VA NOW JOINS RENEWED
NATIONAL ERA RATIFICATION EFFORT
Written by Simone Roberts
October 23rd, 2014
She’s sleeping outside, has been robbed, is siphoning wi-fi from local libraries,
showering in shelters,and meeting with federal and state legislators for ratification!
Helene de Boissier-Swanson (with her organization, Katrina’s Dream) started in California, has walked and camped and lobbied across Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico. Then she walked and camped through Colorado to lobby and coalition build in Oklahoma and Missouri. In her wake 1000s of activists have been fired up for ratification! Illinois is next! (click here for the route) The related Facebook event pages for each state attest to the energy she unleashing, the loose and wonderful coalitions she inspiring all across the US!
Virginia NOW knows Virginia’s feminists can pave the way for Helene’s arrival in the spring, and join her in DC in March.
By the time she gets here, we could present her with a copy of the bill of ratification, all voted on and signed into law. Helene will arrive in VA late in her pilgrimage, our legislative session convenes on Jan 14, 2015 and adjourns on Feb 12, 2015.
We must get in gear well before then and well in advance of Helene’s arrival. She’s headed to DC, with petitions,with a lobbying plan,and to participate in the March 8, 2015 International Women’s Day & ERA Rally on the Mall!
Sure, we’ve used email campaigns before, BUT HERE’S THE SUBVERSIVE TWIST: this one won’t be targeted. It will be state wide and a little random. We want our Delegates hearing from people all over Virginia and at irregular intervals. They get targeted and time sensitive email floods all the time. It registers, but not in the way that new approach will!!
WE WRITE!!! Each week, we’ll send an email with the Media and Messaging Paper linked, and list 5 delegates for you to contact (email, phone, Twitter). You’ll see each name more than once, and we will randomize the list.
Let’s make them notice, talk to each other about it over lunch, feel that we are everywhere all the time. Let’s each commit to sending an email to each state and federal legislator, beginning on Nov. 5. Let’s tell them we want to see the deadline lifted, the ERA brought out of committee, introduced for a proper and recorded vote, and RATIFIED.
Promise that anything less will be long and badly remembered by our members. Let’s keep the issue in front of them this fall and all through the 2015 session. It’s just 4 months of a few emails a week. It’s nothing compared to sleeping in the cold, and hot, and wind and city parks that Helene de Boissier-Swanson is doing for us!!!
Last session, the Senate in Virginia passed a resolution to ratify the ERA, and when it went to the House of Delegates where it died an Orwellian death in subcommittee.
To change this, we need to contact, bother, and harry our delegates. They need to understand that mere acts can be repealed, distorted, and manipulated in many ways. An amendment is necessary to assure that the Constitution itself recognizes the dignity,humanity, and full citizenship of women.
WE CALL!!! Call 10 Friends, get them involved! Call friends in coalition organizations, let them know you’re with them. Call friends who don’t usually get involved and ask them to commit to just two emails, or invite them to the whole party!
Helene and Katrina’s Dream are starting phone trees in all the unratified states. Let’s jump in!
WE GET ON BOARD!!! To get involved with Katrina’s Dream directly, please use these social media resources. Helene and her ororganizationre asking us to use our social media across states. Here’s how.
- General: KatrinasDream.org
- Events: Missouri Rally and Media Here and the Illinois Rally and Media Here
- Twitter: @Katrinas_Dream, Twitter storms frequently lobby individual legislators
- Facebook: Facebook.com/www.KatrinasDream.org lots of everything. Note that Facebook events are kept open for follow up announcements and actions.
Also, consider a donation to Katrina’s Dream in support of Helene’s pilgrimage and the organization’s presence at the rally March 8, 2015 on the Mall!!
Helene de Boissier-Swanson is using her pilgrimage — begun on Women’s Equality Day 2014 in San Francisco and ending on International Women’s Day 2015 in Washington, D. C., walking alone through all 15 unratified states — to re-energize support for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. She is the daughter-in-law of Rev. Katrina Swanson, one of the Philadelphia Eleven of 1974, a group of irregularly ordained Episcopal women who moved that church to support women’s rights. Helene is currently in Missouri, with appointments to speak to both senators, and she’s planning a rally in city.
More than that, in Virginia we can honor our long and rich feminist history. AMPLIFY OUR VOICES EVERYWHERE!
If you tweet, tweet here: #VAERA, #VANOW, #WOMENSRIGHTS, #EQUALITY, #WeDemandERA (in Facebook)
- If you’re a blogger, keep at it, and please promote these efforts widely and often.
- None of the above? Could you write a letter to the editor for your local paper? Ask your friends to do the same? Keep sending them in until several get published.
- Between now and International Women’s Day (March 8, 2015), we need to deluge the House of Delegates with this demand: Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
Yes, many delegates support the ERA, but the vast majority do not. Pressuring them all to move the bill out of NAME OF COMMITTEE and then to vote ERA YES will inspire our allies to pressure our opponents further.