What: Empowering Women
Why: To Promote the Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment
When: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: Nevada State Legislature Foyer – 101 S. Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701-4747
Contact: Ms. Helene de Boissiere Swanson, Co-Founder – Katrina’s Dream
EMPOWERING WOMEN AT NEVADA STATE CAPITOL
The Empowering Women Event will start at 8:00 am at the Nevada State Legislature Foyer at 401 S. Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701. Staffing the table will be Helene de Boissiere Swanson who completed a 7,000 mile spiritual pilgrimage on foot traveling across all 15 states that have not yet ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Educational material from ERA Action and information on how to hold a house party for the documentary Equal Means Equal will be distributed. Visitors will be photographed as desired and invited to ask legislators to continue supporting and voting for Nevada ratification of the ERA.
In April 2014, Swanson reached Carson City, Nevada, the first state capital of the 15 unratified states that she was traveling to on foot. She was advised to meet with Janette Dean, the Nevada Legislature’s 2013 Outstanding Intern of the year and an activist at UNR studying political science and sociology. Dean recalls, “When Helene explained that the Equal Rights Amendment was still not in the Constitution which I sadly hadn’t realized, I decided to do everything in my power to help achieve Nevada’s ratification by working with ERA supporters statewide and nationwide for as long as it would take.”
While Swanson continued her ERA pilgrimage, Dean led a new statewide push for Nevada ratification and asked Senator Pat Spearman (D-North Las Vegas) to introduce a new Senate Joint Resolution for it in 2015. Although the resolution (S.J.R. 16) did not make it out of committee despite strong public actions, Dean and others gratefully accepted Spearman’s firm promise to introduce a new S.J.R. in 2017.
On February 13, 2017, Spearman introduced S.J.R. 2 for Nevada ratification and it was quickly assigned to committee.
On February 20, 2017, Cathy Paganelli Kaelin and Tammy Simkins of ERA Action joined Swanson at the Legislative Operations and Elections committee to give testimony at the first hearing. ERA Action is the national organization leading the “Three State Strategy” to pass the ERA. Due to high public interest, a larger room for the hearing was scheduled and the majority of those who testified strongly requested passage. The Senate is expected to pass the bill any day when it will then move on to an Assembly committee and finally the full Assembly for the final vote; resolutions do not require the Governor’s signature. Per ERA Action’s Kaelin and Simkins, “the 79th Nevada Legislature is in the unique position to improve the lives of women and girls across the country by becoming the 36th state to ratify the ERA—the 1st in the 21st Century. Final ratification of the ERA will enshrine equality for women and girls into the U.S. Constitution and safeguard the advancements women have made while moving the U.S. to becoming a more perfect union for all.”
On March 1, 2017, the 79th Nevada Senate Legislature voted 13 to 8 to pass the Equal rights Amendment bringing Nevada a step closer to ratifying the ERA. The bill will be sent to the Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee with the expectation that it too will go to the floor for a vote to the full assembly for passage.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is an amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for women. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman. In 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time. The issue is a non-partisan issue
Swanson, an aspirant to the priesthood founded Katrina’s Dream in memory of her late mother-in-law, the Rev. Katrina Martha Van Alstyne Welles Swanson. Katrina was one of the 11 women irregularly ordained to the priesthood in 1974, becoming the U.S. Episcopal Church’s first female priests. When the ERA failed to be ratified by the necessary 38 states, Katrina began to recite the Pledge of Allegiance “with Liberty and Justice for SOME!” When questioned “Why ‘some”? she would reply, “Because the ERA was voted down, retired women are more likely to live in poverty than men.
On March 8, 2014, Swanson left on a spiritual pilgrimage from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco arriving in Washington, DC on August 26, 2015, where the first Annual Women’s Equality Day Vigil, March and Rally was held. Swanson is writing a book on her pilgrimage and as Katrina’s Dream’s Goodwill Ambassador is active in developing sustainable practices in Africa, India and the United States and the full inclusion of women in all areas of life.
Media Links on Nevada’s Coverage of 7000 mile Walk for the ERA.
April 2014 Tom Lotshaw Tahoe Daily Tribune Woman Walking in Support of ERA
April 15, 2014 Jeff Munson CarsonCityNOW Rally at Legislature Supports Nevada Ratification for the Equal Rights Amendment
May 23, 2014 Selwyn Harris, Pahrump Valley Times Woman Walks Across 15 States for ERA
Communique Spring 2014 Issue, H. de Boissiere A Walk for Ratification