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Open Letter from D10 Advocacy Chairman

Kelly R Hall  | Published on 8/18/2013

Dear D10 Zontians,


As our new year progresses, I encourage all clubs to pursue service/advocacy projects that address our mission to advance the status of women.  I also encourage clubs to share these projects with others in our district and on the international level, as well.


For example, please read the ZI's Advocacy Newsletter just distributed to our emails.  Click on the report by our NA Regional Advocacy Representative Diane Lindsley to see what some of our districts have been doing regarding advocacy.  I am so pleased to see that District 10 is one of five districts represented in this report.  Yeah!  Johnson County!


Advocacy Issue Update:  Equal Rights Amendment


As you are aware, Zonta District 10 approved a resolution to support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment at our conference in 2011.  As such, D10 clubs and Zontians are encouraged to advocate for this ratification.


A little refresher history:  The ERA was worded to parallel the wording of the 19th Amendment. 


"Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."



1923 - Originally written by Alice Paul, the ERA was introduced in the Congress for the first time by Senator Curtis and Representative Anthony, a nephew of Susan B. Anthony. The amendment was reintroduced in every Congressional session between 1923 and 1970.


1972 - The Equal Rights Amendment passed both houses of Congress and went to the state legislatures for ratification.  A deadline of 1982 passed without the required 38 states ratifying--three states were still needed. The ERA has been reintroduced in every Congressional session since 1982.


Today -  The fight for women to be included in our Constitution continues.  It is not "dead" as you may have heard.  Because there is no deadline-setting in the ratification process, there is no valid or legally-recognized ratification deadline.  The Congressional Research Office has already opined that the "three state strategy" is a valid one.


Congressional actions:  HJR 43 and SJR 15 eliminate the deadline for ratification and declare that the Equal Rights Amendment shall be part of the Constitution whenever ratified by legislatures of three-fourths of the several states.


Wouldn't it be great if Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana could be those three states? (Texas ratified during the original process.  Even though some ratifying states have tried to rescind ratification, the Supreme Court ruled that rescissions were invalid.)


HJR 43 currently has 81 co-sponsors.  The only ones listed from states in D10 are Cedric Richmond of Louisiana and Marc Veasey from Texas, signing on in June.


SJR 15 currently has 29 co-sponsors.  The only one listed form a D10 state is Mary Landrieu from Louisiana.



Thank you!



D10 Advocacy Chairman