The US House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler has called the first official hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on the Equal Rights Amendment- HJRes38 (which corresponds to Rena Moran's HF71) to be held on Tuesday, April 30th.
This is the 1st time in 36 years that the ERA will be discussed in Congress! And we look forward to the MN House airing of Rena's bill.
ACTION ALERT: 1-MINUTE EFFORT
Click below to send a clear message to your US Senators & Congress Member to sign onto #ERA ”Delete the Deadline” Resolutions‼️
SJRes6: Sponsor Senator Cardin seems to be taking a balanced approach to co-sponsors. So far there’s himself (D), 2 R’s, & 1 I on the bill. Both Klobuchar & Smith signed on last Session, and should get on this year.
H.J.Res.38: Here in MN, thus far only Craig, Omar & McCollum are signed on. There are a record 182 Co-sponsors on the bill❣️
Let’s give ‘em a nudge.
Go HERE to send your message now!
PRESS RELEASE from the Senate DFL Caucus
Committee to Review Bills Barred from Senate Hearings
Sen. Little to Chair; Sen. Franzen, Vice Chair;
St. Paul, MN –
“These bills could save many lives and tax dollars,” Sen. Little (DFL-Lakeville) previewed, “But they haven’t been given a single senate hearing. Our democracy isn’t supposed to work this way- it’s the worst kind of partisanship.” The fictitious ‘Senate Committee on Banned Bills’ will hold a very real hearing on April 1stat 9:00am in 1100 Minnesota Senate Building to review a variety of legislation that have been refused committee hearings in the senate. This committee hearing will be open to the public and people are encouraged to attend.
“These bills have huge public support and are common sense ideas,” Sen. Little continued, “They’ve been banned for completely crass partisan reasons; because they are targeting certain seats, and don’t want to give certain people any achievements to campaign with. But the senate can’t make good decisions if major options aren’t even on the table. Partisan games like this are rigging our democracy, and blocking bills that voters really want.”
The Senate Committee on Banned Bills (COBB) is slated to review the proposed bills, take testimony from citizens and expert witnesses, and debate the merits of each policy. A wide array of bills will be introduced during the hearing, including legislation dealing with paid family medical leave, gun safety, and the health care provider tax [agenda and complete list of members and bills below].
Until late yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka had declared that he would “do everything in his power” to prevent new gun legislation. Early this morning the Star Tribune reported that Leader Gazelka had changed position and agreed to allow a hearing on certain gun safety measures if the house passed the same bills first.
“I am encouraged by Sen. Gazelka’s apparent willingness to hear my background check and red flag bills,” Sen. Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) commented, “But his announcement comes only two days before the committee deadline. As of yet, these hearings have not been scheduled, so this April first hearing will make sure that the views of the majority of Minnesotans are heard in the Senate.”
“Reforms like universal background checks are supported by over 87% of all Minnesota gun owners,” Sen. Latz noted, “These issues deserve to be heard in the senate.”
For other senators, their motivations center around key issues, such as restoring the rights of felons after they have completed their sentences. “Restoring voting rights after people have done their time just makes sense,” Sen. Champion (DFL-Minneapolis) explained, “How can you expect people to feel they have a chance in life if we keep them on the outside forever? Restoring their right to vote isn’t enough, but it’s an important step toward making them a productive, whole person again, after they’re released. That would be life changing for thousands of people.”
For Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury), Paid Family and Medical Leave is a test of Minnesota’s moral compass, “Whether we assist or abandon families during a medical crisis says a lot about who we are as a society. Forcing people to choose between a day’s pay or caring for a dying parent is a moral failure for Minnesota. The public is overwhelmingly behind paid family and medical leave. And many businesses want it because they can’t provide paid leave if their competitors don’t have to provide it too. If businesses and families want paid medical leave, why won’t the senate even give this bill a hearing? It’s a disgrace.”
All the senate members of the Committee on Banned Bills share the view that the normal democratic process requires hearings on all major options. “We are not talking about small, obscure, radical bills here,” Sen. Franzen (DFL-Edina) noted, “These are consensus policies on major issues. These proposals deserve a hearing, and most importantly, the citizens who have poured their energy into these bills deserve to be heard.”
The fate of these bills will be uncertain even after the Committee on Banned Bills hears them. “We hope this hearing puts pressure on committee chairs to hear these bills,” Sen. Little noted, “But either way, we want voters to know about these crucial issues so they can make up their own minds. We can’t let crass partisanship prevent voters from learning about key issues.”
Sen. Little believes advocates for these issues have been left with no alternative, “If the committee chairs won’t do the right thing, then we have to. They’ve left millions of Minnesotans with no voice and no hope on some of the biggest issues facing families today.”
Senate Committee on Banned Bills Agenda for Monday, April 1:
Senator Matt Little represents Senate District 58, which covers Lakeville, Farmington, a small slice of Northfield and more than a dozen townships and small communities including Empire, Vermillion, New Trier and Douglas.
Learn more about Sen. Little.
This has been a banner month for the federal Equal Rights Amendment: 18 more House members have signed on to H.J.Res.38 to remove the deadline on the federal ERA, bringing the total number of supporters to 174.
Also, since the February introduction, two more Senators signed on to S.J.Res 6, the companion bill. In the Senate, what’s extraordinary about S.J.Res.6 is that two of its co-sponsors, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) & Susan Collins (R-ME) are Republicans, thus cutting from 4 to 2 the number of Republicans who still need to be persuaded to support the measure if all 45 Senate Democrats and 2 Senate Independents vote to pass it. All this has occurred though it's still early days in the new Congress, and the big push to garner co-authors in the Senate has not even begun yet.
Since the US House has a good majority of Democrats, and Democrats have supported the ERA for the past 75 years, H.J.Res.38 is bound to pass. And the chair of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jerry Nadler, has promised a hearing in the US House soon where it will be passed and sent to the floor. That will enable Speaker Pelosi to bring the “DELETE THE DEADLINE” Resolution to the House Floor for passage, where it will pass.
As in Minnesota for the state ERA, the US Senate is the bottleneck; but if just 2 more Republican members sponsor it and the US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allows it through (that’s a BIG IF), then the deadline can be removed and the federal ERA ratified.
Please call members of the MN Delegation not yet on the House or Senate bill and ask that they sign on to S.J.Res.38 & H.J.Res.6. Thank you!
Smith (202) 224-5641
Klobuchar (202) 224-3244
Phillips (202) 225-2871
Hagedorn (202) 225-2472
Stauber (202) 225-6211
Emmer (202) 225-2331
Peterson (202) 225-2165
ERA Minnesota (ERA MN) is asking people throughout Minnesota to create short videos to help spread the word on social media why they support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
Whenever ERA MN talks to people around Minnesota, whether it’s up on the Range, down in southern Minnesota, or in the Twin Cities they tell us how much they want to live in a state that embraces gender equality.
ERA MN has been advocating for legislation at the State Capital that would put the amendment on the ballot in 2020, providing Minnesotans with a chance to vote on whether or not they want a state that embraces equality.
The amendment would add “Equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender” to Minnesota’s Constitution.
The video project is a way for everyday Minnesotans to tell each other why the amendment matters to them and that equality should be a core value for all Minnesotans.
Making an Impact for Equality
ERA MN is asking people to create short 30 to 60 second videos featuring themselves or people they know talking about why the ERA matters to them.
People should post their videos on their favorite social media channels using the hashtags #ERAmn & #14WordsForEquality. ERA MN will share the best user videos across the organization's social media and website (www.ERAmn.org).
A few ideas ERA MN is trying to emphasize are:
If you’re not sure what to say in a longer video, or just like being on camera, get a group of friends together and record a short video using one of the blurbs below:
Tips for Great Videos
Here are a few tips for making a great video:
Here are a few filming tips:
In addition to asking people to create their own videos, ERA Minnesota is producing some longer videos featuring Minnesotan’s from all walks of life talking about why the ERA matters to them. Like the one of Trista M - below. Those videos can be seen on the organization’s YouTube channel. Select videos will also be on our ERA YES Video page.
Questions about the project should be directed to Heather Allison.
Blog post by Mark Hinds
ERA video of Trista MatasCastilla on why the ERA is important to her.
Next Friday, March 8th, ERA Minnesota announces our celebration of International Women’s Day #IWD2019 by hosting the 3rd Annual ERA Rally at the Minnesota Capitol Rotunda. The event will feature Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan along with top legislative leaders and ERA supporters, to spotlight the urgent need for an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in our state and federal constitutions.
Legislative leaders and thousands of activists from across the state are pushing to pass two initiatives currently in the Minnesota House & Senate: HF13 (Kunesh-Podein)/SF200 (Cohen) - a Minnesota ERA to the state constitution providing for gender equality under the law and proposing a constitutional amendment that will be added to the ballot in the 2020 general election for voters to decide; and HF71 (Moran)/SF208 (Pappas) - a resolution memorializing Congress to remove the words “June 30th 1982” that comprised the deadline imposed on the ERA federal legislation so the ERA it can be added to the U.S. Constitution when ratified by the last state.
The Minnesota House is poised to pass both bills in the coming week. All attention and energies will then pivot to the Minnesota Senate to give the bills full and fair hearings to pass the ERA.
WHAT: ERA Lobby Day & Rally at the Capitol
WHEN: Friday, March 8th, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Rally at 10:00 AM
(Lobby your senator before and after the Rally)
WHERE: Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda
HOSTED BY: ERA Minnesota
ERA Bill Numbers: HF13/SF200; and HF71/SF208.
By: Kevin Featherly | Minnesota Lawyer February 7, 2019
Two bills pushing women’s Equal Rights Amendments in both the state and U.S. constitutions are on the march in the Minnesota House.
Both face skepticism from GOP lawmakers and a few constitutional experts, but for now they are on an upward trajectory.
House File 13 comes from Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, DFL-New Brighton. It has 26 DFL co-sponsors and cleared a committee hurdle on Jan. 24, when it passed out of House Government Operations with a unanimous voice vote. It is scheduled for a hearing at State Government Finance Feb. 7.
In an interview, Kunesh-Podein said her ERA bill is a mirror image of the 1970s-vintage federal ERA amendment, which fell three states short of ratification at the time of its final 1982 deadline.
The other Minnesota House bill, House File 71 from Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, is a resolution asking Congress to eliminate that deadline and kick-start passage of the federal ERA. Moran’s bill went directly from Government Operations to the general register, to await a still-unscheduled House floor vote.
Kunesh-Podein’s bill would place on Minnesota’s 2020 election ballot a constitutional amendment stating that women and men have equal rights under the law. If passed, it would go into effect in January 2021.
“Under this legislative majority and with the awareness of gender inequity, now is the time to do this and get it done,” Kunesh-Podein said in an interview.
The Jan. 24 vote moved her bill to Ways and Means, and from there to the Feb. 7 State Government Finance hearing. But its unanimity might be slightly misleading. The Jan. 24 vote came after the rejection of a GOP amendment, which aimed to prevent a state ERA from being used to fuel legal challenges to anti-abortion state statutes.
“In the broad scope of your bill and your push, I fully support it,” said Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, who first offered then withdrew the amendment. “My concern is as a Catholic pro-lifer who doesn’t want to support something that, down the road, is used to justify expansion of abortion access in Minnesota.”
At a Jan. 24 House State Government Operations hearing, MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau expresses opposition to a state Equal Rights Amendment bill. The legislation’s author, Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, DFL-New Brighton, sits to her left. (Staff photo: Kevin Featherly)
Andrea Rau, legislative director for the anti-abortion group MCCL, asserted that her group’s members are strong on women’s rights. “However, equal rights amendments have a history of discriminating against less developed humans—those yet to be born,” she said.
Rau cited a recent Pennsylvania lawsuit in which abortion-rights advocates used the state’s ERA to justify a constitutional challenge against a ban on state-financed abortions. “Attempts to invalidate pro-life laws continue based on ERAs,” Rau said.
David Schultz, the Hamline University political science professor, said Republicans might have a point. He noted that in 1979, future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued that reproductive rights should be guaranteed by the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, rather than a judicially constructed right to privacy.
An ERA would raise gender to a protected status equivalent to race, which conceivably could make it a powerful constitutional tool for abortion-rights proponents, Schultz said.
“I think that Republicans rightly perceive that’s part of what the agenda is,” he said.
Kunesh-Podein, however, told lawmakers that her bill has nothing to do with abortion rights. She declined to accept the Zerwas amendment, she said, to keep it “a clean bill.”
In the interview, Kunesh-Podein said the Zerwas amendment, had it passed, would have been fatal to her bill. “We would have had to kill the bill right here because we can’t let that go forward with that amendment on there,” she said.
Though it likely won’t stop anything, the Zerwas amendment likely is not dead. “I think there will be robust discussion on the floor about the amendment,” he told committee members on Jan. 24.
Taken in isolation, of course, little of that matters. House Democrats have a 75-59 majority and can pass pretty much any bill that suits their mood. But House Republican opposition appears to be reflected in the Senate, where it matters a great deal.
Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, is chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, through which both of the DFL House bills’ companions would have to pass.
In a brief interview on Wednesday afternoon, he said neither bill is scheduled to be heard in his committee. He said he plans to leave it up to Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, to decide whether they should move forward in his committee.
But even lacking a Senate hearing and testimony, there already are signals that Senate Republicans share their House counterparts’ concerns.
Senate File 200, from Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St Paul, is the companion to the Kunesh-Podein bill. It once had three Republican sponsors — Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center; Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester; and Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska. All have since had their names stricken from that bill.
The same is true for the Moran bill’s Senate companion, Senate File 208 from Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul. It also boasted three GOP co-sponsors. As of Jan. 22, all had their names removed.
“That might have been some strong influence from MCCL,” Kunesh-Podein said when asked about the Senate defections.
Both bills also have many supporters. At the Jan. 24 Government Operations hearing, for instance, so many supportive testifiers were present that not all could be heard.
Lisa Stratton, former University of Minnesota law school instructor and co-founder of the nonprofit Gender Justice, was among them. “This standard would simply place gender equality on the same footing as racial and religious equality,” she testified.
She quoted the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who in 2011 said that while the U.S. constitution does not require discrimination against women, neither does it prohibit discrimination.
“Enshrining the basic principle of gender equality in the Minnesota Constitution,” she said, “would make it clear that the citizens of this state expect its courts to apply a very high level of scrutiny to laws that create or reinforce gender disparities.”
Stratton added: “It would make it clear that such laws have to be justified by a compelling state interest.”
Abortion is not the only cause for skepticism about the bills. Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, in a Jan. 25 interview, said the ERA is constitutionally superfluous. “The 14th Amendment covers this, period,” he said. “It’s already in law. It’s already in the Constitution.”
Mary Jane Morrison, a Minnesota Constitution expert and retired academic, wonders whether a constitutional amendment is the right answer to the problems supporters want solved.
Various testifiers suggested that a state ERA would enshrine women’s equality in state law, helping to curb gender wage disparities, lessen the double whammy of racial and gender discrimination faced by women of color and help prevent domestic abuse, among other issues.
Morrison said that while all those problems are real and serious, their root causes are not totally clear. Without having a firm grasp on causation, she said, a constitutional amendment may be the wrong remedy — because it is not certain what it would solve.
Morrison makes no firm stance against enshrining the ERA into the state constitution. She is just not sure it is the right answer — at least not yet.
“If we have already exhausted the non-constitutional efforts to solve the problems, then I am ready for a constitutional clause that has teeth in it — with a department behind it that is charged with enforcement,” Morrison said.
However, she added, “My general view is that the constitution needs to be the place of last resort, after we found out that we have no legislative and cultural means of solving the problem.”
This is an interesting and eye opening article from the PEW Research Center about women paying more for auto insurance -- and no one is telling why.
STATELINE ARTICLE: PEW February 11, 2019
By: Elaine S. Povich Topics: Demographics & Transportation Read time: 6 min
It’s a widespread belief that men pay more for automobile insurance than women. But that’s only true for young adults.
Several studies in 2018 and 2017 revealed that women over 25, particularly those between 40 and 60, often pay more than men — not less — for auto insurance, all other rating criteria being equal. Now, California has become the latest in a handful of states that have outlawed setting rates for automobile insurance based on gender.
[Read the whole article]
We are excited to announce the Minnesota ERA bill HF13 (Rep. Kunesh-Podein) passed the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law committee today, Wednesday, February 20th, with a roll call vote of 8-7! Testimony in support of the bill was given by Dr. Ellen Kennedy (World Without Genocide & Mitchell Hamline School of Law) and Representative Kristen Bahner. Additional testimony in support of the bill was given by Kathleen Murphy (Vice President ERA Minnesota) and Brad Lehto (Minnesota AFL-CIO).
To hear the audio file from today's hearing go HERE!
The reason ERAMN fights for the National ERA is because a State ERA will not protect us where there are claims of discrimination by federal agencies, institutions which receive federal funds, or claims against a multi-state private entity.
In cases where a discrimination case is made against a federal agency, an institution which receives federal funds, or a multi-state private entity, cases will either be brought in federal court or have the federal constitution applied in state courts.
Also, an ERA victory on the state level with a state ERA will not be precedent for cases in other states.
So we work together to achieve both a state ERA & a federal ERA - to make equal legal.
Minnesota ERA Working Its Way Through the MN House
St. Paul, MN, February 6, 2019 -
The Minnesota Equal Rights Amendment (HF13 Kunesh-Podein) cleared the House State Government Finance committee this morning by a 9-4 roll call vote.
The legislation would place the amendment on the statewide ballot in 2020 asking Minnesotans to add the following language “Equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender” to the state constitution.
“Having these fourteen words on the ballot will give Minnesotans the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to live in a state where all people are protected equally by our state’s legal system.” said M. Kathleen Murphy, Vice-President of ERA Minnesota, who appeared before the committee today. “Now is the time to take the next step towards a more equal Minnesota.”
Legislation supporting the amendment has been introduced every year since 1983. This is the first year it has passed out of committee. ERA Minnesota (ERAmn), the organization advocating for the amendment, expects the legislation to pass the House this legislative session.
The equal rights amendment is about creating opportunities for everyone regardless of their gender. A few things the Minnesota ERA is intended to do are:
The bill will be heard next in the Judiciary Finance and Civil Law committee.
Fund & Awareness raising event! This Saturday, February 2 from 1 - 4 pm. at the Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge.
Help us celebrate the passing of HF13 (the Equal Rights Amendment) through the Government Operations Committee! And come learn more about the ERA.
We have great entertainment and a great silent auction and raffle. Along with a viewing of the powerful short film (25 min) Legalize Equality.
More info can be found on our Events page.
[St. Paul, MN, January 25, 2019]
At a historic hearing Thursday, February 24th, the House Government Operations Committee voted to pass out of committee the Minnesota Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) (HF13 authored by Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein) and the Resolution to Congress to remove the deadline on the national ERA (HF71 authored by Representative Rena Moran). This is the first time the ERA has been heard and moved forward in the House since 1983.
The state amendment would simply add “Equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender” to Minnesota’s Constitution. “Having these thirteen words on the ballot will give Minnesotans the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to live in a state where all people are equal under the law,” said M. Kathleen Murphy, Vice-President of ERA Minnesota and founder of the CAFE Coalition.
“Our Constitution is the truest and most lasting statement of our fundamental values, and it is not only fitting but crucial that equality for all be enshrined there. It is only by these means that we can live up to our rhetoric and build the future all of our children deserve,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Trista MatasCastillo during her testimony.
To be on the statewide ballot in 2020 the proposed Constitutional amendment needs a simple majority in both the Minnesota House and Senate.
Lisa Stratton, a legal expert in gender discrimination, testified that enshrining gender equality in Minnesota’s Constitution would make it clear to the courts that they need to apply the highest level of scrutiny to laws that create or reinforce gender disparities. It would also make clear that such laws must be justified by a compelling state interest and the law under review must be found to be necessary. This standard would place gender equality on the same footing as racial and religious equality.
Adding an equal protection clause to the Constitution is another step forward in Minnesota’s long journey towards becoming a place that embraces the diversity and uniqueness of its people. As Jettie Ann Hill, a 26-year state employee and member of the MN Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) said, “Now is the time for Minnesota to begin closing the gap and recognizing the intersection between race and gender by adding the ERA to the state Constitution.”
The amendment would have a positive benefit to Minnesota’s economy and help to reduce the pay gap between men and women. Hill continued, “It is well documented that Black, Latino, American Indian, and other women of color in Minnesota face complex economic inequalities, and more training and education does not lead to the same economic payoff as men.”
Some of the most powerful testimony was given by MatasCastillo who spoke to her experience as a survivor of sexual assault in the military and to being recognized as the first woman to hold positions traditionally held by men.
“I was proud to blaze a trail that others could follow, but if I am honest, I never asked to serve as an exemplar of my gender, but only to serve. They call that a privilege, but it would be a far greater privilege to live in a world where women did not need to prove the worth of their gender to earn the respect given as a matter of course to men.”
Pheng Thao, the Statewide Coordinator for Men and Masculine Folks Network, spoke to the amendment’s ability to help change our culture for the better, highlighting the tragic fact that one in three women and girls in Minnesota experience gender violence in their lifetime. Thao went on to say, “We live in a culture where we are still teaching our boys and young men rigid ideas about manhood – dominant, strong-willed, emotionless – and that women and girls are there to serve their needs.”
“Minnesota has made a lot of progress towards becoming a place where everyone is welcome. Having the amendment on the ballot allows Minnesotans to take the next step together and say to the world that in Minnesota, everyone matters,” said Heather Allison, President of ERA Minnesota.
Other people testifying in favor of the legislation were Rubén Vázquez, Vice-President of Racial Justice and Public Policy for the YWCA and Debra Fitzpatrick, Co-director of the Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. “I urge this committee, this Legislature, this Governor, this state, to stop talking about how unfair inequality based on sex or gender is and start taking some action. Not only for the sake of my children, but for the sake of our younger generation, I ask you to approve H.F. 13. Let’s truly make this a better One Minnesota!” said Vázquez.
“Ongoing pay inequities between men and women in the state are hurting our state and its families. Increasingly Minnesota women are the primary breadwinner in their family and overtime their earnings have become an instrumental part of economic stability for most families. Yet, pay inequities persist in our state at every stage of a women’s career; short-changing them and in many cases children as well” said Fitzpatrick.
The bill was referred to the Ways and Means committee and is expected to come to the full House floor for a vote later this session. “We expect the amendment to pass the House this year,” said Allison. “The real question is whether the Senate is going to give Minnesotans the opportunity to decide if everyone in our state should have the same rights.”
“Some people make the mistake of thinking the amendment is a political issue related to reproductive rights,” said Murphy, referring to an amendment that was offered and then withdrawn. “It is not. In Minnesota the issue is settled law, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a constitutional ruling in 1995 in Doe vs. Gomez that the state cannot discriminate against a legal service when offering subsidies to pregnancy-related services for low-income women.”
The committee also voted unanimously on the second bill, a resolution memorializing Congress to remove the deadline on the federal ERA (HF71) which was then referred to the full House Chamber. Although Minnesota was the twenty-sixth state to ratify the federal ERA in 1973, the overall effort fell short of the 3/4 states necessary to add it to the constitution due to an arbitrary deadline imposed on it. Congress has the power to remove that deadline or to simply extend it. In the past two years two states, Nevada then Illinois, ratified the federal ERA, leaving just one more state needed to reach the necessary 38 states. Virginia is currently close of becoming the 38th and final state needed to ratify the federal ERA amendment with other states closely on its heels vying for that honor. Testifying in favor of the resolution were former Minnesota state legislator and founder of ERA Minnesota Betty Folliard and members of the public, Rosemary Rocco (former Vice President of ERA Minnesota) and Amy Caucutt of Rochester, Minnesota.
ERA Minnesota is a coalition of thousands of activists and organizations from every corner of the state dedicated to embedding an Equal Rights Amendment into our state and national constitutions to ensure that all citizens are protected from discrimination on the basis of gender.
PRESS Release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 24, 2019
Contact: Heather Allison (651) 214-1702 firstname.lastname@example.org
Betty Folliard (612) 868-3511 email@example.com
The ERA is in the House
ST PAUL, MINN – ERA Minnesota (ERA MN www.eramn.org) is thrilled to announce that for the first time in decades the Minnesota House will hold hearings on Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) bills today -- January 24th, 2019 before the Government Operations Committee, SOB Room 10 at 9:45 AM.
There are two ERA bills to be heard in the Government Operations Committee that day: first (HF13), a Minnesota State ERA amendment to the state constitution bill chief-authored by Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein; and second (HF71), is a Resolution to Congress to remove the deadline on the federal ERA chief-authored by Representative Rena Moran. Both bills have companion bills introduced today in the Senate: the MN State ERA SF200 (Cohen) and the ERA Resolution to Congress SF208 (Pappas).
HF13/SF200 -- the constitutional amendment -- would provide for gender equality under the law and proposes a constitutional amendment that, if passed by both bodies of the Minnesota Legislature, would be added to the ballot in the 2020 general election for the voters to decide on the outcome. 2020 has special significance because it coincides with the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage – the year women achieved the right to vote.
“This state ERA is long overdue,” says Heather Allison, President of ERAMN. “25 states already have passed ERA’s into their state constitutions – the oldest having been written over 140 years ago.”
HF71/SF208 is a resolution memorializing Congress to remove the “June 30th 1982” deadline so that once the 38th state ratifies the ERA it can be ratified into the U.S. Constitution.
“95% of Minnesotans believe everyone should have equal rights,” said Betty Folliard, Founder of ERAMN. “We’re grateful to the Legislature for this opportunity to make equal legal.”
ERA Minnesota is a coalition of thousands of activists and organizations from every corner of the state dedicated to embedding an Equal Rights Amendment into our state and national constitutions to ensure that all citizens are protected from discrimination on the basis of sex.
“Pay inequity, workplace gender discrimination, domestic violence, rape & campus sexual assault, female poverty, pregnancy discrimination, and laws that unjustly affect men will all be helped by an ERA;” says M. Kathleen Murphy, VP of ERAMN & Founder of CAFE Coalition; “that’s why the ERA is so badly needed.”
ERA Minnesota is a coalition of thousands of activists and organizations from every corner of the state dedicated to embedding an Equal Rights Amendment into our state and national constitutions to ensure that all citizens are protected from discrimination on the basis of sex.
by Betty Folliard
Lots of good news at the federal level:
Virginia continues their march to ratify the federal ERA with action days at the capitol there. To date the VA Senate passed the ERA bill and currently it is on hold in the General Assembly there awaiting a hearing.
Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina and Georgia all have pushes to become the 38th state in the nation to ratify the federal ERA as well. And our national coalitions - ERA Coalition, ERA Action, Equal Means Equal etc - are ramping up for the fight once the 38th state ratifies.
We are united, we’re organized, and we’re ready to take ERA to fruition!
Meanwhile, the great news is that Deleware just passed a state ERA which will be added to their constitution. Congrats, Delaware! You just became state #25 to addd the ERA to your state constitution!
PRESS ADVISORY: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 18, 2019
Contact: Heather Allison (651) 214-1702, Heather@eramn.org
Betty Folliard (612) 868-3511, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brand New Day for the ERA
ST PAUL, MINN
ERA Minnesota (ERAMN www.eramn.org) is thrilled to announce that for the first time in decades the Minnesota House will hold hearings on Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) bills next Thursday January 24th, 2019 in the State Office Building, basement-Room 10 at 9:45 a.m.
There are two ERA bills to be heard in the Government Operations & Veterans Affairs Committee that day: first (HF13), a Minnesota State ERA amendment to the state constitution bill chief-authored by Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein; and second (HF71), is a Resolution to Congress to remove the deadline on the federal ERA chief-authored by Representative Rena Moran. Both bills have companion bills introduced today in the Senate: the MN State ERA SF200 (Cohen) and the ERA Resolution to Congress SF208 (Pappas).
HF13/SF200 provides for gender equality under the law and proposes a constitutiona amendment that, if passed by both bodies of the Minnesota Legislature, would be added to the ballot in the 2020 general election for the voters to decide on the outcome. 2020 has special significance because it coincides with the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage – the year women achieved the right to vote.
“This state ERA is long overdue, says Heather Allison, President of ERAMN. “25 states already have passed ERA’s into their state constitutions – the oldest having been written over 140 years ago.”
HF71/SF208 is a resolution memorializing Congress to remove the “June 30th, 1982” deadline so that once the 38th state ratifies the ERA it can be ratified into the U.S. Constitution.
“95% of Minnesotans believe everyone should have equal rights,” said Betty Folliard, Founder of ERAMN. “We’re grateful to the Legislature for this opportunity to make equal legal.”
ERA Minnesota is a coalition of thousands of activists and organizations from every corner of the state dedicated to embedding an Equal Rights Amendment into our state and national constitutions to ensure that all citizens are protected from discrimination on the basis of sex. This organization is a sponsor of Women’s March Minnesota's (www.womensmarchmn.com) “Unstoppable” Rally & March this Saturday. The Equal Rights Amendment is part of Women’s March’s Unity Principles.
“Pay inequity, gender discrimination in the workplace, gender violence including domestic violence and sexual assault, and, primarily, gender fairness in our court system are the main reasons why the state ERA is still necessary.” says M. Kathleen Murphy, VP of ERAMN & Founder of the MN CAFE Coalition.
ERA Bill Numbers: HF13/SF200; and HF71/SF208. For more information, go to www.eramn.org
By Heather Allison
ERA MN in coalition with MN NOW is excited to announce the next phase of our fall outreach campaign to convince Legislative candidates to support putting an equal rights amendment to Minnesota’s Constitution on the ballot in 2020 as well as raising awareness of the continued effort for national ratification.
Our digital campaign will target key areas around Minnesota with ads encouraging people to support passing the amendment. When people click on the ads, they are taken to our website and encouraged to contact candidates in their area, find out more about the amendment, and get involved with ERA MN.
We Need Your Help to Make this Happen
To build support for passing the amendment we need your help. Here are three things you can do today!
Fall Outreach Campaign
These ads are the next step in our fall outreach campaign that builds on our current billboard effort. While our billboards are still up and reaching people across Minnesota this digital campaign extends our awareness building and education initiatives.
Digital ads are one of the most effective ways to reach people in today’s cluttered media environment. By pairing our ads with custom landing pages we’re giving people the information they need to make an informed decision to support the amendment and an easy way to find out where candidates for the Minnesota House of Representatives stand on the ERA.
The two ad campaigns we’re running called Soar! and Why?, direct viewers to a landing page on ERA MN’s website where they can find out where their Minnesota House of Representative candidates stand on the ERA and why this year's midterm election is crucial to ensuring constitutional equality for ALL genders!
We’ve raised enough money to get the campaign off the ground but need your help to expand our reach! This is especially important in districts where key legislators have failed to show up and support passage of a state and federal Equal Rights Amendment.
Here's how you can help! Spread the word and go to our Go Fund Me page to make sure this campaign reaches voters before they head to the polls on November 6th!
If you need help finding your legislator visit our site to see where they stand on the ERA! If you have any questions on the campaign drop me an email.
ERA billboards are popping up across Minnesota!
ERA MN in coalition with MN NOW are excited to announce the second billboard in their ERA billboard campaign! This billboard, as pictured above, can be found on Highway 10 just south of Elk River.
The billboard campaign was created to raise awareness and educate about the need for an Equal Rights Amendment to be included in the Minnesota state constitution as well as to continue support for ratification into the US constitution. Locations of these billboards were chosen as they are within districts currently represented by legislative leadership that did not support the ERA this previous legislative session.
As we grow closer to November and the general election, we want to make sure all candidates running, as well as those who are not currently up for re-election, are required to take a position on the ERA. We will be tracking these responses on our website so that every supporter of the ERA knows exactly where all candidates stand!
WANT TO SEE MORE?
Do you want to see an ERA billboard near you or in a district you feel needs to put pressure on its legislator? Are you a group that wants to get involved in this exciting initiative? We need your help to be able to keep this campaign going! Visit our GoFundMepage to learn more and contribute!
We urge all supporters of the ERA to contact their legislators to find out exactly where THEY stand on the ERA. If you need help finding your legislator visit our site HERE and be sure to let us know what you hear from them so we can update our site with their stance!
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 Minnesota (ERAMN) is a coalition of individuals and organizations working to secure an Equal Rights Amendment to the State and Federal Constitutions.