Tonight we’ve had a great show of equality-minded friends here at Fabulous Fern’s in the heart of Cathedral Hill in St. Paul. Guests noshed and sipped while perusing the FAQs about our Minnesota campaign, as well as information about the national push to kickstart the ERA at the federal level.
Head instigator Kathleen Murphy welcomed the crowd with a little background information on this grassroots campaign, inspired by the energy being generated at the national level by the new leadership at NOW, the new administration in Washington, and the progressive groundswell after the 2008 campaign.
Our next speaker was Senator Dick Cohen, who has introduced an ERA bill into the Minnesota Senate for the last (gasp) 20 years! He commented on how happy he was that there is a fresh groundswell of support for the measure. Then the crowd was thrilled to hear from Franni Franken, the indomitable spouse of our new U.S. Senator Al Franken. Franni recalled how she and Al marched for the federal ERA back in the last ratification fight. She connected the ERA to the current battles in Congress over health care and economic justice. The Frankens, she said, are committed to legal equality for all.
As I type, I see so many different folks milling about, talking about equality. DFL candidates for governor that are here to support the ERA are Mark Dayton, Tom Bakk, and Matt Entenza. I chatted with a representative of the Minnesota Green Party, and with a new NOW member who is driving to Nebraska to show support for embattled abortion doctor Dr. LeRoy Carhart. There are representative from NARAL, NOW, Organizing for America, the Teamsters, Breaking Free, the Dead Feminists Society, the DFL African-American Caucus, and many others.
Our BIG announcement is that the next meeting of the MN CAFE Coalition will be held on Thursday, September 17th, at the Minnesota Women’s Building in St. Paul.