Sheila Ogea, AZ NOW Policy Spokesperson


Dear NOW Supporters,

The Trump Administration’s terrible decision to end DACA and Attorney General Sessions’ use of cruel and hateful language like “illegal aliens” in reference to young people who have played by the rules is so sad.

Let our representatives know our outrage.

Call Senators McCain and Flake.
Send emails, letters, and postcards.
Post on their Facebook pages and websites.

Sen. John McCain

Phone: Phx 602-952-2410, Tucson 520-670-6334, DC 202-224-2235
Email: sen_mccain@mccain.senate.gov
Website: http://www.mccain.senate.gov/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SenJohnMcCain (@SenJohnMcCain)
Addresses:
– Phx: 2201 East Camelback Road Suite 115 Phoenix, AZ 85016
– Tucson: 407 W Congress St # 103, Tucson, AZ 85701
– DC: 218 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

Sen. Jeff Flake

Phone: Phx 602-840-1891, Tucson 520-575-8633, DC 202-224-4521
Website: www.flake.senate.gov
Facebook: www.facebook.com/senatorjeffflake
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffFlake (@JeffFlake)
Addresses:
– Tucson: 6840 N Oracle Rd #150, Tucson, AZ 85704
– Phx: 2200 East Camelback Road Suite 120 Phoenix, AZ 85016
– DC: Senate Russell Office Building 413 Washington, D.C. 20510

Here are some links to find out more ways to help:
  • Immigrant Rights on the NOW National Action Program page.
  • Text Here to stay to 877877 to connect with United We Dream.
    Tonight at 6:00 pm MST they are hosting a community call to talk about DACA. Reply DACACALL to 877877 to RSVP.
  • Visit weareheretostay.com for resources to help you and your loved ones take care of yourselves in this difficult time as well as information on what you can do to take action now.

Let’s share suggestions and ideas on other ways to support the community of Dreamers. We are all in this together.

For NOW,
Sheila Ogea
AZ NOW Policy Spokesperson
 

Today hundreds are gathering in Charlottesville to mourn the death of Heather Heyer, killed during the Nazi protest. Here is the statement from NOW.


Charlottesville White Supremacists Are On the Wrong Side of History

08.12.2017
The white supremacists who launched a brutal protest against the city of Charlottesville, Virginia’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee must be held to account for their violence and hate speech, says Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW).“Robert E. Lee was on the wrong side of history and so are the Charlottesville racists,” says Toni Van Pelt. “The majority of Virginia voters—like the majority of voters across the U.S., voted for the presidential candidate who defended inclusion over intolerance, healing over division and fairness over bigotry. NOW stands with our courageous sisters and brothers in Charlottesville, who are standing strong against hate and violence.”
NOW has always been committed to eradicating racism. In NOW’s original Statement of Purpose, the group’s founders wrote, “We realize that women’s problems are linked to many broader questions of social justice; their solution will require concerted action by many groups. Therefore, convinced that human rights for all are indivisible, we expect to give active support to the common cause of equal rights for all those who suffer discrimination and deprivation.”
Today’s violent march follows an evening “Unite the Right” rally at the University of Virginia where hate-filled rhetoric from Ku Klux Klan members and other alt-right activists was directed at African Americans, immigrants, and Jewish people.
Charlotte Gibson, president of Charlottesville NOW, said, “The white nationalists, neo-Nazis, armed militias and alt-right extremists who came to Charlottesville and tried to hijack democracy today will not succeed. Their rhetoric is never acceptable in a civilized society, and their embrace of violence must never be tolerated.”
“Donald Trump’s personal reliance on the language of confrontation, combat and intolerance has alarmed us all in recent days,” says Toni Van Pelt. “Trump may be sending signals and cues to those who would harm peaceful protesters, but the people of Charlottesville are standing up to Trump-inspired bullying and inspiring us all.”

Contact

M.E. Ficarra , press@now.org , 951-547-1241

#AZNOW Reposted 1-29-17
   
NOW condemns Trump’s plan for sweeping changes in immigration policy
Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill
01.26.2017

Racial Justice NOW!

In his draft executive order that makes sweeping changes in legal immigration policy, Donald Trump has doubled down on a white male supremacist agenda, xenophobia and hate speech. NOW stands in solidarity with our Muslim and immigrant sisters and brothers in opposition to this contemptible misuse of presidential authority.
According to the draft, Trump wants to indefinitely block Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. and close the door to refugees from the rest of the world for at least 120 days.
Once again putting “alternative facts” ahead of established truth in justifying an amoral and unconstitutional political stunt, Trump claims that we have “no idea” who Syrian refugees are. But in point of fact the U.S.’s refugee policy is among the most rigorous in the western world.
The screening process takes an average of 18 months to two years and involves multiple federal intelligence and security agencies, beginning with an initial vetting by the United Nations’ refugee agency. Prospective candidates are then referred to the US, where officials from the state department, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the defense department conduct further vetting.
The Syrian refugees who are coming to the US are among the most vulnerable in the Syrian conflict: many are women and their children, religious minorities and victims of violence or torture. Many have fled to escape the brutality of both the Islamic State, or Isis, and the Assad government and are doing so at their own peril.
Donald Trump would rather fulfill a campaign promise that appealed to the worst instincts of his supporters than honor the oath he has just taken as president to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States. His executive orders are a sneak attack on democracy that will be opposed by the millions who marched in protest after his inauguration, and the millions more who are horrified by his disregard for human rights.
Contact
M.E. Ficarra , press@now.org , 951-547-1241 
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NOW is the time to come together and plan our strategy as feminists and progressives for the next four years. Please join us at our next Inez Casiano/Central Phoenix NOW meeting on:
Sunday, November 27 at 
10 a.m. at 
Grand Central Coffee Company at 
718 N Central Avenue 85004.
 They open at 10 so get your food and drink downstairs and join us in a private room upstairs.   Kathryn likes the quiche and Earl Grey tea with lavender while Dianne prefers red wine over a tall glass of ice. For a complete menu check their webpage http://grandcentralcoffeecompany.com/Grand Central Coffee Company

NOW is the time to come together and plan our 2017 feminist strategy and the Woman’s March on January 21.

Our speaker will be Sue Ellen Allen to talk about Reinventing Reentry from prison for women. 
 Our action will be letters about H.Con. Res 150 re domestic violence. 
 But our main discussion will be 2017 strategy and the Woman’s March on January 21 in DC and what will happen here inAZ.
Please join us. NOW is the time.

07.08.2016, DC,  The tragic and senseless deaths of Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and five police officers in Dallas, Texas have left so many people heartbroken and grieving. As we grieve, we must also renew our commitment to take action, to restore trust between police and the communities that they are intended to protect and serve, to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement of peaceful protest, and stand up to gun merchants and their apologists by enacting sensible gun legislation.

Contact

Tamara Stein , planner@now.org , 951-547-1241
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By Dianne Post
dianne-post-202x300As the events in Ferguson illustrated, injustice is as American as motherhood and apple pie.  From our inception, the Constitution counted African-Americans as only three-fifths of a person and Native Americans were not counted at all.  Neither group could vote nor could women or people who didn’t own property.
Likewise, law enforcement developed from a very flawed beginning, slave patrols sent out by plantation owners to capture escapees.  After the Civil War, sheriffs and justices of the peace were not paid by the government but were provided lists of workers needed by plantations, mines and the railroad.  The sheriff then arrested and the justice of the peace convicted African-Americans and “leased” them to the businesses.  Pinkerton thugs hired by corporations attacked labor union strikers in factories and plants while law enforcement turned their backs.
Black Codes ensured that African-Americans would remain under the control of the white establishment.  Jails and prisons then and now were and are used as a control mechanism for unwanted or overflow populations and for people we want to control, especially Black men and immigrants. Little argument can be made that the criminal justice system today is racist from cradle to grave, from the first police stop to the ultimate execution.
However, over the years, society has taken slow and painful steps toward inclusion and equality.  The country was torn apart by the Civil War, swung forward and back during Reconstruction, and then re-ignited with a new Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.  The Suffrage movement started in 1848 and culminated in women’s right to vote in 1920.  Native Americans were not made citizens until 1924 and even after serving in World War II many could not vote until the 1965 Voting Rights Act.   The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act prohibited discrimination against vulnerable members of our society.  The Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual/Transgender (LGBT) movement caught fire in 1969 and won marriage equality in 2015.
Arizona has also struggled to become more inclusive.  From the state’s founding, when state leaders refused to be joined with New Mexico because there were too many Mexicans, to Operation Eagle Eye a Republican Party voter suppression operation in the 1960s to challenge minority voters, the struggle for fairness toward Arizona’s original Mexican inhabitants continues in the immigrant battles of today.
FightTheRadicalRightUnfortunately, the absence of fair justice for all in Arizona is not ancient history.  In 2005, the Department of Public Safety was found guilty of racial profiling.  In 2010, SB 1070 was passed setting off a national boycott and outcry that culminated in most of the act being overturned by the courts.  In 2014, the legislature passed SB 1062 to attack the LGBT community.  In 2013, a federal court judge found the Maricopa County Sheriff guilty of racial profiling and in 2016 found him guilty of contempt for refusing to abide by the court order to end the discrimination.
Racism and classism are tightly connected as Lyndon Johnson knew with his War on Poverty and Martin Luther King discovered when he enlarged his strategy to convene a Poor People’s March.  The Occupy movement fought against social and economic injustice beginning in 2011 and starkly illuminated the crimes of Wall Street that Senator Elizabeth Warren keeps alive today.  The recent Bernie Sanders presidential campaign forced the issue of income inequality onto the national political agenda.  Community organizing turned the Fight for $15 into a national campaign.  The findings in Ferguson that our courts have become debt collectors and our jails have become debtors prisons is another example of racism and classism playing out in the very fabric of our nation.
Since Ferguson, many people talk about restoring faith in our criminal justice system.  For minorities and the poor, they never had faith in the system so it can’t be restored but must be created by making reality the principles in the preamble of the Constitution, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, …”
So long as we continue to deny racism and ignore white privilege, we cannot establish Justice.

Posted 06/22/2016 by  & filed under Ending Sex Discrimination, Ending Violence Against Women, Stopping Violence Against WomenBy Angela Myers, Communications Intern
The juvenile justice system is criminalizing sexual assault victims. In our juvenile justice system, many, if not most, of the young women placed in the juvenile justice system are victims of sexual abuse.
Although in the last 20 years the amount of youths placed in the juvenile system has gone down, the proportion of young girls placed into the system has increased.  As stated in an Education Week article,“Sexual abuse is a “primary predictor” for involvement with the juvenile-justice system, and that girls of color—particularly African-Americans, Native Americans, and Latinas—are disproportionately affected.” By putting young women into the juvenile system, the root problems of bad behavior and delinquency aren’t being solved. Sexual abuse history is also strongly linked to the likelihood that a young woman will be charged again after release.
What is the issue?
The sexual abuse to Prison pipeline is an issue that focuses specifically on young women who have experienced sexual assault. These girls are pushed into the juvenile justice system for displaying understandable reactions to trauma, which usually meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). By being placed into the juvenile system, girls don’t have access to proper mental health treatment. As data and reports show, girls are 4.4 times more likely to experience sexual assault than boys. By placing these girls in the juvenile justice system we are taking them out of their communities, not giving them the help that they need to psychologically recover from trauma. The juvenile justice system is also known for having an ineffective education system. This inhibits those in the system to easily transfer out and back to school. So in the end, by placing victims in the juvenile justice system girls are taken out of their communities and everything they know.
Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that leads many young women to act out.  But the research so far shows that an overwhelming majority of girls in the juvenile justice system have experienced sexual abuse. In a 2006 study in Oregon, 96 percent of the girls in the juvenile justice system had a history of sexual abuse, and 76 percent had experienced one incident of sexual or physical abuse before age thirteen. Additionally, in a 2009 study in South Carolina of “delinquent girls”, 84 percent reported a history of sexual violence. In Angela Davis’s book, Are Prisons Obsolete?, Davis writes extensively, in the chapter  “How Gender Structures the Prison system,” on the sexual abuse that is experienced by women in the prison system in California, before and after they enter the system. A major problem and factor in our juvenile justice system and our prison system is that women and girls are being sexually abused in prisons, and if they aren’t, the standard practices of those systems have the potential to retraumatize victims. Strip searching, for example, is standard practice for adult prisons but on a case-by-case basis in the juvenile justice system. Being stripped searched can be retraumatizing for victims of sexual assault.
The most common crimes for which girls are arrested—running away, substance abuse, and truancy—are also the most common reactions to abuse. Putting these girls into the juvenile justice system is generally a harsher conviction than needed if we want to punish these girls for their crimes. These crimes are also often painted as ones that need to be punished early and quickly, rather than treated. These girls are not criminals, but victims. Once we see that these victims need treatment not punishment, hopefully then we will be able to curb the sheer amount of girls in the juvenile justice system.

Why is this important?
It has become obvious lately that the juvenile justice system and the prison system in general is flawed. A disproportionate amount of the women in these systems are women of color. By criminalizing young girls who have experienced sexual assault we are further traumatizing those girls and not fixing the root of the problem that caused their delinquent behavior. Girls who are put into the juvenile justice system also face the stigma of being labeled a “delinquent child” and that can follow them once they leave the system. Then after they re-integrate back into school the change in structure may retrigger problematic behavior. These girls and all young women deserve respect and also the proper care for their needs. This can change if we give therapy to girls who are exhibiting bad behavior in the classroom and signs of trauma. Also we can work toward ending sexual abuse toward young girls by giving therapy and rehabilitation to rapists and child molesters. As a society we need to stop sexual assault at all ages. Until then we can’t criminalize the behaviors of young women who are acting out because of their trauma due to sexual assault.
 

Arizona Capital Times, Dianne Post and Kaitlin Ford

— Dianne Post is a Phoenix attorney and Kaitlin Ford is an intern for NOW.

By: Guest Opinion  January 21, 2016 , 5:30 pm

Most Americans have heard of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). What most Americans do not realize is that the ERA did not pass and is not a part of the U.S. Constitution. How can this be when between 91 percent to 96 percent of American adults polled believe that men and women should have equal rights, and 72 percent already think that men and women have equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution (ERA Survey)? How can this be when the U.S. imposed the ERA language on other countries in 1945 and encouraged it in its foreign assistance in all the former Soviet Union countries in the 1990s? How can this be when the Republicans were the first to endorse the ERA in the party platform in the 1940s with the Democrats shortly following suit?

kaitlin-fordKaitlin Ford

Yet it remains that America is one of few countries that does not guarantee women equal protection of rights under the Constitution. In fact, corporations received equal rights under the 14th Amendment before women did. U.S. Supreme Court justices have made it clear that the Constitution does not prohibit discrimination based on sex. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “If I could choose an amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the Equal Rights Amendment. I think we have achieved that through legislation, but legislation can be repealed, it can be altered. So I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion — that women and men are persons of equal stature — I’d like them to see that is a basic principle of our society.”

The ERA was born in 1923 after women won the right to vote. It was introduced every year in Congress until finally, in 1972, the ERA was passed by Congress and by 1984 ratified by 35 states of the 38 needed. The ERA is the only proposed amendment that had an expiration date on it – a practice many challenge. Since then, it continues to be introduced in Congress every year and a new movement has arisen to see it passed by 2020 because there still is an urgent need for the ERA in today’s society.

The ERA will help improve the lives of men and women by making equality a Constitutional principle as well as a law, as it is now in some areas. The U.S. falls behind many other countries in measures of women’s equality from the number of parliamentarians to maternal deaths to response to domestic violence. The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights found recently in the Jessica Gonzales case that the U.S. violated the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man by failing to protect victims of domestic violence.

dianne-post-202x300Dianne Post

Currently women make on average 83 cents on the dollar compared to men performing the same job. Women also are less likely to have benefits at work such as insurance and pensions. These are only a few examples of how the ERA will improve the lives of all American citizens now and in the future.

Arizona did not pass the ERA in the 1980s. In fact, the state donated $10,000 of taxpayer money to the Mountain States Defense Fund to defeat the ERA. But women in Arizona still demand equality. State Rep. Rebecca Rios will be introducing the ERA again this year. It has been introduced many past years but leadership refused to assign it to a committee, let alone have a hearing. The women of Arizona deserve better. Arizona was once a beacon for women’s rights. Women could vote in Arizona in 1912, and Rachael Berry, from Apache County, was the first woman legislator elected in Arizona in 1914 before women in the rest of the country could even vote. Isabel Greenway was Arizona’s first congresswoman and only representative from 1933-1935. Arizona holds the record for the most women governors (four, three in a row) and having women hold all state offices at the same time (1998). The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court came from here. Arizona needs to reclaim its place in the march toward equality by ratifying the ERA today and moving toward that day that all discrimination will end.

— Dianne Post is a Phoenix attorney and Kaitlin Ford is an intern for NOW.