Time for Action:
ERA Lobby Day and Lobbying
April 2, 2018

         FROM:  
Bonnie Cox, President
Hilary Denk and Heather Cunningham, Issues Co-Chairs
Sharon Alter, ERA Issues Specialist
 
ACTION NEEDED: 
  • Tuesday, April 10 is Equality and ERA Lobby Day in Springfield
As a partner in ERA Illinois coalition, LWVIL Leaguers and other coalition members will meet in Springfield at the State House Inn,  101 East Adams Street, a block from the Capitol.  Check in starts at 10:30 am, briefing at 11:30 am, lobbying legislators from approximately 12 noon til 2:00 pm.  A box lunch will be provided.  If you need a vegetarian lunch, please include that in your RSVP.

Those planning to participate in this event must send their commitment to attend plus email address, cell phone number, and state representative/state senator names and/or district numbers to  illinoisnow@aol.com  no later than Tuesday, April 3. This is the deadline to make sure there are enough lunches and information packets for participants!!
  • Lobby Your ERA Support for SRJCA0004
ACTION NEEDED:
Please contact your (1) Illinois State Senator to become cosponsor and vote, and (2) Illinois State Representative to vote for 
SJRCA0004 , Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment on the Equal Rights Amendment. Please call your Illinois state representative before April 10.

Find phone numbers for your legislators at https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

When this proposed ERA went to the states for ratification to the U.S. Constitution, 35 out of the required 38 states ratified the ERA. Illinois has not ratified it.

In March 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the ERA. If Illinois ratifies the ERA, that will be the 37th state with the need for just one more ratifying state to reach the required 38 states.

In order for the Illinois General Assembly to ratify the ERA, there is a required 3/5 majority of the Illinois House plus a 3/5 majority of the Illinois Senate.

The Illinois General Assembly may vote on SJRCA0004 during the second week of April after the election and holiday recess.

WHY IT MATTERS:
The Illinois Constitution has an equal rights clause: "The equal protection of the laws shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex by the State or its units of local government and school districts." (Article I, Section 18)

That clause does not apply to the U.S. government or to other states as the ERA would if it were part of the U.S. Constitution.

LWVUS has known that the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment equal protection clause may not be interpreted to apply regardless of sex. Therefore, LWVUS has consistently supported ratification since 1972 by its position: "The LWVUS supports equal rights for all regardless of sex."
League of Women Voters of Illinois
332 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 634, Chicago, IL  60604
Phone: (312) 939-5935  | Email:  issues@lwvil.org  | website:  www.lwvil.org
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