Welcome to 2024, Equality Warriors! It is a year where the outcome of the fight for legalizing equality has far greater implications and impact than ever before. There is more than just body autonomy, birth control, marriage equality, and equal pay on the line, a lot more; and once again the majority of the burden of saving a nation falls squarely on the shoulders of its women.
Before we jump into where we are going, let’s take a look back at 2023. EQUAL MEANS EQUAL was in courtrooms, conferences, events, marches, rallies, protests, and of course Congress ALL YEAR LONG. Here’s a recap of how far we have come in this centennial year:
Rep. Ayana Pressley and Senator Ben Cardin introduce joint resolution HJ 25, removing the arbitrary time limit set by Congress before the publication of the 27th amendment after 203 years
- The first Senate hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment in 40 years was announced just six days before the nomination hearing for the first female archivist in the nation’s history.
- Despite multiple Senators sitting on both committees, these two historic events took place at the exact same date and time, AND just as they were both being gaveled to order, a federal appeals court dismissed Illinois v. Ferriero, a case brought forth by Attorneys General from Virginia, Illinois, and Nevada demanding that former U.S. Archivist David Ferriero certify that the ERA had been ratified by the required 38 states.
- The verdict, delivered by a smug Senator Graham, locked the ERA in legal limbo until a President follows the Constitution of his own accord or the Congress forces him to do so, which no doubt contributed to the eruption of emotion at the hearing, which lead to three of the EME team being led out in handcuffs.Catch the action here on #GetUpStandUp playlist
- While the White House may have left the ERA’s Centennial out of Women’s History Month we sure didn’t. We kicked off the 28th Amendment’s 100th year in City Hall with our friends in West Hollywood, who presented EQUAL MEANS EQUAL with the first Mayoral Proclamation of the year declaring the ERA ratified and ready.
- After the birthday bash we helped honor our friend Patricia Arquette as she joined Kamala as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the WeHo Women’s City Council.
- EME launched #ERA100 campaigns not just across the country, but all over the world with our friends and partners.
- Back on the East Coast, our friends at Generation Ratify shut down Constitution Avenue in Washington DC.
- The ERA Caucus, now the fifth largest caucus in Congress, was formed.
- The Senate took a roll-call vote on equality and while a majority of them have finally come around to agreeing that, yes, women are, in fact, full human beings deserving of equal rights and standing in the Constitution, it wasn’t a supermajority, something one of our equality warriors took up directly with Ted Cruz during the vote.
- This of course landed us in the headlines and the DC pokey (again).
Turning our focus to education and outreach we launched our redesigned comprehensive new website with sections including:
- WHY ERA – to Share the basics with folks who are not yet informed about the need for Federal equality regardless of sex and the urgent need for ERA publication.
- Our INTERACTIVE TIMELINE of Significant ERA Events on our Home Page, where you can follow the recent trajectory of the fight for the ERA.
- Our LEGAL ACTIONS section where you can read the full briefs of all of the lawsuits and amicus briefs we have filed on behalf of the ERA and women as a class.
- Our ACTION HUB where you can find out how you can get involved and take action whether virtually or on-the-ground; find out what’s on the ERA calendar and submit your own events; schedule a screening or access your Senator’s contact info.
- Our CAMPAIGNS PAGE where you can learn about EME’s long-term projects in the fight for the ERA and share our educational resources including podcasts, photos, related websites and more.
- Our NEWS HUB where you can reference all the news regarding EME’s work for the ERA including details on our the various protest actions, rallies, state ratifications, labor and state resolutions, legal actions, etc.
- Our ERA CENTENNIAL Section, with hundreds of click-download-and-go resources. From lesson plans and petitions to videos, graphics, and tool kits, like our Unwanted Senators campaign, we made joining the fight for equal rights easy and free!
- Our MEDIA LAB where you can watch, download and share all of our fantastic video content as well as connect to all our social media platforms.
- And our SHOP – where you can get your hands on great EME ERA MERCH!
- We kicked off Pride Celebrations in West Hollywood but instead of rainbows and sunshine, we got into a firestorm when two of our volunteers were attacked by the LA Sheriffs.
- To the horror of an entire city, a gang of deputies jumped our trans volunteer, from behind, without warning, and brutally tackled a female volunteer when she asked why they were manhandling her friend, resulting in a fractured neck.
- Thanks to our friends at Rolling Stone, the suspicious warrant our volunteer was violently arrested on was proven to be completely false, and all charges were eventually dropped. We are grateful for the support of the community and our allies like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the ACLU.
- See the story unfold here:
Shaken and stirred to action, we headed to the National NOW Conference in Washington DC where we helped lead a group of fierce women and their allies down to the White House to ask the President “How long must we wait for equal rights?” and worked with our allies from across the country on the next steps towards Constitutional Equality.
To end the weekend and celebrate Independence Day with a bang, we teamed up with our friends at Feminist Uprising to spearhead a nationwide banner drop for equality.
From the streets of L.A. to the National Archives in DC we rolled into July hot…and right into the ERA Centennial Convention at Seneca falls.
We gathered with hundreds of women, girls, and their allies on the very same spot where 175 years ago the women’s rights movement was born; and where a century ago the Equal Rights Amendment was penned to make history once again.
Amid the speeches, workshops, strategy sessions, and history lessons, one thing became abundantly clear: the winds of change had truly begun to blow and things were well and truly changing, this time there would be no backing down.
- Capitalizing on the momentum, we immediately joined our friends at Generation Ratify in DC and welcomed them into what we affectionately call “Club Manacle” as two of the young activists were led away in handcuffs for shutting down Constitution Avenue for the second time that year, making them the 5th generation to be sent to the Capitol jail simply for demanding to be recognized as equal human beings in the Constitution.
- Always looking to lift the voices in our community we reached out to our friends at Moby Arts LA and the City of West Hollywood and put together the ERA Feminist Art Show, a month long celebration of all female artists from around the country
- We were quite busy on the East Coast as well. After joining our friends in Michigan for the launch of the #ERAToday Campaign,
- we headed down to the Georgia NOW Conference as they welcomed presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, who became the first and only candidate thus far to pledge to publish the fully ratified Equal Rights Amendment on Day One if elected.
- Finally in July, we headed back to Capitol to join tens of thousands for the 60th anniversary of the MLK march on Washington, where EQUAL MEANS EQUAL was a proud partner.
We welcomed fall with the highlight of the ERA Feminist Art Show on Constitution Day, featuring a live performance by singer/songwriter Nancy Sanchez and artist Corie Mattie putting the 28th Amendment in its rightful place.
Besides hitting the Hill for some “face time” with allies and legislators, and attending a number of Domestic Violence Awareness events, we put together a special Barbie themed tool kit and prepared to go back to court in Texas.
- While the legal team was preparing to intervene on behalf of Kate Cox and the women of Texas (since their lawyers failed to demand the strict scrutiny they are entitled to)
- our Comms team was in Washington DC to help make a little herstory at Dendrofemonology, the feminist history tree ring project.
We were delighted to be a partner on this groundbreaking, interactive installation that took place on the National Mall for the first four days of the month and participate in all the activities offsite.
Meanwhile, President Kamala Lopez was in Mexico with our friends at Women Forward International inaugurating a food rescue program called “Alas de Amor” (Wings of Love) for women and families suffering food insecurity as well as presenting at the Aspen Institute of Mexico.
- Back in Washington DC we co-sponsored an event highlighting the plight of women and girls still suffering in Iran hosted by Women Freedom Forum before heading down to–
- North Carolina for the State NOW Conference which featured a wonderful panel on the ERA and some excellent speakers, all calling for the immediate publication of the Equal Rights Amendment,
- something the United Nations is also now calling for.
We did not slow down at all in December; diving right in by hosting a live expert panel on the ERA & Abortion a week ahead of the ERA’s first introduction to Congress 100 years ago.
- You can catch it here:
- Then we swung through Michigan for a mini-screening of Equal Means Equal with a live Q&A with women who ran for office with the amazing Women Officials Network
- Then the 11th district’s Christmas Party where the #ERAToday campaign was providing “Publish The ERA” Holiday cards for attendees to fill out and be sent to the White House for the Holidays. (Statewide almost 2,000 cards were sent!)
- We joined 83 other organizations including the American Constitution Society, NOW, Shattering Glass, Rethinking Eve, Equality Now, Generation Ratify, Strike for America, and more in a direct letter to the White House demanding our government stop withholding a fully ratified amendment.
- Finally, we helped lead the December 13th March from the White House to Congress to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the ERA’s introduction in the House of Representatives.Loud, proud, and leading the way because EQUAL MEANS EQUAL.
We all know 2024 is a big year – and that VOTING ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH.
Women will again power the vote this election, and demanding something we have already won is not that big of an ask.
We need to see something besides talking points, empty promises and fundraising tours, especially since from a legal standpoint providing all Americans with equality regardless of sex is literally a phone call away.
WE NEED THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT PUBLISHED NOW.
The majority of 41 million Gen Zers, a large swath of the 72 million Millennials, hundreds of organizations, and even the United Nations are calling on this administration to do just that.
Publishing the ERA changes everything; not just righting a century of wrongs, but laying the foundation for real, lasting change that cannot be undone with the bang of a gavel or the stroke of a pen.
It is the ONLY thing that the Administration can legally and actually deliver on; and it is the single greatest upgrade to the rights of the American people since the 14th Amendment.
It’s also something that more than 80% of the American people approve of, no matter what team they root for. And it is the kind of heroic, history making sh!t people get excited about and support.
So this year, our job is to finish the job of seeing the ERA take its rightful place in the Constitution.
- We can’t codify Roe without the ERA.
- We can’t protect birth control or marriage equality without the ERA.
- We won’t have more than a 50% chance of winning any case involving sexual discrimination and harassment, unequal pay, abuse, body autonomy, access to care, and unfair pricing practices without the ERA.
- EQUALITY FIRST – all else follows.
We will not wait for November. We will keep applying pressure on all fronts:
- in courtrooms
- in classrooms
- in the streets
- in the halls of government at all levels
- and at the ballot box.
We have found our voices and we’re going to use them to change our choices.