ERAMN actions of a ratified state; ERA Minnesota Report as presented on National ERA Conference Call 'THE CALL' 6.24.18Read Now
By Betty Folliard, Founder ERAMN
I. Background of ERAMN
A. I started ERA Minnesota in 2014 after we successfully passed WESA – The Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act - thru our legislature, putting Minnesota on the forefront of workplace protections for women.
B. To amplify our voice nationally on this topic, I searched the Internet and discovered there was a Rally for Equality in DC that September. So I raised the monies needed to take 50 people – a diverse coalition of women & a few good men from every corner of this state – to travel by bus to DC for the “We Are Woman” #Rally4Equality2014 on the U.S. Capitol Mall.
C. That’s where we connected with women’s rights coalitions from all across the country and the journey shifted our focus to the ERA. I proposed, and we became, ERA Minnesota. We elected officers, built a cadre of ally organizations, honed our message then aimed our energies at both the Minnesota Legislature & at Congress to achieve our goals of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment into our state & national constitutions. To that end, ERAMN is working locally, statewide & nationally to help finally ratify the ERA.
II. Ratified State
2. Pass legislation demanding Congress remove the deadline on the ERA.
3. To this end we have two types of legislation: first, our Minnesota ERA to embed an ERA into our state constitution, and second, our Minnesota Legislature’s Resolution to Congress to remove the deadline of June 2, 1982 out of the preface of the federal Equal Rights Amendment.
III. At ERAMN, our actions can be described as 3-fold, or as Susan B. Anthony so succinctly phrased it, ”Organize, Agitate, Educate.”
2. Garner Resources: Fundraising is essential in order to fuel this all-volunteer organization, so in the past 9 months we held 2 fundraisers, one at Minnesota’s first women-owned brewery called Urban Growler with a Silent Auction & Live Music; and one at Sweeney's Saloon with guest speakers & local talent.
3. Build Coalitions: Collaboration with other local groups and organizations has been key to success.
In 2017 we developed an early friendship with Women’s March Minnesota, providing the contact info for their speakers. I then travelled to DC for the Women’s March weekend and made presentations there to ERA activists. We’ve made presentations across the state on ERA including:
a. Last Women's Equality Day we presented a screening of the film “Equal Means Equal” at the Women in Public Policy Program at the University of Minnesota
b. Presenting a Women's Rights 101 Program partnering with the Minneapolis/St. Paul NOW at the 2018 MNxMN Resistance conference
c. Tabling at local legislators’ Advocacy Fair
d. Tabling at Women's March: Hear our Voice event
e. We helped host the “Let's Talk Women!” Conference hosted by MN Local Action Group where we again did a screening of Equal Means Equal & Panel discussion and at the U of M Carlson School of Management
f. Plus another screening of EME & Discussion at East Side Freedom Library
g. We created an awesome banner and marched in:
1) Cinco de Mayo Parade
2) May Day Parade & booth
h. This weekend we are sharing a table with MN NOW at PRIDE Weekend where we are conducting a poll to have the public vote on their favorite billboard choices
h. and ongoing this summer we’re helping with Women's March Power to the Polls
1) 2 Third Thursdays Panels
2) AAUW Minneapolis Public Policy luncheon
3) St Olaf College Gender Studies Students
4) Rep. Omar's Coffee and Kulan panel
5) Minneapolis League of Women Voters
6) St Paul League of Women Voters
7) The Northfield/Cannon Falls LWV
8) ERA TV Interview on FYI with Barry ZeVan
9) Radio interview on AM950
10) Presented at House of Hope Church
11) Presentation to the Twin Cities Presbytery
12) Presented to Warren E. Berger Inn of Court
IV. Our national work to date has included:
Want to hear the recording? Go hear to LISTEN!
by Samantha Faye King
We have come a long way since the infamous Stonewall riots of June 1969. All the way through the 60’s homosexual activity was not only looked down upon but completely illegal. This is what led to the need for safe spaces and eventual rise of activism. The first pride marches took place exactly one year after the Stone Wall riots on June 28th, 1970 in places such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Slowly but surely laws began to change, homosexuality became legal, and more and more states legalized gay marriage, and communities and safe spaces grew stronger and in abundance.
Despite all of this progress, it does not mean the fight is over. Prejudice and hate still lurk around the corners. June 12th, 2016 in Orlando, Florida the tragedy that is the Pule night club shooting took place. 49 were killed and 43 injured. As uncomfortable as it is, we can not let events like this be put to the side or forgotten. However, that does not mean be shaken by fear. We are here to fight for a world where people can express themselves freely without such fears.
Even where there is no physical oppression, mental oppression exists attaching guilt as well as a struggle of identity and self-acceptance to one’s sexuality. Many places, such as churches, fall into the habit of rejecting the LGBTQ community. Stripping them of a place of worship and implanting ideas of being unwanted and unforgivable. The mindset of ‘praying the gay away’ is a poisonous one that still runs rampant in today’s society, creating a bad reputation for both the LGBTQ community and the church itself. The stigma it’s created on members of the LGBTQ community continues to exist not only in the church and other places of worship, but outside as well.
In fact the 2015 national youth risk behavior survey showed that 34% of LGBTQ students were bullied on school property, 28% of LGBTQ students were bullied through electronic means, and 13% of LGBTQ students did not go to school because of safety concerns.
Luckily, just because it is common does not mean it is exclusive. Several anti bullying programs have been created such as the Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org), a suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth. Another example is stopbullying.gov which advocated ways to address bullying in educational setting as well as encourages the creation of Gay-Straight Alliances.
More and more churches and other places of worship have also become openly accepting of the LGBTQ community and want to be a safe place for them. Below is a list of some examples of pro LGBTQ houses of worship within the Twin Cities area as found on the TCP website.
Minneapolis Places of Worship
Adath Jeshurun Congregation
All God’s Children (A Metropolitan Community Church)
Calvary Lutheran Church
Compassion of Christ Catholic
Dignity Twin Cities
First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis
First Universalist Church
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church
Judson Memorial Baptist Church
Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church of the Christ the Redeemer
Lynnhurst UCC Church
Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Oak Grove Presbyterian Church
Salem English Lutheran Church
Shir Tikvah Reform Jewish Congregation
Spirit of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
St. Marks Episcopal Cathedral
United Church of Christ
University Baptist Church
Westminster Presbyterian Church
St. Paul Places of Worship
Dayton Avenue Church
Fairmount Avenue United Methodist
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Mount Zion Temple
Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Unity Church – Unitarian
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on-the-Hill
Greater Twin Cities
Spirit of Hope Catholic Church
Our Lady of Celestial Fire
Presbyterian Church of the Apostles
Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church
Unity Christ Church of Golden Valley
Spirit of Joy Christian Church
White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church
St Lukes Presbyterian Church
North Como Presbyterian Church
St. Louis Park
Beth El Synagogue
It is the goal of ERA MN to fight for the equal rights of all, so hopefully these resources will be found useful in creating a safer and more accepting environment. We hope to see you at Twin Cities Pride Festival on June 23rd and 24th in Loring Park in Minneapolis where you can find us at the MN NOW booth (R98 - near Harmon Place).
Fun Fact: As of a 2015 survey Twin Cities Pride is the 5th largest Pride festival in America based on google trends.
How great is this?! This is the first ERA Billboard and it's up along I-94 south of St. Cloud, there will be another going up in July on Hwy 10. We would love to put more billboards up around town but need money to do it. Each billboard costs about $3,000. Can you help? $100? $50? Even $10 would be great! If YES - please go to our Go Fund Me page. [more detailed info below]
We'll soon have a post on our FB page so you can share! But you can also post to your FB from Go Fund Me. Can we make this go viral?
From our press release May 31, 2018:
ERA MN Coalition Launches Educational Campaign on the Equal Rights Amendment
[Clearwater, MN] – Minnesota NOW and ERA Minnesota have launched a five month campaign to raise awareness about the lack of an equal rights amendment (ERA) in the Minnesota Constitution. Their first billboard went up over the weekend on Interstate 94 south of Clearwater, east of the highway 24 exit, on the border of Stearns and Wright counties.
“Current Senate and House leadership have told us they don’t hear enough from the people of their districts to pose this constitutional amendment to the people of Minnesota.” stated Kathleen Murphy, a co-founder of the ERA Minnesota Coalition. “So many people are unaware that women’s rights are not specifically guaranteed by either the Minnesota or U.S. Constitutions. With two more states recently ratifying the federal ERA, we would like to help raise awareness of the issue and why it is still needed.”
Minnesota was the 26th state to ratify the federal ERA in 1973, but that effort was cut short in 1982 because not enough states ratified the amendment by the arbitrary deadline Congress imposed on its passage. An equal rights amendment to the Minnesota Constitution has been introduced in every session since 1983. It has never been voted on by full bodies of either the Minnesota House or Senate. This educational campaign hopes to change that for next year.
The location of the first billboard was chosen to correspond with districts where there was resistance from state GOP leaders to act on the issue during the recent legislative session. A second billboard will be going up next month in a district along Highway 10, with more awareness going up in additional districts as fundraising allows. The billboards will run through the November elections.
By ERAMN Founder Betty Folliard
ERA Minnesota (ERAMN) is proud to announce that the Equal Rights Amendment just moved closer to final passage after the Illinois Legislature ratified the measure, becoming the 37th state in the nation to do so.
Now only one final state is needed to reach the ¾ threshold for ratification into the U.S. Constitution. Most likely to succeed may be North Carolina whose legislature ends in June.
The ERA is a hundred-year battle similar to the struggle for the right of women to vote. It’s an issue of power and power doesn’t give itself up. But #MeToo and #TimesUp movements underscored that discrimination on the basis of sex will no longer be tolerated.
A major paradigm has shifted. Lawmakers take heed. Time for Minnesota to join with 24 other states in passing a state ERA into our state constitution.
Take Action - March!
March in a parade this weekend! We are participating in 2 great events this weekend -- the Cinco de Mayo Parade (Saturday, May 5 @ 10 am) and the May Day Parade (Sunday, May 6 @ 12 noon). We would love it if you would join us marching in the parades!
Contact Heather if you'd like to march. Heather @ ERAmn.org.
My Visit to the State Capitol on International Women's Day.
By Maria S.
I was at the Minnesota State Capitol on March 8th, International Women’s Day, to rally and lobby for the Equal Rights Amendment. I happened to have a couple of minutes with my State Senator Mary Kiffmeyer. When I asked her if she would support ERA she said that she did not support it and would not vote for it. I was too shocked to even know what to say if she would have asked.
For those who do not know, the Equal Rights Amendment simply states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” See below for a short history of the ERA. In Minnesota we are working on:
1. A vote to put the Equal Rights Amendment on the November ballot to be added to the Minnesota Constitution.
2. A vote to pass a resolution asking the federal congress to remove the time limit that was put on ratification to the US Constitution.
Senator Kiffmeyer does not agree this should happen. She said that things are getting better for women slowly and that, “It should bubble up from the bottom.” She used her own family as an example, how her grandmother, mother and sisters all worked hard and did well. We can appreciate that Senator Kiffmeyer her family have certainly worked hard and accomplished much to be proud of. However, every woman has a different set of circumstances and may not be able to overcome the obstacles in her way. Nor should any woman have to accept not having the same rights as men, earning less than a man for the same job, being charged more for insurance, etc. Senator Kiffmeyer has the opportunity to help other women and vote yes to amend the constitution so that women are not punished for simply being female. There is so much evidence that even today women have to work twice as hard as a man to get ahead.
We as women owe a debt to the women before us who in their fight for women’s suffrage marched and rallied, were beaten and imprisoned so we would have the right to vote. Other women before us fought against the odds and won elections to serve in the government that paved the way for Senator Kiffmeyer. Aren’t we charged with paying it forward to future generations of women to make the world a better, more fair place with equal rights for all citizens?
If you are a woman or a man who cares about the females in your life, your mother, wife, sister, daughter, girlfriend, or friend, know that Senator Kiffmeyer who should be working to make our lives better, protecting citizens and working to insure that all citizens are treated fairly will not support amending the constitution to insure that you or the women in your life have the same rights as men. But there are many women and men in this state and this country who are continuing to fight for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. You can learn more about the ERA (www.eramn.org), watch the documentary “Equal Means Equal” (www.equalmeansequal.com), talk to your family and friends, contact your legislators and demand that they support the ERA and VOTE for the person who supports the things that are important to you. Then hold them responsible for what they say, how they behave and how they vote. Our lives are literally in their hands.
A short history: The ERA was first introduced in Congress by Alice Paul in 1923. It was finally passed by Congress in 1972 and sent to the states for ratification. Thirty-eight states were needed to ratify it to make it law, however a time limit of 1979, later extended to 1982, was placed on the ERA, only one of two amendments that has ever required a time limit. In 1973 Minnesota ratified the ERA but did not go through the process of adding it to the Minnesota Constitution. By 1982 only 35 states had ratified the amendment, 3 states short. For over 30 years the ERA was shelved, however there is a new movement to see it ratified. People across the US are calling for the removal of the 1982 deadline and push to get it ratified fully. This movement is having great success. In 2017 Nevada became the 36th state to ratify.
ERA Rally at the Capitol on International Women's Day!
ERA MN and Women's March MN thank you!! Because of all of you we had a GREAT event at the Capitol yesterday! We accomplished what we set out to do:
Some of our legislators/bill authors & co-authors attended and/or addressed the crowd to great applause and cheering:
St. Paul Council Women, Jane Prince address the crowd -- announcing that St. Paul passed a resolution calling on "the Minnesota Senate and House to pass a bill for an act proposing an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, known as the Equal Rights Amendment, providing for gender equality under the law." She then challenged other cities to do the same. [Find a template of the resolution to bring to your city council.]
LaDonna Redmond, community organizer and activist, gave an inspirational speech and rose the energy level of the room another notch! Brad Gangnon challenged other men to step up in support and be heard.
Our partner organizations shared a little about their organization and why an ERA is needed:
Thanks to everyone for coming, for talking to their legislators, for authoring bills, for speaking to the crowd and for fighting for and Equal Rights Amendment in Minnesota!!
In solidarity -- ERA MN & Women's March MN
We need a show of force on the first day of session (Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018) to let the legislators know we are here, we will be heard and we are not going away!
Meet us between 11 am - 1 pm -- with the greatest show at noon -- to let the legislature know we are here and the ERA must be an issue to take seriously. We will hand out "welcome gifts" as reminders.
Meet at the Capitol, second floor
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Wear your ERA shirt or wear green!
See you there!
Yes, Virginia, we do need an ERA!
by Renee Cardarelle
This week, Virginia’s Senate Rules Committee voted against moving the ratification of the ERA out of committee and House Privileges and Elections Committee refused to vote on moving the bill out committee. According to Equal Means Equal the committee room was packed with ERA supporters who kept the pressure on legislators to vote on the ERA. Considerable delay tactics were used to prevent a vote, including lumping the bill in with other legislation, delaying the bill discussion by focusing on other matters, refusing to discuss the bill, (in the House) refusing to vote on the bill and suggesting that this matter should be decided in the courts. Despite considerable delay tactics the ERA supporters finally succeeded in pushing the Senate committee to vote. The bill was defeated 5 to 9.
While the effort to ratify the ERA in Virginia did not succeed this year, it is only a temporary setback. The movement in Virginia is strong and will continue.
It’s not all bad news out there! Arizona, Illinois and Missouri are also working to ratify the ERA and there are efforts nationwide to revive this important legislation. Most importantly, on March 22, 2017, forty-five years after the ERA passed out of Congress to go to the states for ratification, Nevada ratified it. State Sen. Pat Spearman of Las Vegas stated, “It’s about Equality, period” Nevada is the first state to ratify the amendment since 1977. Only two more states are needed to ratify the amendment.
In addition to efforts of ratification in states that have not yet done so, states across the US are also working on resolutions to remove the deadline date that was placed on the ERA. This deadline was only the second time a deadline was applied to an amendment in the history of the US.
ERA Minnesota's Statement on Sexual Harassment - November, 2017:
Thank you to everyone who joined us at Urban Growler on Tuesday ~ your presence and generosity went above and beyond!
We especially want to thank our sponsors and silent auction donors, our invaluable volunteers and the Kent Goodroad Trio for their support of this event!
Buy a t-shirt! Help support ERA MN financially and visually!
We now have t-shirts in:
“EQUAL MEANS EQUAL”
Film Screening on Women’s Equality Day!
DATE: Saturday August 26, 2017
TIME: 7:00 PM
PLACE: Humphrey School of Public Affairs, 301 19th Ave. S., Mpls
TICKETS: www.eventbrite.com $10 / $5 for Students
"The film “EQUAL MEANS EQUAL”, produced by Heroica Films, offers an unflinching look at how women are treated in the United States today. Examining both real-life stories and precedent-setting legal cases, director Kamala Lopez uncovers how outdated and discriminatory attitudes inform and influence seemingly disparate issues, from workplace harassment to domestic violence, rape and sexual assault to the foster care system, and the healthcare conglomerate to the judicial system. Along the way, she reveals the inadequacy of present laws that claim to protect women, ultimately presenting a compelling and persuasive argument for the urgency of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment."
“Equality of rights shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” - The Equal Rights Amendment
View the trailer at www.equalmeansequal.org
Sponsored by ERAMN (www.eramn.org), Sue Sattel, The Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy, Minnesota NOW Foundation, Stand Up MN, Minnesota Women’s Consortium, Minnesota NOW, Women’s March MN and the Women's Congress for Future Generations.
Take action today for #AllWomen and Girls to have guaranteed #EqualRights under the U.S. Constitution!
The USA has failed to #RatifyERA and #CEDAW; women and girls are treated as chattel without guaranteed EqualRights. The body count increases daily. Enough is enough. It's time to boycott the 14 states maliciously failing to ratify the #EqualRightsAmendment: AL, AR, AZ, FL, GA, IL, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, VA, and UT. Economic sanctions + public pressure work; look at the success of the LGBTI movement and CA's current state travel ban.
ERA Minnesota (ERAMN) is a coalition of individuals and organizations working to secure an Equal Rights Amendment to the State and Federal Constitutions.