Author Archives: PoMoRed

So, I’m leaving you, Virginia. Here’s how to carry on, and carry on!!!

Time for Me to Ramble On

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

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

I’m sad about this, Virginia. Some very big changes are coming in my personal life this year. They’re all good changes, but require lots of my time and energy. My consort and I are going through carreer changes, and will likely move out of state. So, sigh…,  the smart thing to do is to step back from my position as ERA Coordinator — hopefully in time to show a new activist the ropes!!! (Could this be you? I’ll help you get your bearings, just drop by our website and apply.) Really, I would love to get someone in here doing this work!!!

Ratification is always a be-at-the-ready and time sensitive project, and I can’t promise to be available as needed in the next months.  But, know this: We are doing a great job!! The other day, I googled some information on the ERA and this blog came up as the #2 and #8 hits in the search!! Hurray, Virginia!!! We kick butt!!!

You, on the other hand, may well have the time and talent America’s women need on our side!!! If you do, just use that link up there to get in touch!!

How to Use this Blog in the Meantime

1. Remember, every delegate is up for re-election this fall. Please pay attention to emails/social media about VA NOW PAC’s candidate endorsements. We have a slate of very promising folks this year!!! Then, please, support those candidates as you can. We need a change of the guard in the GA.

2. Keep writing and contacting our legislators. For the summer, it’s Congress that matters. But, all of our state level public officials need to be nudged, and regularly. These older posts are good inspiration for that: Letter to Congress, Say It!! ERA YES!! (especially the bottom half), Docket (this one’s targeted to GOP who don’t support, scroll down). There’s more, but that’s a nice start.

3. Write letters to the editor. I cannot emphasize this enough. 96% of Americans believe that  men and women are equal before the law. 72% believe that equality is already guaranteed by the Constitution.They’re all wrong. This is true of Viriginia too. This is a gap we can close. This blog post is useful for that.

4. Draw from the Media & Messaging Page. I built that to be a longish term resource for all of us. Mix and match and make it your own!!! Combine with letters and idea from other posts. There’s lots of material here to use and reuse.

5. Use the Contact Congress & General Assembly Page to get in touch with our 2015 representatives. This page will be updated sometime after the fall election. I’ve been using the Congressional Directory and Virginia General Assembly Site (House // Senate) to get contact info for the site the emails I’ve sent you.

6. Encourage the legislators and candidates who support our issues, especially ratification. Call them, email them, elect and re-elect them.

7. Show your friends the work you do. Post your emails and letters to your Facebook, share them with people in every way. Once they see you do it, they’ll know they can do it. Nothing about this work should be kept private. This is not your hobby. This is a civil rights movement. Show the way. Use the hashtags at the right when you post on your own blogs, or Facebook, or Twitter, or Tumblr, even Instagram. Connect people to resources, tools. This blog.

8. Connect with the coalitions. From them you’ll get news about efforts in VA, but also in all the other un-ratified states and Congress. The ERA is a national issue, so on this point, yes, you need to meddle in the affairs of other states! Often! Loudly! Especially active are: ERA Action, ERA Coalition, ERA Education Project, Feminist Majority, People Demanding Action, Women Matter.

9. Keep and eye on our opponents. Not just the legislators, but the organizations. Watch out for ALEC, for the Koch Brothers, and for the Eagle Forum and Family Foundation — they’re still at it against the ERA.

Rinse. Repeat. Because I can promise you this: the fact of a woman in the White House will not necessarily mean that we’ll get our ERA. We’ve seen what obstructionism can do. We know we’ll need to do more than just get some Ovaries in the Oval Office.

Basically, you have to keep on it.

This chain, and women used it and its like, shut the Morman Temple in MD, the Republican National Committee headquarters , and closed Pennsylvania Avenue. For the ERA.

This chain, and women used it and its like, shut the Morman Temple in MD, the Republican National Committee headquarters , and closed Pennsylvania Avenue. For the ERA.

There’s a reason Geico and Progressive and Farmers Insurance run an ad every hour, every day, in serveral markets at a time. Repetition works. Repetition counts. Repetition gets into people’s heads. Sadly for grassroots activists, this is the only way, and it is labor intensive. But, it is the only way. The only way to get especially the opposition to listen to us and our friends is to be the constant buzz in their ear.

Get it?  😉

Make sure you place those letters to the editor in their districts as well as your own.

Bring the pressure. Anti-woman and
anti-feminist politicians will respond to nothing else.

We’re not alone. Efforts are gearing up nation wide. CNN gave ratification some awesom coverage in this 3 part series: The New Women Warriors. The new generation is taking up this banner. Let’s go!!!

It’s been a lot of excellent and joyful work running this online campaign to ratify the ERA with you. It’s my fervent hope that you will carry on in my absence. You are inspirations. Now, go spread that goodness around!!! Women belong in the Constitution!!!!

For women! Carry on!
Simone Roberts
Virginia NOW Historian

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Help Nevada Ratify the ERA

RIGHT NOW, YOU CAN PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE TO HELP RATIFY THE ERA…

  1. Submit your vote of YES for SJR16 for Nevada ratification of the ERA by choosing it from the pull-down menu at the NV Legislature’s “Share Your Opinion” page. Legislative assistants will be adding up the vote totals. Instructions are as follows:
  1. Call or E-mail the four committee members with the subject:  

SUBJECT: NEVADA, IT’S YOUR TIME TO RATIFY THE ERA!

 Use the information below to contact them on your own

Click on the email addresses below and suggested wording will come up for you

Michael Roberson, Senate Majority Leader (District 20 in Clark County)
phone: (775) 684-1481;  email: Michael.Roberson@sen.state.nv.us

Patricia Farley, Chair (District 8 in Clark County)
phone: (775) 684-1445;  email: Patricia.Farley@sen.state.nv.us

James Settelmeyer, Vice Chair (District 17 covering Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, and Storey counties) phone: (775) 684-1470;  email: James.Settelmeyer@sen.state.nv.us

Greg Brower (District 15 in Washoe County) phone: (775) 684-1419;  email: Greg.Brower@sen.state.nv.us

Simple script for a phone call: 
“Hello, I am requesting that Nevada ratify the Equal Rights Amendment because Nevada is one of the states holding the whole country up on equal rights for both women and men. We expect more from Nevada to protect equal rights for both women and men.”

Sample Email
Dear Honorable Senators in Nevada,

I am requesting that Nevada ratify the Equal Rights Amendment because Nevada is one of the states holding the whole country up on equal rights for both women and men. We expect more from Nevada to protect equal rights for both women and men.

Sincerely,
(YOUR FULL NAME)
(YOUR CITY AND STATE)

[this call for action sent to VA NOW by PDA]

This Summer It’s All About Amplification: The ERA, Congress, and Virginia

Dear Virginia,

A growing coalition of congressional representatives and senators are at work now to lift the deadline imposed by Congress that nearly shuttered ratification in 1982. The goal is to reintroduce legislation that will greenlight remaining ratification efforts.

ERA YES BnW (1)This is just one part of the 3-State Strategy. Get a state, or get Congress, get momentum, lift the deadline, and PRESTO! Equal Rights Amendment!! Legal and Civil Equality for All Women!!

As you may imagine, (actually, you don’t have to imagine, you know) many in Congress and the Senate need our encouragement to co-sponsor and — crucially — to also vote for this resolution lifting the deadline.

Don’t be fooled by obstructionists (I’m looking at you Del. Mark Cole, and your friends)!!! As I have there and below, Congress can lift this deadline anytime it takes the notion. 

You see, it’s been explained to Cole that his reading of the law is flatly wrong. I supplied to the WEC this article from William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law, which clearly explains the decision in NOW v. Idaho and similar cases. States can ratify and prompt Congress to lift the deadline, or Congress and lift the deadline and let states finish ratification. Davis of Women Matter found and sent to Cole and the P&E Committee the Congressional Research Service report on the ERA and deadlines, which agrees with both the William and Mary paper, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Argument by authority has a lot to do with the status of your authority. You see, the when the Virginia Attorney General in 1992 said that Virginia could not ratify, that was just his feeling on the matter and not a statement with any legal weight or force. If it legal force, all these very intelligent and energetic feminists would be taking another approach. Equally, that the GA has failed/refused to ratify in the past is meaningless in any present effort, other than to say it’s an uphill climb and Cole is unwilling to flatten any of that slope.

Amplify Your Voice for the ERA

Good Indoor Project for the Hot Summer MonthsImage result for free wink smiley black and white

Send this — or better, your own version of this — letter to everyone, from all the states, in Both Houses of Congress that you have time to contact. Don’t worry about who, or when. They all need to get on board. Women’s Civil Equality is just historically due and there is no legit excuse for demurring, distracting, obfuscating, or refusing. All those gestures are the same thing: a choice to oppress women. 

Dear Honorable Representative ______ / Honorable Senator ______,

I write you with a simple request. Help ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

Sometime in the session of the 114th Congress, legislation will be introduced that removes the 1982 deadline imposed on this constitutional amendment. As an American interested in legal equality for women, I ask you to co-sponsor or vote for this bill when comes up (or, both!).

Many in both houses are ready to co-sponsor this bill. It is not yet introduced, but you can read similar bills from the 113th Congress, H.J. Res. 113 and S.J. Res. 15.

You will not be alone. Vigorous movements are pressing ever closer to ratification in any 3 of the remaining 15 unratified states. You can see evidence for instance in Virginia with the work of the Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition (multi-issue), Women Matter, and Virginia NOW with its Virginia ERA Network.

I know, yours is one of the busiest desks in the country. The implications of the ERA for women and men might not be in the front of your mind. The ERA Education Project offers itself to solve that for you in short order.

Women’s citizenship is currently at stitched up patchwork of laws that “secure” us our “rights,” but only a constitutional amendment will make this rights genuine, secure, and inalienable. Lawmakers in the states sometimes demure, concerned they might step on Congressional toes; while federal representatives wait for a clear signal from the states.

Exposed in the fray and wear on this piebald fabric are the women of America and our families. The ERA would mean, if nothing else, the end of wage and employment discrimination — which would help us lift our families out of poverty, assure better educational outcomes for our children, and help us be sure of a retirement less dependent on the state.

The Equal Rights Amendment  — introduced by Alice Paul to the US Congress in 1921

  • 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.

With my deep thanks for your service to this country,

Your Name
City, State

And then, you know, as you go, add in and recycle some of the arguments we’ve made here concerning the various objections to the amendment. Spice it up. Slap down bad arguments before they happen!

Everyone needs to know you’re thinking about women’s equality, that you are watching to see what they do, that you will act politically in your own best interests, and that you will tell others what you know.

You will get your chance to co-sponsor and vote to #LiftTheDeadline oImage result for twitter icon vector freen #EqualRightsAmendment. For women!

Tweet to these Reps for Virginia. To contact all of the Congress: avail yourself of the Congressional Directory. Very handy thing, this.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorKaine
@SenKaineOffice

Sen. Mark Warner, D
https://www.facebook.com/MarkRWarner
@MarkWarner

Rep. Rob Wittman, 1st District
https://www.facebook.com/RepRobWittman
@RobWittman

Rep. Scott Rigell, 2nd District
https://www.facebook.com/RepScottRigell
@RepScottRigell

Rep. Bobby Scott (D), 3rd District
https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanBobbyScott
@repbobbyscott

Rep. Randy Forbes, 4th District
https://www.facebook.com/randyforbes
@Randy_Forbes

Rep. Robert Hurt, 5th District
hhttps://www.facebook.com/RepRobertHurt
@RepRobertHurt

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, 6th District
https://twitter.com/repgoodlatte
@RepGoodlatte

Rep. Dave Brat, 7th District
https://www.facebook.com/HouseRepublicans
@HouseGOP – note, this is not Brat’s own media

Rep. Don Beyer, 8th District
https://www.facebook.com/HouseDemocrats
@HouseDemocrats — note, this is not Beyer’s own media

Rep. Morgan Griffith, 9th District
https://www.facebook.com/RepMorganGriffith
@RepMGriffith

Rep. Barbara Comstock, 10th District
https://www.facebook.com/RepBarbaraComstock
@RepComstock

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D), 11th District   https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanGerryConnolly
@GerryConnolly

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

Social Media and Issues Survey

Dear Virginia,

VA NOW is gathering in Richmond this weekend, and we thought we’d take this moment to ask you how we can best serve you in the future.

Which issues are most vital to you? What do you think of our social media strategies?

This survey takes about 5 minutes to fill out, and it will really help us give you what you need.

Thanks, and we hope to see you this weekend.

Not Only for Young Feminists Conference

Dear Feminists,

I received and email this week that saddened me and made me realize an error. It said about our conference only this, “I would come, but I’m not young.”

Let me make a correction: All feminists, of every generation and background, are welcome to this conference on April 10 to April 12.

Why have we concentrated on young feminists for this conference?

The future is full of work for equality, inclusion, and respect for women of all kinds and ages. There is old business to finish like ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, and newer business like a more accepting and welcoming social world for transexual, intersexual, and gender non-conforming people, as well as more effective measures of address rape culture and men’s sense of entitlement to women’s bodies.

To say nothing of the directly political work that needs doing in Virginia to elect feminist and women and women-friendly candidates who will protect the civil and social gain we fought so hard and long for.

Both NOW and Virginia NOW will need new generations of feminists to join our chapters and get busy on these and many other pressing matters of feminist concern. I’m 46 years old. I’m not going to be as available for this work when my parents grow older as I am now. Most of our membership is my age or older. The work we have done as Second and Third Wave feminists is precious and should be celebrated. Our experience and wisdom should be available to the younger generations.

In order to welcome younger women and younger feminists who will continue the work after all, we must also open our concept of feminism to include the issues and experiences most relevant to these new generations. That’s what this conference, to be an annual event we hope, is supposed to do.

Please, do join us. The power and joy that come from mixing the wisdom and experience of our foremothers with the new energy and expanded philosophy of the new generations — that power will be irresistible.

I apologize if you have felt excluded, marginalized, or belittled due to your age. I assure you that you are welcome and wanted at this conference.

Registration is open until 5 pm, Wednesday, April 8. We have extended it after an agreement with the hotel. To read more about the conference and to register, please click here.

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