Annual Report

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  • The year 2011 was a time of exciting transitions for Legal Momentum. Thanks to the generous support of our deeply valued donors, our precedent-setting litigation, expert policy advocacy, and innovative public education programs continued to shape the course and enforcement of federal laws designed to improve the economic security and personal safety of women and girls across the country.
  • As Legal Momentum celebrates its 40th Anniversary, our nation continues to reel from the worst economic recession in decades. Legal Momentum certainly has not been shielded from the effects of the economic turmoil, yet our work remains just as important—if not more important—than ever before.
  • For women, this is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. The dramatic changes we have seen in the political and economic landscape, along with several key pieces of legislation that have recently passed or are soon up for reauthorization, offer new opportunities to improve women’s economic and personal security in ways that have not been possible in recent history.
  • Legal Momentum—now in its 38th year—faced new beginnings on two very significant fronts in 2008. First, with a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, we appointed Irasema Garza to be our new president. And second, of course, is President Barack Obama.
  • Since the beginning of 2007—more than a year before the next presidential election—the news has been dominated by the candidates and their positions on issues ranging from the ongoing war in Iraq to whether presidential candidates should wear flag lapel pins.
  • Legal Momentum has enjoyed a triumphant, if tumultuous year. We faced off against implacable right wing forces in Washington and won victories for women in their battles to overcome domestic violence, end workplace discrimination, find jobs in fields that once were reserved for men, maintain their right to manage their own reproductive lives, and, as immigrants, to live safe from the fears of violence and retribution.
  • 35 years. That’s how long we at Legal Momentum have been using the power of the law to advance the rights of women and girls. And advance we have. We are better represented in government. We have more employment opportunities and educational choices. We have more reproductive freedom. We are safer from domestic violence, sexual assault and workplace harassment.
  • What an exciting year! We slipped into our new aspirational name, Legal Momentum, and it fit like a glove. It felt so right to have a name that perfectly describes our essence—how we use the power of the law, not just to defend rights, but to motivate and inspire. Each victory, advance, each expansion of rights, leads to another opportunity, another path to choose, another exercise of freedom. With every legal achievement, we are building momentum for women and girls everywhere.
  • For those of us committed to civil rights and justice for all, this past year has often seemed bleak, indeed. But as you will read in this report, NOW Legal Defense accomplished a great deal. Undaunted, we continued our new and groundbreaking work for women’s rights. We helped to turn back formidable challenges that would have undercut gains we fought long and hard to achieve.
  • It’s a simple proposition. Women’s civil rights and our right to full participation in society are not political issues, and they’re not negotiable. In the face of a rising tide of conservative reaction, much of our work this past year has been holding fast to those rights, won — many by NOW Legal Defense — over the past four decades. One of the major threats we are facing is an expanding litigation challenge to our federally guaranteed civil rights, a campaign in which the conservative faction in our society is deeply engaged.
  • Thirty years ago a group of women made the remarkable decision to create a legal arm for the women’s movement. Their goals were wonderfully immodest, and intensely important.


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