On Thursday the Hillsborough County Commission voted 6-to-0 for a resolution supporting passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Florida. Commissioner Stacy White was not present at the vote.
Earlier this year the city councils of St. Petersburg and Tampa also supported ERA resolutions.
Meanwhile, Thursday in Tampa the Athena Society hosted a panel discussion about the ERA with the mayors of those two cities.
WMNF asked Tampa Mayor Jane Castor why she supports the Equal Rights Amendment.
“Well, the Equal Rights Amendment, if you look, the majority of Americans believe that it’s already been passed. And so, it’s something that is way overdue. And, we need to work to ensure that it’s passed so that women have equal rights in our country.”
SK: Florida hasn’t passed it. How does that happen? How does a Republican legislature decide to pass the ERA? How do you help them do that?
“You know, I thought you said, how does that happen, in that, how could Florida not have passed it already? But I believe that everyone will see the value of this. It should be a non-partisan issue, and it should all be about equality.”
SK: And what other issues besides the ERA should women be concerned about right now?
“Oh, we should be concerned about a lot of things in our country. We should be concerned about firearms. We should be concerned about all of the anger that’s going on in this country. We should be concerned about active shooters, mental health. I mean, we have so many social issues that we should all be focusing on as a country.
“And once again, in a non-partisan fashion everyone should come together; do the right thing in the best interest of the citizens of our country.”
Before the Equal Rights Amendment can be added to the U.S. Constitution, the ratification deadline would need to be extended again and one more state would have to ratify it.
Here’s how St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman responded to WMNF’s question about why he supports the ERA.
“Especially in St Pete, we talk about building a City of opportunity where the sun shines on all. That means our women in our community, and it needs to shine just as brightly on them as it does on the men in the community.”
SK: Only one more state is needed to ratify the ERA. Do you think that could happen in Florida?
“You know, it would be nice if it was Florida. This is an issue that shouldn’t be partisan. This is an issue that everyone should be behind. I mean we’re talking about equality. We’re talking about women having the same rights and being treated equally with men. And, I don’t know how you argue against that.
“And so, it would be really nice to see Florida be the one that brings it home. And so, certainly, I’d love to see that. I’m a little more hopeful, I think, under this Administration that we have in Tallahassee today than I certainly was under the past administration.”