Charlotte NOW President Melba Smith Evans had the opportunity to attend a cocktail reception in support of ratifying the ERA in NC. This event was hosted by Winston & Strawn, LLC, at their office in Charlotte, on 7/12/18. The program included a panel discussion featuring ERA bill sponsors and a lawyer from the law firm. The panel addressed the status of ratification efforts in North Carolina, the practical and legal implications of the ERA, and how individuals can become involved. ERA-NC members and member organizations of the ERA-NC Alliance were invited (like NC NOW, BPW-NC, and more).
The ERA was ratified by Nevada last year (3/21/17) and by Illinois this year (5/30/18) and following the three-state strategy, we now need only one more state to ratify the ERA.
Senator Floyd McKissick, Jr., Representative Carla Cunningham and Senator Erica D. Smith gave updates and information in regard to passing the ERA in NC. Lawyer Joanna Wade talked about the legal value of the ERA.
Bills supporting North Carolina’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment were introduced in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly in 2015 and again in 2017. In 2017, Senator Floyd McKissick, Jr., introduced SB 85 and Representative Carla Cunningham introduced HB 102. Both bills have multiple co-sponsors, but have been left sitting in their respective #NCGA Rules Committees (one in Senate Rules, one in House Rules).
New bills were introduced the day after Illinois ratified ERA – to make clear that the 2017 ERA bills are still viable. According to an ERA-NC Press Release from 6/2/18,
“On May 31st, additional ratifying bills were introduced in both the NC House and Senate. Senators Floyd McKissick and Terry Van Duyn are primary sponsors of S782, which explains why the ERA is still viable for ratification today, and allocates $10,000 to educate the public about the act. In the House, Representatives Carla Cunningham, Susan Fisher, Evelyn Terry and Deb Butler are primary sponsors of the companion bill H1072.”
So either way we are covered.
You may remember Rep. Cunningham from 2015 when she stepped up to sponsor the ERA bill from the NC House. Read more at Fearless Carla Cunningham and Introduction of ERA in NC, 2/26/15, http://www.northcarolinanow.org.
Evans wrote, “It is hard to believe that in the year 2018 this is still a contentious issue for debate. Clearly women deserve equality under the Constitution. Let’s get the ERA passed in NC!”
This picture includes ERA-NC Alliance Co-Presidents – Marena Groll (far left) and Roberta Madden (green shirt), Senator Erica Smith (yellow shirt), Senator Floyd McKissick (man with tie) and Rep. Carla Cunningham (in blue/white), Charlotte NOW President Melba Evans (in purple shirt), and ERA-NC board member Sherry MacQueen (last on right).
Thanks to Melba Evans for the original facebook post and the great pictures!