Surrounded by a group of women, Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath and the city of West Hollywood on Thursday commemorated the 90th anniversary of Women's Equality Day, which marks the day women won the right to vote.
"For more than 25 years, the city of West Hollywood has been dedicated to ensuring equality for all," said Horvath.
Members of the National Organization for Women and the National Women's Political Caucus gathered at City Hall to honor attorney and equality advocate Gloria Allred for her dedication to women's rights and the completion of her hunger strike for the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.).
"Ms. Allred completed a courageous hunger strike to re-energize and re-commit a new genE.R.A.tion of women to fight for equal rights. We are all indebted to Ms. Allred for her bold example and her lifelong leadership," said Horvath.
Allred began the 90-meal solid food hunger strike July 27 to call attention to the current gender inequity in the U.S. Constitution. She completed her hunger strike Thursday.
Allred announced the launch of a new nationwide, multi-generational campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment. The campaign asks Congress to finally approve the E.R.A., an amendment that would secure equality under the law for all Americans, regardless of gender.
"The E.R.A. needs to be added to the U.S. Constitution in order to guarantee women equal rights and the highest level of equal protection under the new law," said Allred.
Allred has been a leader in the equality movement, taking high-profile legal cases on behalf of at-risk populations facing discrimination because of gender, race, age, sexual orientation and physical condition, according to a city announcement.
"Today, we celebrate an admirable demonstration of leadership by Ms. Allred," said Horvath. "It is also the beginning of a new chapter in the fight for the E.R.A."
Though it has been introduced into every Congress since the amendment was originally written in 1923, the E.R.A. has not been ratified and is thus not law. Despite this, more than 70 percent of Americans incorrectly believe the E.R.A. passed, according to a city announcement.
"We are so very happy to be announcing this current and multi-generational campaign in support of the Equal Rights Amendment," said Zoe Nicholson, the National Women's Political Caucus' E.R.A. liaison and equality advocate.
"Obviously our primary goal is to explicitly include men and women in the U.S. Constitution, once and for all, guaranteeing full equality under the law," said Nicholson.
This comprehensive and contemporary approach will:
- Build a campus and media campaign to inform young women that the E.R.A. has not passed.
- Ensure that the E.R.A. is introduced into the 112th Congress early in 2011.
- Support a champion of the E.R.A. in the 2011 Senate.
- Call for bipartisan support, as the E.R.A was originally introduced and supported by Republicans.
- Lobby for hearings to advance the E.R.A. to the floor and support the vote.
- Campaign state by state to see that the U.S. Constitution explicitly ensures equality for both men and women.
For more information, contact Horvath's office at (323) 848-6543.