“If I could choose an amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the Equal Rights Amendment. I think we have achieved that through legislation, but legislation can be repealed, it can be altered. So I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion— that women and men are persons of equal stature— I’d like them to see that is a basic principle of our society." -Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
a written challenge to a duel
THE ACTIVIST CARTEL
ACTION LETTER #13: May 5th, 2017
--Equal Rights Amendment--
Dear Activist Cartel,
Wow. I truly can't believe that yesterday House Republicans passed Trumpcare, a health insurance plan so horrible that Republicans exempted their own personal insurance from it. A lot of resources are pouring in right now, and you can bet that the next cartel email will be covering healthcare, as I research the best actions to take in response. One quick, great action: donate to the 2018 opponents of the swing district Republicans who voted for Trumpcare. Considering coverage is being wiped out for mammograms and contraception, and pregnancies will see a 425% premium increase... gender discrimination is a critical issue right now.
Important question to kick off this letter:
Do you think equal rights for women are guaranteed by our Constitution?
If you said "yes," then you are part of the 80% of Americans who mistakenly believe that. The good news is that the state of Nevada was recently the 36th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, igniting a new hopeful wave of action to get 38 states to pass the ERA!
WHY DOES THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT (ERA) MATTER?
There is currently no explicit guarantee of equal rights for women in our Constitution. I repeat, no Constitutional protection against gender discrimination... I know! Crazy. Some argue that the 14th Amendment does this, but Supreme Court Justice Scalia famously made it clear that the Constitution protects against racial discrimination but not gender discrimination. As you can imagine, this affects a woman's legal strength, ranging from equal pay, to healthcare, to protecting female survivors of violence. Learn more here. None of this is surprising if you consider that ZERO women were a part of the discussion and construction of the U.S. Constitution. We're long overdue for some amending.
HOW CAN THE ERA BE PASSED?
We need ratification from 38 states total to make the ERA an amendment to our Constitution. Check if your state has ratified it because we only need 2 more states. Current pressure is on Illinois and Virginia, which have come close to ratifying in the past. That said, Congress must first remove the federal ratification deadline.
1.) Text/fax with Resistbot or call your representative and ask them to actively advocate for bills
SJ Res 5 (Senate) and HJ Res 53 (House), which will remove the deadline for ERA ratification:
--Blue state constituents: this is an effective call for you to make. Yes, definitely make calls about our healthcare crisis, but we also need proactive legislation championed, or women will continue to be without legal recourse in moments of discrimination, like this healthcare crisis!
--Calling script: Hi, I’m calling from to ask my representative to actively advocate for SJ Res 5 (for Senators) and HJ Res 53 (for Congressperson). We only need 2 more states to ratify the ERA, and this bill will remove the federal deadline. American women deserve equal rights under the law, a protection yet to be granted. Thank you for your time.
2.) If you live in one of these states that still need to ratify the ERA, call your state representatives and ask them to take action: We only need 2 more states!
3.) Ask 2 people: Do you know what the ERA is? Do you think the Constitution protects equal rights for women? If they don't know, then talk about it. Read Ten Ways in Which the ERA Could Have Made a Difference in court cases. 94% of Americans support a Constitutional guarantee for women, but 80% think we already have it. We need educated voters!
QUICK & EASY ACTION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Officially comment against repealing EPA regulations on Regulations.gov (takes 1 minute!)
--Until May 15th, the government is soliciting public comment on repealing EPA regulations. This website is a very under-utilized area of activism. It requires agencies that don't have elected representatives to solicit public comment for a brief time period before moving forward.
--Simply click the dark blue, upper right, “Comment Now!” button, and share why you support protections for clean air, soil, and water. You can get ideas from other comments on the right hand side.
Keep up the good fight, my friends! If you need encouragement, here is a list of victories covering this week.
Taking action will make you feel better!
p.s. Thank you so much for taking the Feedback Survey! If you haven't had a chance, you still can take it— even 30 seconds of answering a few questions is helpful.