January 16, 2018

No more excuses, Virginia! Let’s get ERA voted on in THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION!

By Kamala Lopez

Happy New Year and we hope you are keeping warm, wherever you are! We are in Richmond, Virginia working with the incredible women fighting for E.R.A. ratification in their state where we expect a vote very soon!

"Measures to ratify the ERA have gained traction in the Virginia Senate five times between 2011 and 2016. In the most recent session, on January 11, 2017, Senator Scott A. Surovell's bill SJ221 ratifying the ERA was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections, assigned to a subcommittee of Constitutional Amendments, and re-referred from the Committee on Privileges and Elections to the Rules Committee. It "passed by indefinitely" in the Rules Committee, in effect killing the bill."

The Virginia Senate and House are in session now, starting January 10, 2018. We have great confidence that the state of Virginia will do the right thing and pull ERA out of committee, where is has been languishing in a shameful ruling by Rules Committee to simply pass it by as unimportant and irrelevant. This is not acceptable. This decision doesn’t just affect the women in Virginia (who by the way, have their own State E.R.A.!) – it affects ALL American women! EME is here to say “No more excuses! Let’s get ERA voted on in THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION!”

ERA Activists Lobby the Virginia Legislature

The Equal Means Equal Team (Natalie, Kamala, and Rachel) is in Richmond, screening the documentary for the Virginia State Legislators at the Byrd Theater on 01/16/2018 and spending this week visiting and lobbying for the E.R.A. with the local activists here including Eileen Bedell, Eileen Davis, Candy Graham, Donna Granski, Kasey Terrill, Mary Crutchfield, Kati Hornung, Jane Newell and many other wonderful women. We are also continuing the Silent Sentinel Vigil both here in Richmond and in Washington DC outside the White House.

Equal Means Equal Screening at the BYRD Theater

I am also excited to announce that we’ve just completed a new updated short film about the need for ERA called “Legalize Equality.” It is only half an hour long and makes the strong legal and economic argument for why we need to complete ERA Ratification in these last two states once and for all. We will be giving a copy to each state legislator and urging them to vote immediately on women’s equality, in this session – in fact, right away! I am going to be putting these up on the Equality Store shortly for sale to cover manufacturing costs (five bucks a DVD or a dozen for a fifty dollar donation). Let’s get these short films into the hands of any and all state legislators in unratified states, ASAP!

The last time the Virginia Senate passed the ERA was on January 26, 2016, but it was not called for a vote in the Virginia House of Delegates. We must pressure those holding the power over what legislation gets “put on the docket” in the House of Delegates and let them know that we want ERA calendared and voted on immediately. We at Equal Means Equal respectfully ask the Virginia State Rules Committee in the House of Delegates to vote on equality for women, NOW, and stop delaying this urgent matter.

If you live in Virginia, please call your State Senators and Delegates right away and encourage them to support the ratification of the ERA in Virginia!

Also, please note that Equal Means Equal will have a strong presence in the Women’s Marches across the nation.  If you plan to participate in a Women’s March and want to hold up a ERA sign for EME, let us know what city you are in and we will try to connect you to our teams on the ground. If you are organizing in a city where we have no point person, let us know and we will try to get you rally signs and stickers in time for your march!

Please take lots of photos wherever you are this upcoming weekend and share them with us on social media!

Social Media handles:

Facebook www.facebook.com/equalmeansequalmovie/

YouTube www.youtube.com/equalmeansequal/

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/equalmeansequal/

Twitter twitter.com/equalmeansequal/

Please support our vigil. Visit our online art auction. Each week, we are showcasing artists who not only share our vision for equality but have donated artwork to help raise funds for our actions. Come like us on Facebook if you would like to be notified of the new pieces up for auction.