Monthly Archives: March 2017

Sharing Our Stories Day Long Event in Durham on 3/31/17

Please join NOW members and leaders at Veteran Feminist of America’s  “Sharing Our Stories” event in Durham on 3/31/17. This event had been previously posted on 2/2/17 in the set with upcoming February/March events on 2/2/17

“Historians and Feminists: An Intergenerational Conversation” will begin at 9:30 am with a keynote address by Dr. Nancy MacLean. That will be followed by three panel discussions between Second Wave activists and young historians who are studying the women’s movement. Find out more at http://www.sharingourstories2017.org/. If you want to attend but don’t have a ticket, I would suggest you go to the event and see if they have room.

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ERA Update (Two State Strategy!) and ERA Events

Just last week, on March 22, 2017, the state of Nevada ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), 45 years to the day after it was passed by Congress and sent to states! This is big exciting news for women who want a permanent guarantee of basic human rights for women locked in the US Constitution.

That’s the good news. Let’s turn our attention to the stalemate that is the passage of the ERA in North Carolina. North Carolina, where only about 25% of legislators are women. (13/50 in Senate, 29 of 120 in House, per http://www.ncleg.net/library/Documents/WomenintheGA.pdf )

I’m proud to say that the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of working for the ERA nationally and in North Carolina. Most of the women I know who joined NC NOW in the 1970s or early 1980s did so to pass the ERA. And many are still working for equality and fairness for women and others. Still. You could say we have a thing or two in common with Senator Elizabeth Warren – we persist.

In fact, there are two events at the NC General Assembly as part of Women’s Mobilization Monday on March 27, 2017 – a press conference at 3pm and another event at 6:30pm. We’d like to get more people there for 6:30pm, but come to either one or both!

Photo Credit: NC4ERA.Org

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Jan Allen Day Declared in Chapel Hill on 9/3/15

Jan Allen has received many awards for her work to champion reproductive rights over the years. She is a lifetime member of NC NOW, but she also co-founded Lillian’s List in 1997. Lillian’s List does active recruiting, training and supporting of progressive pro-choice woman candidates. Because of her successful work, September 3, 2015 was declared “Jan Allen Day” by the Town of Chapel Hill! 

Jan received that honor for all of the work that she has done to champion reproductive freedom in North Carolina. Jan received the Susan Hill Award from Naral in 2013.

Jan will be recognized again at the “Sharing Our Stories” event on 3/31/17, in Durham NC.

When Jan’s 80th birthday was celebrated at a Lillian’s List Chapel Hill Reception, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall introduced Jan. Secretary Marshall said, “There is not a more dedicated feminist or champion of reproductive freedom in the entire state than Jan Allen!”

Jan’s work shows the powerful change people can enact on their community if they just try. Thank you, Jan!

Alfonso: What I Learned Volunteering with NC NOW

As of March 10th I’ve stood in press conference, helped fold newsletters for NOW NC, and I have also helped Gailya Paliga, President of NC NOW, with several things she needed done around her office. I learned more in the 10 1/2 hours with President Paliga about the functions of an organization such as NOW than I can imagine I would’ve learned over the course of a semester in a class room.

Photo Credit: Sen. Floyd McKissick

While standing in at a #15in5 press conference (raise the minimum wage), I heard a single mother of one child speak, and then I heard single mother of four who had been homeless for a while. That mom worked at Bojangles for 2.5 years and only makes $8 an hour now. I was unaware of the struggles of single mothers, and learned so much during their time speaking. For a split second I felt a microscopic portion of what they felt on a day to day basis. The struggles these women go through everyday is because the minimum wage is not enough to provide for even a single person to live off.

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Trumpcare attacks women, elderly, more. Take Action NOW!

*TODAY* we must call our US Representatives in the House and demand that they oppose the American Health Care Act, which is the first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). We must call today! The vote is scheduled for Thursday, Mar 23, 2017. If you can’t get through on the phone – definitely use email! Most congresspeople have a contact us interface you need to use. Do it! That way, too, your rep will likely email you a response.

“The latest version of the bill allows states to kick new mothers off Medicaid, in addition to defunding Planned Parenthood and eliminating coverage for women’s reproductive healthcare,” according to a March 21st press release from Congressional Members of the House, and other sources. Find it at In Updated Repeal Bill, Republicans Tell New Mothers: Find Work Immediately or Lose Coverage.

Call your Congressman or Congresswoman. If you live in North Carolina, find your Congresswo/man by looking up your address/zip code at http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx. Use the third map – United States House Of Representatives.

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Take Action on SCOTUS Nominee Neil Gorsuch NOW

NOW Urges that ​Senator(s) filibuster the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch and, should a filibuster fail, vote “no”.
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There are many things wrong with this man as a judge and worse as a Supreme Court justice.
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According to NOW, “Neil Gorsuch has a long history of hostility towards the claims of workers, consumers, children, immigrants, LGBTQIA people, incarcerated people, people with disabilities, and others seeking protection from the privileged and powerful. Equally disturbingly, “his track record on money in politics comes down decisively on the side of billionaire donors and big corporations.” As if that weren’t enough: Gorsuch has shown, through previous judicial decisions, that he is not a supporter of women’s rights, will not protect their access to birth control, nor their constitutional right to abortion through Roe v. Wade.”

Neil Gorsuch Photo Credit: Aaron Burnstein/Reuters

From another view, can you imagine the Republicans allowing Hillary Clinton to nominate someone to the Supreme Court while she was under investigation by the FBI and by Congress?

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History of Charlotte NOW for Women’s History Month, 3/27/17

The Charlotte NOW chapter convened on July 5, 1972 and Charlotte NOW President Cindy Thomson was there. Thomson and another one of the original members of Charlotte NOW are presenting on chapter history for Women’s History Month. Thomson has stayed active with NOW all these years!  

Second Wave Feminism Marchers and Signs – Look Familiar? Photo Credit: thinglink

In February 2017, Charlotte NOW did a presentation on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who were part of the First Feminist Wave. At this March event, Charlotte NOW will talk about the Second Wave Feminism that began in the mid-1960’s. Maybe you have a story to share. And if you are part of the Third Wave, beginning in the 1990’s, they’d love to hear from you, too.

In addition to the history program, Charlotte NOW members will elect new officers. If you are a member and wish to be more involved, e-mail cltnow at yahoo.com or join online here.

Date: Monday, March 27, 2017
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Place: Unitarian Universalist Church; 234 N. Sharon Amity Road; Charlotte, NC 28211      

2017 Pro-choice Signature Ad Letter Rocks! Options for you..

The 2017 Pro-choice signature letter is a very powerful look at what the NCGA should be doing to help women. Read it at 2017 Pro-choice Signature Ad Letter.

This letter will be delivered in Pro-Choice signature ad packets today, 3/20/17, to our state Senators and House Representatives at 4:30pm. Come join us if you can – Legislative Building, 16 W. Jones St, Raleigh NC. We’ll deliver from 4:45-6:45 and go to dinner afterward. Call NC NOW to RSVP at 919-539-7702.

Removed from the letter, but still true is this fact. Overall North Carolina is “extremely hostile” to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, “22 States are Extremely Hostile To Abortion“, 1/3/17. 

-Gailya Paliga 
 President, NC National Organization for Women

The Continuing Manufactured Disaster of HB2

Last year in our pro-choice signature ad packet letter to legislators, NC NOW pointed out that HB2, Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act., has been a disaster for North Carolina. The state was already suffering the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in economic investments in our state and potentially billions in federal support to the state’s K-12 schools, colleges and universities. Yet, the law goes way beyond bathrooms and targeting a group of citizens. It removes core worker anti-discrimination protections that state law has provided to workers since the 1970s. It also targets women, whether intentional or not.  When HB2 first happened, NC NOW recognized how disastrous HB 2 is for women. But it has been disastrous for the state as well.

And it just continues to cause massive losses. The majority in the NC Legislature don’t seem to care, they keep voting to leave it in place, refusing to repeal it. Just in one weekend in March, the city of Greensboro lost out on an estimated 14.5 MILLION DOLLARS because of House Bill 2!  That estimate that the NCAA would have brought in around 14.5 million dollars is from the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitor Bureau. 

HB2_Scrubbed Toilet

From an anti-hb2 rally right after HB2 was passed on March 24, 2016.

The tens of thousands of people who should have gone to Greensboro for the NCAA tournament went to Greenville, South Carolina instead. According to S.C. reaping HB2 Bounty, 3/15/17, News & Observer, 

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NC NOW Legislative Update #7

Legislative Update for the week ending March 19, 2017, by NC NOW’s lobbyist, Robin Davis

Governor Cooper has issued his first veto.  He vetoed the bill that would make elections of District and Superior Court judges partisan.  Cooper, who led the fight to make judicial elections nonpartisan in 1990 when he was a state senator, said that judges should be elected based on their experience and ability, not on their political party.  He also noted that candidates not affiliated with a party would have a very difficult time getting on the ballot because they would be required to get signatures of 2 percent of the voters in their districts.  A three-fifths vote in both houses will be required to overturn the Governor’s veto, which is the expected outcome because Republicans have veto-proof majorities in both houses.

Both the House and the Senate have turned their attention to their respective budgets.  The budgets differ in details, but both houses are proposing plans that will benefit business and the wealthy through changes in the tax laws with the Senate plan more drastic than the plan being considered in the House.  For more details and a comparison of the proposed plans, see  http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article138891468.html

As protest at the legislative building increases, the General Assembly police are studying ways to increase security.  This is an issue we need to keep an eye on.

See http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article138206883.html

Videoing protesters in NC Legislative Building during protests of ‘Special Sessions’ in December. 12/15/16. Photo Credit: Susan Eder

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