Tuesday, July 2, 2019 – During the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) convening, Mayor Martin J. Walsh led a coalition of mayors in proposing a resolution that called for support for the Equal Rights Amendmentwhich would add language to the U.S. Constitution which states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
The resolution, which was overwhelmingly passed, makes it the policy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors to support the Equal Rights Amendment, which will ensure the full equality of people of any sex under the law in the United States of America. More than 100 mayors from across the country pledged their support of the Equal Rights Amendment during USCM’s 87th Annual Meeting in Hawaii, the first state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
The resolution was sponsored in partnership between Mayor Walsh, Mayor John Giles of Mesa Ariz., Mayor Jonathan Rothschild of Tuscon, Ariz.; Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence, R.I.; Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Ariz; Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond, Va.; Mayor Rick Kriseman of St. Petersburg, Fla.; Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas; and Mayor Yvonne Spicer of Framingham, Mass.
“There is no greater cause than fighting for the equality of all people, regardless of their gender, background, ethnicity, or anything for that matter,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Equal Rights Amendment will once and for all codify that equal rights for all includes every single person in the United States of America. I am proud to pledge my support for this important amendment and to carry on the work started by many others’ tireless activism.”
Mayor Walsh has prioritized the passage of this amendment as a necessary tool to ensure the full equality of people of any sex under the law, particularly when it comes to paid labor and the systemic barriers that women face in all spheres of life, including gender-based violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, and under-representation in decision-making positions across all sectors.
To date, the Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified by 37 of the 38 states necessary to become a constitutional amendment. First passed by Congress in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment has been a decades-long effort toenshrine equal rights in the U.S. Constitution. In 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the ERA, and Illinois became the 37th to ratify the Amendment in 2018.
Congress has previously extended the ERA’s ratification deadline, demonstrating that Congress has the authority to again modify the deadline to ensure the ERA’s full ratification.
The call for full ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment comes as the nation observes the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which codified the right to vote for people of all genders. In the coming year, the Greater Boston Women’s Vote Centennial, an initiative of Mayor’s Walsh’s Office of Women’s Advancement, will celebrate this momentous anniversary with a speaker series and a grant program for nonprofits. The Greater Boston Women’s Vote Centennial will also serve as a hub to elevate suffrage-related events from partner organizations across the region. This special project is made possible with funding by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation.