Six Core Issues

Reproductive Rights and Justice, Economic Justice, Ending Violence Against Women, Racial Justice, LGBTQ Rights, Constitutional Equality

Reproductive Rights and Justice

NOW fully supports access to safe and legal abortion, to effective birth control and emergency contraception, to reproductive health services and education for all women.

Economic Justice

NOW advocates for wide range of economic justice issues affecting women including a living wage, job discrimination, pay equity, social security and pension reform & more.

Ending Violence Against Women

NOW is unique in its approach to the issue of violence against women, emphasizing the interrelated factors and complexity of the issue.

Racial Justice

A leader in civil rights since 1966, NOW continues to fight for equal opportunities for women of color in all areas including employment, education & health care.

LGBTQ Rights

NOW is committed to fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in all areas, including employment, housing, health services, and child custody.

Constitutional Equality

Equality in pay, job opportunities, political structure, social security and education will remain elusive without a guarantee of equality in the U.S. Constitution.

Current Central Phoenix • Inez Casiano NOW Legislative Committee Actions

The main task of the Legislative Committee is to

  1. identify the legislative priorities both nationally and locally for the chapter
  2. craft and carry out a strategy and plan to assist in getting those priorities enacted
  3. inform the members and other interested parties through trainings and legislative action alerts what steps they can take to influence legislation

The two identified priorities for 2019 are:

  1. ratify the Equal Rights Amendment
  2. protect reproductive rights

Information about each of these issues is included in the following tabs. Email us if you would like to join the committee (we meet the third Sunday at noon at Urban Bean cafe), or if you would like to receive the weekly action alerts when the legislative session begins in January. 

The committee also is working on another gender pay gap event and passage of CEDAW in cities. 

REMOVAL OF THE LUXURY TAX ON TAMPONS, DIAPERS AND OTHER NECESSARY HYGIENE ITEMS

We Heart: Period Equity’s Tampon Tax PSA
Ms. Magazine Blog

Teen Voices: Take That, Tampon Tax!
We news

RESCISSION OF THE ARIZONA LAW THAT ALLOWS JUDGE TO GIVE PERMISSION FOR A CHILD YOUNGER THAN 16 TO MARRY 

Falling Through the Cracks, how laws allow child marriage to happen in today’s america.
Tahirih Justice Center

Is it legal for an older man to court a child bride in the US?
npr

Eleven of 15 Arizona counties responded to a survey on how many teenagers were married in Arizona over the last 4-6 years. The only county with enough data to analyze was Maricopa although the only counties showing under 16-year-old marriages were Gila (1) and Navajo (2). These pdf charts illustrate some fascinating facts about underage marriage in Arizona. 

8 Child Marriage Myths/Misconceptions
girls not brides

This problem is just as real in the U.S. as in any other country. The Unchained At Last organization has been working to get laws passed in the U.S. to mandate a minimum age of marriage. Until a few weeks ago, no state had such a law. Florida just passed it and Arizona could be next with HB2006 that is awaiting floor action in the State Senate. Send this video to your State Senator and tell her to vote Yes for HB2006.

See also Advocacy Letters to Editor

ADVOCACY LETTERS TO LEGISLATORS

Why Write

  • Legislators care about re-election and about passing bills
  • Letters provide a written record of constituents’ concerns and positions and communicate a serious interest in an issue
  • Remind them that they work for you, and you are paying attention to their actions

Structure of Letter/Template

  • Begin with a concise and clear subject line; reference the bill number or issues about which you are writing
  • Introduce yourself, identify yourself as a constituent, describe relevant credentials or expertise, and explain your reason for writing. Mention any personal connection with the legislator, if you have supported their campaign, etc. (2 – 3 sentences)
  • Make your case. Choose two or three of the strongest points to persuade the legislator to support your position. Include specific and concrete facts. Tell a personal story about how this legislation impacts your life or your friends/ family/ community members’ lives. Connect the issue with the legislator’s experience or interests (1 -2 short paragraphs)
  • State your call to action. Are you asking to support legislation, make a public statement, change aspects of a bill? (1-2 sentences)
  • Thank the legislator for considering your views, restate your key message and end with specific questions about what actions they will take, to prompt a reply (1-2 sentences)
  • Include the date, your full name, address (including the zip code) email, telephone number

Best Practices/Tips

  • Contact your legislators when the issue is in front of them; see sources below to follow legislation
  • Read your legislator’s website to determine what issues are most important to them and tie your “ask” to their interests
  • Find the “contact” information on your legislator’s website to determine how to submit your letter (typically by email or through a web-based form)
  • Write to your legislators only when advocating for action on a particular piece of legislation; If you want to influence a legislator who doesn’t represent you could ask your legislator to act on your behalf
  • There may be occasions when you should write to a committee chair or other politician who has significant power over the outcome of the legislation; be guided by the legislative alerts that you read from various advocacy groups (see below)
  • Spell the legislator’s name correctly, and use the appropriate salutation (Dear Representative, Senator)
  • Cover only one issue per letter, and limit your letter to one page or the equivalent
  • Be polite and respectful, request (not demand) action, avoid threats
  • Emphasize personal stories to help them understand how the issues you care about connect to real people in their constituency
  • Write from the heart; use emotionally charged words like disappointed, appalled, infuriated, disheartened, outraged, or delighted, pleased, hopeful, grateful, optimistic
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms in your writing
  • Use a politically neutral tone and don’t disparage opposing views; rather, make a case for your views
  • Run spell/grammar check before sending the letter
  • If you don’t get a response to your initial letter in a timely fashion, write again
  • Send a thank you note when they do something that you like
  • Ask someone else to read your letter; an extra pair of eyes may identify weaknesses or omissions in your letter

Additional Suggestions & Resources


ADVOCACY LETTERS TO EDITOR (LTE)

Why Write

  • Letters to the editor in local newspapers are read by your legislators, especially if they or an issue that they are championing or opposing is discussed
  • Your interest focuses attention on an issue that has broad community impact and can mobilize others to take action
  • Letters submitted by a group (formal or an alliance of concerned citizens) may have more impact

Structure of Letter

  • Refer to the article or issue about which you are writing; identify in full the person or entity that you are trying to influence
  • Lead with your reaction to the article, and state your opinion
  • Back up your statements with facts from reputable, verifiable sources
  • Include any personal experience or professional qualifications pertinent to the topic
  • End with a call to action, explain what you think needs to happen next
  • Include all of your contact information as requested by the paper

Best Practices/ Tips

  • Read the newspaper’s submission guidelines, especially regarding length and tone
  • Focus on local issues that are current and relevant to your neighbors
  • Keep it short (a rule of thumb is 250 words) and write about one issue
  • Use one or two powerful facts to make your point without engaging in a policy discussion
  • Share relevant personal stories and anecdotes if they add color, context and validity
  • Be positive, creative, show emotion, passion, and respect
  • Write the letter in your own words, and inject humor if appropriate
  • Read other LTEs in the newspaper to ascertain type and style of letters published
  • Don’t be discouraged if your letter is not published; try again on another topic
  • See “Advocacy Letters to Legislators” for additional tips

Selected Local Newspapers LTE Submission Links

Equal Pay Day 2018

by Charlotte Shurtz

On April, 10th 2018, the Central Phoenix • Inez Casiano NOW chapter held a press conference at the Phoenix City Hall. At the event, Mayor Stanton presented us with a Proclamation, which officially recognized this day as the Equal Pay Day. This day symbolizes how far into the year women must work in order to earn as much as men, in the previous year.

Channel 5, Channel 3 and Cronkite News covered the event, allowing us to raise awareness about the issues associated with unequal gender pay. Indeed, in the U.S. women are paid 80 cents for every dollar a man earns, and 83 cents for every dollar a man earns in Arizona. Clearly, these “missing” billions of dollars could be reinvested into women’s education, their children’s education, mortgages and local businesses, just to name a few possibilities, lifting families out of poverty and raising their overall quality of life.

In other words, we believe that equal gender pay is a national social and economic issue, that everyone should be concerned about, regardless of their gender.

Percentage on the dollar differences:

%

Men

%

Women

%

Asian Women

%

African American Women

%

Native Amercian Women

%

Latinas