The office is in full swing in Lakeland, and Barbara Andrews, our new Executive Assitant here, will be answering most of your phone calls. The state board met after convention and plans are in gear for a full League year. We're betting on the future of the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.) and we itend to be winners. The national League has launched its fundraising efforts to raise up to $1.5 million for E.R.A. campaigns in key unratified states. We in Florida are one of the four targeted areas. Already over $825,000 have been received in pledges from Leagues throughout the U.S. Your delegates to convention pledged $40,000 for Florida's share.
A state E.R.A. committee has been appointed and all Leagues will be receiving material on fund raising, educational materials and action tools. A good start would be for Leagues to hold units on the background material. Mary Anne Sherman, Action Vice President, will be directing the campaign. I hope that many members of the League will be active in the 1978 legislative campaigns.
While E.R.A. remains the top priority, the Constitutional Revision Commission has been selected. I am honored to serve along with another Leaguer, Jan Platt, Tampa Council woman who was honored at Convention as one of the many League leaders who have entered the political arena. Former state board member Charlotte Hubbard has also been named as an alternate. Every member should order our two new publications Constitution Revision (50cents), and our Florida Government ($1) from your local League publications chair or from the state office in Lakeland.
Our five state program items combined with our national studies present an enormous taks. But League has always risen to a tough challenge and our reprutation of 57 years demands that we continue to work as hard as ever.
From the enthusiasm and dedication shown by the delegates at convention, I know that we will all make the necessary sacrifices so that two years from now the next convention will have the enjoyment of celebrating our fantastic successes!
POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to:
League of Women Voters of Florida
1035-S South Florida Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33803 813/682-1636
[Picture of] Lois c. Harrison
League of Women Voters of Florida
State Archives of Florida: Series 79, Box 1, Folder 37
A July-August 1977 pamphlet explaining the purpose of the Equal Rights Amendment; a message from lobbyist Mary Anne Sherman; the state program 1977-1979; and highlights from the 1977 convention. Members listed include Fran Boudolf, Ruth Ann Bramson, Arnetta Brown, Roxanna Dear, Deannie Picciotti, Judy Blankenship, Polly Doughty, Jean Martin, Sherry Newman, and Elise Webb.
Passed by Congress in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) proposed that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex." Though 35 states had ratified the ERA by the extended 1982 deadline, it still needed the support of a three-fourths majority, or 38 states, to amend the U.S. Constitution. In Florida, the amendment was introduced or voted on in every legislative session from 1972 until 1982. Though it passed the Florida House of Representatives on several occasions, it never passed the Senate. With the deadline fast approaching, Florida was one of four states to hold a special legislative session to decide on the fate of the ERA in the summer of 1982. While it passed the House (60-58), it again failed in the Senate with a 22-16 vote against ratification. It did not pass any of the other three state legislatures in special session that summer, and the ERA was defeated as a constitutional amendment.