Pay Attention to Your State Legislatures!

wecanonlineMobilize Monday, Mobilize Mondays


The year is off to an interesting start in terms of politics. Most state legislatures are in session, and some are up to crazy shenanigans that I hope folks in those states are working to stop. For example:

  • In Florida (I know there is ALWAYS something going on in Florida that is not good for people of color), the House passed a bill that lets employers schedule 16-year-olds to work 30+ hours a week, six days straight, DURING the school year.
  • In Texas, the state legislature recently passed a bill that replaces school counselors with untrained religious chaplains
  • Washington, Oregon, Maine, and Alaska declined all or most federal funding available to replace lead pipes.
  • Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming have rejected federal funding to provide summer feeding programs for low-income children. This means approximately 10 million children will be hungry this summer because lawmakers said no to expanding federal ‘welfare’ in their states.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture: who we vote for to represent at ALL levels of government is important, especially state legislators! Most state legislatures are in session RIGHT NOW, so take a minute to find your state elected officials and determine what they are doing to represent you.

Source: Statescape.Com

State legislatures have a lot of power and control over decisions that shape our daily lives. They are behind laws about things like education (if books are banned and statewide curriculum), healthcare (will they expand Medicaid so more low-income folks can receive healthcare), roads (want to know why traffic is so bad), and taxes (is your state raising taxes to help billionaires build sports venues). They also decide if your state will be the next to legalize recreational marijuana and what will happen to the folks already serving time on marijuana-related charges that would not be convicted under new laws. So, please pay very close attention to who is running for office in your state all the way down your ballot.

Down ballot refers to the lesser-known or less prominent races and candidates listed further down on a voting ballot, beyond the headline-grabbing contests like president or governor. It’s like the B-side tracks on an album, often overlooked but still important in shaping state and local politics. The next time you go to the polls to vote, please don’t forget to study what is ‘down ballot’ and consider the people and the issues that WILL impact your daily life.

For example, Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia will elect Governors in addition to the very high-profile presidential election in November.

Don’t sleep on your state legislature and pay attention NOW before the end of February. If you wait too long, it might be too late to impact their decision-making before the end of their 2024 meeting calendar!

In solidarity,

Stephanie McGencey, WE CAN Founder

Equal Rights Amendment IS Important for Women of Color!

Maryland ERA Rally – Monday, February 19th at 1:00pm

WE CAN members in Maryland; please join WE CAN TODAY at 1:00 pm for a rally in Annapolis to let our state legislature know we expect them to support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)!

The ERA IS Important for ALL Women, a FREE virtual event – Thursday, February 22nd 7:00 – 8:00 pm ET

Still not sure why the ERA is important? Join WE CAN for a one-hour virtual session to learn more about the history of the ERA, the current status of the ERA, and how you can take action to ensure that it becomes the next amendment to the U.S. Constitution. REGISTER HERE to learn more about the ERA!

Sign the ERA Petition!

If you can’t make the rally or attend the Thursday session, please sign this petition to ratify the ERA and protect women and others from gender-based discrimination!

Thursday, Feb. 22nd – 7:00-8:00pm ET

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a very important legal tool for ending discrimination based on sex and gender. Join WE CAN for a free virtual event to learn how the ERA would place legal protections against sex discrimination in the U.S. Constitution. WE CAN will share details about the history of the ERA, the current status of the ERA, and how you can take action to ensure that it becomes the next amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Please attend so you can understand how passing the ERA will help guarantee our Constitutional right to the full range of reproductive health care and make it harder to dismiss or reject sex discrimination claims and protections that all women, especially women of color, need to survive and thrive.

Speaker:         Mary Ann Gorman, ERA Task Force Chair at Maryland NOW

Movies to Movements~I, Too | Friday, March 1st – 7:00pm ET

Our nation is still reeling from the January 6, 2021 raid on the U.S. Capitol. Join WE CAN for a screening of I, Too, a powerful film that highlights how the events of that day continue to impact our democracy.

About I, Too:

On January 6, 2021, armed insurrectionists besieged the United States Capitol in the name of patriotism. To some, it was an unexpected and shocking attack on democracy. To others, it was a noble attempt to rescue a nation on the brink of collapse. For Carol Anderson, the insurrection was a predictable coda to more than two centuries of American mythology. What happens, she asks, when we discover that the history we teach our children is comprised of fables not facts; when the gulf between soaring rhetoric and cynical policy is too wide to ignore; when white supremacy is allowed to thrive? In I, Too, we embark on a journey to shine a light on stories that reveal how we reached this inflection point in American history, as we strive to narrow the gap between who we say we are as a nation…and who we actually are.

I, Too, is a co-production of the Bertelsmann Foundation and Humanity in Action, with generous support from the Donner Foundation. The film was shot on location in Wilmington, North Carolina; Washington, DC; Ocoee, Florida; North Augusta, South Carolina; and Atlanta, Georgia.