Personal letters are a great way to contact your legislators. Once you have your basic letter down, you can customize it depending upon which chamber it's going to and what the particular ask might be. It's well worth the effort, and writing with friends can actually make it fun.
Our ERA Brochure gives some good history and can help you find your voice. For additional suggestions you can check out letters written to federal legislators in support of eliminating the deadline. Paragraphs you like can be picked up and repeated by you.
But first you need to know who your legislator is. The find your legislator tool will give you both state and federal contact information. Their individual listing will also tell you if they are on their chambers Judiciary Committee. The ERA resolution will have to be passed through that committee before it is read on the Senate floor. If your legislator is a member of that committee, you should contact them ASAP.
There's a chance your legislator is already a sponsor (in support) of the resolution in their chamber. Click on the Senate and House Scorecard to find that out.
Letters do not have to be long, in fact they are more likely to get read if they are short and concise. Below are some letter parameters as well as suggested copy to get you started.
Salutation: “Representative” is used by the House; and "Senator" is used by the Senate.
Positive opening statement:
- As your constituent, I am writing to ask that you support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in South Carolina. I understand there are Joint Resolutions in both chambers (S.262 in the Senate; and H.3258 in the House). I would like you to support this important legislation.
- I am so pleased to hear that South Carolina has the opportunity to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. How amazing it would be to ratify it on the 100th year anniversary of women getting the vote!
- 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.
- The Equal Rights Amendment is a moral issue that requires political action. I am so pleased and grateful that the South Carolina Assembly is supporting this issue. What can I do to help?
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.
- 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 is needed for 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 of it for years, but their ratification brought back my mother’s work in the ’70s and how heartbroken she was when it failed. I remember her telling my father “I guess I’ll 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.
- I want to thank you so much supporting the ERA. Ratification is long overdue.
- Please sponsor the ERA to show you believe in equal rights for all. I will support you in every way I can.
- The ERA is 24 simple words. It requires no funding or reconciliation; no administrative signature. It's a simple statement for, and belief in, equality for all.
Feel free to pick up comments verbatim from each of the sections above to blend with your words to make your own message. Repetition is good. The more they hear the same message, the greater the likelihood that it will get through.
Be sure to add your street address and zip code after 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 to Home Addresses can also be effective. Those are listed in their bios and can be accessed in our House and Senate Scorecards.
To see a copy of one of our legislator letters, click here.
Questions or need help … Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.