By Noreen Farrell, Executive Director, Equal Rights Advocates
Less than one month into 2022, and Congress already broke its new year’s resolution. They said they were resolved to do better by American families, to lift us out of the economic trenches they themselves dug with their negligent response to the pandemic. But so far this year, all they’ve done is attack voting rights — again — blocking our ability to elect leaders who will actually support our families through the long-term recovery ahead.
Well, we at Equal Rights Advocates keep our resolutions. We have some big ones this year. We’re resolved to rebuilding workplaces and care infrastructure systems that are stacked heavily against working parents and caregivers. We want diverse representation across all spheres. And because there is no economic security without reproductive choice, we demand defense of abortion access nationwide. We close our list of resolutions with a commitment to defend the democracy on which all these rights depend. It is time to end voter suppression and stop Senate filibusters that obstruct progress on critical reforms. (Check out my recent statement on this.)
Take action with us on many of these issues at our Action Center, where you can email, tweet at, or call your representatives.
ERA’s 2022 Resolutions
- Support working parents and caregivers. Despite the lessons of this pandemic, many workers still can’t take a single sick or bereavement day off without risking their job and their family’s livelihood. We resolve to ensure lawmakers pass job-protected and paid family, sick, and bereavement leave for all. We’ll push to the finish line pending bills to end discrimination based on caregiver status, which has pushed so many from the workplace in recent years.
- Increase childcare options. Working parents are struggling right now. We need to increase childcare subsidies and increase funding to childcare providers, which will attract new candidates to this desperately understaffed field.
- Improve job quality for all workers. This means equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, and abolishing the subminimum poverty wage of just $2.13 per hour for tipped workers — ending a vestige of slavery that plagues women of color nationwide. We must end workplace harassment and violence, and require robust health and safety protections for all workers, including those who have been essential during the pandemic.
- Increase women’s participation in high wage, high skill fields. Only 6.5% of women work full-time in male-dominated occupations ranging from finance to mechanical engineering and construction (where it has remained under 3% for decades). We must address discrimination in these fields and support bold financial investments in skills training and apprenticeships for women, like those proposed in the Build Back Better plan.
- Defend Roe. On Jan. 22, we celebrated the 49th anniversary of our right to abortion — to decide what happens to our own bodies and futures. Let’s make sure Roe makes it to 50, and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to protect the right to abortion nationwide.
- Increase the number of Black women and other underrepresented people as federal court judges. Supreme Court threats to cases like Roe v. Wade confirm the danger of a federal judiciary that is two-thirds men and 80% white. President Biden has nominated 8 Black women to 13 appellate courts. With 5 already confirmed, we are on route to doubling their representation on the federal bench. The court’s legitimacy depends on it.
- Protect the power of our vote. A working and fair democracy is required for all of these resolutions. We commit to the fight to block voter suppression laws and unlawful gerrymandering, and we will not rest until Senate filibustering is replaced with meaningful lawmaking reflecting our values.
- Increase the number of Black women and other underrepresented people as federal court judges. Supreme Court threats to cases like Roe v. Wade confirm the danger of a federal judiciary that is two-thirds men and 80% white. President Biden has nominated 8 Black women to 13 appellate courts. With five already confirmed, we are on route to doubling their representation on the federal bench. Next up? The appointment of another exemplary woman of color to the U.S. Supreme Court in light of the retirement announcement of Justice Breyer. The Court’s legitimacy depends on it.
With you by our side, we will meet these resolutions through our Essential Women Workers Year of Action, our New American Majority Initiative, and our Stronger California campaign. Keep an eye out for our upcoming report on how we can best support Black and Latinx’ mothers nationwide, and our 2022 agenda of Stronger California bills, both coming soon.
Noreen Farrell is the Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates, a national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women, girls, and people of all gender identities.