ERA Spring 2015 Report and Calls to Action

Albuquerque-NOW ERA Task Force: www.albuquerquenow.org

Sylvia M. Ramos, M.D., Chair

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is as relevant now as it was when first written by Alice Paul 92 years ago and much work is going on nationally to have women’s rights (which are Human Rights) written into our US Constitution. Only a Constitutional amendment will guarantee women “Equal Justice under Law.”

Laws, Judicial Decisions and Executive Acts are temporary remedies to legislative attacks on women’s rights. However, no matter how well-intentioned, all these measures may be overturned, repealed, ignored and chipped away whenever a group of legislators decides women’s rights are politically expedient and expendable.

The ERA is introduced every year in Congress. Work is needed in every state to ratify it and have it inscribed in our Constitution. A new national organization, the ERA Coalition, has been joined in this effort by many other national organizations. Find out all about them, the ERA, the campaign, who’s in and who’s out at this site: http://www.eracoalition.org/

Representative Jackie Speier introduced https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hjres51 (H. J. Res. 51) on May 13 and Senator Ben Cardin introduced S. J. Res. 15 on May 7: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/sjres15.

Both seek to remove the deadline for ratification so we can get three more states to ratify it. That will bring us to the 38 states needed for ERA to be added to the Constitution. This is the path we favor.

There are other resolutions that ask for the ERA to be sent to all the states for ratification. That means that even states that ratified it previously would need to do it again (43 years later!). Sen Menendez introduced S.J.Res. 16 https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/sjres16 and Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced H.J.Res. 52. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hjres52.

Even though NM ratified the ERA in 1973, we need to continue working to ensure that ERA is ratified nationally. We need YOU to get this done!

Ongoing and Specific Activities to get ERA Ratified

1. Build awareness about the ERA among the general public and our elected officials.

ACT NOW! ~ Sign the ERA Petition to our US Senators and Representatives at: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/take-the-equal-rights.fb48?source=c.fb&r_by=13077225

a) Legislature event- We had a well-attended program at the NM State Capitol Rotunda on March 2nd to celebrate International Woman Day, highlight legislation addressing women’s rights and need for the ERA. We were joined by several local professional and community organizations. Participants were: Deborah Blanche (Emcee, Abq-NOW), Martha Burk, Ph. D. (Political Psychologist, Women’s Issues Expert), NM State Senator Jacob Candelaria, Carolyn Glen (HSNM, AAUW-Activist for Equal Pay), Pamelya Herndon, J.D.(Executive Director, SWLC), Sylvia M. Ramos, M.D Abq-NOW) and Ghada Zribi (UNM Student and women’s rights activist)

b) Participate in and distribute literature at local events such as Earth Day and Bees and Seeds.

c) Plan and present local programs about women’s rights and the ERA, especially on relevant dates such as Women’s Equality Day.

2. Get our elected officials in Congress to sign on as co-sponsors of the resolutions to do away with the deadline for ratification- S.J.Res. 15 and H.J.Res. 51.

ACT NOW! – Contact your Congress members. Here is how:

Find Congress members, upcoming bills and other info:
https://www.govtrack.us/

 For more information on all our Congress members:
http://www.contactingthecongress.org/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi?site=ctc2011&state=nm

As of 5/16/15 Senator Udall, Representative Steve Pearce and Representative Ben Ray Lujan have not signed on to any ERA bill. Urge them (or their Legislative Director) to support women by signing on as co-sponsors.

Sen. Tom Udall– 202-224-6621
Legis. Director: Andrew.Wallace@mail.senate.gov

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan – 202 225-6190
Legis. Director: Monica.Sanchez@mail.senate.gov

Rep. Steve Pearce – 202-225-2356
@Andrew.Aragon@mail.senate.gov

Senator Martin Heinrich and Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham have signed on. Thank them.

Sen. Martin Heinrich – 202-224-5521
Legis. Dir.: Jude.McCartin@mail.sen.gov

Rep Michelle Lujan Grisham—202-225-6316
Legis .Dir. Alma.Acosta@mail.house.gov

3. Help our allies- Sign petitions, pass on their messages and calls for action, tweets, etc.

ACT NOW! ~ Sign up (no obligation to do anything else) on the Equal Means Equal Website to help build interest, momentum and support for the FILM to get shown across the country at:

http://equalmeansequal.com/messaging/EME1/EME_Join_EME.html

4. Build coalitions and networks with other organizations that move the cause of women’s rights forward. Tell them about us and Let us know who they are.

5. Spread the word about our work on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.

Help us do this! The ERA Task Force is an ad hoc group made up of people who volunteer at different times to help with specific events. We welcome your ideas and help.

Contact: Sylvia Ramos, ERA Task Force Chair for Albuquerque NOW (ERA Liaison for Feminist Caucus-Humanist Society of NM and Santa Fe-NOW) Phone: (505) 401-0601; email: smrcmd@hotmail.com; Twitter: @smrcmd

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