EQUAL MEANS EQUAL IN ARIZONA
EQUAL MEANS EQUAL has been dedicated to direct action to ensure equality under the law deploying a multifaceted advocacy approach towards the ratification of the ERA.
Among EME’s state campaigns was the fight to ratify the ERA in the Grand Canyon State in 2018.
- Creating, organizing and distributing an Equality Pledge to all candidates for state office in Arizona. This pledge was designed to would determine which potential Arizona legislators supported the ERA and which did not. For those in support of equality for all Americans, pledge materials were designed to fully educate them on the issue so they could educate their colleagues and constituents moving forward.
- Producing an Equality Tour with live music, comedy shows and speeches by Arizona Legislators in favor of ERA Ratification in several Arizona cities.
- Funding full page ads in the Arizona newspapers revealing the results of the Equality Pledge to educate voters on where their politicians stood on women’s equality and could make informed decisions on who they wished to support.
- Holding film screenings of EQUAL MEANS EQUAL and/or Legalize Equality with Q&A sessions.
- Producing and supplying posters, fliers, social media and radio programing on all college campuses in the state.
- Attending college events all over the state and informing students about the Equal Rights Amendment.
- Attending football games and handing out educational information to attendees about women’s rights and the ERA.
EME’S CONCERT AND THE ARIZONA CAMPAIGN
- On March 11, 2018, EME explained that the Arizona Legislature failed to place an ERA bill on the docket, and thus advocated for a “striker bill” (a new bill taking the same number and place on the docket as one was previously introduced and died in the session).
- Between October 21 and October 29, 2018, six full page ads ran in the Arizona Republic educating about the ERA and thanking legislators who signed EME’s Equality Pledge and pledged to vote for the ERA.
- On November 1, 2018 in Tucson and November 3, 2018 in Tempe, EQUAL MEANS EQUAL organized concerts with the goal of outreach to students to get out the vote. The concert featured everyone from state legislators to musical performers to comedians.
- On the same trip, EME partnered with Feminist Majority Campus, Tucson NOW, ERA Task Force AZ and student organizers with a Get Out The Vote campaign. The campaign mobilized 100 volunteers across nine campuses and the downtown areas of cities, placing posters and fliers
- On January 28, 2019, two resolutions ratifying the ERA were introduced in the Arizona Senate. SCR1006 was introduced by Senator Michelle Ugenti (R-Scottsdale) ratifying the ERA and was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Rules Committee. SCR1006 had three cosponsors in the Arizona Senate, Senator Lela Alston (D-Phoenix), Senator Heather Carter (R-Cave Creek), Senator Tyler Pace (R-Mesa), and two in the Arizona House of Representatives, Jennifer Jermaine (D-Chandler) and Aaron Lieberman (D-Phoenix).
- SCR1009 was introduced by Senator Victoria Steele (D-Tucson) ratifying the ERA on January 28, 2019. On January 30, 2019, SCR1009, was first read and assigned to both Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Rules Committee. SCR1009 had 37 total cosponsors in the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives, including 33 Democrats and four Republicans.
- On March 11, 2019, EME promoted an announced hike to the Arizona State Capitol organized by ERA Task Force AZ and The National Council of Jewish Women, taking place between March 11 and 13.
Although the ERA was not successfully ratified in Arizona that year, EQUAL MEANS EQUAL was widely credited for a huge increase in student participation in the vote that year, leading to the state having to open more polling places opened on campuses. Young women in particular voted in record numbers!
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
Since the 1970s, lawmakers in the Arizona state legislature have attempted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. One of the proponents of the ERA in Arizona was future Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. In 1972, then Senator O’Connor, a Republican, had been selected by her fellow Arizona Senators to become the Senate Majority Leader, the first woman to serve as a State Senate majority leader in the entire country. Senate Majority Leader O’Connor introduced legislation to ratify the ERA that year, which passed the Arizona Senate but did not receive a hearing in the House. She continued to support the ERA as a legislator until she was elected to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1974. Sister Clare Dunn, a Democratic member of the Arizona House and the only nun to ever serve in the Arizona legislature, protested the legislature’s prevention of a vote on the Equal Rights Amendment. Since 1982, an ERA ratification bill was introduced in either the Arizona Senate or the Arizona House of Representatives, but was never brought to a vote.