Tag Archives: ERA

Women’s Rights in Arizona: March & #ERA (video)

19th-amend-voteToday, January 20, 2016, President Barack Obama became our former president.

Today, Donald Trump entered the office of president with the worst approval rating ever– 40%.

For many months, different groups have been planning post-inauguration protests, teach-ins, marches, and other activism to greet the new president. (After all, many groups were alienated by him during his campaign, and we’re motivated.)

On Saturday, January 21– here in Tucson and nationwide–women (and others) will be marching in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. (Background below.) The Tucson event will start at 10 a.m. at Armory Park, and attendees will march to the main library downtown for booths, speeches and festivities. (Details here.)

The theme of the nationwide march is: “Become the soul of the nation.” This is taken from a quote by Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.” – Coretta Scott King

We can’t continue to be depressed and bitter about the election. It’s time to push against the forces that want to keep us down. What better way to start the new year and the newest phase of the struggle than to march in solidarity, build community, and fight for equal rights?

To that end, I submitted a bill to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) on January 12.

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Legislative District 9 races

Legislative District 9 was considered a competitive district when it was redistricted in 2012. A Republican, Ethan Orr, was elected to the House that year, but lost to Democrat Dr. Randall Friese just two years later.

FarleyDemocratic Senator Steve Farley is unopposed in the general election, mostly because he is popular in his district, and he has risen as a leader in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate.  Farley was named by the Arizona Republic as one of 16 Arizonans to Watch in 2016, and voted Best Arizona Democratic Elected Official in 2016 by readers and reporters of the Arizona Capitol Times. His legislative priorities are public education, jobs and economic development, senior issues, public safety, transportation choices, sustainable growth, fiscal health, and quality of life. He has repeatedly been named Conservation Hero by the Arizona League of Conservation Voters, and Legislative Champion by the Arizona League of Towns and Cities.

If Democrats can pick up enough seats to gain a 15-15 tie in the Senate, Farley will be running for a leadership position.

ld9houseIn the House, there is one Democratic incumbent and a Democrat and Republican newcomer for the open House seat.

Dr. Randall Friese has proven to be quite popular in the district since his election in 2014. Dr. Friese joined the University of Arizona College of Medicine as a member of the Trauma Team. In this role he is a Professor of Surgery where he trains young doctors, he is the Associate Medical Director and he is one of nine UAMC Trauma Surgeons that care for the injured in southern Arizona. Dr. Friese was one of the Trauma Surgeons who cared for the victims of the Jan 8 shootings in Tucson.

Dr. Friese focuses on healthcare issues, including the epidemic of gun violence. Dr. Friese believes that gun violence is a public health issue. Most recently Dr. Friese was instrumental in adding Arizona to the National Violent Death Reporting System. This allows Arizona to gather, and share with the Centers for Disease Control, statistics concerning violent deaths in Arizona. This is an important first step towards finding real solutions to gun violence.

Arizona’s “citizen legislature” definitely needs a doctor with Dr. Friese’s knowledge, background and experience.

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$500 Billion: Gender Pay Gap Is Bigger than You ThinK

ERA-1It is a well known fact that in the US women– regardless of economic status— are paid less than men. Gender pay gap is real.

Overall, women make 78 cents for every $1 earned by a man, with African American and Hispanic women earning far less. Over one woman’s lifetime, that is a significant amount of money. Across the country, that pay gap costs American women $500 billion per year, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women and Families. On an individual basis the report findings break down like this:

To put it in individual terms, if women earned as much as men, each woman with a full-time job would be able to afford an additional seven months of mortgage and utilities, or 1.6 years worth of food, annually.

Tuesday, April 12, is Equal Pay Day, which was created to draw attention to gender pay gap, which has remained basically the same since 2001. Women will not have equality until we have control over our own bodies, equal pay for equal work, an equal voice in government and the Equal Rights Amendment.

For background on gender pay gap, continue reading…

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Rocker Joan Jett Says ‘When Women Vote, Women Win’ (video)

Reproductive choice
Rocker Joan Jett wants YOU to vote— and bring friends with you.

Women are not just a voting block; we make up 53% of the voters in this country. Despite the power of our numbers, somehow 100% of the Republicans in the Senate don’t believe that we deserve equal pay for equal work, and several Republican-led Legislatures– including Arizona’s– think it’s perfectly OK to restrict your rights and force YOU to have an unnecessary vaginal ultrasound– and pay for it yourself– before you can have a legal medical procedure. (Don’t even bother to ask them if we deserve equal rights that would be granted by passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.)

In Arizona, the vote is crystal clear for women. ALL Democratic Party candidates– Congressional, statewide, and legislative— stand for equal pay, equal rights, and reproductive choice for women. Republicans stand for repression of women through continued bad legislation in Phoenix. For example, Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey — and all of the Republicans in the Arizona Legislature– signed the Center for Arizona Policy’s fetal personhood pledge to fight for the rights of the unborn, over the rights of mothers. (Now you know whose side they’re on, and it’s NOT ours.)

Women– Republicans think you’re too stupid to vote. Prove them WRONG on Nov. 4. Joan Jett video and background facts after the jump.

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Deadline Looms: ERA Ratification Assigned to Judiciary Committee in AZ Legislature

by Pamela Powers Hannley

Rep. Victoria Steele’s (D-9) bill to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (HCR2016) was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee late last week. (You’ll remember that mid-week, I reported it was languishing on the desk of House Speaker Andy Tobin.)

This week is the last week for bills to be heard by committees of the Arizona Legislature. Currently, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet onThursday, Feb. 20, 2014. ERA ratification is not on the agenda, but– hey– it’s only Monday. Agendas and committee meeting dates routinely shift around in the Arizona Legislature. Arizona women deserve economic equality. It's time to make some phone calls to Phoenix!

Bills can be killed in multiple ways: they can be voted down in committee, voted down by the Legislature, or just plain ignored by the Speaker or the committee chair. If the HCR2016 isn’t heard this week, it will die in committee. Arizona women deserve economic equality. Tucson's favorite "moderate" LD9 Rep. Ethan Orr is on the Judiciary Committee; he could be an important swing vote on the ERA.  [Contact information for committee members after the jump.]

You Have the Power 

The ERA provides economic equality for women and would end wage discrimination against women. It deserves to be heard and debated by the entire Arizona Legislature. Nationwide, the ERA needs to be ratified by only three states. Arizona is one of the states that didn’t ratify the ERA back in the 1970s.

This is where you come in. It’s time for action. Call, email, and/or Tweet Judiciary Committee Eddie Farnsworth and ask him to put the ERA on the Judiciary Committee’s agenda.

After that, call, email, and/or Tweet committee members and urge them to vote to allow ERA ratification to be voted on by the whole legislature. The committee’s three Democrats– Hale (a Navajo), Quezada, and Contreras– should be a shoe-in on ERA ratification, since minority women suffer much higher rates of wage discrimination than white women. (But they still need to hear from you.)

Since the Republicans are the majority party in the Legislature, they also have the majority on all of the committees. The ERA has bipartisan support, with four of the 22 sponsors being Republicans. LD9 Rep. Ethan Orr, who’s “moderate” Republican street cred has been challenged, is on the Judiciary Committee and is a co-sponsor of LD9 “seat mate” Steele’s ERA bill. The ERA needs bipartisan support from Republicans to get out of committee, and Orr could be an important swing vote. Last week, it looked as if ERA ratification might not even be assigned to a committee. Did the 257 Facebook shares and 21 Tweets of my blog post help move this bill? I don’t know, but I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that if enough people contact the Judiciary Committee this week that we can move the ERA one step closer to being law. The ball is in your court, people.

Here is a list of the House Judiciary Committee members.

Eddie Farnsworth, Chair, R-12, efarnsworth@azleg.gov, 602-926-5735
Justin Pierce, Vice Chair, R25, jpierce@azleg.gov, 602-926-5495
John Allen, R-15, jallen@azleg.gov, 602-926-4916
Ethan Orr, R-9 (co-sponsor of ERA ratification), eorr@azleg.gov, 602-926-3235, @EthanforHouse
Doris Goodale, R-25, dgoodale@azleg.gov, 602-926-5408, @dgoodale
Lupe Contreras, D-19, lcontreras@azleg.gov, 602-926-5284
Martin Quezada, D-29 (co-sponsor of ERA ratification), mquezada@azleg.gov, 602-926-5911, @RepQuezada29
Albert Hale, D-7, ahale@azleg.gov, 602-926-4323

If the ERA doesn’t make it out of committee, remember these votes in November when the whole Arizona Legislature is up for re-election.

AZ Reps. Grijalva and Barber Back Extension of ERA Ratification Deadline

by Pamela Powers Hannley

Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has received bipartisan support in the Arizona Legislature, but Arizona's Congressional delegation appears to be lagging behind. Of Arizona's 11 Senators and Representatives, only two–  Southern Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva (D- CD3) and Ron Barber (D- CD2)– have signed on to co-sponsor legislation to remove the ERA's ratification deadline.

There are two Congressional bills to remove the ratification deadline. In the House, HJ Res 43 has 104 cosponsors (including Grijalva and Barber), and in the Senate, SJ Res 15 has 34 cosponsors.

The ERA was introduced during every Congressional session between 1923 (when it was originally proposed) and 1972. It finally passed Congress nearly 70 years after it was originally introduced. In the 1970s, there was a ground war at the state level to get 38 state legislatures to ratify the ERA in order for it to become a Constitutional Amendment. The ERA fell 3 states short of ratification; Arizona is one of a handful of states that never ratified the ERA. (Contact and Twitter info for Arizona's Congressional delegation after the jump.)

To become an amendment to the US Constitution, the ERA deadline must be extended by the Congress, and three state legislatures have to ratify it. Currently, six states have ratification proposals in 2013: Florida, Illinois, Louisana, Missouri, Virginia, and Arizona; North Carolina and Nevada have ERA proposals for 2014.

Passage of the ERA is a civil rights issue. It's time for pay equity for American women. It's time to end wage discrimination based upon gender.

You Have the Power

If you back the ERA and economic equality, please contact your Congressional representatives and tell them to co-sponsor and vote for extension of the ERA deadline. Below is the Arizona Congressional delegation. Click on their names to see their websites and contact information. Click on their Twitter handles to Tweet about the ERA and their involvement. Suggested hastags: #ERA, #RatifyERA, #Equality4All, #RiseUp, and, of course, tag (#) or direct message (@) your Senator or Representative. There are sample Tweets here. Personally, I like this one: @RepSinema support #equality & #women? Prove it by signing #HJRES43 2 remove #ERA Ratification deadline. #RatifyERA#IMAH#RiseUp.

 Name Sponsor CPC Black Hispanic Asia Pacific  Twitter
 Jeff Flake (R)            @JeffFlake
 John McCain (R)            @SenJohnMcCain
 Ron Barber (D-02)  HJ Res 43          @RonBarberAZ
 Trent Franks (R-08)            @RepTrentFranks
 Paul Gosar (R-04)            @RepGosar
 Raul Grijalva (D-03)  HJ Res 43 Yes   Yes Yes  @RepRaulGrijalva
 Ann Kirkpatrick (D-01)            @RepKirkpatrick
 Ed Pastor (D-07)   Yes   Yes    
 Matt Salmon (R-05)            @RepMattSalmon
 David Schweikert (R-06)            @RepDavid
 Krysten Sinema (D-09)            @RepSinema

If you live in another state and want to know its status on extension of the ERA deadline, check out this interactive map from Progressive Democrats of America. The map also shows which state legislatures didn't ratify the ERA in the 1970s.