this!
  • Pro-Life Districts: If you are calling a pro-life district, please be respectful and supportive of the legislator and sensitive to their position. Also, keep in mind that these legislators were asked by Right to Life, who provided their November election endorsements, to vote against the ERA. That being said, our campaign is currently seeking information from appropriate organizations to demonstrate how they can still be pro-life and pro-ERA based on pro-life principles, beliefs, and concerns. Some information you may want to use (see below) is that the ERA helps lift women out of poverty and thus, reduces the number of abortions.
  • Given that Illinois has an ERA in their state constitution that has existed since 1970, you may want to mention that to these legislators, and state that as a result, nothing will change for their constituents in the state of Illinois, but it could improve the economic situation for women outside of Illinois, which includes a lot of grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, and grand-daughters of Illinois residents.


Answering questions…

Is this necessary?  Yes, because right now women have no constitutional guarantee of equality. Current laws can be changed, amended, and challenged. This is of concern being as US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has already stated he believes women DO NOT have protection from sex discrimination currently.

Are wages really unequal?  Yes, even after all possible impact factors such as education, job performance, time off to care for children, and other items are taken out of the equation, women in the United States still take home less pay. It breaks down like this: For every $1.00 a man makes, an Asian American woman makes .87 cents, a White woman makes .78 cents, an African American woman makes .64 cents, a Native American woman makes .60 cents, and Latinas only get .53 cents for that same dollar. That means Latina women are making about half the pay for the same work!

Couldn’t this serve to actually hurt women?  No. In fact, the ERA is already enshrined in the Illinois State Constitution and has been since 1970. Interestingly enough, none of the horrific consequences have come to pass as predicted by those who oppose the ERA, and the women of Illinois actually enjoy better economic outcomes than many of their counterparts in states that do not have an ERA.

If Illinois already has an ERA, why should I support this?  Because many states do not have an ERA and thus, not all women are protected. Additionally, federal laws and the US Constitution generally override state laws and constitutions in many instances. This creates a situation where equality is not a sure and guaranteed thing for all women in the United States.

Hasn’t the ratification deadline passed?  Yes, it has, however, deadlines can be extended or erased, and there is precedent for resurrecting old amendments, such as the 27th amendment, which was ratified after 203 years. Additionally, there is legislation currently moving through the US House and Senate to remove the deadline for the ERA.

Why are we doing this now?  We have been actually trying to do this for sometime, in fact the Illinois State House passed this back in 2003, but did not get Senate support. Now we have Senate support and do not want to pass up on this opportunity. Also, it is not just happening in Illinois. This legislation is in fact moving through multiple state houses currently, but Illinois is most likely to be the first to pass the amendment.

What does the amendment say exactly?
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

But I am Pro-Life?  Pro-life does not mean anti-woman. You can be pro-life and pro-ERA. In fact, a long line of Catholic bishops have signed on in support of the ERA, and we are currently contacting them so that they make their voices heard once again on this important issue. Additionally, the biggest reason women choose abortions in this country is due to poor economic circumstances. Thus, we already know that when women are provided with economic security, abortion rates go down, therefore the ERA can help strengthen the economic circumstances of women nationally and reduce the number of abortions. Not only that, but there is no abortion language in the federal ERA we are supporting. In some states, they have included specific language, which has affected laws in relation to abortion, but the federal ERA has no such language.


Merry Christmas to All and to All Equal Rights!
Paradise Kendra
Virginia NOW

Communications VP, Webmistress

Push START on ERA in the Commonwealth

Push START on ERA in the Commonwealth.

Yes, I’m going to ask you for more during this holiday season. Your time, not your money.

Our legislative session is very short in 2015, and its coming soon. We must try to move the ERA to floor of the House of Delegates for a public vote.

The bill to ratify the ERA is buried in the Governance Committee where Delegates can vote not to bring it to the floor, but not suffer the consequences of that vote. Committee votes don’t get recorded

Through December and the session in Jan-Feb, I will send CC emails giving you the following:

  • Names, emails, Facebook pages, Twitters, and phone numbers for relevant federal and state representatives;
  • Suggested talking points/messages/tweets for your interactions;
  • Links and hashtags and all that jazz to help you get yourself and others connected to these efforts.
Our goal is to contact EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the recalcitrant House of Delegates and US House of Representatives to demand ratification. In VA, to being the bill to the floor and vote in public. In Congress, to lift the arbitrary ratification deadline.

You’ll get a handful of names every week. Contact as many as you have time for — ideally 5 or 6. They will be from all districts. Members must hear from all Virginians — not just from their carefully drawn districts of like-minded voters — because this is a national issue. Members of our coalition partners will making contact as well — it will not be just us out there.

This “hear from all” approach is not conventional, I know.
But convention is obviously not working for us.

We need their attention and action. Business as usual simply has not and will get women into the Constitution. We’re feminists. We go way beyond convention, and we will do so now.

To join this action in VA, and get updates about work in other states too,please choose one of the sign-up options at the left. Both of those will get you the same updates, so just choose one. Emails/updates will come regularly.

I don’t want to bother all our contacts, every week, for the next few months. I know not all of you are interested in ratifying the ERA.

Lots of other issues also need work, and VA NOW wants to respect your interests and your time.

Just note that for the next few weeks, I will send these emails to most of our lists. They will all have the subject line “ERA Campaign.” I’m only doing that to give as many as possible the chance to catch one of these emails and sign-up for the dedicated list or blog updates.

I wish you and yours health, happiness, and equality in the new year!

Constant Contact
Sign-up Here
Click the ERA Only button to join the list dedicated
to ratification.
(You know, if you want more CC emails.)

Follow this blog, or
sign-up for its email updates.
(Because, you get enough CC emails.)
For Women!
Simone Roberts, Historian/ERA Coordinator

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:

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

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)

Happy GoTopless Day!

   What is

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, 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
(*) (*) (*) (*) (*)



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 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!



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

Follow Helene’s ERA Pilgrimage

In the deep meaning of the word “pilgrimage,” Helene de Boissiere-Swanson is trekking across the United States from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. She does this in the name of her mother, of her husband, her family and all of us. She will arrive in the District next spring. On her way, she is attending to business spiritual and political, as feminsts have long done. Ours is not merely a cause for legal equality, for a wider and deeper social justice, for a more inclusive and welcoming and robust social order. Our cause is for that, certainly, but that is only a basis, a legal ground, from which we imagine a world of humans of all kinds standing at ease in their own physical and emotional grace, social and economic dignity, and intellectual and spiritual radiance. THAT, is our goal. For ev-er-y-one.

The Equal Rights Amendment would be a key stone in the architecture that would create a social and natural environment in which these future humans would flourish. Without it, every “right” women currently enjoy is politically insecure.

You can follow Helene’s progress in her sojourn on the page for Katrina’s Dream — the name of the organization she created to tend this project — and on the web at WWW.KATRINASDREAM.ORG.

I have been for a few weeks now inspired and reinvigorated by my acquaintance with Helene. She’ll be happy to share that with you, too.

In justice,
Simone Roberts
Web Editor

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.


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

Rumors of our Equality Are Greatly Exaggerated!

NOW (and hosts of women’s rights organizations) will be well represented at the 50th Anniversary March, and NOW President Terry O’Neill will be speaking about the Equal Rights Amendment. This is it here:


The Equal Rights Amendment is simple, clear, and inalienable!!

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.”

It’s been 90 years since Alice Paul wrote this simple text in 1923. It is just time, people. But time will drag on if we don’t act!

92% of Americans think that women have equality under the law. They are mistaken. The only right actually secured for women in the Constitution is the right to vote.

Everything else: right to own property, right to custody of our children, right to healthcare, right to work, right to have our own bank account and lines of credit, right to equal pay, right to fight in the military, right to autonomy over our own bodies in any way, to education, to purchase sex toys, to fill-in-the-blank are made right now by a patch work of court decisions, and statues in laws that are not permanent amendments to the Constitution. These ‘privileges’ are alienable, they can be taken away. The ERA would convert them legally, federally, into inalienable rights.

At present these “privileges” and this”equality” are just gifts from the courts and legislatures, and those gifts can be taken away or curbed (as in over-regulation of health clinics that makes access to abortion services very, very difficult or impossible; as in voting rights restrictions; as in not having a law that just says you get paid equally to a man in your position or the federal government will come after your employer). Fighting, over and over, to secure the same rights, often state by state, endlessly is not liberty. Battle is not liberty. Battle does not allow the greatest expression and implementation of the people’s intellect and skill for their own and the nation’s benefit. Battle just drains energy. As we have seen just this year in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, and Texas — we can fight like hell, and we can lose our battle for dignity, even for our lives.

The ERA would put an end to that battle. This is battle is won and decided in most of the developed world, and decided for women. Moreover, the ERA would only strengthen the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by extending its full protections to women of color, as women. It would benefit the LGBTQIA communities by assuring that these women are also fully recognized as persons with inalienable rights. The same forces that resist the ERA refuse to ratify CEDAW, and that leaves American women and international women in America vulnerable.

Virginia NOW has recently been working on getting the ERA through the Virginia Legislature, but the state House will not schedule a vote even though the state Senate has voted to ratify two times!! Lots of information and tips on action can be found at Virginia ERA and Equal Rights Amendment.

We need you to lend your words and work to this effort. You can sign this petition to Congress to lift the deadline on ratification: (click here). You can read the White House’s response to the petition on their website: (click here). It’s positive, it’s supportive, it’s lots of things but it is not pro-active. We feel the White House needs a little encouragement. So do this: 

  • Write to the White House, and tell them that you’re glad to have Fair Pay and Title IX and so forth, but these laws are not civil rights amendments and they can be changed, or overturned at any time. Only a ratified constitutional amendment would truly secure these rights for all women.
  • Write to your federal representatives and to your state representatives (see bottom of page), and tell them that you’ll support them if they support you–ratification and/or removal of the deadline for ratification is the form this support should take.
  •  Visit Equal Rights Amendment dot Org for complete details and suggestions for getting your boots on the ground! Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia, I am talking to you!!!. If you live in these 15 states, go kick some ratification butt!!! We only need 3 out of 15.

Below, NOW’s resolution in favor of the ERA Amendment & CEDAW. (We are one of only a few nations not to sign on. That distinguished cadre includes: United States, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Iran, and two small Pacific Island nations [Palau and Tonga]). For the full complement of NOW Resolutions (click here). 



WHEREAS, constitutional equality for women is a core issue for the National Organization for Women (NOW) and discrimination based on sex is a violation of human rights; and

WHEREAS, NOW is supporting both the 3-state strategy and a Congressional strategy to begin anew on an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA); and

WHEREAS, Congressional leaders for women’s equality believe it is necessary to support both strategies; and

WHEREAS, both methods provide unique advantages; and

WHEREAS, NOW continues to support ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, The Women’s Treaty) by the U.S. Senate;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW reaffirms that we continue to work on several strategies that educate the public about the need to win constitutional equality for women; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW create an “ERA Educate to Advocate Campaign” and actively pursue opportunities to obtain media attention to bring the movement to ratify the ERA and CEDAW (The Women’s Treaty) into the national conversation; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we recommend to the NOW/PAC and the state and local PACs that they score candidates on their support for an ERA on the 3-state strategy, a Congressional strategy to begin anew on an Equal Rights Amendment, and CEDAW (The Women’s Treaty), in considering whether or not to endorse a political candidate.

So, tell me. Do you want to have a dream, or do you want to live that dream?


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Diana Egozcue
, President

Paradise Kendra, Communications VP/Webmistress
Simone Roberts, Historian/ERA Coordinator

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