‘When we have unity of purpose, that’s how we win’
In an upbeat address in London last week, Democratic National Committee(DNC) Chairman Tom Perez saluted Democrats Abroad for mobilizing record numbers of overseas votersin the midterms, which saw a blue wave sweep the nation up and down the ballot.
But he also warned that “our democracy is still on fire,”and called upon overseas Democrats to continue being “first responders” in the fight for American values.
Quoting a song from Hamilton, Perez said, “History has its eyes on us. This is one of those where-were-you moments that someday our grandchildren will study,” alongside such dark chapters in our history as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the internment of Japanese Americans and the McCarthy era.
But he stressed that what all these movements have in common is they ended — and they ended thanks to Americans who harnessed “the collective power of ‘we’.”
“On the 50thAnniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, AL, Obama reminded us that the most important word in our democracy is that simple, two-letter word, ‘we’,” he said, noting the importance of collective action in the abolitionist, suffragette, labor, civil rights and LBGTQ movements — and most recently, the midterms.
“What happened last November didn’t happen in a vacuum,” he said. “It was the collective power of ‘we’ at work.
“We had historic gains in House that we haven’t seen since Watergate…but it’s not just the House that brings me here with optimism. The last time Democrats won this many governor seats was 1982. We also had a net gain in state legislative races of almost 400 seats. That’s why these elections matter.”
However, he stressed, with the government still in the throes of its longest shutdown ever, and the inhumane policy of family separation still blighting our borders, the fight for American security, prosperity and values is far from over.
“We have to continue to climb the mountain…but I firmly believe that first, two-letter word in the constitution is going to be the word that brings us back.”
Looking ahead to the 2020 presidential race, Perez praised the deep and diverse field of Democratic candidates and affirmed the DNC’s commitment to ensuring a fair primary process for all.
“We must never conflate unity with unanimity.So I’m not asking you to agree with everything in our platform,” he said.
“But what I’m asking you to do is to recognize that what unites us far exceeds what our differences are. When we have that unity of purpose, that’s how we win.”
by Shari Temple – DA ERA Project Coordinator
For those of you who have not been following the progress of this amendment that failed to get through Congress in 1977, here’s a brief history: The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment and other matters including equal rights to be heard in courts of justice.
From 1971 to 1977, the amendment received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. With wide, bipartisan support (including that of both major political parties, both houses of Congress, and Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter) the ERA seemed destined for ratification until Phyllis Schafly mobilized conservative women in opposition, arguing that the ERA would disadvantage housewives and cause women to be drafted into the military.
Today 37 states have ratified the Amendment (recently adding Nevada and Illinois in 2017 and 2018). Today we are one state short of ratification! Virginia is close to ratifying the amendment, and IF YOU ARE FROM VIRGINIA, PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION that could make it finally happen. CLICK HERE. Just use your Virginia voting address.
A push for Virginia to become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights
Amendment has cleared its first legislative hurdle.
A Virginia State Senate committee voted in favor of legislation Wednesday to approve the gender-equality amendment. The legislation still must be voted on by the full Senate and the House.
Here are three things you can do to help make the ERA a reality:
1. Learn more about why we need the ERA and tell your friends. We are pleased to announce that Democrats Abroad has received limited free access to the 30-minute video – “Legalize Equality” by the Equal Means Equal organization. This documentary is very informative and is worth the time it takes to view it. Watch the trailer.
If you would like to watch the video, just click this link, RSVP for the event and you will receive a confirmation email with the link to the video and the password. You have until January 20th! Request to view now!
2. Send a postcard (or letter) to the Virginia Speaker of the House and/or other members of the legislature. The goal is to show state legislature members that their constituents and other Americans living outside the US care about the Equal Rights Amendment being ratified.Mail to:
Honorable Speaker Kirk Cox
900 E. Main St, Room E605
Richmond, Virginia 23219
3. Join our ERA Photo and Video Campaign. The Virginia Equal Means Equal team needs our help ASAP! Take a photo holding up a sign and/or make a 30-45 second video. The simple guidelines can be found here.
The women in Virginia leading the ERA activities there, love the videos we have already created. They originally planned to show them at a reception on Wednesday but decided that our message was so powerful that they would now release one per day starting January 9 on the VAratifyERA and Equal Means Equal website and social media. They will also send to all the target state legislature members whom they are trying to sway their vote. Please send your pictures, videos, and/or questions to email@example.com.
Democrats Abroad has long supported this Amendment, and today the mood is right to make it happen. You might think that women are equal under the law, under the Constitution, they aren‘t. Democrats Abroad met on Webex with leaders of the movement in October. Watch the video HERE to learn why we need this Amendment. You may be surprised.
REMEMBER: Virginia has the historical opportunity to be the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, adding 24 important words to the Constitution: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Internationally, 84% of constitutions guarantee gender equality and ours should too!
The VAratifyERA campaign has a goal of 20,000 signatures! Add your voice and be a part of making history at VAratifyERA.org/petition — you will be added to newsletters only if you opt-in on the petition.
>>>>> www.VAratifyERA.org/petition <<<<<<<
Thank you for you help. The time for ERA is now.
Also if you are interested in helping with DA’s ERA project, please let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.
by co-chair Meghan Feeks
The DAUK Women’s Caucus invites all DAUK members to join the fight for gender equality at this year’s Women’s March London, to be held January 19, 2019.
Now in its third year, the independently organized London march is once again expected to attract thousands of women, men and children from the UK and around the world. This year’s rally, dubbed The Women’s March for Bread and Roses, recalls the Bread and Roses Protests of 1912, which revolutionized worker’s rights for women in the US and the UK.
Building on this theme, the Women’s Caucus is marching to raise awareness and support for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would guarantee equal rights for women in the US Constitution. Already ratified by 37 states, the ERA will go to a vote in Virginia this year, paving the way for the amendment to become the law of the land.
“Securing equality under the law is critical to protect hard-earned women’s rights, and crack down on the systemic injustice, oppression and violence that disproportionately affect women,” said Meghan Feeks, DAUK Women’s Caucus co-chair. “With 85% of all countries worldwide guaranteeing equal rights for women in their constitutions, it’s long past time the US took this step.”
Fellow co-chair Steph Ryde added, “As we enter what promises to be a landmark year for gender equality in the US, we call on our American sisters and brothers living abroad to join us at the Women’s March and take action to support the ERA.”
Meeting point: The Women’s March London will be held Saturday, January 19 from 12pm to 3pm, starting at Portland Square and ending with a rally at Trafalgar Square. DAUK members, their families and friends are invited to join the Women’s Caucus starting at 11am outside Workshop Coffee, 11 Mortimer St, London, W1W 7FE. At 11:45am sharp, the group will proceed to Portland Square to line up for the parade.
Please RSVP on facebook or by emailing us on email@example.com
Theme: To honor the parade’s theme while calling attention to the ERA, the Women’s Caucus has chosen Bread & ‘Rosies’ as its theme and will be channeling Rosie the Riveter in spirit, dress and signage. Fellow DAUK marchers are also encouraged to tie on their red headscarves, flex their biceps and say “we can do it!” to passing the ERA.
About the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
The ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex; it seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters. First proposed by equal rights activist Alice Paul in 1923, it has received 37 of the 38 ratifications necessary to become part of the Constitution. This year, Virginia could cast the decisive vote that would make the ERA the law of the land, but with some states threatening to revoke their ratifications and others claiming the legislation has expired, there are still many obstacles on the path to legal gender equality. To learn more and find out how to take action on the ERA, visit www.equalrightsamendment.org and check out the helpful resources on the DA Global Women’s Caucus Wiki page.
About the Women’s March London
The Women’s March London is an independent, locally organized, women-led movement that was founded in 2017. The Bread & Roses rally in January 2019 will replicate the defiance and celebration of previous marches and rallies by Women’s March London, which led to thousands of people taking to the streets of central London. Recognizing that women have intersecting identities and are therefore impacted by a multitude of social justice and human rights issues, this year’s march will see people from diverse communities, faiths, genders, race, political affiliations and backgrounds stand up and show up to speak with one voice. For more information, visit www.womensmarchlondon.com.
by Meghan Feeks
Thanks to all of you who attended last night’s meeting and contributed to a powerful evening. Melissa was an amazing speaker whose message of survival and empowerment couldn’t have been more timely. @Jessica’s presentation on domestic violence policy was illuminating, as ever, and @Sylvia Squire’s poem ended the evening on a touching and inspiring note. I also hope my update on women candidates left you feeling both hopeful and determined in the final countdown to the midterms.
As promised, I’m sharing my presentation and cheat sheet on the closest races with Democratic women here. I imagine we’ll also add them to the WC website, but with only 19 days until the midterms, I wanted to make sure you had quick and easy access to them. For those of you who couldn’t make the meeting, the main message is we REALLY need more women in office (duh!). They need us as women voters and supporters. And though the record number of women running is certainly cause for celebration, many are running in tough races and we need to get fully behind them now to assure their victories. Many thanks for your interest and above all, your action. Any questions, feel free to send me a DM.
Democrats Abroad can now phonebank from their homes!
You can reach out to fellow DA members to get their absentee ballots for the remaining primaries and for the November election, just by using the very efficient CallHub system to place calls in the UK and around the world.
By Elizabeth Crocker, RN, MSc
I’m betting the farm that all of us believe that we control our own destiny. But how do we control our healthcare — how we access it, use it and benefit from it?
By Carol Graham
During the 1992 presidential campaign I was shocked by the vitriol aimed at Hillary Clinton by other women. But when she fought back speaking candidly (and somewhat testily) regarding her decision to pursue a career instead of ‘baking cookies’, the defense strategy of the Clinton campaign managers was equally shocking. Read More
Milan, 9 June 2018
On 26 May, news broke out of the US on the Trump Administration’s unprecedented “zero tolerance” policy, inhumanely detaining and separating immigrant children from their parents at the US border, sparking a wave of protests in at least 30 cities across the North American continent.
International protests and petitions quickly followed suit. Groups in London, Spain, Denmark, France, Switzerland, and Germany took swift action in solidarity with this movement. Spain was home to the first protests with overseas American citizens, holding demonstrations on 27 May and 1 June in Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona. London’s protest at the US Embassy occurred in solidarity with the Families Belong Together sister marches in the states on June 30th. Read More
In a brightly lit classroom, we sat in groups of four clutching handwritten index cards in our hands. Having learned a few basic things about our partners — their names, where they were from and their favorite color, for example — we were asked to introduce them to the group, using the unusual grammatical rules printed on our cards.
By Meghan Feeks
Women are running for office in record numbers this year, but campaigns aren’t the only things they’re running. Fueled by outrage with the Trump Administration and passion for progressive issues, women are also leading grassroots efforts around the country (and world!) to mobilize voters, organize communities and advocate for causes they care about.
Women’s Caucus member Alyssa Blachez gives us a detailed look at the Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial primaries featuring the two Staceys: Abrams and Evans. Now that Stacey Abrams has won the primary, this presentation can be used as a resource to learn more about why you should support her candidacy and vote Democratic in Georgia in November 2018!
By Meghan Feeks
The past month has been huge for Democratic women. Primaries in 20 states and a runoff in Texas have advanced women to the general election throughout the country, bringing the total number of female Democratic nominees for Senate, House and governor to 106 as of June 13 (Republicans have nominated another 27).
On March 24, the LGBTQ+ Caucus launched its first Pride Month Series, a sequence of events marking the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and celebrating Pride, with a reception hosting Jason Jones, an inspiring LGBTQ activist from Trinidad and Tobago. Jones recently won an historic court case against his national government to overturn two colonial-era anti-LGBTQ laws that have been used for centuries to oppress the LGBTQ community.
The DA Global Women’s Caucus is campaigning for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. As you may know, we are just one state short of ratification.
Volunteers needed to help with two things.
First: offer to do some research and find the contact information for state legislature members in the 13 states that have not yet ratified the amendment (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Floridia, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina. Oklahoma, South ~Carolina, Utah and Virginia). It shouldn’t take a lot of time, but will be a big help if you can cover one state.
Please contact Shari Temple if you are able to help firstname.lastname@example.org
Secondly: support and promote the ratification of the ERA by the Virginia state legislature – if you are from Virginia (or have friends there) click here for more information about what you can do.