NEWS RELEASE FROM THE ERA-NC ALLIANCE
Durham, NC – From the mountains to the coast, many municipalities and counties are now on record with their support for North Carolina’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The City Councils of Asheville and Elizabeth City, and Dare County are the most recent to pass resolutions urging the General Assembly to ratify the amendment. The passage of the resolutions marks an historic path for the citizens of the state who seek to re-engage the state legislature toward ensuring the full equality of women and men in the United States Constitution.
After the Asheville City Council passed the resolution, Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler stated, “I’m proud that City Council unanimously approved the resolution supporting North Carolina’s adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment. The Council recognizes that adoption of the ERA is long overdue.”
Dare County has formally joined Durham and Orange counties in adopting resolutions encouraging the NC General Assembly to ratify the ERA, and the majority of Buncombe County Commissioners have also expressed their support for ratification. Now the Cities of Asheville and Elizabeth City join eight other municipalities across the state that have adopted resolutions:
- Durham, City Council 2016
- Winston-Salem, City Council 2016
- Duck, Town Council 2017
- Kitty Hawk, Town Council 2017
- Nags Head, Town Board of Commissioners 2017
- Manteo, Town Board of Commissioners 2017
- Kill Devil Hills, Town Board of Commissioners 2017
- Southern Shores, Town Council 2017
“Sometimes we are happily surprised at the ease with which we get support for the ERA,” says Ann Von Brock, a board member of the ERA-NC Alliance from Buncombe County. “When Asheville City Council members Gwen Wisler and Julie Mayfield were approached, they both responded with enthusiasm. In fact, they put the resolution together based on a draft we provided, included it in their consent agenda and gave us time to address Council so the audience as well as all Council members had a chance to hear why this is important to all citizens.”
Alliance board member Judy Lotas of Dare County agrees. “Many citizens are shocked to learn that women, at present, are not fully included in the U.S. Constitution. As the realization spreads, more local governments, businesses, churches and clubs are voicing their support for including women in the Constitution by passing their own resolutions.”
In 1972 a proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed both houses of the U.S. Congress and was sent to the states for ratification. By a 1982 deadline, only 35 of the required 38 states had ratified the ERA. North Carolina was one of the states that failed to ratify the ERA. However, in March, 2017, the state of Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the amendment.
North Carolina enjoys enormous support for equal rights for women and men under the constitution, and is becoming a leader in the new movement to pass the ERA. Bills supporting state ratification were introduced in both the House and Senate in the current and previous General Assembly sessions, though they were sent to committee where the chairs refused to hold hearings or take further action. Activists remain undeterred, however, and are continuing to gather evidence of statewide support for the ERA to share with our expanding base of allies within the General Assembly.
About the ERA-NC Alliance:
The ERA-NC Alliance (www.era-nc.org) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization seeking ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. constitution. Membership is open to individuals and organizations committed to ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Lead organizations include the American Association of University Women of NC, Democratic Women of NC, League of Women Voters of NC, NC4ERA, NC Business and Professional Women, NC National Organization for Women, NC Women United, Ratify ERA- NC and the Women’s Forum of NC. The Alliance operates in direct collaboration with the national ERA Coalition (www.eracoalition.org).