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National NOW Times >> Summer/Fall 2005

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In this Issue

2005 NOW Conference an Event to Remember: Gandy Re-Elected, O'Connor Resigns NOW President Kim Gandy was re-elected and members and activists got fired up over the announced resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor at the annual conference in Nashville.

Save the Court: Supreme Court Vacancies Create Double Jeopardy for Women George W. Bush's first nominee to the Supreme Court, John Roberts, is a threat to women and minorities everywhere — and another Bush nominee could come any day.

First Spanish-Speaking NOW Chapter Forms in the Bronx, N.Y. Many fabulous things came out of the 2005 Women of Color and Allies (WOCA) Summit, but perhaps one of the most wonderful was the revitalization of the Bronx Chapter in New York. The Bronx chapter held its kick-off meeting in July at Polanco's Hermanas Mirabal Family Center.

Women of Color Summits to be Held in NOW Regions The 2005 National NOW Conference highlighted concerns of the Latina community — and attendees passed a resolution calling for Regional Women of Color and Allies (WOCA) Summits to discuss critical issues that affect women of color and to propose a plan of action to further the cause of equality and justice for all women. 

Reuniones Regionales Entre Nosotras La conferencia nacional de NOW destaco las preocupaciones de la comunidad Latina — la membrecia aprobo una resolución para discutir las conferencias regionales de mujeres Latinas, asiaticas, afroamericanas y americanas nativas los asuntos criticales que afectan a esas comunidades y tambien a desarrollar un plan de acción para la agenda de la igualdad y de la justicia para todas las mujeres.

Spotlight on Wal-Mart's Shameful Practices NOW's "Merchants of Shame" campaign will be featured in "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices," a film intended to expose the effects of Wal-Mart's unfair business practices.

State Anti-Marriage Amendments Threaten Domestic Violence Laws During the last decade, nearly 20 states have approved anti-same-sex marriage constitutional amendments, including 11 that were approved during the November 2004 election. Add to that list Ohio, which enacted a broadly drafted constitutional amendment in December 2004 prohibiting the state from creating or recognizing any "legal status" for unmarried individuals that approximates marriage.

Katrina: "Compassionate Conservative" at Work The shocking federal response to the devastation in the Gulf Coast is evidence that, when it comes to the Bush administration, no one in Americasave for a few Bush croniesis safe.

FDA Fails to Protect Women Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Lester Crawford "celebrated" Women's Equality Day on August 26 by announcing that he will continue to delay women's access to over-the-counter emergency contraception.

Iraqi Women Should Think Twice Before Accepting Constitution National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy said the women of Iraq will lose hard-won rights under the new constitution, and the U.S. will share the blame for trading away women's rights.

Personalizing the Equal Marriage Message NOW's Equal Marriage Ad Hoc Committee of grassroots leaders has been working on implementing NOW's equal marriage educational campaign, including an effort to "personalize the message" by collecting stories from LGBT people and allies throughout the country on their personal experiences as committed couples.

Congress Slow to Pass Violence Against Women Act of 2005 The Senate Judiciary Committee left for the August recess without passing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act due to a dispute over the section dealing with improvements for battered immigrants.

Gonzales Ruling Endangers Women and Children In one of its final decisions of the 2004-2005 session, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that police cannot be sued for refusing to enforce a domestic violence restraining order. In the case of Town of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Jessica Gonzales, the Court declared that Gonzales had no rights to sue Castle Rock police for repeatedly refusing to enforce a restraining order against her estranged ex-husband, Simon Gonzales, who murdered all three of their daughters later that night.

Legislative Update: Bush Push to End Social Security, Ban on Women in Combat Support Defeated, Expanded Anti-Violence Bill Introduced While activists around the country sent birthday cakes to lawmakers, recognizing Social Security's 70th birthday and urging them not to privatize the system, Bush administration officials stepped up their campaign to pass a Social Security bill this year.

Organizing Takes Off in NW Building on the success of NOW Foundation's 2004 Washington Women's Voter Project, NOW launched the NW Regional Grassroots Organizing Project in January 2005 based in Seattle. The primary focus of this regional organizing project is to increase membership, build chapters and raise awareness of women's rights issues in the six-state region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

NOW to Protest the Brutal Murder of Juarez Women The murder of hundreds of women in Juarez, Mexico, became the focus of a recommendation developed at the NOW Foundation's Women of Color and Allies Summit (WOCA) in April. and NOW activists have proposed a number of ways to take action and create visibility around this issue.

Social Security Turns 70: Bush Plans Forced Retirement Social Security turned 70 on Aug. 14, 2005, and the Bush administration is ready to retire it. Even though there is a notable lack of public support for privatization, the Republican leadership recently announced that they would proceed with legislation this fall. A number of GOP bills have been introduced that would revamp — and consequently undermine — this vital social insurance program that in 70 years has never missed a check for retired and disabled workers and dependents of deceased or disabled workers.

Love Your Body Events Raise Awareness and Self-Esteem Every day, women and girls are bombarded with advertisements encouraging them to chase an unattainable ideal of physical beauty. This pursuit can also lead to harmful behaviors like smoking to lose weight, invasive cosmetic surgery to change physical features, and dangerous eating disorders.
This year's eighth annual Love Your Body Day is Oct. 19, and NOW chapters and campus activists across the country are hosting Love Your Body actions and events.

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