ERA Coalition was on MSNBC's Morning Joe!
February 08, 2024
December 13, 2023 marked a century of advocates fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment since it's first introduction in the House of Representatives. That's an anniversary we are not celebrating.
The ERA Coalition, AAUW, Equality Now, Feminist Majority, League of Women Voters, National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), National Organization for Women (NOW), Women Connect4Good, YWCA, and other Coalition partners decided we have had enough of waiting for sex equality. We decided to say, "It's been one hundred years. Not one more!"
Instead, organizations across the United States banded together on that cool, DC afternoon for a march and rally to call for immediate publication of the fully ratified Equal Rights Amendment.
In a march that began in front of the White House at Lafayette Park, hundreds of equality and civil rights advocates converged, and leaders spoke about the need for sex equality now. The ask for the Executive Branch of government was simple: Do everything in your power to ensure publication of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Our own Chief of Policy and Programs, Bettina Hager, kicked us off, then marchers heard from Christian Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), our board chair and former Representative Carolyn Maloney, and Amy Hinojosa, President and CEO of MANA - National Latina Organization. They got the crowd fired up as we began our march for the Equal Rights Amendment on its centennial anniversary.
Advocates from the DC area as well as states like California, Mississippi, Ohio, and New Jersey marched from the White House to the Department of Justice on foot, carrying signs saying "NOT ONE MORE" and "ERA NOW"!
One marcher even used a walker as she marched, determined to make her voice heard across DC with her fellow advocates!
Ariana Mondragon, President and CEO, Dia de los Muertos, DC spoke to the crowd as we marched past the Department of Justice on Pennsylvania Avenue. Her fiery speech got the crowd chanting again, "We stand up for the ERA! Not one more year, publish it today!"
Calls for Attorney General Garland to remove the Trump-era Office of Legal Counsel memo were abound. That memo, not legally binding, directs the Archivist to not publish the Amendment.
Carolyn Maloney and Generation Ratify Deputy Executive Director Claudia Nachega spoke in front of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) offices, followed by a beautiful performance from performer Keri Edwards. The stop in front of the Archives was a little longer than the others as we awaited a special guest!
The crowd was especially was especially energized when Representative and ERA Caucus co-chair Cori Bush showed up to talk about the need for the Archivist, Colleen Shogan, to publish the Equal Rights Amendment. Her legislation, H Res 82, would not only affirm the Equal Rights Amendment as valid, it also directs the US Archivist to do her ministerial duty to publish the ERA to the Constitution.
Representative Bush marched with the group from the Archives to the Capitol, leading the way alongside former Representative Maloney, youth advocates, and other leaders.
The ERA march ended at the US Capitol where the marchers called on elected officials in the House and Senate to take action on SJ Res 4/HJ Res 25; the joint resolutions to affirm the validity of the ERA and remove the arbitrary time limit added to its introductory clause.
Following the ERA march, partner organizations and advocates met at the House Triangle outside of the Capitol building for a concluding press conference.
Advocates convened at the House Triangle to make official statements on the need for publication of the Equal Rights Amendment now, after 100 years of lobbying and work in the ratifying states. Representative and ERA Caucus co-chair Ayanna Pressley emceed the gathering, calling on all the elected and appointed officials in power to do what they can to ensure publication of the ERA. Representative Jennifer McClellan, instrumental in the fight to ratify the ERA in Virginia, joined the groups in calling for action on the 100th anniversary of the ERA's first introduction.
Partner organizations representing millions of Americans across the country also spoke out on the dire need to codify equal protections on the basis of sex in the Constitution. Gloria L. Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer of AAUW, the Honorable Carolyn Maloney, Board Chair of ERA Coalition and former Representative, Eleanor Smeal, President of Feminist Majority, Shalina Effendi, Organizer for Generation Ratify, Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO of the League of Women Voters, and Margaret Mitchell, CEO of YWCA USA joined in the call for publication of the Amendment.
The momentum is on the side of right here. Nearly 80% of Americans support the Equal Rights Amendment. It's time the rest of our elected and appointed leaders do the same and take action.
Continue to make your voice heard by reaching out to all the leaders and officials, asking them to take whatever steps are available to them to ensure publication of the Amendment. We are not waiting one more year for constitutional sex equality. The time is now!
All pics by Allison Bailey for ERA Coalition