Every member of Congress is getting Meryl Streep’s autograph today.
The Oscar-winning actress has taken up the cause of lobbying all members of the U.S. Congress on behalf of the ERA Coalition to resume the push to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which wouldguarantee equal rights for women
On Tuesday, Streep sent 535 personally signed letters to Washington urging legislators to support the effort.
“I am writing to ask you to stand up for equality – for your mother, your daughter, your sister, your wife or yourself – by actively supporting the Equal Rights Amendment,” Streep wrote. “The ERA is not just a women’s rights issue. It will have a meaningful benefit for the whole human family.” Streepalso sent the lawmakerscopies of ERA Coalition founder Jessica Neuwirth’sbook “Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for the ERA is Now.”
Streep is just one of many prominent celebrities and public figures voicing support for the campaign. Others on board include Rashida Jones, Jane Fonda, Tavis Smiley, Taylor Schilling, Lily Tomlin,Gloria Steinem andformer President Jimmy Carter. “I am adding my voice to the long-term efforts of others in the campaign to have the rights of the majority of Americans, who were not considered equal citizens by the framers of the Constitution, included and secured by virtue of an Amendment,” Streep writes.
The Equal Right Amendment was first passed by Congress in 1972 but fell three states short of the necessary 38 for ratification before the 1982 deadline to make it a part of the Constitution. Neuwirth founded the ERA Coalition last year to re-launch the effort to make the amendment a reality.