On January 9, 2019 Virginia opens its 400th consecutive General Assembly session with an historical opportunity to be the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
The session will last just 45 days and during that time, Virginia’s House and Senate leadership are called upon to commit to equality by ensuring a path for the resolutions to the House and Senate floors.
In 2018 bipartisan support of a majority of Delegates and Senators was demonstrated by the lengthy lists of patrons for the Equal Rights Amendment resolutions. This year, with your help, we will succeed!
To ensure media attention, the campaign kicked off on Women’s Equality Day, August 26th, with Virginia legislators across the state celebrating the day the Nineteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution and the opportunity for Virginia to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. More information about the launch, including photos and movie/discussion resources, is available here!
On November 9, 2018 the campaign launched “10 Days of ERA,” with a statewide bus tour helmed by Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D) and Senator Glen Sturtevant (R). The tour’s goal was to educate Virginians about the absence of gender equality in the U.S. Constitution and highlight the unequivocal, bipartisan statewide support for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (more information here!)
With a strong launch the VAratifyERA campaign has seen a surge in public awareness and support. On December 5th the Wason Center for Public Policy reported polling results that 81% of Virginians support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (more than want a tax cut!).
Simple ways you can support the effort:
- Spread the word – most people don’t know that gender equality is not yet in the Constitution! Talk to your friends, neighbors, and family members. Wear a button or t-shirt! Tell people you meet around town. Check out these resources to prepare your elevator pitch.
- If you live in Virginia, see if your Delegate is already signed on to Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy’s House Resolution HJ579 to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. If your Delegate has not signed on yet, then send a letter asking him/her to do so!
- Wherever you live, since a constitutional amendment impacts all of us, send a letter to Speaker Cox to ensure the ERA is heard on the floor.
- Encourage Virginians to sign our VAratifyERA petition and opt in for weekly updates / actions!
- Hold a post-card writing party or a host film screening party to build local support.
- Support our campaign!
As we do important advocacy and outreach, our approach should be:
- Inclusive: The gender equity gap is most severe for women, particularly women of color. Boys and men are also impacted by the gender equity gap, whether they have employed mothers or are married to a woman who is underpaid. Ratification of the ERA will benefit EVERYONE.
- Bipartisan: Success requires the support of Republican leadership. We need voters across the political spectrum to get involved and contact their lawmakers.
- Single-issue: Keep ERA ratification front and center, separate from other issues you are working on. Do not wear or bring accessories or materials for other groups or issues when you work on the ERA.