RESOLUTION ON FIREARMS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES PROTECTING VICTIMS AT THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME

WHEREAS, the NATIONAL FEDERATION OF DEMOCRATIC WOMEN (NFDW) has been a
consistent champion of legislation protecting victims from domestic violence; and
WHEREAS, the NFDW recognizes that over 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused each
year in the U.S. as a result of domestic violence; and that firearms are the most commonly used
weapon to commit intimate partner homicides; and research on domestic violence shows that
firearms are used in almost 40 percent of the intimate partner homicides that occur annually in the
United States; and
WHEREAS, the NFDW recognizes that according to the statistics tabulated by the National
Coalition Against Domestic Violence, victims in an abusive relationship are 5 times more likely to
be killed if the abuser has access to a firearm; and that domestic assaults that involve firearms are
12 times more likely to result in death than those involving other weapons or bodily force; and
WHEREAS, research on domestic violence shows that the days following a victim’s application
for a restraining order and attempts to end an abusive relationship are the most dangerous and
that Courts order temporary, ex parte, restraining orders for a period of up to two weeks only when
the victim faces “immediate and present physical danger.”; and
WHEREAS, currently in many states in the U.S., Courts have no explicit authority to order
respondents to surrender firearms for the duration of a temporary, ex parte restraining order and
there is no criminal penalty for possessing a firearm while subject to an ex parte restraining order;
and laws that prohibit the purchase of a firearm by a person subject to a domestic violence
restraining order are associated with a reduction in the number of intimate partner homicides; and
WHEREAS, lt is therefore critical that each state’s laws be amended to close this gap in safety for
victims of domestic violence, and
WHEREAS, the NFDW recognizes that over 20 U.S. states have implemented strong laws, all in
compliance with the Second Amendment and Due Process, prohibiting possession of firearms
during ex parte orders based on the state’s interest to protect victims of domestic violence; and
the NFDW commends the State of Connecticut, which on May 2,2016 became the most recent
state to pass such legislation; however, the remainder of U.S. state legislatures have yet to pass
such protective legislation.
THEREFORE, BE lT RESOLVED, that the NFDW supports legislation in all 50 States that would explicitly empower courts to order respondents to surrender firearms upon the issuance of certain ex parte orders and that would make noncompliance with an ex parte order to surrender firearms a criminal offense; and
BE lT FURTHER RESOLVED that NFDW members, in every state where such legislation is
pending or yet to be introduced, shall educate and inform their local chapters on this issue who
shall lobby their state legislators and governors to pass such legislation.
Submitted by the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women  May 1 ,2016

Resolution Calling for Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

Whereas, the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly guarantee that all of the rights it protects are held equally by all citizens without regard to sex, and the only right it specifically affirms as equal for women and men is the right to vote, guaranteed by the 18th Amendment in 1920; and

Whereas, the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution affirms that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”; and

Whereas, the ERA was written by suffragist leader Alice Paul and introduced in Congress in 1923, was passed by Congress in 1972 with a seven-year time limit, and after Congressional extension of the time limit to June 30, 1982, has been ratified by 35 of the 38 states necessary to put it into the Constitution; and

Whereas, Supreme Court Justice Antonio Scalia has said that the Constitution does not prohibit sex discrimination, and the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause has never been interpreted to guarantee equal rights in cases of sex discrimination with the highest level of strict scrutiny that is applied to cases of discrimination based on race or religion; and

Whereas, Article V of the Constitution imposes no time limit for ratification of amendments; Supreme Court decisions have recognized the power of Congress to determine the mode of ratification’ and the 1992 ratification of the 27th (“Madison”) Amendment 203 years after it was first proposed supports the premise that state ERA ratification votes since 1972 are sufficiently contemporaneous; and

Whereas, two processes are being proposed for ratification of the ERA: (1) the traditional Article V passage by two-thirds votes in the Senate and the House of Representatives followed by ratification by three-quarters of the states, and (2) the “three-state strategy” of overriding or removing the time limit via judicial and/or statutory action and declaring the ERA to be part of the Constitution when three more states ratify:

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that we call on all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in the 113th Congress to co-sponsor support, and pass into law joint resolutions for both the traditional Article V ratification process (S.J. Res. 10, H.J. Res. 56) and the “three-state strategy” process (S.J. Res. 15, H.J. Res. 43); and

Be It Further Resolved, that we affirm our strong support of the Equal Rights Amendment and our commitment to participate in effective legislative and advocacy actions at federal and state levels in order to put the ERA into the Constitution.

Adopted at the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women’s meeting on April 9, 2014 at East Hartford, Connecticut and submitted to the National Federation of Democratic Women for adoption at the 2014 Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Resolution Regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

WHEREAS, the State of Connecticut and our nation lost twenty innocent children and six brave adults on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut  in the violent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a young man using an assault weapon with a thirty round magazine of ammunition; and

WHEREAS, the parents and family of the murdered children and adults have committed themselves, in their time of grief, to fight for Congress to pass national gun control laws and the Senate failed to pass the universal background checks law; and

WHEREAS, this tragedy has begun a national conversation on understanding the causes of gun violence, finding ways to decrease gun violence, improving mental health services and providing for the safety of our children;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women honors the memory of the twenty-six innocent and precious lives lost in the Newtown shooting by committing to work with President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress to enact laws to decrease gun violence and provide for the safety of our children, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women is committed to continue to work politically until adequate laws are passed to protect our children and the adults caring for them from future gun tragedies.

 Adopted at the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women’s biennial convention on      May 4, 2013 at Hartford, Connecticut and sent to the National Federation of Democratic Women’s Convention June 13-16, 2013 at Charleston, West Virginia for adoption.

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Resolution in Support of the Violence Against Women Act

Submitted to Speaker Boehner and the CT Congressional Delegation

on February 25, 2013

WHEREAS, the original Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994 and has since been reauthorized in the years 2000 and 2005;
WHEREAS, one in four American women will be abused in her lifetime;
WHEREAS, programs and agencies across the state of Connecticut provide services to nearly 60,000 victims of domestic violence and passage of the Violence Against Women Act is crucial to continuing those services;
WHEREAS, the Violence Against Women Act would direct federal resources to help victims and prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual assault;
WHEREAS, without this essential funding, services for women and men who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault will be further traumatized by being denied much needed services;
WHEREAS, the Senate reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act on February 12, 2013;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women requests that Speaker of the House John Boehner moves the bill approved by the Senate reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act to a vote.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women urges the House of Representatives to vote in support of the Violence Against Women Act passed by the Senate which includes protection for women who are gay, transgender, Native American and immigrants.
Adopted this 23rd day of February, 2013 by members of the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women at the meeting in Cheshire, Connecticut

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Resolution submitted by the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women (CFDW) for consideration and adoption by the NFDW at the 2012 convention. Resolution drafted by Judy C. Villa, attributing multiple passages from Wikipedia, and approved by CFDW at meeting held on March 26, 2012

 Resolution Honoring the Accomplishments of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

 WHEREAS, Gabrielle Dee “Gabby” Giffords was born in Tucson, Arizona, on June 8, 1970, and

WHEREAS, she graduated from Tucson’s University High School, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Latin American History from Scripps College in California, spending a year as a Fullbright Scholar in Chihuahua, Mexico, and earned a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University, and

WHEREAS, she served in the Arizona House of Representatives and the Arizona Senate, the youngest woman elected to the latter body, and

WHEREAS, while serving in the Arizona Senate, she worked to expand health care, advocating for bills related to mental health and was named by the Mental Health Association of Arizona as the 2004 Legislator of the Year and also earned the Sierra Club’s Most Valuable Player award, and

WHEREAS, she campaigned for the United States House of Representatives in 2006, receiving endorsements from Bill Clinton, Robert Reich, Janet Napolitano, Emily’s List, the Sierra Club, and the Arizona Education Association, and

WHEREAS, she was re-elected to second and third terms in 2008 by 54% and in 2010 by 56%, having defeated a staunch Tea Party candidate and having been targeted by Sarah Palin’s PAC, and

 WHEREAS, Gabby Giffords was the third woman in Arizona’s history to be elected to serve in the U.S. Congress, and

WHEREAS, during her tenure she advocated for comprehensive immigration reform, federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and raising the minimum wage; she endorsed 9/11 Commission recommendations, new rules for the House of Representatives targeting ethical issues, and the repeal of $14 billion in subsidies to big oil companies in favor of renewable energy subsidies; and

WHEREAS, in 2007 she introduced a bill that forbids the sale of F-14 aircraft parts on the open market and voted for the 2007 Iraq Emergency Supplemental Spending Bill, declaring her unflagging support for American troops in harm’s way, and

WHEREAS, she is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and the New Democrat Coalition and founder of the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus, and

WHEREAS, she served on the Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces and the Subcommittee on Readiness as well as the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology as a Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics and the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, and

WHEREAS, on January 8, 2011, during her first “Congress on Your Corner” gathering at an Arizona grocery store, she was shot in the head in an assassination attempt that left six people dead and fourteen wounded, and

WHEREAS, the sadness and anger over this event quickly became a national conversation about violence and horrific acts in our society that may be spurred by inflammatory political rhetoric, concurrently the daily media narrative of her struggle to survive and her brave efforts to regain her cognitive and physical abilities became the a rallying point for people of good will to pray for her recovery, send her millions of good wishes, and re-evaluate the precarious nature of being an elected official; and

WHEREAS, Gabby Giffords was released from the hospital on June 15, 2011, to return home for continued speech, music, physical, and occupational therapy, and her courageous efforts have inspired countless Americans waging their own battles to rehabilitate from illnesses, injuries, and the mental and physical ravages of war; and

WHEREAS, on August 1, 2011, when she made her first public appearance on the House floor to vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling, she was given a standing ovation and accolades by her fellow members of Congress, a rare display of total bi-partisan agreement, and

WHEREAS, on January 25, 2012, Gabby Giffords, after attending President Obama’s State of the Union address, formally submitted her resignation, citing her need to concentrate all her energies on rehab and recovery, and

WHEREAS, she appeared on the House floor after the last bill she sponsored was brought to a vote and was lauded by members of Congress and the majority and minority leaders who spoke in tribute to her strength and accomplishment in an unusual farewell ceremony, revealing the underlying camaraderie of our elected members of Congress who recognized that “there but for the grace of God go I”; and

WHEREAS, Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords’ efforts to recover and her determination to return to public life continue to inspire people around the world through her book, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, a joint memoir with husband Mark E. Kelly, and her rare television interview with Diane Sawyer, and

WHEREAS, she embodies the possibilities for everyone facing adversity and the promise of Congress coming together in statesmanship and good governance when reconnected to their own humanity and respect for each other and their constituents, despite huge ideological and political differences,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Federation of Democratic Women salutes Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, a strong woman dedicated to Democratic ideals, who served her state and country with devotion and the courage of her conviction.

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Resolution Honoring the Life of Bernice E. Bowman

Adopted at the NFDW 2011 Convention

WHEREAS, Bernice E. Bowman of West Haven, Connecticut was born in February 9, 1924, and raised by her Aunt Della, a strong independent woman, who taught her to “stand up for what she believed in, and if she didn’t, then she couldn’t complain”, and

WHEREAS, she attended Hillhouse High School in New Haven, CT, Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, Wilson School of Technology in Boston, MA, and Southern Connecticut State University, and

WHEREAS, she worked tirelessly throughout her life for a variety of organizations including

  • Advisory Board, South Central Community College, now Gateway Community College
  • Union Representative for non-salaried workers in West Haven
  • State Central Committee Women from West Haven, Connecticut
  • Co-founder of the West Haven Black Coalition
  • Advisory Board of the West Haven Health Center
  • Six year member of the West Haven City Council
  • National Council of Negro Women
  • African American Women’s Agenda
  • West Haven Black Heritage Committee
  • West Haven Historical Society

and served for many years, holding many, many offices including president, vice president, director, chairperson of such organizations, and

WHEREAS, she was a member of the Democratic National Committee from National Federation of Democratic Women,  President of the West Haven  Federation of Democratic Women, President of the Sojourner Network of Democratic Women, longtime member of the NFDW, and the first African-American President of the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women, and

WHEREAS, Bernice Bowman faithfully attended NFDW conventions for over 30 years in places such as New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. and was a proud member of the Connecticut delegation to these conventions, and in 1998, she received the NFDW Woman of the Year Award, and

WHEREAS, Bernice was a true Democrat who was fortunate to have met Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, had long time associations with senators and congresspersons from Hillary Clinton to Chris Dodd to Joe Lieberman, dedicated her life to advancing people of color to appointments in and around politics, and was rewarded for her efforts by witnessing the election of President Barack H. Obama, the nation’s first African-American President.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Federation of Democratic Women salutes Bernice E. Bowman, who was an active Federation supporter, a true community activist who served her community, her state, and her nation well,  and “always stood up for what she believed in”.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of Democratic Women salutes the life of Bernice E. Bowman, and commends her as a Federation sister for her untiring efforts toward equity for women, parity for all, and equal justice for families and children, ultimately doing her part to make the world a better place for future generations and extends its condolences to her family on her passing on February 11, 2011.

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The following resolution was passed unanimously at the CFDW meeting of Sept 10, 2009.

Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women Resolution in Support of Health Care Reform

WHEREAS, the health care system of the United States is in crisis, with almost fifty million Americans lacking any health insurance, tens of millions more lacking adequate coverage, and millions more who do have private coverage paying increasingly unaffordable premiums, resulting in inadequate access to care and premature death, illness, or financial ruin for millions of Americans; and

WHEREAS, public polls show that an overwhelming majority of Americans want health care reform to offer the choice of a robust public option similar to Medicare in order to, in the words of President Obama, “keep the insurance companies honest,” while co-ops or “triggers” are inadequate in and of themselves to address the health care crisis by creating significant competition for the medical insurance industry; and

WHEREAS, Republicans and their allies in the health insurance industry have organized and funded groups of extremists to disrupt efforts on the part of the Democratic majority and administration to reasonably discuss the issue with the American people, and have demonstrated an utter unwillingness to compromise in any way to pass meaningful health care reform;

WHEREAS, doing nothing leaves too many Americans at the mercy of big insurance companies that make decisions to protect profits not patients;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women urges Democratic members of Congress to vote for only such healthcare reform proposals as contain a robust public option at all stages of the legislative process including conference and reconciliation, and encourages Democratic legislators to use any available parliamentary means to pass such reform;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women shall send a copy of this resolution to the State of Connecticut Democratic Congressional Delegation

Adopted this 10th day of September, 2009, in South Windsor, Connecticut.

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The following resolution was passed unanimously at the CFDW meeting of March 19, 2009. A copy was sent to all Democrats in the CT legislature.

Resolution of Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women being in support of a CT constitutional amendment allowing any registered voter to use an absentee ballot upon request and for any reason.

Whereas the CT legislative committee has endorsed the proposal for a constitutional amendment allowing for absentee ballots to be given to registered voters upon request;

Whereas presently the CT Constitution allows for absentee ballots only for those registered voters who, on Election Day, will be out of town, are disabled, will be working at the voting polls, or are in the military;

Whereas the Secretary of the State is promoting more accessible voting for CT citizens and is in support of this Constitutional amendment;

Whereas this past Presidential election on November 4, 2008 resulted in a record number of voters waiting in lines to cast their votes;

Whereas the legislative body needs to approve the proposed Constitutional amendment this Spring by a three-quarters’ majority of the lawmakers in order for the proposed amendment to be brought before the CT voters for approval in 2010, therefore be it

Resolved, that the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women at it’s statewide meeting of March 19, 2009 voted in support of the Constitutional amendment allowing any registered voter to use an absentee ballot upon request and for any reason; and that the CFDW urges the legislative Senators and Representatives to vote in support of this proposed amendment in this 2009 legislative session.

Adopted this 19th day of March, 2009 in East Hartford, Connecticut.