It was a momentous week for the House of Representatives. First, the loss of Congressman John Lewis. He was for over thirty years the voice of nonviolence and equal rights in Congress. He crossed the Pettus Bridge for the last time–in a horse drawn carriage–and lies in state in the U.S. Capitol today.
As the country mourned John Lewis, they heard the voice of another Congressperson: Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez took to the floor of the House to set the record straight about the remarks made to and about her on the Capitol steps. Her speech was riveting in its clarity and unabashed conclusion: it is time to stop calling women names, and everything that represents. We believe her comments offered a perfect reason the ERA. Please watch all of it here.
And then listen to Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Chair of the ERA Coalition in her NPR interview on what the Ocasio-Cortez remarks mean for all women, especially women of color. You can listen to it here.
The ERA Coalition has been working hard behind the scenes to encourage Vice President Biden to prioritize the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) as a campaign issue and it is working! Our staff lead DC Director Bettina Hager put forth 3 asks, 2 of which have been successfully completed. Join us in continuing to put pressure on this, and all, campaigns!
1. Strong language in the Democratic Party Platform- √
2. Pledge support for the ERA- √
3. Reference ERA in all speeches and events focusing on women’s equality: ?
As President, Biden will work with advocates across the country to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) so women’s rights are once and for all explicitly enshrined in our Constitution.
The full Biden Agenda for Women here.
Vice President Biden, a longtime ERA champion, has voiced his support for the ERA on the campaign trail. We now ask that he go further and make a pronouncement that full ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment is a top priority, standing with the 94% of voters who want to see the Constitution amended to guarantee equal rights for women and men.
Read the full Biden Brief here.
Our thanks to Advisory Board member Alyssa Milano and MarchOn for a letter to MarchOn members about our petition to the Senate, requesting a vote on SJ Res 6, removal of the time limit on the ERA. We are up to 2,000 signatures–please review and join us. There is no time limit on equality!
I’m proud to stand with MARCH ON and the ERA Coalition in their efforts to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified THIS YEAR.
After nearly 100 years of tireless efforts by progressive activists, last January Virginia became the 38th state in our Union to ratify the ERA, satisfying all the requirements set forth in the Constitution for ratification.
Mitch McConnell is REFUSING to bring the bill that would allow Senators to remove the time limit from the ERA this year to the Senate floor. But we have the momentum to stop him in his tracks, Carol.
SJ Res 6, which would remove the seven year time limit for ratification on the Equal Rights Amendment, currently has [49 co-sponsors] on both sides of the aisle.
If we can force McConnell’s hand to get this bill to the Senate floor, we WILL get the time limit on the ERA removed this year and FINALLY grant all Americans the protections that they deserve.
The Equal Rights Amendment is SO critical. Here’s what it says:
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.
We’ve been waiting for an entire century to include women in the constitution, and now that we have the greenlight to do so, we REFUSE to let Mitch McConnell stand in the way of progress.
Thank you for your support, we appreciate it so much.
ERA Coalition Advisory Council
Kudos to our South Carolina advocates and Charleston chapter of our Lead Org, League of Women Voters, who have launched a massive letter-writing campaign in support of SJ Res 6. We encourage all to do the same–get your Senators moving before the end of the 116th Congress!
Linda Coberly, Chair of the ERA Coalition Legal Task Force did two great updates on progress of the amicus briefs in the Attorneys General suit against the Archivist, compelling him to certify and publish the 38th and final states for ratification. You can listen to the interview on Bloomburg News here.
You can read the interview with Above the Law here.
And I hope you will join me (virtually) on Thursday morning for a conversation about the ERA. Honored to be a part of the famed Chautauqua Institution for their exploration of the Centennial of the Women’s Vote…and the future.
All the best to everyone out there still sorting out our time of lockdown and social unrest. The great John Lewis left us to consider what a meaningful life can look like…and these words: “Do not despair…it is a lifetime’s struggle.”
Co-President and CEO
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