North Carolina – “the big hairy foot”
Although the North Carolina General Assembly has not yet acted on the Equal Rights Amendment during its current session, the Senate version is still alive.
Under a Senate rule, constitutional amendments are exempt from the April 30 crossover deadline, which requires that one house or the other must pass legislation by that date in order to keep it alive for the 2015-2016 term. Therefore, S.184 by Senators Floyd McKissick, Terry Van Duyn, Paul A. Lowe, Jr., and Mike Woodard remains viable. The big hairy foot trampling in the pansy bed is the Senate Rules Committee, which has so far refused to hear the ERA.
Now aroused women across the state are urging the Rules Committee and Chairman Tom Apodaca to hold a hearing and send the ERA to the full Senate for a vote.
Dare County and Buncombe County women sent hundreds of purple postcards to legislators. During an ERA session at the Business and Professional Women state convention in May, dozens of women sent postcards to Rules Committee members. A week later, after an inspiring speech by former Senator Ellie Kinnaird, the state League of Women Voters stood up for the ERA, adding it to the list of action areas. Some League members took postcards home to send to legislators.
Two other organizations, NC4ERA and the National Organization for Women, organized silent sentinels in front of Senator Apodaca’s office to protest the Rules Committee’s inaction.
RATIFY ERA-NC is planning a statewide ERA meeting this fall. Stay tuned for details so you can be there.
Golden ERA pins available for donors to RATIFY ERA-NC
Small gold-colored ERA pins are now available for people who donate $50 or more to RATIFY ERA-NC, thanks to David Madden, who paid for the pins. These pins are ideal for wearing everywhere and are excellent conversation-starters. To get your pin, please mail your check to RATIFY ERA-NC, P.O. Box 758, Black Mountain, NC 28711.
Other unratified states
In Illinois, Virginia, Florida, and other unratified states, the ERA is a constant presence in legislatures, where women continue to advocate tirelessly for ratification.
ERA 3-state strategy measures introduced in Congress for Mother’s Day
At the congressional level, legislation was introduced in May, just in time for Mother’s Day, to eliminate the deadline so that only three more states need to ratify the ERA:
• Senate Joint Resolution 15 by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), which now has 27 cosponsors
• House Joint Resolution 51 by Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA), which has 152 cosponsors, including NC Reps. Alma Adams and David Price
Got 7 minutes? Here’s what you can do for the ERA
• Call, visit, or write to Senator Apodaca and other members of the Senate Rules Committee to urge a hearing on the ERA, Senate Bill 184. For contact information go to www.ncleg.net.
• Contact Senators Tillis and Burr and urge them to cosponsor S.J.Res.15 to eliminate the deadline for ratifying the ERA. You can call them at the U.S. Capitol toll free at 1-877-762-8762.
• Contact your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives and urge him or her to cosponsor H.J.Res.51 to eliminate the deadline for ratifying the ERA. Call the U.S. Capitol toll free at 1-877-762-8762.
• Make a donation to RATIFY ERA-NC. We will send your ERA pin as a thank you!