A New Year, A New Start
Let’s all join together in saying goodbye to a year the likes of which we hope to never see again. But let’s also celebrate all we’ve managed to achieve together, and recognize the difference we made in defending our most deeply held values and beliefs.
You can take pride in each and every item on this checklist of feminist victories in 2020. Our work is powerful, meaningful and essential—and none of it would be possible without you.
I know that you were deeply invested in the outcome of the 2020 elections, and so I wanted to share with you this deep dive by NOW’s Government Relations Director, Jan Erickson. Jan writes:
2020 marks a critical turning point for women in politics and government, beginning with our glass-ceiling-shattering first woman vice-president, a woman of color, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.). For feminists, President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s selection of such a strong candidate is an explicit recognition of the tremendous support that women and especially women of color have provided for the Democratic ticket. And, as the president-elect has promised, more women, persons of color, and LGBTQIA+ persons will be chosen for important positions in the new administration.
NOW signed on to 32 legislative letters in 2020, supporting urgently needed bills that passed the Democratic-controlled House but were ignored by Mitch McConnell’s Senate. This underscores the importance of next week’s Senate runoffs in Georgia, and NOW members across the country are stepping up to help Stacey Abrams and her allies turn out the vote.
And speaking of Georgia, here’s information about a phone banking hangout the NOW Young Feminist Task Force (YFTF) is organizing for Monday, January 4 to help turn out the vote in the runoff. We encourage anyone who is available to get involved. Let’s all stand up and make a difference in this crucial election.
This year, NOW has been working closely with YFTF, a group comprised of young feminists under the age of 35 from all across the country working to create a pipeline for young feminists to become leaders within NOW. You can learn more about their work by following them on Instagram: @nowyoungfeminists. These young feminist leaders are already making a huge difference and will help sustain NOW’s future legacy.
One person who stood up and made a difference her whole life was the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I’m reading her book, “My Own Words,” and I just finished the section on the ERA. It has brought up so many memories for me of being a young woman lawyer fresh out of law school in 1984 and the barriers that existed. The section was written in 1973 and lists laws that were still in place like the one in Ohio which specified that the governor and secretary of state must be male, or in Georgia where the law stated the husband was the head of the household.
Here’s a C-Span interview with Justice Ginsburg and her co-authors from the 2019 National Book Festival. It’s an hour of must-see TV you won’t find on Netflix!
In 1984, the judges all called me “sweetie’ and “honey” and my health insurance company- through my employer- would only talk to my husband as he was the head of the household. I was active in the ERA campaign during college and law school and feel so hopeful that it has passed in 38 states – now we need to certify it.
Thank you on behalf of all of us at NOW for your support and activism this past year. We’re far from finished—and thanks to you, we’re on track to achieving even more.