ACTION ALERT: Remove Deadline for ERA By Executive Order

By BettyJean Downing on behalf of Carolyn Cook of United4Equality

Please ask friends and family to mail a copy of this letter with their name and address to the White House. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, it’s time for equality and justice for All Americans.

November 2014

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C.
Re: Moving America Forward By Executive Order: Remove Any Deadline for Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

Dear Mr. President:

If over half of all Americans are considered second-class citizens without the assurance of equal treatment, responsibility and opportunity under the US Constitution, how can the US claim to be the “Leader of the Free World?”

What is the legacy you plan to leave America now that Republicans control the House and Senate? Through adversity comes opportunity.

What about jump-starting the Equal Rights Amendment by Executive Order that removes any deadline for its ratification? It is for the President to use his authority by Executive Order to eliminate Congress’s arbitrary and unconstitutional deadline and allow the process to continue as it should have all along.

Women are the unsung heroines as partners, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and grandmothers. Women’s unpaid labor significantly contributes to our GDP without compensation, health insurance, vacation, or Social Security. Women make up more than half of our workforce and women-owned small businesses are expect to be 1/3 of all new job creators by 2018! It’s no wonder that there is a correlation between the welfare of society and the status of women.

While non-profits serve a vital function by addressing the immediate needs of the underserved, they cannot enact public policies on behalf of the general welfare of our nation as the Executive and Legislative branches can.

At what point will the your Administration gather up all of the studies and testimonials and take action?
• The White House Council on Women and Girls Report,
• “Women In America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-being”;
• The 600-page “Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink”;
• The State of Women in America: A 50-State Analysis of How Women Are Faring Across the Nation;
• Many Congressional hearings about women’s health, pay, poverty, sexual assault and domestic violence.

We need action that addresses the structural flaw in our founding document: the absence of women and girls as people.
As a former constitutional law professor, you must see the need to update our Constitution to include Women and Girls. Laws cannot protect the rights of citizens whose rights are not protected under the US Constitution. The Constitution guides law. Laws influence behavior. Behavior influences custom. Custom influences culture. Culture influences progress.

Americans revere the bold leadership that President Lincoln demonstrated when he abolished slavery by Executive Order during wartime. His vision was later reinforced by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments granting freedom, citizenship, equal protection, and suffrage to all men.

Imagine our society today without the protections of the 14th Amendment.

Envision all of America’s daughters who have continued without that protection since 1868. The ERA is the equivalent of the 14th Amendment for All Women. If Lincoln could abolish slavery by executive order, could not President Obama help women achieve Equal Rights with an executive order?

Centuries of entrenched sex discrimination reinforced by law and custom will not disappear overnight. Slavery didn’t either, but we must begin somewhere. America must return to the very foundation of society to repair the structural flaw that excludes Malia and Sasha on account of being born female. As adults we owe History a repair of this oversight.

Immediate action is required to set the stage for the next Congressional session for equal rights.

Amending our Constitution doesn’t cost a dime, but it’s worth its weight in gold. On behalf of all Americans, we urge your official, public endorsement by Executive Order to mirror the intent of landmark legislation introduced by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) to rescue the ERA from its congressionally-imposed political exile and give it your blessing towards victory. It was the Democratic Party led by Senator Sam Irvin (D-NC) that insisted on the deadline for ERA in 1972 and it is proper that the Democratic Party undo this harmful action now.

Human rights do not expire in our democracy, do they, Mr. President? Therefore, the path to achieve the basic human right of Equality for all human beings must exist in perpetuity with no deadline for personhood. Our goal is to set the ERA back on course to victory in three states in 2015 and end the human rights abuses of women and girls worldwide. It starts with Removing the Deadline for Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

For more information: See http://www.United4Equality.com

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Name

Address

Phone

Louisa: Gone too soon!

Louisa - Love of my Life my baby girl!

Louisa – Love of my Life my baby girl!

Louisa Passed October 27. 2013

Just a reminder Advocates against domestic violence. To date there have been ONLY 5 contributions!

Is it really possible that after all my years of service to women;s issues – that only 2 women showed up in court to show solidarity on Louisa’s behalf against her attacker and only the same two women came to her funeral this October? Is it also impossible to expect a few bucks be put in the mailbox because after 4 months there are only 5 donations? Silly me – I thought enough donations would pour in to cover a brick for both daughters, but not even one single brink has been covered!

CRY!

Was it also probable that a man who never knew any of us had a seedling planted in her honor after reading her story?

INDIFFERENCE!
If we can’t do better than this – then perhaps that is why we are not taken seriously when we beg for help with domestic violence! Perhaps that is why 4 women a day are murdered by a male they know/or love/trust! If we don’t help each other why should anyone else care?

My two daughters Denise and Louisa both victims of Domestic violence – serious head wounds shown below are now gone! I am left alone and I was hopeful not left alone to carry on to fight against Domestic Violence.

I am not only fighting for all three of us, I am fighting for you and your daughters too! Let us hope others will join the fight so NO other mothers are left childless too!

In lieu of flowers I asked please donate in Louisa’s name toward $400.00 needed for a center circle brick in Van Saun Park’s “Pathway to Freedom” sponsored by “Shelter our Sisters” in Hackensack, NJ 07601 (any amount no matter how small will be appreciated)

Contribute IN LOUISA RICHARDSON’s name directly to
SHELTER OUR SISTERS
405 State Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

This mother has lost her two daughters – her best friends and has had insult added to injury: no flowers, no advocates, no visitation room full of visitors- I may never get over that! Was our five year fight against DV in vain? I expected so much more and she deserved so much more- may the Lord have mercy on the souls of those who ignored her plight and her fight and did not bother to pay last respects!

I can easily afford the damned bricks – you are all missing the point of this devastation! I need to know my daughter’s agony counted for something! They were beautiful before he bludgeoned one’s head in and blew the other ones brains out!

This is domestic violence and we all need to stand up!

Denise was dying from Cancer when George bludgeoned her

Denise was dying from Cancer when George bludgeoned her

Louisa crying out for help in a nursing home after loosing half her head

Louisa crying out for help in a nursing home after loosing half her head

Not a women's advocate in site when I needed support in court!
Not a women’s advocate in site when I needed support in court!

Louisa Richardson

Louisa Richardson

My baby girl is once again fighting for her life!

Louisa in Critical Condition

Louisa needs your prayers, best wishes, good Karma, and whatever else you have to send her way.
She is in critical condition, battling for her life once again!
Suffering from a month long bout with pneumonia we nearly lost her last night then her lung collapsed.

She has bravely battled for the last 5 years now we all want the Very best for Louisa so I am sending this shout out both to alert you all and to ask for your spiritual help.

Over the last few years you have often asked about Louisa and I know you have prayed for and sent her your best wishes. I thank you!

Women Rise!

Women Rise!
© Barbara McAfee

Barbara McAfee is the singer-songwriter. It is rousing and uplifting! Click the link below to hear the song. I hope you will sing along—the words are here.
Click  http://gildroy.com/WomenR.mp3?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email

Image

Chorus:
When women wake, mountains move.
When women wake, mountains move.
When women rise, the world rises with us.
So women wake, women wake
Women rise, women rise, women rise….

In a million small gestures, we weave it all together
Much of what we do goes unseen and unsung
But from our daily labors, our downright stubborn loving
A new world is begun….
Chorus
We’re not going to wait ‘til we’re perfect
The women we are will just have to suffice
We likely won’t ask for permission to change things
We may not even be nice….
Chorus
Is there something that grabs your attention?
A face or a story that won’t let you go?
Each gesture you make in repairing this world
Will matter more than you’ll ever know.

An Open Letter to: Eve Ensler

BettyJean Downing

Eve Ensler: ONE BILLION RISING, 2/14/13 V-Day’s most ambitious campaign yet

Eve,
I absolutely spread the word far and wide and made sure all my contacts did the same. I am writing to share how shocked I was that in all my years advocating for women and working in the filed  fighting violence against women – that this is the first time I have heard about ONE BILLION RISING! What a fantastic idea- thank you and please help me and other groups understand how to help make sure every woman and girl is aware of it in time to participate in ONE BILLION RISING 2014.

I am concerned that all women’s groups are not united and therefore our rally cries are not loud enough and powerful enough to shake the foundations of power against us. What can we do to enlist other women’s groups to engage in each other’s causes, to encourage all women to participate in every movement out there that empowers women? What can we do together to show the powers that be we really are a power to be reckoned with? As a whole, women do not present a united front; instead we are the women against violence, mothers against drunks, LGBT, Pro Life, Pro Choice, Anti War etc. etc. When will we just be the majority that we are? When will we again present ourselves as the WOMEN of America

You are absolutely right 33% of us will be beaten or raped, 4 a day in this country are murdered at the hands of a loved one who had beaten them before and was released to kill. About 50 % of us are adamantly against the other 50% politically, which mockingly keeps us politically weakened and unable to hold positions of power at home, on the job or in politics. An even larger percent ( I estimate upwards of 85%) of us is powerless financially because we are not united enough to grab and hold the power to self govern.

We stand at the point of sink or swim, we rally for particular issues and it’s like missing the forest for the trees. We are woman- we are the majority. The violence stops when we have our rights and full power. We won’t have that till we stop fighting amongst ourselves over the issues that were manufactured to keep us divided and fighting amongst ourselves. That old “a house divided against itself cannot stand” is true. Let history teach us and others that united we can overcome. We women are equal and can stand ready to lead and rule our own lives. Let’s demand respect, full equality, an end to violence can only come when we are united as the majority, powerful and voting as one block demanding full rights to self govern. Let the issues remain issues to be dealt with when we are in the position to govern but lets first get in the position to self govern.

Women’s History Month begins on Friday, March 1, 2013 (in 8 days) and ends on Sunday, March 31, 2013. 

Let’s demand a slot every day in honor of women’s history!

BettyJean
Thank you for joining ONE BILLION RISING, V-Day’s most ambitious campaign yet. 

When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women. Since then, hundreds of thousands of V-Day activists in audiences and on stages in over 140 countries have come together to demand an end to violence against women and girls. The funds we’ve raised together have kept organizations’ doors open, and the issue front and center in local media. 

But still today, the United Nations states that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime that’s more than one billion women and girls alive today. 

V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, showing them exactly what one billion looks like. 

ONE BILLION RISING is a promise that on February 14th, 2013, we will ensure that millions of women and men rise up around the world to say, “ENOUGH. The violence ends NOW.” 

BettyJean, there is so much more to come. But for right now, you can help us launch ONE BILLION RISING with a few simple actions:
Share ONE BILLION RISING with your networks
Sign up for our text message updates in the US by texting BILLION to 50555
Follow V-Day on Facebook and Twitter

ONE BILLION RISING will make the earth move by uniting us through dance across every country.

BettyJean, I look forward to dancing, striking and rising to end violence against women and girls together with you.

In solidarity,

Eve Ensler

IN A BINDER

The shake-out from Tuesday’s debate has this tin-sounding rattle banging off the rafters around the word, BINDERS. I’ve read – all over FaceBook from my women friends who are Obama Supporters – that the use of the word “Binders” has proven to be the dog whistle only “bitches” can hear. Forgive what seems to be a kennel reference; but I’m wishing I could be in New York this weekend for the Dog part of the Dog & Pony Show Tour.

AKC Meet the Breeds, hosted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and The International Cat Association (TICA) will return to the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on October 20th and 21st, 2012.

And here I find the ONLY refuge to address what I’m seeing, reading and learning about Political Discourse regarding their reaction to Mitt Romney’s use of the word. Romney stated that he was handed “binders of Women” in response to his proactive soliciting of resumes and recommendations, from Women’s Groups, for qualified Women he could include in his Cabinet. In recounting the anecdote as an example of his record on gender fairness in employment, Romney gave Women who actually WORK the inkling that under his Administration, the view of strengths Women bring to the Workforce, fully half of our Economic Potential, will be an upgrade.

I consider Obama to be on a too-wide learning curve when it came to statesmanship. But my sisters have demonstrated an appalling stupidity that proves to me that they, like their “Eye Candy,” have absolutely NO BUSINESS engaging in political discussion.  Mitt’s description of the office product in which those resumes were presented was a great deal more business-oriented than were those women who made such a bizarre case out of it. In my thirty years working as a Temp or Temp-to-Hired-then-restored-to-Temp career, I’ve been tasked with ordering, labeling and filling BINDERS with papers organized according to a sort for ready reference. I’ve created BINDERS for Employee Handbooks, for Manuals, for Purchase Order hard copies, for Presentation Persuaders and for Programming Documentation.  Anyone operating a switchboard, relies on the ubiquitous BINDER with ALL THE PERTINENT INFORMATION to which I would need to refer.  Sheet-protected rosters, addresses, extensions, franchisees, directions to the location … trust me: Binders are still stocked by businesses who earn real money for their stock-holders and employees. In the day of the iPhone, anything so cumbersome as hard copy bound in a stiff, 3-Ringer most certainly holds little interest for the text-ers and the tweeters and the #Hashtaggers.

So, as breeds go, I’m an Ol’ Dawg. I try to behave myself like a good doggie. I keep the barking to a minimum. But I’m getting antsy listening to the indicators around me that I am – indeed – a member of a Sisterhood that encompasses some serious lines identified by specific traits bred into them for a purpose.

I’m a working dog, not a show dog. I read the comments of other feminists who don’t appear to fully grasp that the only thing keeping Women from being taken seriously is behavior that is not to be taken seriously.  At the Jacob Javitz Center this weekend, attendees will learn from traditionalists who seek specific traits in the dogs they choose for a specific purpose. A dog with a temperament that is suitable for households with children might not be the preference of a duck hunter in the market for a companion/retriever. A Long-Haired Cat with a playful disposition might be more than an elderly person would be able to care for, but would be just the perfect addition to a single professional’s household.

That being said, I reject being lumped in with any woman, no matter how representative her opinion or reaction is supposed to be, who would not extend courteous consideration to a candidate for President whose track record is proactive with respect to seeking out female candidates for high appointed office.   As Governor of Massachusetts, he treated Women with respect, solicited their input,  found and employed them in nearly half the positions available in his Administration.

Here’s a recommendation to the women who made such a Bogard of  his delivery.  Treat powerful men WHO CAN HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS with courtesy and you will be treated with a reciprocal courtesy.  His ACTIONS communicate a willingness to appeal to 52% of the population and possibly 60% of super voters.  Straighten up and comprehend the communication going on here.  A potential for a mutually-beneficial deal is on the table.  The Candidate is conveying, in the eye to eye diplomacy of business, that he is receptive to your input.  Don’t extend the basic courtesy of consideration, and it is highly unlikely that he’ll consider appeals for further consideration of your own agenda. Behavior that demonstrates such partisan contempt is conclusive admission of unsuitability for exercising power of any sort.

Really, I. Struggle. To. Choose. A. Word. To. Describe. You.

If I call you “Ladies” will you go into a Tasmanian rant? If I say, “My Sisters,” do I need to cover my head with a BINDER and duck? If I call you Girls, will a Tourettes-like eruption greet me in violent rejection?  Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

The reaction of SOME feminists to the Challenger’s use of the word, BINDERS concisely illustrated what men deal with when they’re just trying to be guys getting things done. I cringe.   Electing a President is very serious business. No one who comes off with such pettiness and foolishness in a business situation can then expect to be taken seriously as an Office Mate, Supervisor, Partner or Manager.

Feminists:  Recognize and respect your status as spokespersons for Women.  A carefully thought out and delivered response conveys both intelligence and integrity.  Women are relying on you to represent them respectably.  I recall how so many Obama supporters ignored the overwhelming evidence of Sarah Palin’s competence and reacted with grossly personal-based rejection.  They supported the very bias on which insufficient men rely to cheat women every day.  Crass, personal rejection is a major league dis-qualifier for business.  Whether one AGREES with a “gate-keeper” is not the point.  The entity represents your enclave into the realization of your dreams.  A good business person doesn’t want your friendship for social purposes.  He seeks your friendship in the business of recovering the Economy, Stupid!  Whether or not one agreed with Hillary had nothing to do with her qualifications to serve;  she was exposed to sufficient experience to prepare her to respond to the input from those who Consent to be Governed.  By her nature, she was a generous, responsible, hard-working professional.  But too often, the Women who supported her campaign degenerated into reactionary conduct that showed their ignorance and inability process power.  As Spokeswomen, our Feminist Leaders must demurer from rising to every bell, from jumping into the fray, and certainly from engaging in silliness unworthy of a National Presidential Debate.  Perhaps we’re treated like “Second Class Citizens” because our Leadership’s behavior is anything but First Class.

I’m bent, stapled and mutilated here. I want to think that the manners of a professional have been bred into me by the mentors and business owners who have employed me and political colleagues with whom I have served. But I flat-out cannot STAND IT that these females have leveled themselves with such a discouragingly cranky image of working women.

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