Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

As our Casa Grande community welcomes our beautiful new Neon Sign Park, with thanks to those who made this a possibility, it is a good time to reflect upon the role of women in our community. The current park is the result of leadership from women in our community, just as the Dispatch grand opening section displays the role women had as equal partners in the growth and development of Casa Grande. Yet in 2019, the United States and Arizona still have not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, passed out of Congress in 1972 as a bipartisan issue. Arizona has always been a leader in women’s rights. Our own Zontian Blodie Thode was the first female from Pinal County to serve in the Arizona Legislature. Blodie was instrumental in establishing a hospital district in Casa Grande, as well as the first community college district for Central Arizona College.

On April 6, Area 5 of Zonta International, the Zonta clubs of Maricopa, Tucson, Nogales, Phoenix and East Valley, met and endorsed the ratification by Arizona of the Equal Rights Amendment. We are women activists in our communities dedicated to the goals of Zonta International — to be part of a global community working together to empower women and girls. Through our international and local service and education programs, our sponsorship of three Z clubs in our community (offering leadership and service opportunities to teens), we strive for a world and an Arizona in which gender equality is a reality. Thus, it is particularly frustrating to us that we are still working for constitutional equality here in Arizona.

We urge legislators to vote for ratification of the ERA. Bills are still before the Legislature in HCR 2030 and SCR 1006. We are not giving up until equality, in our Constitution, is a reality. Some of us have been in this fight for a very long time, some of us have just joined, but we will be watching and asking those running in 2020 — “Did you support women’s equality in 2019?”

Bobbie Seabolt

Casa Grande

Alice Rebecchi

President, Zonta Club of Casa Grande Valley

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