Amy is joined by guests Emily Bell McCormick & Kelly Whited Jones to discuss the Equal Rights Amendment authored by Alice Stokes Paul. Topics include the history of equal rights legislation, common counter-arguments against this legislation, and the ongoing struggle to pass the ERA today.
Emily Bell McCormick is founder of The Policy Project— a group of individuals and like-minded organizations that help move forward healthy, long-term policy at a local and national level. Emily is also the editor of Utah’s NBC affiliate KSL Studio 5 “Smarter” series–informing viewers about issues, government, policies and politics of the time and helping to empower viewers to find their place in it all. She also co-presents “The State of Women in Utah” on local news radio, KSL. She is co-president of the Utah ERA Coalition. Emily earned a Master’s degree from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University.
Kelly Whited Jones is a life-long Utahn raised on a small farm in Utah County. She is an educator, fundraiser, and activist and holds a master’s degree in Environmental and Health Communication from the University of Utah. Kelly teaches college communication and is co-founder and co-president of the Utah ERA Coalition, a group of 35+ local and national organizations committed to passing equal rights legislation in the Beehive state. She served two years as chair of the ERA Committee for Utah Women Unite, a group responsible for reviving ERA legislation in Utah in 2016 and staging the largest march on the Utah Capitol in Utah history — in a snowstorm. In 2018, she consulted with Rep. Karen Kwan on HJR 021, the Reaffirm the Value of Utah Women Resolution, a first-step bill that passed unanimously. In 2020, a year celebrating Suffrage, she stood with women outside the House of Representatives as a Silent Sentinel at the Capitol every day of the 45-day legislative session. Though bills to ratify have been held in Rules Committee every year since 2016, progress is being made, and 71% of Utahns now support ratification efforts. Most recently, in 2021, Sen. Kathleen Riebe and Sen. Kirk Cullimore ran a bi-partisan bill to ratify SJR 008, the first time both major parties have come together in support of equal rights. Kelly believes that constitutional protection under the law is worth the conversation.