NOW Chapters Fight for Rights, Work to GOTV

The following was compiled with the help of Duncan Stewart, Communications Intern Fall 2014

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The National Organization of Women was founded as a grassroots activist organization to affect change on a city, state, and national level. In the year 2014, nearly 50 years since its founding, NOW is still committed to highlighting the strong local chapters across the country that persist in grassroots efforts to create political change.NOW Logo

This year is an especially important year with a preponderance of anti-choice, anti-equal pay (anti-raising the minimum wage, anti-paid sick days, etc., etc.) candidates vying for seats in the U.S. Senate. NOW activists have been doing all they can to stop these ultra-conservative candidates and, on Election Day, to win it for women!

The following is a sample of what NOW chapters have been up to this year:

Florida:

  • Indian River County NOW hosted a Women’s Equality Day luncheon in Fellsmere, FL-the first place women could vote in the state
  • Brevard NOW launched an extended campaign to rid polling places in Florida of overt religious and political messages and imagery; the campaign specifically targeted  anti-choice and anti-gay messages in a Catholic church that also served as a polling place. NOW activists submitted petitions to the Department of Justice, which is currently investigating voter discrimination in Florida.

Maryland:

Missouri:

  • NOW members in Missouri organized a voter registration drive and interviews with candidates
  • Several NOW members in Kirksville, MO counter protested the annual anti-choice “Prayer Chain” with a “Choice Chain”.
  • Two Missouri NOW members staffed a NOW table at a National Coming Out Day celebration
  • Several members commemorated the installation of the bust of Virginia Minor, a famous suffragist activist, into the Missouri Hall of Fame
  • NOW members joined marches in Ferguson , protesting civil rights violations.

Pennsylvania:

  • PA NOW members have, and are continuing, to phone banking to get out the vote!
  • Two Ni-Ta-Nee NOW members spoke on a panel at a conference on healthcare policy
  • York NOW members held a rally and media event for female candidates in PA, participated in a celebration of the 19th Amendment at the State Capitol, attended an ERA rally, and held a voter registration drive while tabling at York Equality Fest.

Washington, DC

  • D.C. NOW worked with D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange to introduce the Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which passed by the council this year. The bill requires, among other things, accommodations for pregnant workers in the District. D.C. NOW got the council to add an enforcement clause to the version of the bill that ended up passing!

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