Local advocates kick-off ERA drive with help from prominent Republican couple

 

Joanne Maitland and her husband, former State Sen. John Maitland, attended an in Uptown Normal launching a local effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Mrs. Maitland is honorary co-chair of the local coalition backing the ERA. (Photo by WJBC’s Howard Packowitz.)

 

By Howard Packowitz

NORMAL – It’s ‘Back to the Future’ for supporters of an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Uptown Normal was Downtown Normal when the Illinois legislature failed to ratify the amendment in the 1970’s.

This latest attempt at ratification is intended to be a bipartisan effort, and the Bloomington-Normal chapter of the ERA Illinois Coalition announced at kick-off event in Uptown Thursday evening that its honorary co-chair will be prominent Republican Joanne Maitland of rural Bloomington.

She’s the wife of former Republican State Sen. John Maitland.

“John and I do have seven granddaughters and one great-granddaughter, and I want them to have equality of rights no matter where they live or what state they live in,” Mrs. Maitland said.

“This needs to be ratified,” she added.

The former senator said he too supports the ERA.

Mrs. Maitland told the gathering that local State Representative Dan Brady indicated to her that he would vote for the amendment, but she has yet to speak to the man who replaced her husband in the Senate, Minority Leader Bill Brady.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at howard.packowitz@cumulus.com

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