I am writing to ask for your endorsement of the World March of Women 2000 in Washington, DC on October 15th. Thousands of organizations in nearly 150 countries are planning similar national demonstrations as part of the World March. The mission of this global action is to demand an end to poverty and violence against women as we march into the new millennium. And, to demand equality between women and men.
The backlash against women is widespread. In this country women's civil rights are up for grabs in 2000. All three branches of government -- the White House, the Congress and the Supreme Court -- hang in the balance of the elections. Never before has the need for a national, feminist march been more apparent, more necessary.
The October 15th World March of Women 2000 in Washington, D.C. will be the last national mobilization before the elections. We are asking every progressive organization in the country to endorse and send a delegation to the march. We are asking you to organize for this march like women's lives depend on it, because they do.
As the mean-spirited rhetoric on the floor of Congress and in the presidential campaigns makes clear, we are facing the greatest threat to women's rights since the Reagan and Bush administrations. The regressive politics of our opponents must not demoralize us, but rather serve to inspire a massive campaign to turn the tide of politics.
Women's economic well-being, health and safety are at risk under the right-wing Congress' agenda. Research money for breast and cervical cancer, funding for mammograms and family planning for poor women, and programs to implement the Violence Against Women Act are threatened as are other hard-won advances for women. Our efforts to expand federal hate crimes legislation to include crimes motivated by gender, sexual orientation and disabilities have been stymied by ultra-conservatives in Congress. Even efforts to improve the popular Violence Against Women Act have been thwarted by the enemies of women in the House and Senate.
Our problems do not stop with Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court, which is just one justice away from overturning the already-eroded Roe decision, will issue several important decisions this term. The high court will decide whether survivors and victims of gender-motivated violence will continue to have the right to sue their attackers in federal court under VAWA's civil rights remedy. The justices will also rule on the constitutionality of bubble zones to protect women entering health clinics, and will review a Nebraska abortion procedures ban.
Given recent rulings, we know that even now we cannot count on the court to undo the misdeeds of Congress and state legislatures. And, the next president may have the opportunity to appoint as many as three new justices. With the justices split 5 to 4 on abortion rights and so many other critical issues, we cannot afford to fail in our campaign to change the face of politics in this country. We must mobilize to stop the war on the poor, to stop all forms of violence against women, and to win full equality.
We are counting on you to make October 15th a defining day for our movement, our nation and the world. We are depending on you to motivate every person in your community to come to Washington to make October 15th the strongest possible demonstration of effective feminist, progressive organizing in the new millennium.
I have enclosed a march fact sheet and an endorsement form. Please take a few minutes to complete and return the form, so that we can include your organization in the march planning. If you have any questions about the march, please do not hesitate to contact me or the march director, Loretta Kane.
As always, I am looking forward to working with you to make history. Working together, we will make this march the most significant anti-poverty, anti-violence and pro-equality event ever seen in Washington, D.C. I am counting on your support to make our common goal a reality.