The ERA Gets Support From 38 States, Juli Briskman, & Tampon Taxation
The Equal Rights Amendment Will Finally Get Support From 38 States With Virginia’s New Democratic Majority
By Mary Burdick
Throughout the past few years, a new movement of gender equality has brought changes politically, societally, and culturally, and highlights the unfair prejudice women face in their daily lives. In an attempt to eradicate this discrimination, House Democrats are heavily pushing for the continuation of the Equal Rights Amendment – initially passed for ratification in 1972. The Equal Rights Amendment ultimately offers all American citizens equal legal protections disregarding gender. In doing so, this amendment would help eliminate legal discrepancies between different genders during divorces, employment, and other pressing matters. While the lack of interest and momentum in the Amendment during the late 1970s caused the Amendment to never become ratified, new Democratic wins are bringing promising new support.
This month, Democrats have taken power in the Virginia state legislature, a key step in the advancement of the ERA. Because the Amendment requires ratification from 38 states – three-fourths of the country – the new Democratic power will likely cause Virginia to become the 38th State to ratify. Furthermore, to move forward, Congress must change the ratification deadline from the previous date of 1982. Democratic House lawmakers are fighting hard to remove this deadline and the Judiciary Committee recently approved a resolution. Now, the decision is in the hands of the full House, where, with the Democratic majority, the Amendment will very likely pass. Should all go to plan, the ERA could become part of the Constitution and benefit the lives of people all across America.
Paving The Way For Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment
By Kate Kissell and Alexa Bourzanos
On Wednesday the House took a huge turn in clearing the way for the growth of the Equal Rights Amendment, an amendment stating equal legal protections regardless of sex. This week, a resolution passed by the Judiciary Committee could bring the important topic closer to being acted upon and finally addressed.
In 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment was initially passed by the House and Senate and after an early frenzy of many states approval, momentum began to decline over a three decade span. However, recently there has been an arissing flutter of energy towards the Amendment and the retaking of the Virginia state legislature earlier this month by the Democrats, means it’s closer to being a reality than ever. The Amendment needs redification by 38 states in order to move forward, as well as, having Congress move the deadline for ratification, which was originally set as 1982.
Now that Democrats are in control, Virginia is thrilled to become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. With this new movement, House lawmakers are finally trying to remove the prior ratification deadline. This week, the Judiciary Committee approved a resolution that would help with this change of deadline and it is now up for a vote by the full House, where it’s likely to pass.
The measure could possibly become an Amendment to the Constitution, if this resolution is approved by the House and the Senate. This would ultimately guarantee equal protection under the law for all people, and could lead to many other positive changes to other policies. The New York Times Editor Maggie Astor writes, “For women, it would bolster pay equity, domestic violence laws and pregnancy discrimination protections, among many other things. It could also affect men, such as by guaranteeing paid paternity leave equal to maternity leave.”
After a period of decline of focus on the ERA, recent events and movements have sparked interest in it, Vox’s Emily Stewart noted, “Activists point to a number of factors contributing to the amendment’s revival, including the #MeToo movement, the backlash to Donald Trump’s presidency and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, and the number of women who have entered into the political arena as of late. During the 2019 State of the Union address, many Democratic women in Congress wore pins that read “ERA Yes.”
Although the Senate now has a resolution that would eliminate the deadline needed for its ratification, it is unclear how the upper chamber will navigate this process.
Juli Briskman Goes From Fired Protestor to Elected Politician
By Julia French and Ana Wilmer
The bicyclist who infamously flipped off President Donald J. Trump in 2017, Juli Briskman, recently became victorious in gaining a seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in Virginia.
Eight-year Republican, Suzanne Volpe, was unseated by a Democrat and former marketing executive, Briskman. The newcomer will now represent over the 400,000 residents that are living in the Algonkian District.
Briskman’s first national appearance was in October of 2017 was when a White House photographer took a picture of her biking while giving the middle finger to Trump’s car as it drove by. The photo that was taken immediately went viral, and was the cover of several newspapers and the talk of several late night talk shows. In an exclusive interview, Juli discussed that her employer at the time was a government contractor, who fired her because of the viral photo; later on, Briskman sued Akima LLC.
After the photo, a friend of Juli set up a GoFundMe page, which went on to raise $142,000, wow! According to HuffPost, Juli says, “Two years ago I was fired for standing up to the backwards agenda of Donald Trump. But now my neighbors in Algonkian District have backed me up and rejected the Trump agenda…We worked really hard on this campaign. It was a tough race. I’m excited to create a Loudoun County that works for everyone.”
Tampon Taxation Needs to Be Stopped. Period.
By Natalie Wexler
Half of the population will get a period roughly once a month for years of their life. Periods aren’t choices that people have but states putting taxes on period products is. In the United States, 33 states charge a tax on the already expensive and single-use products that are needed to sanitarily go through their menstruation.
Homeless and low-income individuals are most at risk because the products are so expensive and not reusable so often times it will come down to purchasing food or period products. When individuals are unable to purchase period products, they might turn to measures that can put their health at risk such as using products longer than they are intended to or using products not meant for use with periods which can lead to health conditions such as toxic shock syndrome.
By having a tax on a product that is necessary for reproductive health, states are being discriminatory which is where Tax-Free. Period. comes in.
Tax-Free. Period. Is an organization dedicated to getting every state to remove tax from period products, ideally before Tax Day 2020. To accomplish this goal, the group has assembled a group of lawyers ready to argue the case, has raised awareness for people to sign the pledge to work with their state legislators to eliminate the tax, and has an interactive map on their website of different unessential items states don’t tax such as BBQ sunflower seeds in Indiana.
Between now and Tax Day 2020, people are being encouraged to save the receipt from all menstruation products and claim a refund on the sales tax stating that it is unconstitutional by sending the form to their state’s Department of Revenue. Tax-Free. Period. is also encouraging people to post on social media to spread the word about their efforts.
The two groups joining together to end menstruation taxation are Lola which is a women’s reproductive health lifestyle brand and Period Equity which is the nation’s first law and policy organization dedicated to making sure women, no matter what their financial status is can have access to menstruation products.