Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King (NFDW Action Alert)

Martin Luther King, Jr. was more than just a great American. His legacy will be vibrant forever,
because he changed our country and our history when he challenged our consciousness about
how persons of color were being denied equal treatment in our country.

It is hard to believe the prejudice, injustice and hatred that prevailed in our country back in that
era. When a black man could be lynched just because a mob wanted to commit murder, or when
a child was prevented from receiving an education because he or she was a person of color, our
country was being blinded by this hatred.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership in the non-violent movement was a long and always difficult
road traveled. A bullet fired by another man who hated the love that MLK preached needlessly
took his life on April 4, 1968. Nevertheless, January 20th will always be celebrated because
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth brought light where there was darkness and love where there was
hate.

During the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King
Jr. called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. King was
standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and he was addressing
250,000 civil rights supporters from throughout our country. The speech was “a defining moment
of the civil rights movement and among the most iconic speeches in American history,” according
to historical scholars.

As King was nearing the end of his speech, he began to improvise and he began with another
theme: “I have a dream”. According to history writer Jon Meacham, “With a single phrase, Martin
Luther King Jr. joined Jefferson and Lincoln in the ranks of men who’ve shaped modern
America.” The speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century in a 1999 poll of
scholars.

When we watch the videos of Martin Luther King delivering this iconic speech, it is as if he looking
directly into our souls and he is talking directly to each of us. Maybe that is because in today’s
world there is still so much work to do and so many hearts and minds to change. Now we have to
ask ourselves, “Will the Dream live on?” The answer is “Yes” if we help keep the Dream alive by
continuing to seek social justice and working to end racism.

As we are celebrating, let us also recognize the tremendous accomplishment of the Democrats in
the Virginia Legislature and their passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Virginia earned the
iconic status of becoming the 38th state to ratify the ERA because of their years of hard work and
dedication to adding the ERA to the U.S. Constitution thus providing more protection from the
issue of sex discrimination. Women and men deserve to know that they will be treated equally in
a court of law when dealing with a sex discrimination issue. It took 100 years to achieve
ratification by a 38th state, and when the language of the Equal Rights Amendment is added to
our Constitution, we will have achieved what most other countries already have in their
constitution.

– NFDW President Cindy Jenks

2020 Women in Blue Day: Let’s Raise Awareness & Lobby!

Idaho Women in Blue Day 2020
Come join us as we lobby our legislators in Boise.

2020 is here and there is no time to waste! Join us for the Idaho Women in Blue Day at the Capitol as we speak with our Legislators and prepare for the year ahead! Come help us celebrate 100 years of the women’s right to vote and ensure that women’s rights are at the forefront for the next century.

More details will be posted as we get closer to the event so stay tuned!

Western Regional Meeting in Las Vegas

The National Federation of Democratic Women invites members of the Western Region Chapters to our Western Regional Conference on February 7 and 8, 2020 in Las Vegas, under the direction of Pam Cordova, Western Regional Director and hosted by the Nevada Federation of Democratic Women.

Established in 1971, the Federation is the official organization of the Democratic Party focusing on women’s issues and as a means of supporting women’s voices within the Democratic Party of the United States. The Nevada chapter is the newest of 38 chapters across the nation and the 7th in the Western Region, joining Arizona, California, New Mexico, Idaho, Oregon & Washington.

The conference includes 4 workshops: Targeted Social Media, Growing Your Membership, Getting in the Door (pathways for young democratic women), Women and Campaigns (Roles and training for women).

A buffet lunch will be served during which a panel of nationally recognized Democratic Women will discuss their experiences.

We will also get an update from National as well as convening a President’s Panel to discuss contemporaneous issues and discuss areas of collaboration and potential regional resolutions.

Tickets to the conference cost $75.00 per person and can be purchased online at https://eventdex.force.com/BLN_RegistrationDym?id=a190H000007wH5BQAU .

NFDW Action Alert: Workplace Violence Act

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act.  This legislation will provide protections for caregivers like nurses and social workers. 

 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides no enforceable standards that would require employers to implement a workplace violence prevention program for health care and social services workers. Employees in these industries are four times as likely to experience workplace violence, and that number is even worse for public employees in the field. Over the last ten years, workplace violence incidents for the health care and social service sectors have increased by 69 percent. In hospitals, violence grew by 123 percent, and in psychiatric settings, by 201 percent. H.R. 1309 represents a critical step forward by requiring OSHA to develop workplace violence prevention programs, and provides other vital protections for our nation’s caregivers.

We owe a great debt to health care and social service workers. And like all Americans, they are entitled to a safe and dignified workplace environment.  Check to see how your Representative voted on H.R. 1309 by visiting www.congress.gov.  If your representative voted “Yes,” email or call with a note of thanks.  Also important: If you find a “ No” vote, ask why.  Then contact your Senators and ask for their support. 

Secondly, we are researching the process for federal workers to have a trial by a federal jury.