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NEWS RELEASE FROM THE ERA-NC ALLIANCE
Durham, NC – From the mountains to the coast, many municipalities and counties are now on record with their support for North Carolina’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The City Councils of Asheville and Elizabeth City, and Dare County are the most recent to pass resolutions urging the General Assembly to ratify the amendment. The passage of the resolutions marks an historic path for the citizens of the state who seek to re-engage the state legislature toward ensuring the full equality of women and men in the United States Constitution.
After the Asheville City Council passed the resolution, Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler stated, “I’m proud that City Council unanimously approved the resolution supporting North Carolina’s adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment. The Council recognizes that adoption of the ERA is long overdue.”
Dare County has formally joined Durham and Orange counties in adopting resolutions encouraging the NC General Assembly to ratify the ERA, and the majority of Buncombe County Commissioners have also expressed their support for ratification. Now the Cities of Asheville and Elizabeth City join eight other municipalities across the state that have adopted resolutions:
“Sometimes we are happily surprised at the ease with which we get support for the ERA,” says Ann Von Brock, a board member of the ERA-NC Alliance from Buncombe County. “When Asheville City Council members Gwen Wisler and Julie Mayfield were approached, they both responded with enthusiasm. In fact, they put the resolution together based on a draft we provided, included it in their consent agenda and gave us time to address Council so the audience as well as all Council members had a chance to hear why this is important to all citizens.”
Alliance board member Judy Lotas of Dare County agrees. “Many citizens are shocked to learn that women, at present, are not fully included in the U.S. Constitution. As the realization spreads, more local governments, businesses, churches and clubs are voicing their support for including women in the Constitution by passing their own resolutions.”
In 1972 a proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed both houses of the U.S. Congress and was sent to the states for ratification. By a 1982 deadline, only 35 of the required 38 states had ratified the ERA. North Carolina was one of the states that failed to ratify the ERA. However, in March, 2017, the state of Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the amendment.
North Carolina enjoys enormous support for equal rights for women and men under the constitution, and is becoming a leader in the new movement to pass the ERA. Bills supporting state ratification were introduced in both the House and Senate in the current and previous General Assembly sessions, though they were sent to committee where the chairs refused to hold hearings or take further action. Activists remain undeterred, however, and are continuing to gather evidence of statewide support for the ERA to share with our expanding base of allies within the General Assembly.
About the ERA-NC Alliance:
The ERA-NC Alliance (www.era-nc.org) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization seeking ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. constitution. Membership is open to individuals and organizations committed to ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Lead organizations include the American Association of University Women of NC, Democratic Women of NC, League of Women Voters of NC, NC4ERA, NC Business and Professional Women, NC National Organization for Women, NC Women United, Ratify ERA- NC and the Women’s Forum of NC. The Alliance operates in direct collaboration with the national ERA Coalition (www.eracoalition.org).
……“When the news came out that DeVos was both planning to roll back protections [on Title IX] and spending her time discussing the law and its nuances with hate groups rather than with survivors, we were outraged,” Jahangiri said. “Unfortunately, we have an administration that’s hell bent on targeting the most vulnerable young people.”
But things would not be so scary for Hampsey if she were protected by an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), at least not according to the National Organization for Women (NOW), which states on its website that the ERA would “make it significantly more difficult to roll back progress on women’s equality.”
By: Christina Shaman
Read full article at the link below:
“Not so in North Carolina, where numerous measures languish in the House or Senate Rules Committee for months, never to be heard. Now the legislators have decamped after six months, but not before hearing from hundreds of concerned citizens about the Equal Rights Amendment and other important issues. Nevertheless, the Rules Committees stubbornly refused to hold hearings or even to consider the ERA, which had met the same ignominious fate in the 2015 legislative session.”-Roberta Madden
Find full Op-ed at the link below:
Kamala Lopez, writer and producer of the movie Equal Means Equal writes:
Women in the U.S. don’t have equal rights.
Yup. No equal rights in the U.S. Constitution. The Equal Rights Amendment never passed.
This means that women currently don’t have a constitutional right to equal pay, pregnant women and new mothers don’t have the right to job security, and domestic violence survivors don’t have the right to police protection. Laws can be overturned: a constitutional amendment is the only guarantee that carries over from one generation to the next.
Many Americans don’t know the ERA never passed, or what it even is to begin with. They don’t know that the battles we fight everyday — for equal access to education, pay, and health care — would immediately become obsolete if women’s rights were protected by the Constitution.
This is why we joined the fight with Equal Means Equal: we’re forming a strong collective of Americans that are dedicated to securing our rights for future generations of women and girls—and we’re not backing down. We’re coming together, to pool our power and provide Americans with the information and tools they need to get the ERA passed.
We are 95% of the way there, but we need everyone to join the fight to pass the ERA. We need your help to make history. We need to be in this together.
Can we count on you to send the message loud and clear that it’s unacceptable that our constitution doesn’t guarantee equal rights for women—that our government must do something about it ASAP?
Join the fight at equalmeansequal.org
=From the state NOW Legislative Report:
Both ERA bills S85 and H102 remain unheard in their respective Rules Committees. However, significant progress was made in lobbying efforts by organizations with an interest in the passage of the ERA. AAUW leadership reports that to date, 275 individuals have sent emails to the Rules Committee members of both chambers, resulting in 13,728 total emails sent. Anecdotal reports indicate that numerous contacts have been made to the offices of Sen. Bill Rabon, Rules Chair and Tim Moore, Speaker of the House. Advocates are calling for the ERA bills to be reassigned to appropriate committees to be heard.
The General Assembly is currently working to truncate this year’s session, additionally diminishing the chances that the bills will be heard this session. Therefore, the date for the June advocacy action, Cookie Drop, has been moved forward from late June to early June. NC4ERA is joining ERA-NC Alliance for the “I Love The ERA” Cookie Drop on June 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm at the legislature. Participants will distribute heart-shaped cookies and educational literature on why we love the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
“I Love The ERA” Cookie Drop Event Details—A Successful Action
The ERA-NC Alliance is asking for volunteers to distribute the literature and cookies.
Date: Wednesday, June 7th, 2017
Where: NCGA 16 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC
Gather in the 1300 quadrant.
RSVP to help: (optional, but will help with planning): http://bit.do/CookieDropRSVP
The ERA-NC Alliance is excited to welcome Kennedy Bridges and Marge Wright as summer interns with the ERA-NC Alliance. They began working with the Alliance on May 22nd and will serve as Action Team Facilitators through July 14, 2017. The internship program is sponsored by the Moxie Project affiliated with The Carolina Women’s Center at the University of Chapel-Hill.