Global IT Team Chair; Global Womens Caucus Steering Team; ERA Project Coordinator; Membership/IT Coordinator, Germany; DPCA Representative, Germany

  • tagged Jillian Mertsch's How is this not done yet? with stories 2021-03-09 00:07:24 -0500

    How is this not done yet?

    When I sat in my civics class as a freshman in high school studying for my US constitution test it never occurred to me to ask if women were recognised under the US Constitution. I wrongly assumed that the use of the word "men" in the text was just the way people wrote official documents in the 18th century. When I learned in my 30s that the founding fathers purposely excluded women and that efforts in the 20th century to fix this anachronism failed I was shocked. It is even more shocking that the Equal Rights Amendment which will women to the Constitution is struggling in the 21st century. Now I hope that when my child learns about the US Constitution in a few years the fact the ERA took so long to come into effect will be an odd bit a trivia and not a cause she has to take up. Jillian Mertsch, resident of Belgium votes in Missouri.

  • Federal judge says states acted too late to ratify Equal Rights Amendment

    On Friday March 5, a federal judge ruled that the 1982 deadline in the preamble of the Equal Rights Amendments preclude the validity of the 2017 Nevada ratification, the 2018 Illinois ratification and the 2020 Virginia ratification.   ERA advocates working on what this means and next steps.

    See more details on the decision - Federal judge says states acted too late to ratify Equal Rights Amendment (

  • tagged Diane Haven's Glass Ceilings with stories 2021-03-09 00:07:44 -0500

    Glass Ceilings

    We need the ERA to guarantee protection of women's rights because we are still underrepresented in the government, as well as many other fields that still have glass ceilings.  Germany resident / Arkansas voter

  • tagged Michael Ramos' We Need To Practice What We Preach with stories 2021-03-09 00:08:05 -0500

    We Need To Practice What We Preach

    "We support women and girls in elected office." "We support women and girls getting paid the same as men in professional sports." "We support women and girls in S.T.E.M.M. [science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine] fields."  ...All too often we hear these phrases, but without a constitutional guarantee that the United States practices what it preaches and indeed protects, supports, and encourages women and girls to thrive in American society, the current practice of sex discrimination will continue to make an appearance in America's schools, board rooms, military bases, sports fields, and everywhere in between. It is unconscionable that in the 21st century women are still often told things like they're not allowed to breastfeed in public, they're not "tough enough" to do traditionally-men's roles in the Armed Forces, and "because they dressed like that, they had it coming." It is time for policymakers to walk the walk and defend women by passing the Equal Rights Amendment and taking one step further to realizing true equality among American citizens. As an American who has spent enormous time living and traveling abroad, I have seen first-hand what equality looks like and what it certainly doesn't look like in various parts of the world. The United States needs to step up and be the democratic role model its citizens and others look for it to be. #EqualRightsAmendmentNow! -Michael Ramos, Democrats Abroad, Resident of Australia and Absentee Voter in Illinois

  • tagged Laura Muir's Long past due #ERAnow with stories 2021-03-09 00:08:30 -0500

    Long past due #ERAnow

    Both my children, my daughter and my son, deserve an America in which equality is made explicit in law - gender, racial, etc. The promises made to me in school, as a women, were not delivered on in the workplace. It is long past time to follow through on the promises we make to girls and boys - that pay equity will be achieved, that violence against women will addressed, that women are fundamentally believed to be equal to men. Lives in China, Votes in Michigan

  • tagged Stayce Camparo's For my children with stories 2021-03-09 00:09:21 -0500

    For my children

    Equality is a truth, and I am ashamed that the United States of American doesn't formally recognize that truth in the U.S. Constitution. By making the ERA a law of the land, we would send the message that equality is indeed an inalienable right, and not just a promise that can be easily broken or manipulated. Every day, in some form or another, I have conversations with my children about equality, and it is so shocking to me that equality is not formally protected in the U.S. Equal rights are important to me because I am a parent, and I don't just want the ideals of equality coming from me, but I want those ideals supported by my home country; the country of my citizenship. Stayce Camparo, residing in Germany, voting in Kansas

  • tagged Gail Fagen's Turning the Question Around with stories 2021-03-09 00:08:55 -0500

    Turning the Question Around

    Well-meaning people sometimes wonder why an ERA is still needed in this world where our Vice-President is a woman, women are CEOs and the US Women's Soccer Team is the best in the world... but it's needed exactly because of well-meaning people - who never intend to discriminate. In today's world, most (but unfortunately not all) discrimination or forms of violence go unrecognized because they're interwoven into notions of "that's the way things are". The ERA is needed because it would turn the question around. As an article published by NOW states: "[it] would ....shift the burden of proof to the party accused of discrimination. Without a constitutional amendment clarifying women’s legal standing, women will continue to have to wage extended, costly and challenging political and legal battles for equal rights." Gail Fagen, Italy, Iowa Voter


  • It’s 2021 and Women STILL are NOT in the US Constitution #DA4ERA #ERAnow

    How can it be that in 2021 that US women do not have rights guaranteed in the US Constitution? And how can it be that over 88% of all countries do but the US does not? That alone is my reason to support the Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA passed in the US House and US Senate in 1972, the year I graduated from college. I remember then, as I started my career, being surprised to learn how difficult it was for a woman to get a credit card. So many things have improved during my life for women but so many more improvements are needed. I see the ERA as one way to improve equality for women in laws, rules, and hopefully also in behavior. After retiring in 2016, I thought about the next phase of my life. I have several interest areas, but I concluded that for me, devoting my time to help women win equal rights in the US Constitution was where I wanted to focus my energy. I had spent the last 10 years of my career in the humanitarian aid sector. Hunger relief was a key part of that. Having spent lots of time in Africa, I realized there was a strong connection with women’s rights and food on the table. So rather than focusing just on hunger relief, I decided that women’s rights and issues were a higher priority. And the place where I could make an impact would be in the USA. I see the ERA as an opportunity for the US to demonstrate it cares about women. That act could encourage women in other countries to push harder for more gender equity in their country. The ERA is not a silver bullet to solve all gender equity issues however the ERA lays a foundation for equity in laws and rules that hopefully spills over into people’s behaviors and beliefs. I strongly believe that women must have equal rights spelled out in the US Constitution and the ERA is the way to do just that.   Shari Temple, Residing in Germany, Voting in Texas

  • 2021 Could Be The Year Women Get Full Constitutional Rights | HuffPost

    On Thursday, a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced legislation that would help finalize ratification of the ERA, which which would amend the Constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) introduced a joint resolution in the House of Representatives that would facilitate clearing the amendment’s final hurdles — and it ...

    Read the article:

  • Cardin, Murkowski, Speier, Reed Announce Bipartisan Resolution to Affirm Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

    January 21, 2021 Cardin, Murkowski, Speier, Reed Announce Bipartisan Resolution to Affirm Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment The required 38 states have ratified the ERA.

    Continue reading: 

  • published News in ERA 2021-02-12 08:26:57 -0500

  • “Completing the Work of Our Foremothers”: The Final Push for the Equal Rights Amendment

    On Thursday, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) re-introduced her bill dissolving the deadline for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment with bipartisan support of more than 195 co-signers.Soon Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will introduce an identical bill in the Senate.

    Full Article:

  • donated 2021-02-12 05:59:47 -0500

    $2,781.05 raised
    GOAL: $2,021.00

    Candice Kerestan's 2021 Birthday Fundraiser


    As many of you know, Democrats Abroad has been a big part of my life since I moved to Germany seven(!) years ago, and it’s remarkable what the organization has accomplished in that time! This past election cycle, we engaged Americans abroad like never before and delivered decisive votes in races across the United States.

    But as they say, “after the election is before the election”, and it’s important to me that we continue setting up Democrats for success in 2022. As I start this next year of my life, I invite you to join me in making a contribution to Democrats Abroad, an organization near and dear to me.


    Donations are made to Democrats Abroad (Democratic Party Committee Abroad) and not to any candidate for Federal Office.

    Donations to Democrats Abroad are not tax-deductible.


  • published ERA Special LTE in Campaigns 2021-01-30 08:03:02 -0500

    ERA Special LTE



    Send a letter to the editor/opinion editorial to newspapers in the United States.   We are trying to get letters published in every US state by March 8 - International Women's Day.   If your letter is published, please send a link to it to [email protected]   Copies of all letters will be delivered to your U.S. Senators on March 8.

    However, if you missed the date, please still try to get one published!


    This is a campaign to solicit local awareness and support for adding the ERA to the US Constitution now that the need 38 states have ratified it.   The goal is to get people to contact their Senators to show their support.    We have another Letter to the Editor campaign for the 12 remaining states that have not yet ratified it.   Click here for details on that.   


    If you are voter in one of these states or a former resident, consider writing a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper.   You should call upon citizens to support the ERA and call upon your U.S. Senators to support the current bill in the Senate to add the ERA to the Constitution.

    Here are some potential talking points:

    • 85% of all nations have equal rights in their constitutions - and if your resident country does then include that along with how it has helped, not hurt women
    • Women need protection under the constitution since laws supporting equal rights can be changed 
    • If a male, state you support it for your mother, daughter, sister

    Note that you should try to keep your comments as non-partisan as possible.

    Sample Text


    Sample Text 1 (from DA)

    On January 27, 2020, the Equal Rights Amendment was fully-ratified, becoming the 28th Amendment to our Constitution. If you know and love a woman in this country, the 28th Amendment matters to you. It reads:

    “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged
    by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

    It’s as simple as that. We cannot expect a document signed without women, two centuries ago, to speak to the challenges modern women face. Between economic participation, access to education, health/survival services and political representation, we are failing - ranking 53rd for gender equality, globally.

    We cannot continue to laud America for its many freedoms if those freedoms do not apply equally to the female half of the population. My current residence in ________, ensures equitable rights regardless of gender in its constitution. As a woman (father, son, etc.), it troubles me that my/her rights and freedoms are more recognized and observed abroad than in my/her own country. Returning home to a country without guaranteed equal rights for women is essentially a step backward.

    Today, I ask that you join me in calling on our US Senators [add in the 2 names] to vote to immediately add the ERA as the 28th Amendment of our U.S. Constitution. They will be supporting women and their families on both sides of the political aisle. With the 28th Amendment, we can assure women the same security long afforded to men by our Constitution, bringing our country one step closer to liberty and justice for all.

    Sample Text 2 (from Vote Equality)

    SAMPLE (~150 words)
    Gender equality and our Constitution. 

    On January 27, 2020 the Equal Rights Amendment was fully-ratified and went from having a name to having a number: 28. Although the 2020 Department of Justice temporarily blocked the National Archivist from certifying the 28th Amendment, one administration cannot halt America’s progress toward equality forever.

    Until now, gender equality has existed as piecemeal law. Americans have not been adequately protected from discrimination by patchwork laws, a court case here, a law, a regulation there.

    Piecemeal law is insufficient. What Americans have needed all along is foundational law. With the 28th Amendment (Equal Rights) we can fix the gender equality gap in our Constitution, bringing our country one step closer to liberty and justice for all. 

    The 28th Amendment reads: 
    “Equality of rights under the law 
    shall not be denied or abridged 
    by the United States or by any 
    state on account of sex.” 

    Like bricks, simple, straight-forward amendments firm up our foundation. 97% of Americans favor Equal Rights, 78% of us support recognizing the 28th Amendment. Now that we have a new equality leadership in the U.S. Senate please join me in writing to our Senators and encouraging them to recognize the 28th Amendment in our Constitution.

    Your Name

    Former <your state> resident now living in <your country>

    Sample Text 3 (from ERA Coalition)

    Sample Letters to the Editor (please edit to “make it your own”)

    Why is now the Time?
    It has been one year since the House of Representatives passed a bill removing the deadline on ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and yet there is still no equality for women in the Constitution.  With the myriad of issues taking place in the United States today, including a global pandemic and record unemployment, women should be at the forefront of these conversations because they are often disproportionately affected, and yet they are not. It’s only due to the unflagging efforts of my [senator/representative] that women are again coming to the fore on some of these issues in 2021 by [re]introducing a bill to remove the deadline.
    Why the ERA?
    The ERA would be a powerful new tool to fight systemic inequality and address issues such as gender-based violence, pregnancy discrimination, pay inequity and so much more. [Pennsylvanians/Marylanders/etc] have always known this – in fact, our state ratified the Equal Rights Amendment in [date].
    Where we are now
    In January 2020, Virginia voted to become the 38th state to ratify the ERA. With that ratification, the ERA has now satisfied all the requirements set forth in the Constitution. The Department of Justice under the Trump Administration has taken the position that the ERA isnot valid today because of a seven-year time limit that Congress inserted in the joint resolution when it proposed the ERA back in 1972. That position is now the subject of federal litigation. In the meantime,  Congress could resolve the question by voting to change the joint resolution, removing the time limit.
    What we want [My Rep/Senator is _____________.] With bipartisan support and continued leadership from [my Rep/Senator] though, the House and Senate could both take action in this session, finally bringing the ERA to the floor for a vote, and bringing real equality to the United States of America. I’m grateful to my [Rep/Senator’s] commitment to the full equality of women and girls. Thank you, [Rep/Senator Name].
    This is the time. 2021 is the Year of the ERA.

  • published Delete-Confirmation 2021-01-17 06:05:25 -0500


    This is to confirm that your membership will be deleted from Democrats Abroad within the next 48 hours.

    Should you ever wish to re-join, you can always find us on

  • published Could 2021 be the Year? in Equal Rights Amendment 2021-01-17 05:24:30 -0500

    Could 2021 be the Year?

    Could 2021 be the year that women finally have equal rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution? I keep asking myself that question.   I am cautiously optimistic that this could finally be the year.   Women should have been in the Constitution since 1776.  The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in 1923.  Last January, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment meaning that we had finally achieved the requirement for 2/3’s of the states to ratify it.  It should have been added immediately, but once again, it didn’t happen due mainly to politics in DC.

    So why do I think there may be a chance it could now be added?  It is all based on Biden/Harris being elected, along with Georgia electing two Democrats, thus lending Democrats a majority to enact legislation near and dear to democratic values.

    As I wrote in our October newsletter, the chances for ERA were dependent on electing pro-ERA candidates. Sadly, women’s rights have become a partisan issue with just a few Republicans supporting it. Luckily, we were successful in electing pro-ERA Democrats for the both Executive and Legislative branches.

    So, what happens now? The best-case scenario is that once we have the new Attorney General confirmed, that he or one of his deputies (all three women) tell the U.S. Archivist that the guidance given last January from the Department of Justice was wrong, and that he should immediately add the ERA as the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There are some that believe this will happen within the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency; notwithstanding, the reluctance, based on the preamble to the amendment having a deadline in the past, is mainly disagreement among legal authorities whether the deadline is constitutional or not.

    The next best scenario is that the House and Senate quickly submit bills, like in prior sessions, that remove the deadline from the amendment. This passed in the House last year, but was never scheduled for a vote in the Senate. Now that we will be rid of Mitch McConnell as the Senate majority leader, it should pass with no problem by both houses. The only question is how quickly; both Biden and Harris have pledged to help.

    Both of these scenarios seem possible for 2021. There are court cases already in the works but once it gets added to the Constitution, that makes the cases seem less likely to be successful.

    In addition to adding the ERA to the U.S. Constitution, there are also activities taking place in several states to add rights for women to their state constitutions.

    How can you help? You can already start writing and calling your U.S. representatives about supporting the Equal Rights Amendment. Once legislature is introduced, I’ll be updating Democrats Abroad’s ERA page with the details and how to help. You can also always find info about this and other women’s issues on our Global Women’s Caucus page.

    This year we plan to expand our work to help not only at the national level but also at the state level.

    To become actively involved with our ERA team, fill out this form, or contact Shari Temple, DA ERA Team Lead:[email protected] For more information visit our blog.


  • published Frankfurt 2021 Chapter Elections in News 2021-01-14 09:30:39 -0500

    Frankfurt 2021 Chapter Elections

    We will be holding elections for the Frankfurt Chapter on Friday February 26.   Click here for details.

  • Muenster-Osnabrueck 2021 Chapter Elections March 6

    The Muenster-Osnabrueck 2021 chapter elections will be held on March 6.   Click here for details.

  • published Cologne Bonn 2021 Chapter Elections in News 2021-01-14 06:23:32 -0500

    Cologne Bonn 2021 Chapter Elections

    We will be electing officers for Cologne Bonn on March 2.  Click here for details.

  • published Hamburg 2021 Elections in News 2021-01-14 05:51:32 -0500

    Hamburg 2021 Elections

    Hamburg will be election chapter officers on February 28.  Click here for details.