Category Archives: MN CAFE Events

TODAY at the Minnesota State Capitol!

This is it!  Our big day at the capitol (Wed., April 14).
It would be great if you could come!


Press Conference is at 1:00 p.m. in Room 125.
Speaking will be bill author and Senate Leadership Senator Cohen, Judiciary Committee Chair Senator Moua, House author  Rep. Knuth, , Jill Gaulding from the U of M Law School, Chuck Derry from the Gender Violence Institute.  House Leadership Rep. Kelliher has also been invited.

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing is at 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Room 15.
Here is a brief line up of who will speak and what will be covered at the hearing…

  1. Introduction of bill
    Senator Dick Cohen
  2. Overview of Amendment and Gender Issues
    Lisa Tratton & Jill Gaulding, Workers’ Rights Clinic, U of M Law School
    Amy Brenengen, Office on the Economic Status of Women

  3. Issue Specific areas:
    • Pay Equity
      Patty Tanji – Pay Equity Coalition
      Deb Fitzpatrick, Humphrey Institute, Women in Policy research

    • Gender Violence
      Chuck Derry, Gender Violence Institute
      Graham Barnes, Battered Women’s Justice Project

    • Gender in the Courts
      Marna Anderson, WATCH Minnesota
      Aviva Breen, Gender Fairness in the Courts Task Force

  4. Concluding Remarks & Questions
    Senator Dick Cohen

If you can’t make it we will post an update as soon as we can.

In Equality,
The mnCAFEcoaltion Team


Announcing the Northern Minnesota Equality Tour!

Yep, we’re hitting the road.  You know we’re serious about equality when we take to the icy highways in the middle of winter.  But Minnesota’s Equal Rights Amendment won’t pass itself.  Successful passage will require a YES vote from every last Minnesota voter, from Marshall to Minneapolis, from Roseau to Richfield, from Winona to Worthington.

January’s tour will take us from Duluth to the Iron Range to the frozen lake country.  We’re finalizing locations and times, but our general itinerary looks like this:

Thursday, January 28

Friday January 29
Grand Rapids

Saturday, January 30
Park Rapids
Detroit Lakes (rumor has it that there will be a party at Zorbaz that no one will want to miss er, mizz)

Sunday, January 31
Fergus Falls

If you’re a MN CAFE fan living in or around any of these areas, we want to talk to you!  Contact us at to find out how you can be a part of our movement for EQUALITY!

And check this space for updated locations and times for the tour!

Ain’t I a Person….Who Wants Equality?


Sojourner Truth, a girl gone wild?

“In 1858, at a meeting in Silver Lake, Indiana, someone in the audience accused her of being a man (she was very tall, towering around six feet) so she opened her blouse to reveal her breasts.”

(from Women in History’s Sojourner Truth biography)

Ain’t she a woman?  Yeah.  But in 1858 she still didn’t have constitutional equality, in Indiana or anywhere else.

We want to change that.

In honor of this feminist pioneer’s 212th birthday, we’re going to celebrate with cocktails and conversation at the W Bar on the first floor of the historic Foshay Tower in Minneapolis.

WHEN: 5-8 pm, Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WHO: the scintillating women and men of the MN CAFE Coalition, including some special guests

WHY: to discuss the progess we’re making to pass a state Equal Rights Amendment ballot initiative in the 2010 legislative session

Coalition Planning Meeting, Thursday September 17

Join us at the Minnesota Women’s Building on Thursday the 17th for a MN CAFE Coalition meeting. This is the time to lay out our strategy for building our coalition ahead of this next February’s legislative session.

WHERE: 550 Rice Street, St Paul MN

WHEN: 7-9 pm


Blogging from the MN CAFE kickoff event!

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.