This Month’s Unit Meeting Topic
The League of Women Voters has long been at the forefront in the battle to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. We were visible and active as supporters lobbied, marched, rallied, petitioned, picketed, went on hunger strikes, and committed acts of civil disobedience between 1972 and 1982.
Now, the E.R.A. has returned, nearing the 38 required states to add a guarantee in the Constitution for equal legal rights for all Americans regardless of sex.
Two different types of ERA legislation have been introduced in the current session of Congress:
- Traditional legislation to ratify the ERA by the Constitution’s Article V ratification process, and
- “Three-state strategy” legislation to remove the time limit on the ERA’s ratification process and declare it complete when three-fourths (38) of the states ratify, thereby retaining the existing 35 state ratifications as viable.
The LWVUS at its recent national convention passed the following motion in support of the effort:
Be it resolved that the LWVUS supports an emphasis on the ERA this year and every year until the ERA is ratified and becomes a U.S. Constitutional Amendment. Be it resolved that the LWVUS supports efforts to remove the time limits for ratification of the ERA.
UNIT MEETINGS ARE WHERE LEAGUE ACTION STARTS
According to League history, unit meetings got started during World War II in response to gasoline rationing when members found it easier to meet in neighborhood groups or “units.”
Unit meetings are still the foundation of the League. These days, unit meeting times and locations are organized around members’ schedules rather than by neighborhood. There are unit meetings at breakfast, at midday, and after work. Members are always welcome to set up a new meeting time and location that will be more convenient for their schedules.
League of Women Voters of Salt Lake Unit Meetings are held from September through May of each year. They are made up of four to 15 people who want to discuss a study or become educated on a current topic.
A study is done by local members and can be a local, state or national topic. When a study or topic is discussed all sides of a subject are considered. Unit meetings are the “grassroots” of the League of Women Voters. They are where differing opinions are welcome and where consensus results in wording to which our members can agree.
When a unit reaches consensus on a study, they make a recommendation to the board. Once approved by the board and adopted by members, positions crafted from unit meetings become the foundation for advocacy and action.