In 2017, the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in eight states, debated in three, and ratified in one– Nevada. The Arizona Legislature was one of the bodies that debated the ERA. (Watch the video.) I have vowed to introduce the ERA every year until it is ratified by the states. Only two more states are needed. This could be the year the ERA is finally sent back to Congress to become an amendment to the US Constitution.
On Thursday, January 11, 2018, I dropped the ERA– with the help of some of my Democratic sisters. All of the House Democrats signed the bill. I stopped asking Republicans to sign the ERA, when I confirmed that Republican Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita also has introduced the ERA this year. Ugenti-Rita and Rep. Heather Carter were the only two Republicans who voted to hear the ERA in 2017 (rather than shutting down debate, as the Republican leadership wanted to do.)
You’ll remember that in 2017 the Democrats forced the ERA debate by using parliamentary procedures. We did this because Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, chair of the Judiciary Committee, refused to hear it in committee. (Committee chairs often kill bills with this parliamentary procedure.)
In 2018, the ERA is coming in the front door of the Arizona Legislature.
Many statewide groups are backing ratification of the ERA in Arizona– including the National Organization for Women (NOW), the League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women, the Federation of Democratic Women, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), and more. Many of these groups showed up on opening day to rally for the ERA and have events planned for this session.
The ERA needs state legislators to allow for debate and to vote for ratification. The ERA needs Congressional representatives and senators to eliminate the ratification deadline. Ask your legislators, Congressional representatives/senators, and candidates for elected office: 1) if they back equal pay and equal protection under the law for women and 2) if they will help us in this fight for equality.
In case they “haven’t had time to read it,” here is the text of the ERA:
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
It’s been almost 100 years since the ERA was originally proposed. I look forward to working with Republican Reps. Ugenti-Rita and Carter and the Democrats to get this heard in 2018.
Grassroots support is crucial. Let’s do this. #ItsTime #ShePersisted