The E.R.A. remains incomplete until three more states ratify it. The Amendment to the Constitution remains on the table, awaiting those ratifications. What can we do? Here are a few ideas:
There are two different but cooperating strategies currently being pursued to achieve the ERA:
1) the "3-state" strategy to win ratification of the ERA by three more states to add to the 35 ratifications won in the 1970's, thus reaching the required 38 (three fourths of the 50 states); and
2)the "start-over" strategy, starting the amending process afresh, with new passage of the ERA (sometimes called the Women's Equality Amendment, WEA) by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress, followed by winning fresh ratification by at least 38 of the states. Here are ways you can significantly move one or both of the strategies ahead toward victory.
REACH KEY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WITH YOUR PRO-ERA MESSAGE:
· Contact Rep.Carolyn Maloney (2332 Rayburn HOB, WashingtonDC20515-3214, fax 202-225-4709), chief sponsor of the "start-over" Equal Rights Amendment (that she usually calls the Women's Equality Amendment) resolution in the House of Representatives. Urge her to reintroduce it in March as she has done in the past, and to press forward to win the necessary two-thirds House vote to approve it.
· Contact Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives (Office of the Speaker, H-232, US Capitol, WashingtonDC20513-3214, phone 202-225-0100, or leave a message on http://speaker.house.gov/contact). Urge her to facilitate the progress of the ERA/WEA resolution so that it will be passed as soon as possible.
· Contact Representative Robert Andrews (2439 Rayburn HOB, WashingtonDC20515, phone 202-225-6501). Urge him to reintroduce his resolution in support of the 3-state strategy, requiring the House of Representatives to take any legislative action necessary to verify the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment as part of the Constitution when the legislatures of an additional three states ratify it.
· Contact Senator Edward Kennedy (317 Russell Senate Office Bldg., WashingtonDC20510, telephone 202-224-4543, or send him a message online at http://kennedy.senate.gov/senator/contact.cfm.) Urge him to reintroduce the ERA/WEA in the Senate in March, as he has done in the past, and press forward to achieve the two-thirds Senate vote needed to to pass it.
· Contact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (phone 202-224-3542, fax 202-224-7327, 522 Hart Senate Office Bldg., WashingtonDC20510). Urge him to facilitate the progress of the ERA/WEA resolution in order to get it passed as soon as possible.
· Note: None of the above congressional resolutions, if and when passed, will incur any costs to the US government or the taxpayers.
HELP THE NOT-YET-RATIFIED STATES:
If you live in, or are particularly interested in, one (or more) of the following not-yet ratified states, contact the state's ERA leader or organization for guidance as to how best to help their ongoing campaign to achieve their state's ratification of the ERA while the mood of the country is on our side:
· ARKANSAS, where Rep. Lindsley Smith of the state's legislature, whose resolution proposing state ratification of the ERA was narrowly defeated in committee during the 2007 session, plans to bring back the resolution during the upcoming 2009 session, saying, "I've had legislators who've questioned it in the past say, 'Hey, I'm going to support it this time'....I think everything's in line to pass it in the 2009 session." Contact Berta Seitz, BertaSeitz@att.net, phone 479-442-6256.
· FLORIDA, where hard-fought efforts to achieve ratification continue unabated, with high hopes for major progress this year. Contact Sandy Oestreich, SandyJOestreich@cs.com, phone 727-393-0932, website www.RatifyERAflorida.net. Note: The Florida effort is in special need of donations.
· GEORGIA, where there are ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the ERA and build political support for the amendment, contact Idella Moore of 4ERA, info@4ERA/org, phone 678-793-6965, website www.4ERA.org.
· ILLINOIS, where legislator Lou Lang has pre-filed the ERA bill, Hjrca003, in their House of Representatives, and ERA activists are moving ahead vigorously for ERA ratification in this (2009) session. Contact Emily Battin, Emily1@consolidated.net, phone 217-229-3754.
· LOUISIANA, another state where ERA activists have high hopes for ratification soon. Contact Sandra Hufstetler of ERA Louisiana, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 985-345-3001.
· MISSOURI, where the current effort is focused particularly on working to get pro-ERA women elected to the state legislature, contact Shirley Breeze, chair of the Missouri Women's Network, email@example.com, phone 314-831-5359, or Mary Mosley, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 573-642-6354.
Note: Watch this newsletter for news of efforts being made also in the other not-yet ratified states: Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
HELP THE ERA CAMPAIGN NETWORK EXPAND ITS EFFORTS:
Another way you can help the nationwide campaign to achieve the full Constitutionally-guaranteed equal rights that should long ago have been the birthright of all citizens - female as well as male: Contribute to the ERA Campaign Network to help us cover out-of-pocket expenses and expand our efforts (we are all unpaid volunteers): Send checks of any size, made out to The ERA Campaign Network, to Treasurer Esther Gelbard, 9A Betsy Ross Drive, Monroe Township, NJ 08831. THANK YOU!