AAUW Women Advocate for
A More Perfect State with an Equal Rights Amendment
to our Constitution!
- Scroll down a bit or click here to find out about AAUW National Two-Minute Activist opportunities.
- Follow issues of particular importance to Minnesotans and Take Action on bills during the Minnesota Legislative Session here.
- Find out about actions YOU can take to address Climate Change here.
- See other resources and links for taking action here.
Two-Minute Activist – AAUW National
Two-Minute Activist is an AAUW National program that provides a quick and easy way to “send emails and texts to your legislators to fight for equal pay, family leave, stopping sexual harassment, equality in education and more.”
To become a “Two-Minute Activist” go to the webpage and simply click on the link for the issue you wish to support to read more about it, then:
- fill in your name and address
- use the suggested message text or personalize it as you wish
- click on “Send Message” and the message will automatically be sent to your US Senators and US Representative
Support the Healthy Families Act
“Too many American workers are forced to choose between a job and their health or the health of a loved one whenever they get sick or a family member needs care. That’s because more than 32 million private-sector workers — nearly one-third of the workforce — don’t have access to paid sick days.” Read more and Take Action on the National AAUW website.
Affirm the Equal Rights Amendment!
“It has been 100 years since the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first introduced in Congress. While the advancement of women’s equality has continued incrementally through patchwork legislation and court decisions, we have seen in the past year how women’s equality under law can be changed or even revoked at the whim of legislators and judges.” Read more and Take Action on the National AAUW website.
Find quick and easy Two-Minute Activist opportunities and signup to get regular action alerts on the National AAUW website.
Take Action Minnesota!
May 26 Update:
End of the 2023 Legislative Session – Mainly a Success!
If you have been paying attention to the local news media, you already know that it has been a very productive state legislative session this year. So much was passed, including most of the bills we were following in the three areas below. We will still need to advocate for the State ERA amendment in the next session.
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) – HF 197/SF 47, which is the bill asking the US Congress to ratify the national ERA, passed in both the Senate and House and was signed into law by Governor Walz on May 26th. It is 2023 Session Law Resolution 1. Thanks to all of you who sent postcards or letters on this issue.
HF 173/SF 37, which is the bill proposing a vote on a state ERA at the 2024 general election, passed the Senate on May 17th. Although the House expedited the Senate bill and gave it its second reading on May 20th, it did not make it to a final floor vote in the House before the session ended. We need to urge our House members to take this up and pass it as early as possible when the Legislature reconvenes on February 12, 2024. If it passes next year, it can still be on the 2024 general election ballot.
Reproductive rights – On January 31, 2023, the Minnesota PRO Act, guaranteeing reproductive rights in Minnesota was signed into law (Session Laws 2023 Chapter 4). This was essentially a statutory confirmation of the reproduction rights upheld by the state Supreme Court under the state constitution. Session Laws 2023, Chapter 31, signed by the governor on April 26th, makes Minnesota a refuge from other state’s laws seeking to punish persons helping people from other states coming here for reproductive care.
Pay Equity Bills – Different versions of HF 2, the paid family and medical leave bill, passed both the Senate and the House and went to conference committee to reconcile the differences. The conference committee report was adopted and passed by both bodies during the last week of session and signed into law by the governor on May 24th. The final text of the bill is in 2023 Session Laws Chapter 59.
HF 1625/ SF 1885, the bill prohibiting employers from asking about past salary history, ended up incorporated into SF 2909 – the Omnibus Judiciary and Public Safety bill which also passed at the end of session. The Language appears in 2023 Session Laws Chapter 52, article 19, section 56.
Regular legislative updates will resume in February of 2024.
Why lobby for an Equal Rights Amendment
to the State Constitution?
- Many people believe gender equality is the law of the land but neither the state nor federal constitution specifically provides equal legal protection regardless of gender under the law.
- Even though 38 states ratified the national equal rights amendment, they did not do so within the time frame set for ratification in the authorizing legislation.
- Bills have been introduced at the federal level to remove the ratification deadline. In the meantime, more than 20 states have included this protection in their state constitutions (see the states HERE).
- Early in the 2024 legislative session will be our best chance to help pass a bill to vote on adding an equal rights amendment to the Minnesota Constitution!
Put your support in writing! We are encouraging all members to to call, write, or email their State Senators and Representatives supporting equal rights for all – regardless of gender.
More information on the ERA and ERA Minnesota:
Branch Advocacy Initiative
Thanks to everyone who responded to the Public Policy & Environment Committee’s Branch Advocacy Survey. The results were used to prepare a resolution on advocacy that was approved by our membership at our 4/25/23 Annual Meeting.
Watch for emails from our committee and visit this page regularly to get updates and information on actions you can take on important issues.
Take Action on Climate Change
On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, Lee E. Frelich, Director, Center for Forest Ecology, University of Minnesota, gave a presentation entitled “Saving Our Forests Now – They’re Key to Protecting Our Planet.”
The key points made by Dr. Frelich include:
- Humans have always changed the forest landscape, but climate change is accelerating the process at an alarming rate.
- Too much logging can render a forest unrepairable.
- The world’s forests are necessary to trap carbon & for the survival of all species including ourselves.
- You can help by planting trees, but they must be the right type of trees for your area of the planet.
Other Action on Climate Change
To quote an 8/28/23 Washington Post article, “Americans are misguided on what they think individuals can do to fight climate change”. Read the entire story HERE.
Can the small changes made by individuals to lower their carbon footprint have an impact on climate change? The impact may well be small, but still worthwhile. Click HERE for a Top Ten list from a 2/22/22 Washington Post article.
Other Resources for Taking Action
- Find your Federal and State legislators here.
- Go to https://www.mnvotes.org/ to access comprehensive elections and voting information, including registration and absentee ballots, at the MN Secretary of State website.
- Set up a MyBills account: MyBills allows you to track House and Senate bills in the Minnesota State Legislature by bill number and topic. When you log in, your bills will be listed along with information about recent or upcoming significant action. You must log in to see this information, MyBills does not send email alerts.
- Check on individual bills of interest to you in the Minnesota State Legislature here.
Links to other organizations involved in advocacy:
- The Minnesota Women’s Consortium – now WoMN ACT® (Advocate, Collaborate, Transform): https://www.womnact.org/
- League of Women Voters of Minnesota: https://www.lwvmn.org/
- League of Women Voters 2020 Election Report: https://www.lwv.org/expanding-voter-access/2020-election-impact-report