Set for the beginning of Women’s History Month in March, a multi-faceted, fun-filled and free educational program highlighting a new equal rights amendment to the New York State constitution, which will appear on the New York State ballot in November, has been organized by the League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, Shelter Island & North Fork for Saturday, March 9, from 1 to 5 p.m. at East Hampton Town’s LTV Studios, 75 Industrial Road in Wainscott.

While the New York State legislature has already passed the new amendment, it must be approved by voters via a November ballot measure in order to become law.

The purpose of the New York State Equal Rights Protection Amendment to the State Constitution is to ensure against discrimination based on a person’s race, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed, religion or sex, including sexual orientation, pregnancy and reproductive health care.

After welcoming remarks and short opening films, a major feature of the March 9 program, titled “The Other November Decision: New York State and the Equal Rights Amendment,” is a 2 p.m. panel discussion and Q&A with retired Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D, NY), a champion of the ERA; State Senator Sandy Senn (R, SC), who received a JFK Profile in Courage Award for her stand on abortion; and Laura Harding, Esq., president of ERASE Racism on Long Island. The panel will be moderated by Andrea Gabor, LWV Board member and Bloomberg Professor of Business Journalism at Baruch College/CUNY.

“Voters may be focused on the presidential vote in this November’s election, and on races for U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress,” said Professor Gabor, “but we want to bring the public’s attention to another very important item that will be on the ballot—NYS’s new equal rights amendment.”

The day’s events will also include an LTV Woman’s History Month Art Show in the halls of the studio, music by the HooDoo Loungers’ New Orleans-style swing band,  a brief talk by local community leaders Minerva Perez, executive director of OLA of Eastern Long Island; Rainbow Chavis, a member of the Shinnecock Nation; and Marissa Velasquez-Rosante, a young community leader from Hampton Bays, a spoken word performance by Kate Mueth, founder and artistic director of the Neo-Political Cowgirls and complimentary wine from Channing Daughters and Suhru Wines, with food and beverages available for purchase from Insatiable Eats.

“In celebration of Women’s History Month, we encourage you to attend this local community event that not only includes music and entertainment but most importantly provides voters an opportunity to ask questions after listening to panel discussions and local leaders speak about the protections of the NYS ERA, in order to make an informed decision this November,” said LWV member and one of the event planners Valerie Levenstein.

East Hampton’s LTV Studios asks that people register for the free program on its website at  www.ltveh.org.


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