October 21, 2019

Week Five Report – Strengthening Momentum for ERA in Virginia

By Kamala, Natalie & the EME Team

Since our Week Two Report on September 26th, EQUAL MEANS EQUAL has been on the ground doing educational outreach in the communities in and around south/central Virginia. The local news caught our visit to Hampton University, a HBCU (Historically Black College or University).

In our district (Suffolk is in Virginia’s District 76) the incumbent House Delegate of 21 years managed to distribute thirteen and a half MILLION opioids from his quaint neighborhood pharmacy as well as draw up the racially gerrymandered district maps that the present U.S. Supreme Court found too racist (Gulp.) and ordered the maps redrawn this year.

This man, the second most powerful Republican in the Virginia House of Delegates, is fighting with four times the financial ammunition as the pro-ERA candidate, an African American man, who is the first candidate to run against him.

Given the redrawn maps ordered by SCOTUS, the opportunity is ripe to flip this district and this state.  However, It is crucial that the voters in our district feel safe to get out and vote.  That is difficult when the incumbent delegate brings the Clerk of the Court around with him to the local businesses to canvas.  Frankly, it’s voter intimidation and EME is in the midst of trying to do something about it, but, just to say, there are many historic and endemic obstacles to our victory in this state that lie beneath the surface and we are only now becoming acutely aware of them.

Hopefully our presence, and your awareness, will help mitigate some of the fears the voters have to come out, and give strength to the local underserved community to let their voice be heard on November 5th.

So far we have sent out 14,000 handwritten postcards, sent out thousands of texts to voters, given out over 30,000 flyers, ten thousand buttons, 8 thousand coasters and put signs in the windows of 700 businesses and dorm rooms across the state.

Here are some of the events Equal Means Equal has participated in:

Suffolk Peanut Parade:

Friday Night Lights at Kings Fork High School :

Williamsburg Postcard Party:

Kamala and Natalie join Heather & Rex Meany-Allen and Williamsburg JCC Indivisible, along with many Virginian pro-ERA candidates including Herb Jones (VA Senate), Stan Scott, Dr. Mark Downey and Francis Edwards in filling out, labeling and stamping hundreds and hundreds of Get Out the Vote for ERA postcards!

We had the great pleasure of working with Dr. Jarris Louis Taylor at Hampton University, Director of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute, to show the short film Legalize Equality to the leadership students and discuss afterwards.

We also made media with students:

And we shot several of our own PSA’s!  Keep your eyes peeled for them – coming soon!

Our daily social media post countdown is doing well, please join the EME Equality Challenge by posting these on your social media daily:

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Special thanks to: MK, Judy, Sam, Travis, Rachel, Eileen, Nathan, Heather, Rex and, of course, dear Kati for all their hard work.

We are going to keep up if not increase the pace for the next twenty days.  Thanks for your support.

With love and thanks,
Kamala, Natalie & the EME Team