Dear Chair Mallek and Members of the Board of Supervisors,
So far we, as Charlottesville NOW, are still aghast and disappointed. After
more than a decade of support, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
have done a back slide.
August 26, 2013, the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment of the
U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote, has come and gone with no
Albemarle County proclamation in either a long or a short version for
Women’s Equality Day this year. This event recognizes the significance of
the past and in the present through its importance can brings us together
We have not yet been able to obtain an understanding of what was the big
deal causing a Women’s Equality Day proclamation not to pass. We do not
understand and question what this means for the girls and women and their
families in the County of Albemarle. It can be seen as offensive and leaves
some wondering if and how the majority of the Board supports half the
citizens of Albemarle County, e.g., women?
Mr. Snow was the only one who voted against the Proclamation last year and
this year proposed the County’s edited short version of the proclamation to
be tabled. He went onto talk of action to benefit the local women’s
organizations such as the local Shelter for Help and Emergency (SHE) and the
Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) be taken.
He also said he would inform CNOW of what action the Board would take. We
have received nothing to date, though I have contacted Mr. Snow by email and
in person. I have just gone on the Internet and seen the agenda and the
County’s proposed new short version of the proclamation with more
A comment on Whereas: I was taught that individuals and their rights as
protected in the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution were critical elements
in the building and continued success of our country and that many
individuals have benefitted and been supported by their families and
education. Empowering all women, men and children is critical to the
individual, their family and our county, our community and our country’s
strength and success. Advocating individual rights, encouraging utilization
of community resources and services and equal pay for equal work all
regardless of gender is a part of that empowerment.
Some of these concepts agree with and some differ from the County’s proposed
“Whereas,” but the “Be It Resolved” matters the most. We do not see in the
“Be It Resolved” what we are gaining over the August 2013 version. We had
hoped and been led to believe that the Board would prove to be more
responsive and bring forward local action. We expected more.
Therefore Charlottesville NOW again asks the Board of Supervisors to pass
its originally submitted — locally written – proclamation (attached). CNOW
believes by doing so that Albemarle County recognizes Women’s Equality Day
as the anniversary date of August 26, 1920 when after 70 years of effort for
a number of women and men women received the right to vote in our
Constitution, and as importantly, takes action to indicate a good-faith
effort not to discriminate against County girls and women in Albemarle
County policies and practices. If you as an individual believe you do not
discriminate, you surely support setting that as the County’s standard.
Charlottesville NOW continues to extend its offer to work together to do a
scientifically defendable survey of Albemarle County relating to gender and
other issues so the Board and the Albemarle citizens know what the facts are
in our own County of Albemarle. Building metrics for our county is a
tangible way to track girls and women’s needs, progress and roadblocks and
also of boys and men for a full picture.
You, as a Board, have illustrated how laws, regulations and even
proclamations can be changed every session and how they can back slide. This
is an illustration why women need local support and that local support to
build state support so equal rights for women becomes established in the US
The flip side of rights is discrimination; we ask for our original
proclamation to be passed.
With liberty and justice for all women and men, girls and boys,
Charlottesville National Organization for Women
P.O. Box 5082
Charlottesville, VA 22905