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Monday, 24 March 2014 22:03

Group wants ERA ratified

Written by  Matthew Kent | Chillicothe Gazette
Dr. Jean Kerney, Senator Nina Turner, Portia A. Boulger Dr. Jean Kerney, Senator Nina Turner, Portia A. Boulger Martin Images News

State Sen. Nina Turner said Saturday that she supports efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment but noted that more work is ahead in reaching equality. The Cleveland-based Democrat was one of several political candidates in attendance during an event hosted by the Progressive Democrats of America at the Adena Mansion & Gardens Visitors Center, where Turner gave a fiery speech to a full crowd about the need to support such a change.

The Equal Rights Amendment was a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for women. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress and went to the state legislatures for ratification, but it failed to receive the requisite number of state ratifications — 38 — before the final deadline mandated by Congress of June 30, 1982, and was not adopted.

Turner, who is seeking to become Ohio’s secretary of state, said she is proud to be a Democrat and reminded those in attendance that elected officials such as herself “are there to serve the people.”

Turner also supported the PDA in its efforts concerning the Equal Rights Amendment, calling it “a beautiful thing” and noting that the best way people can get their voices heard is when they go to the polls.

“We are all equal when we go to vote,” Turner said.

Women, she said, “make a difference in the state of humanity.” However, there have been challenges to overcome.

“Women have been relegated to second-class citizens,” Turner said.

Tammy Simkins, co-founder of ERA Action, told attendees that people must be united and that her grassroots organization is seeking to “bring attention to the fact that women are not equal in 2014.”

She added that she believes voting rights “are under attack” and that change is needed.

“We’re demanding full protection,” Simkins said.

Three more states are needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Simkins said, adding that her group’s work still continues.

“It’s been all action, action, action,” she said. “Keep in mind, we need everyone’s help.”

Andrea Miller, interim national director of the national PDA, said economic disparities are evident in women when compared with men, pointing out that Caucasian women make 77 cents for every $1 a man makes. Meanwhile, African-American women make 65 cents to a man’s $1, while Hispanic women make 55 cents to a man’s $1, she said.

Scott Wharton, a candidate running for Congress in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, said he thinks the time is needed for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, something he noted is “well-overdue.” He added that, if he is elected, he intends to support the measure.

Jean Kerney, a former Chillicothe City Council member, also was recognized with an award from the PDA for her efforts. She was the first African-American elected official in the city.

Link to original article from The Chillicothe Gazette

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