Personal letters are a great way to contact your legislators. They don't have to be long, in fact short letters are more likely to be read.
The find your legislator tool will give you contact information. Check the Senate and House Scorecard to check their ERA status. Our ERA Brochure gives good information to help you find your voice.
Below are some letter parameters and suggested copy.
Salutation: “Representative” is used by the House; "Senator" is used by the Senate.
Re: Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (reference resolution number here — S 262 or H 3258)
Positive opening statement:
- The Equal Rights Amendment is a moral issue that requires political action. I am so pleased and grateful that the South Carolina Assembly has brought this issue forward. I'm asking that you sponsor this important legislation.
- As your constituent, I am writing to ask that you support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in South Carolina.There are Joint Resolutions in both chambers. I'm asking that you sign on as a sponsor of this important legislation.
- I am so pleased to hear that South Carolina has the opportunity to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. I'm asking that you support this important legislation that would finally give equal justice under law to us all.
- Thank you Representative/Senator _______________ for participating in this conversation about equality. For women, girls and families in the state of South Carolina, this recognition is long overdue.
Defining the problem:
- Equality of rights for women in the United States is not enshrined in the constitution; it is merely a matter of legal interpretation. While existing laws do provide some protection, as a legislator you know that laws are subject to interpretation and revocation by whichever legislative body, court or administration is currently in power.
- The ERA would provide a fundamental legal remedy against sex discrimination for both women and men. State laws are not uniform and are subject to interpretation and change. Critical provisions such as the right of women to vote and the end of slavery were amended to the Constitution so they could not easily be taken away. We need the ERA to guarantee equal justice under law for all.
- In 2011, when asked if the U.S. Constitution protects against sex discrimination, Justice Antonin Scalia replied: “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.” The Equal Rights Amendment would give women that protection.
- Race and Religion are protected classes of citizenship within the U.S.Constitution because they have a history of being discriminated against. The history of discrimination against women, on the basis of sex, is well documented. The same remedy — an amendment to the Constitution — is needed to protect against discrimination on account of sex.
Consider adding a personal note. Here's mine:
The ERA came back on my radar when Nevada ratified in 2017. I hadn’t thought about it for years. I have memories of my mother working on ratification back in the '70's, and how heartbroken she was when it failed. I remember her telling my father “I guess I’ll just have to get used to being a second class citizen.” This is my chance to finish her work. Barbara Fry 1/1/2020
- The only remedy to define the legal status of women is to amend the Constitution to protect it. The ERA would provide a solid foundation for that protection by applying a single legal standard to cases of sex discrimination. All courts — regardless of jurisdiction — would be obliged to use that single standard in making their rulings.
- The ERA is 24 simple words. No money needs allocation, no words need reconciliation. Just an up or down vote for equality.
- Please sponsor the ERA to show you believe in equal rights for all. I will support you in every way I can.
- The ERA was first proposed nearly 100 years ago, by a Republican woman, whose political party included it in their presidential platform for 40 years. In March of 1972, the South Carolina House voted unanimously to pass the ERA. Our time is now. Please support the ERA.
Those are just suggestions, but if they work for you, please use them. Repetition is good. The more they hear the same message, the greater the likelihood that it will sink in.
Be sure to add your address as well as your signature.
Mailing address for all SC House members is PO Box 11867 Columbia SC 29211.
Mailing address for all SC Senate members is PO Box 142 Columbia SC 29202.
Mailing a copy to home or business addresses can also be effective. Those are listed in legislators bios and can be accessed in our House and Senate Scorecards. Letters can also be copied and pasted into legislators email (4000 character limit).
To see a copy of one of our legislator letters, click here. Also, check out Letters to the Editor.
Questions or need help … Contact Barbara Fry at firstname.lastname@example.org.