I just sent the following letter to Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden. Perhaps you’ll consider writing something similar? You can get help over at the ACLU site or you can find your Senators on the Senate’s own site.
Dear Senator Merkley,
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau women, on average, make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. For women of color, the wage gap is even wider.
I am writing to ask you to support the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182), and help put an end to wage discrimination once and for all. The House of Representatives passed this bill on a bipartisan basis in January 2009, and now, your action in the Senate is needed.
I’m sure–I hope, anyway–you’ve gotten a ton of these letters from members of the ACLU. I don’t know how much good they do; I don’t know how seriously people take boilerplate letters. So let me add this personal note:
I have a son and a daughter and I love them both more than I ever thought myself capable of loving anything. But when we got the news from the ultrasound technician that we were having a girl, I cried. I cried not because I thought I’d love a girl less than a boy–nothing could be further from the truth. I cried because I know that even in this twenty-first century, there are still many opportunities not equally available to men and women in this country and I wish my child’s future to be limited only by her abilities and the outermost boundaries of her dreams.
My daughter is a real person, Senator. She’s six months old, her name is Tallulah Louise and she likes bananas and Mum Mums.
You, Sir, are in a position to help make my vision of future of equal opportunity for her a reality. I very much hope you’ll consider doing so.
The ACLU also recommends:
One quick phone call to your senator(s) office can help double the impact of the letter you just sent them. We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible. Here are the steps:
Call your senator at 1-877-667-6650 and follow the simple instructions; they will direct you to your senators’ offices.
After you are put through, be sure to tell them the following:
- Your name and address
- That you are their constituent.
- You are calling to urge them to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
- Women only make 77 cents to the dollar.
- The Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182) would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and bar retaliation against workers who disclose their wages to coworkers.
- The House already passed the bill in January 2009. It’s time for the Senate to do the same.
- Please pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.