Women’s Influence on Voting by Eileen Heaser

woment votersAfter 1980 women began voting in larger numbers than men: 10% more women than men voted. Women vote for more liberal and democratic causes, such as health care and welfare, firearm restrictions, pro-abortion rights, and family-centered issues.

In 2013 when Washington, D.C. was about to shut down, twenty female senators, led by Susan Collins, met and proposed a plan which resulted in halting the shutdown.  Partisan politics was put aside. This is only one example of how women function effectively in D.C.  Women congressional members explain that they work well together, look for common ground, are disinclined to grandstand, stay open to new ideas, are collegial and listen. They get people in a room and talk.  In D.C. there is a congressional women’s club, formed 20 years ago by Barbara Mikulski, to provide a “zone of civility”.  They meet for lunches, have bridal and baby showers and play dates for their children. As of 2013, women chaired ten of the twenty Senate Committees.  They pushed through legislation to fund women and children’s health research, testing and treatment, passed the Lilly-Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and other anti-discrimination laws, mandated maternity and family medical leave and homemakers IRA [stay-at-home parents are allowed to deduct contributions from retirement plans].  Funding for Planned Parenthood was sustained. Gender-blind legislation passed by women included Stabenow’s farm bill, Boxer’s transportation and water resources bill, Murray’s budget and Mikulski’s appropriations bills.

In Broad Influence: How Women are Changing the Way America Works, 2016, author Jay Newton-Small emphasized that women have innate qualities that make their leadership different from men and more effective as they are more prepared and collaborative.  As women are reaching  the “critical mass” of 20-30% representation in any work place: military, private industry, government, their voices can be heard, thus advancing women’s issues and opportunities.  However, barriers still exist: harassment, a society that emphasizes the importance of appearance over intellect and skill, a reluctance to speak-up, etc,

We can use our power at the polls to put more women in public office. The more women we have in these positions of influence, the stronger our voices will become.


Potluck on June 25 and Programs Update by Linda Patterson



Mark your calendars for June 25 at 5:30 p.m. for the AAUW Sacramento Branch Potluck, which will be hosted this year by Branch member Sandi Schoenman. More information will be available soon. If you are able to help with the food and organization of the event, please contact Nancy McCabe at mccaben@comcast.net.

AAUW Sacramento Branch meetings and programs have concluded for the 2015-16 year. Our many programs would not have been possible without the coordinated effort and participation of a cadre of dedicated Branch members. Many thanks are due to Nancy McCabe, Cherril Peabody, Anne Rhodes, Ana Facio, May Ruth Lynch, Anne Lynch, Ruth Burgess, Vivian Counts, Vicki Nicholson, Donna Holmes, Kathy Papst, Gloria Yost, Hedda Simpson, Jane Cooley, Carol Doughty, Deborah Dunn, Barbara Smith, Ruth Ann Hines, Sandra Winter, Sandi Shoenman, Cathy Locke, Sharon Norris, Dawn Boyd and Linda Whitney for their roles in suggesting and recruiting speakers, providing refreshments, serving as greeters, organizing media promotion and handling registration at our meetings this year.

Branch programs serve to educate our members and the community on issues that are important to women, provide opportunities for our members to meet and socialize with one another, increase our member retention, showcase our Branch accomplishments and emphasize our mission and goals as an organization.

At this time the Branch does not have a Program Director for 2016-17. However, Branch programs will continue thanks to individual members who have stepped forward and taken responsibility to organize one event each next year. As an all-volunteer non-profit organization, we are only able to do what our membership is ready, willing and able to do. Look for a calendar of Branch meetings and Programs in upcoming newsletters and think about volunteering to help out. These individuals can’t do it alone, and your participation can help ensure the program success. You will meet dedicated women doing what they can do to promote the AAUW mission, have fun and be greatly appreciated.

Contribute to our Sacramento Branch History Do you have any branch materials? by Gloria Yost

As the Sacramento AAUW Branch approaches its 100th anniversary as an organization, we hope historianto compile a history of our many accomplishments and milestones. If you have old newsletters, directories, studies, notes, etc. about branch activities in which you have participated as a member, please let us know. The more information we can gather the more complete our history will be.

Contacts: Ruth Burgess – 612-5047 or raburg@surewest.org

Linda Sparks – 481-2941 or Lmacsparks@gmail.com

Gloria Yost – 961-3306 or gloriayost@aol.com

Information on Voter registration and Voter information by Inger Lindholm

"Aunt Sam"

“Aunt Sam”

Here are a few excellent websites to get you through the voting maze this year.

www.votersedge.org/ca  The best all around source for the voter on specific assistance plus information regarding the ballots.

www.registertovote.ca.gov  Have you moved, married or need to register?  Do it here. (May 23 was the deadline to register for the June Primary.)

www.ballotpedia.org  Catch all the information in both national and local politics.

www.lwvc.org  League of Women Voters/California provides a wide range of information on voting decisions through their non-partisan research.

Exploring Our Interest Groups – Book Groups June Newsletter by Cherril Peabody

book groupProbably the most popular interest groups we have are our book groups. Back in the days when the branch had over 1,000 members, we sponsored at least 33 book groups. We know this because book group 33 is still meeting many years later, and many of the other book groups have been meeting for 25 years or longer. Currently we have nine book groups.

Most of the groups meet every month, though a few take the summers and/or December off. They read a variety of different kinds of books and may have specific guidelines they follow in picking the books they read. Book group 8, for example, only reads books by women authors and alternates fiction and non-fiction during the year. When groups meet to pick their books for the year, members will volunteer to lead the discussion on a book at one meeting and to host at another meeting. Smaller groups may need to double up on reviewing and hosting duties. Most groups meet in members’ homes, and usually the hostess provides refreshments.

Anyone who is interested in joining a book group for next year can contact Book Group Coordinator Linda Cook, lindacook5833@comcast.net or 916-962-0653. A few of the groups are unable to accept new members at this time because of space considerations, but most of them are taking new members.

Help young people become more financially literate! Volunteer for New Branch Outreach Opportunity by Gloria Yost

financial literacyThis coming year, the Sacramento Branch plans to partner with the SCHOOLS Financial Credit Union to assist with presentations to area high school students on an interactive financial literacy program entitled “Bite of Reality.”

In the simulation teens are given a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. The teens then walk around to various table-top stations (us) to “purchase” housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, day care, and other needs. Fortunately, the game also includes a “credit union” to help with their financial needs.

This interactive activity will teach teens how to make financial decisions and give them a better understanding of the challenges of living on a budget. Teens will have to deal with a pushy “car salesperson” and a commission-based “realtor,” and weigh their wants versus their needs. There’s even a “Fickle Finger of Fate” that will give some of the students unexpected “expenses” or “windfalls” – just like in real life.

We are beginning to gather volunteer names so we’ll be ready when SCHOOLS contacts in August/September with specific dates and places.

Contact: Linda Whitney – 421-0341 or lnlwhitney@sbcglobal.net or

 Gloria Yost – 961-3306 or gloriayost@aol.com


Program Excellence Award Presented for Playbook for Teens STE@M™ Mentoring Program pilot by Leigh Stephens

Michael Gangitano, Lee Middle School career counselor, Award-winner (and AAUW Sacramento member) Cari Lyn Vinci and Lee Middle School Principal Armando Olvera

Michael Gangitano, Lee Middle School career counselor, Award-winner Cari Lyn Vinci and Lee Middle School Principal Armando Olvera

Woodland School Board of Trustees honored the STE@M™ Mentoring Program with an Award of Excellence. Accepting the award is Cari Lyn Vinci, creator of the program, which is based on Playbook for Teens. Pictured with Vinci is Michael Gangitano, Lee Middle School career counselor (left); and Lee Middle School Principal Armando Olvera.

“What an honor it is to help motivate these smart, talented students to reach for the stars,” said Vinci.

The program goal is to empower teens to become future business owners and leaders in STE@M™ industries. STE@M is STEM + ART.

“The support for students, especially girls, must be established and continued from middle through high school,” Olvera said. “This program will keep the girls engaged in STE@M careers, while building essential success skills. I am making plans to expand the STE@M™ Mentoring program, making it available to younger students and in high school.”

Bringing the program to Lee Middle School was a countywide collaborative effort started by Lori Perez, career director at the Yolo County Office of Education. “After a 25+ year career in education, this program is the icing on the cake,” Gangitano said.

The program is available for schools throughout California via a train-the-trainer model. For more details, contact Vinci at Cari@InVINCIbleEnterprises.com, (916) 220-2830.

May Branch Meeting and WOW program to feature Mercy Ships Nurses by Linda Patterson


Our May Branch program will feature Katie Wolf, R.N., and Mollie Van Parys, R.N., two Sacramento nurses who will talk about their volunteer efforts with Mercy Ships in Madagascar. Mercy Ships is an international charity operating a hospital ship that provides free lifesaving surgeries for people who live in places where medical care is nearly non-existent.

In Madagascar, access to medical care is beyond the reach of many people. In addition to the high expense of medical care relative to the average Malagasy income, the prevalence of trained medical professionals remains extremely low. In 2010, Madagascar had an average of three hospital beds per 10,000 people and a total of 3,150 doctors, 5,661 nurses, 385 community health workers, 175 pharmacists and 57 dentists for a population of 22 million people.

Currently at port in Madagascar, Mercy Ships provides extensive surgeries, outpatient care, hospice services, and agricultural and healthcare education for the community.

Katie Wolf works as a Burn ICU nurse at the UC Davis Medical Center and volunteered as an ICU nurse on the ship in March-April 2015.  Mollie Van Parys is a Preop/PACU nurse with Greater Sacramento Surgery Center and volunteered as a PACU nurse on the ship in November-December 2015. Mollie and Katie will be discussing not only their volunteer experience but sharing some prominent issues for the women of Madagascar.

Come join us on May 7, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, to learn about Mercy Ships and Madagascar from these local nurses.

To register for free, visit EventBrite by clicking the orange Register Now button

Eventbrite - AAUW Sacramento May Branch Meeting & WOW Presents Mercy Ships Nurses

or send an email to Dawn Boyd at darnone1@att.net.

Also on the program is the Installation of the Sacramento Branch Board of Directors for 2016-17.

President’s Message by Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

I attended the California State AAUW Convention in mid-April and received lots of good information. As there were four workshops given at four different times, I could only learn so much! I attended two workshops on leadership, one on program, and one on membership. Certainly the largest take away from the membership workshop is that it growing membership is the responsibility of all members, not just the membership chairs. There are so many opportunities that each of us has to meet potential members in the course of our daily lives. Do you belong to a religious organization? An alumni association? A civic group? A neighborhood association? Have neighbors? Have family?

One way to introduce AAUW to potential members is by telling them that it is the oldest women’s empowerment association in the country. Tell them what we are, not what we are not. Time and attention span is wasted going into how we aren’t all university professors. Probably anyone who knows me wouldn’t have to ask that! Talk about Speech Trek and how that promotes leadership skills. Tech Trek introduces 13-year-old girls to STEM occupations and the possibility of attending college. This is actually life changing. We give college scholarships to women ages 25 and older who need financial assistance in order to complete college. Our national organization awards grants and fellowships to women to enable them to complete degrees and advance their careers or reenter the workforce. AAUW provides nearly $4 million in funding each year to women scholars and community projects that benefit girls and women. Since 1888, we’ve awarded more than $100 million to these women.

How can you not be totally proud of what each of us contributes to and want to share this information with other women? Invite a friend to a meeting and point out that membership is a bargain if she joins at that meeting. Who can resist a bargain?