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.