Arizona NOW was organized following Congress’ passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972. Women in Arizona were prepared to be in the vanguard for equal rights. With their ERA van, NOW women traveled the state, creating NOW chapters in Tucson, Phoenix, Kingman, Havasu City, the White Mountains, Tempe, Bisbee, Benson, Scottsdale, and Sun City.
With resistance to the ERA in Utah, members became ERA missionaries and spent their summers there. Others protested with a peaceful encirclement of the Mormon Temple in Mesa, while still other protests included a night spent in a Tempe health center, which was threatened by bombing.
When the Pope visited Phoenix, the Arizona NOW Coordinator spoke on television with a message for the Pope regarding women’s rights, and a message was also placed in the Arizona Republic.
NOW was the first organization to initiate networking, which resulted in a large reproductive rights march and later a Martin Luther King Day at the State Capitol. NOW members continue to lobby Arizona legislators in support of issues facing women and children, including reproductive rights, pay equity, violence against women, lesbian rights, health care, and childcare.
Arizona NOW adopted Cooperative Leadership, which has provided a model for sharing responsibility and decision making. Above is a NOW member holding a picture of the first ever NOW meeting.