Prediction for lobbying for the ERA in 1975
McKay explains that the North Carolina Women's Political Caucus would likely employ similar tactics to garner support for the ERA when it next came up before the North Carolina General Assembly, but that they would likely get an earlier start. Indeed, as she explains, one tactic in 1973 had been to keep somewhat quiet in order to avoid stirring controversy and to perhaps avoid the kind of concerted effort of Phyllis Schlafly from organzing opposition within the state. Since the defeat of the ERA in 1973 had brought into the public spotlight, however, McKay forecasted that its supporters would campaign even more vociferously the second time it came up for consideration.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Martha C. McKay, March 29, 1974. Interview A-0324. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- BELINDA RIGGSBEE:
Well, what will you do next time? In '75, differently?
- MARTHA C. McKAY:
Well, of course, we hope that there's a chance that it will be passed. I
don't know how many more legislatures that could pass it have it yet to
come up this year. I don't know, you know, I just haven't given that a
great deal of thought. I hope that the Caucus will send out next fall,
letters like we did, asking people to sign the return. Although, of
course, there's nothing you can do if they don't stick with it. I
suppose, you see, we didn't even start working until . . . we could have
been working on election day or the day after, as soon as we found out
who was elected. We didn't. Actually, it was a tactic to keep quiet
about it and we decided that the less that was said, the better. We did
not know whether Schlafly would start her big assault in North Carolina,
although she had in Florida and other places that I knew about. Then we
couldn't. I suppose what we would do is just get going earlier.
Basically what causes a legislator to take a position on an issue is the
folks back home. And that's the way we worked, you know, the lobbying. I
wasn't calling those people, I was getting the home folks to call them
and write them. As a matter of fact a legislator from a coastal county
said that his mail had changed dramatically from con to pro, after we
started working. I guess that we would just start probably earlier. I
hope that not only a letter next fall, but that the women who are asked
to work for candidates will ascertain whether or not they favor the
Equal Rights Amendment before they work for them. In the fall