VALDETARO | If You Want Political Change in 2020 and Beyond, Go Local

For Ellie Pfeffer ’23 and Alec James Martinez ’18, October was a busy month. From her dorm room on North Campus, Pfeffer launched a write-in campaign for the 3rd Ward seat on the Ithaca Common Council against incumbent Rob Gearhart, advocating for increased resources to be put towards the Ithaca Green New Deal. In his hometown of Laredo, Texas, Martinez co-founded Red Wing Laredo, “An organization devoted to ensuring tierra, democracia, y libertad for everyone,” in response to a clean water crisis in the town almost three times the size of Flint, Michigan that resulted in a boil-water notice in late September. You’d be easily forgiven for not knowing about these efforts, given that they occurred in the context of an escalating impeachment inquiry in the House. In fact, that impeachment inquiry may have distracted you from the fact that there were statewide elections this year in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia, as well as local elections across the nation (including the one that Pfeffer participated in in Ithaca itself).

GUEST ROOM | Why We Need the Equal Rights Amendment

One hundred seventy-nine countries in the world have a gender equality provision in their constitutions. The United States is not one of them. The Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923 by Alice Paul, is alive and well and more necessary than ever. The ERA states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Following women’s suffrage, Paul saw the amendment as the next logical step in codifying gender equality. Support for the amendment grew slowly, and in 1972, the ERA passed the House and Senate with the required two-thirds majority.