Urgent Title IX action alert E mail or FAX the Title IX Commission between Jan 13 22 and ask them

By Gary Abbott | Jan. 13, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
WHAT TO DO: Write a letter today! Calling all swimmers, wrestlers, gymnasts, track and field athletes, golfers, tennis, football and baseball players plus all other fair-minded athletes, along with their parents and coaches, fans and anyone who cares about the future of sports opportunity.... Help the massive coalition of Americans who want to make sure the work of the federal Title IX Commission reaches a successful conclusion. During the next 10 days (Jan. 13-22), you are urgently requested to write a quick letter to the Commission on Opportunity in Athletics and tell them that they must make changes to the enforcement of Title IX. Let them know that proportionality is a destructive gender quota that takes away opportunity for male athletes and provides no incentive to create new opportunity for female athletes. Remind them that opportunity should be based upon proven participation rather than an illogical and unfair quota system. Ask them to stand strong against the small, well-funded and vocal special interest groups that are seeking to retain the status quo. HOW TO DO IT: Send an email to OpportunityinAthletics@ed.gov Send a FAX to: 202-260-4560 Do it today. WHY THIS IS URGENT Since August 2002, the 15-member Commission has held public hearings to discuss the future of Title IX enforcement. Four Town Hall meetings were held (Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado Springs, San Diego) where the public could voice their viewpoints, and experts were called to testify. The public comment period for the work of the Commission ended November 29, 2002. However, the Commission held a working meeting in Philadelphia in December and many Commissioners suggested changes to enforcement. Those who are fighting against change have since ignored the closing of the comment period, breaking the rules by launching an all-out attack on the Commission and its individual members. A press conference was held on Dec. 19 by special interest groups, blasting the Commission's integrity and motives. Fear tactics were used claiming that millions of sports opportunities for girls would be lost, backed by misleading statistics and assertions. The next day, the general public was asked to barrage the Commission, the Department of Education, the government, the media and individual with emails asking for no changes to Title IX enforcement. At the same time, a well-financed public relations campaign was launched, backed by millions of special interest dollars, with any and all members of the national media targeted. The message was simple and dangerous: that any changes would set back women's athletics 30 years and destroy all hopes for girls to participate in sports. We know this is false, but some in the media are buying into it. We need to tell the truth. The entire goal of this special interest campaign is to harrass, intimidate and threaten the Commission members from sticking to their convictions and acting upon their six months of hard work and effort. It is urgent that those who seek fairness in sports opportunity speak out just one more time. The Commission needs to know that there is strong support for change, and that people are counting on them to do the right thing. Will the efforts of those against change work? Will the proposals of the Commissioners be derailed? That will be determined when the Commission holds its final meeting in Washington, DC on Jan. 29-30. Within the next 10 days, there is a great opportunity to let the Commission know that they can not be bought by slick overpriced PR campaigns or deterred by intimidation tactics. If you sent an email earlier in the year, do it again. If you never got around to it earlier, DO IT NOW. This is very important. You can make a difference here. WHAT TO WRITE: Write in your own words. If everybody sends the same email letter, it does not have the same impact. Spend a few minutes and make this message your own. Make it as long as you wish. It can be a sentence, a paragraph or an entire page. The key message is that you are seeking to eliminate the proportionality quota and develop a more fair system of Title IX enforcement. Remember, you are in favor of Title IX; it is the current enforcement system that is not working. SPEAKING POINTS: * Title IX is a good law that is being enforced in a way that is very bad and unfair. The unintended consequences of the law's enforcement are harming sports opportunities for men. It does not reflect the original intent of the law, to provide fair opportunity for all. * Proportionality, the primary enforcement mechanism for Title IX compliance, is a strict gender quota which should be abolished. In fact, proportionality violates Title IX. * The loss of men's sports opportunity due to the Title IX quota is harming the U.S. Olympic movement. It will lead to fewer medals at the Olympic Games for the United States. * If you can give a personal example of lost sports opportunity, do it often. * Ask the blue-ribbon panel to restore Title IX to its original intent by eliminating proportionality and developing a more fair method for compliance. * The statistics being spread by the special interest groups are misleading and biased. In fact, in many cases, they are lies. Please do not buy into these cooked numbers. There is absolutely no reason to expect any loss of female opportunity if Title IX enforcement is corrected. DO NOT DELAY. LET'S FLOOD THE SYSTEM AND REMIND THE COMMISSION THAT WE ARE OUT HERE AND PARTICIPATING IN THE PROCESS. WE EXPECT THEM TO DO THE RIGHT THING. Send in your letter today and tell your friends. Our deadline for this project is January 22. Let's finish this national effort with a strong show of force and commitment.