10th Annual Speech Trek Contest and February Branch Meeting Saturday, Feb. 18 by Liz Jordan

Southgate Library Community Room
6132 66th Avenue
9 a.m. to Noon

  • February Branch Meeting is open to the public
  • Members and public, please register here for free on Eventbrite

Please join the Speech Trek Committee of AAUW Sacramento in welcoming approximately 10 students from the Elk Grove Unified School District to compete at the annual Speech Trek Contest developed by AAUW California in 2006.

The Committee has given nine informational workshops in district high schools and is now receiving applications and rough drafts from aspiring contestants from all nine schools. We look forward to hearing what these young people think about the issues surrounding the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, which dates back to 1923 and was most recently part of the political life of the United States during late from 1978 to 1982. It has been proposed in each new Congress since it missed passage by three states in 1982. This year, however, there is renewed energy for its passage, and these young students have been researching and writing about the possibilities of its passage.

  • First Place $500; Second Place $250; Third Place $100; 4th Place $50
  • All students are video-recorded
  • Our winning speech is submitted to AAUW CA Speech Trek for the Semi-finals, which is judged by a diverse panel that views the speeches on YouTube.
  • AAUW CA invites the top three speakers to deliver their speeches at the Annual meeting where 1st Place wins $1,500, 2nd Place wins $1,000, and 3rd Place takes home $500.

Speech Trek is a mission-based program that is part of our educational outreach efforts. For more information, please contact

“To Engineer is Human” – Paths to California Water Resource Management by Linda Patterson

March Branch Program
March 16, 2017, 7-9 p.m.
Arden-Dimick Community Library Meeting Room
891 Watt Ave., Sacramento

The March Branch Program, in recognition of Women’s History Month and the contributions women are making every day to save our environment for generations to come, will feature two women with a big impact on California’s water crisis. Anne Lynch is a water resource engineer specializing in flood management, recycled water and water resource planning. She is senior project manager with CH2M, where she leads the Statewide Flood Management Planning Program as a consultant to the California Department of Water Resources. Lynch is also a member of the AAUW Sacramento Branch.

Lynch will discuss how she found her calling as a water resource engineer by discussing her career and notable projects in Texas and California. She will reveal how her work on these projects either bucked past trends, sought to solve emerging challenges, or maximize resources. She will then discuss the need to change the way we approach water resources in California in the future.

Our second speaker, Leslie Laudon, is Acting Deputy Director of the Division of Financial Assistance for the California State Water Resources Control Board, a member of the California Environmental Protection Agency. The mission of the Water Control Board is to preserve, enhance, and restore the quality of California’s water resources and drinking water for the protection of the environment, public health, and all beneficial uses, and to ensure proper water resource allocation and efficient use for the benefit of present and future generations. Laudon will discuss some of the key projects of her organization and the path she took to arrive at her current position.

Drought remains a serious issue for our state. “Although recent rain and snow leads to hope that California’s drought might be coming to an end, whether the drought is broken or not, Californians must act this year to achieve more sustainable long-term water management,” said Jay Ziegler, director of external affairs for The Nature Conservancy in California.

This program, sponsored by the Sacramento Branch Tech Trek Committee, promises to be inspiring, informative, and fun. We hope to see you there.

To attend, please register at Eventbrite by clicking here or send an email confirmation of your attendance to Linda Patterson at linkpatter@gmail.com.

President’s Message by Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

The Women’s March resonated with AAUW members and friends as evidenced by our participation. In spite of questionable weather and minimal organizing, at least 30 branch members say they participated on Jan. 21. Some marched with family and friends. Some marched with other organizations that are concerned with the status of women, including a Girl Scout troop, churches, and the Crocker Museum. Husbands, daughters and their families joined marchers. One of our 80-year-old members proudly came with her family. We were joined by several of our CSUS students and members of other branches, including a member of Modesto AAUW who came with a friend from a small mountain community.

I believe that we all came for our own reasons. Probably few are passionate about all of the concerns expressed, but all of the issues can affect women and girls — health care, reproductive rights, K-12 education, access to higher education, equal pay, gender rights, voter rights, immigrant’s rights, discrimination, climate change, environmental protection, among others.

The atmosphere was open and accepting like none I can remember. We talked to strangers. Hopefully this feeling of goodwill among concerned individuals will carry over to mobilizing for the results we hope to achieve. We need to pay attention to the articles from our public policy team and use the 2-Minute Activist to contact our representatives. Respond when we have training for lobbying our state legislature, and come out to lend your voices. Know who your state and national representatives are and be in touch. Reports say that 1 in 100 Americans marched and 1 in 45 in California did. Our branch was closer 1 in 8. To paraphrase Gloria Steinem, we put our bodies where our beliefs are! I wouldn’t have missed it.

Check out your neighborhood newspaper for Leigh Stevens’ article on the march. Three of us are quoted — it helps to know the author!

Check out this site for marches around the world.

Signing up for E-Scrip with Save Mart by Donna Holmes

If you used the Save Mart Shares card to generate money for our branch programs you know it is no more.  In its place Save Mart contracted with e-Scrip, and e-Scrip does not issue cards.  Instead you need to sign up online, registering a telephone number and then enter that number when checking out at Save Mart or FoodMaxx.  The steps for registering are:

  1. Go to: http://www.escrip.com
  2. On the screen that comes up click on the “sign up” button, left side of the screen where is says “Make a Difference.”
  3. The next screen (Sign Up. It’s Free.) asks for your zip code, once entered, it asks you to create an account.
  4. Enter your name, email address, telephone number and create a password for e-Scrip.
  5. On this screen, select your charity. Type in: American Association University Women (no OF).  The choice should pop up with a 1361 Vallejo Way address – click on that one.
    1. Now comes the screen where you enter the phone number you will use at check out.
    2. You also have the option to enter the credit or debit card you use for shopping.  This will give our branch money from other vendors, including some restaurants
  6. Review your information and click “sign up.”
  7. You are done! I did not enter credit or debit cards so the screen gave me the option of adding them at this point, as well as other ways to use the site to generate more money for our branch.

Thank you for participating! Feel free to share this with everyone, not just members.

Thoughts on the Women’s March by Ruth Burgess

AAUW Sacramento Members Represent!

The weather was predicted to be rainy and overcast, but there was no rain nor overcast skies to dampen the joy and enthusiasm of the thousands of women and their families and friends marching from Southside Park to the west steps of the State Capitol on Jan. 21.

I didn’t know what to expect, but from the time we began at the light rail station when two women gave us free tickets because they had accidentally bought extra ones, to the fellow riders crammed into all the rail cars, there was a spirit of fun and optimism.  There were people of all sizes, shapes, ages, gender and ethnic background joining together for the simple act of voicing their opinions.  We met adolescent girls from Grass Valley whose aunt had knitted them their pink kitten hats to energetic seniors who had not marched before.

Despite the fact that there were thousands of people gathering in the park, I never heard a cross word heard about anything the whole day.  When strollers or wheelchairs needed to be moved through the crowd, everyone politely stepped out of the way and provided a pathway for people to get to another area to meet friends.  Along the route to the Capitol, there were people with signs standing on the sidewalks to offer their support.  Chants and roars started with one person or group and spread up the street in a mood that spoke of unity.  We even had a juggling couple who provided entertainment along the way.

There were too many signs to capture all the clever thoughts, sayings and opinions, but for the most part, they were focused on the positive.  They touched on every topic from belief in America’s kindness and generosity to issues of reproductive rights and human rights.  Some that remain with me include:  “Love Trumps Hate”, “Make America Kind Again” and “Long Live Ruth Bader Ginsberg.”  There were women who proudly called themselves “Nasty Women,” along with groups who identified with the LGBT community and Latinas with signs in Spanish.

Following comments from a number of elected officials, it was the voice of a child that sticks with me.  An 11-year old girl named Kennedy received recognition from the national Women’s March committee as one of the youth honorees.  Hearing this little girl put into the simplest of terms what the march was about was touching and inspiring.  She said that from the time she was a little girl, her parents and teachers taught her to be kind to others and not say mean things to hurt other people’s feelings.  It upset her to hear the things being said in the presidential election.  She said she was determined to be the change that she wished to see in the future.

I came away from the march with a positive feeling about people not wanting to be complacent about the issues that affect the health and well-being of all people.  This march was just the first step in continuing to voice the view that we hold values that are worth fighting to preserve.

Funds Updates by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew


It is time to say Thank You to all members who donated to Funds in 2016. Additionally, we are especially grateful to Ruth Burgess and Nancy Lawrence for designing and implementing the past-presidents five-year pledge to complete our 100th Anniversary R & P Grant. These 17 dedicated women donated in excess of $13,000 in 2016! In alphabetical order:

Lisa Beauchamp
Paula Boghosian
Jean Bonar
Ruth Burgess
Jane Cooley
Nancy Lawrence
Carolyn Martin
Marty McKnew
Patricia Morgan
Marilyn Orrick
Cherril Peabody
Gail Reed
Mary Schneider
Hedda Smithson
Linda Whitney
Mary Williams
Gloria Yost


In addition to these 17 ladies, many more members also donated to Funds in 2016 and we appreciate their support of all Funds programs. In alphabetical order:

Alice Bauer
Susan Bordner
Carol Doughty
Cheryl Fuller
Elizabeth Hendrickson
Marlys Huez
Virginia Kidd
Inger Lindholm
Susan McLearan
Barbara Parker
Joan Rhee
Marianne Rorden
Shirley Sickert
Linda Tinker
Elizabeth Varadan
Shirley Wheeler
Shari Beck
Dorothy Bracchi
Jo Anne Fortson
Charmen Goehring
Donna Holmes
Elizabeth Jordan
Andrea Klinenberg
Catherine Locke
Elaine Moody
Bonnie Penix
Anne Rhodes
Patricia Saltenberger
Laraine Silberstein
Linda Tinsman
Frances Vituili
Patricia Winkle
Rosa Lee Black
Sandra Cavey
Lori Franz
Alice Hammel
Loretta Hom
Anne Just
Margaret Leonard
May Ruth Lynch
Vicki Nicholson
Diane Petersen
Betty Riley
Sandi Schoenman
Karen Smith
Virginia Uchida
Ruth Werner
Sandra Winter


This month we will also be selecting our Named Branch Gift Honorees. We have received some recommendations and are always pleased when we hear of someone we should consider. So many of you do so much and no one person (or two) knows them all. Your input is appreciated. In December we honored our 2015 Honorees at the Holiday Party; here is their photo.

From left to right: Kathy Asay, Hedda Smithson, Gloria Yost & Marilyn Orrick.

Membership Matters by Shirley Wheeler and Pat Winkle

There are no new members to introduce this month. Here is some additional information about the 15 new members that have joined this membership year. (7/1/16 to 6/30/17)

  • Seven were referred to our branch by current branch members.
  • Six were previous AAUW members in other locations.
  • One found out about us online.
  • One used LinkedIn.
  • Ten are retired.
  • Three work full time.
  • Two work part time.

Remember, everyone is a member of the Membership Committee. Refer a friend today!

Thoughts on the Electoral College by Eileen Heaser

Our public policy committee has assembled some facts, history and thoughts from professors and

The Electoral College

Sacramento Bee reporting on the Electoral College.  As this recent election reminds us, this institution created in the 1700s has enormous influence on both our presidential elections and the makeup of the House.

While it is not unprecedented to have a president lose the popular vote — the most recent being George W. Bush losing the popular vote in 2000 — it is uncommon.  All previous presidents who have lost the popular vote are:  John Quincy Adams to Andrew Jackson, Rutherford B. Hayes to Samuel J. Tilden, Benjamin Harrison to Grover Cleveland and George W. Bush to Al Gore.

“Slavery played a role as the Southern Delegates attending the 1787 Constitution convention thought the south would be outnumbered (from James Madison’s Notes). A 3/5th Compromise was devised that allowed states to count each slave as 3/5 a person, thus ensuring a south majority in presidential elections.”  ~ Sacramento Bee 11/11/16 1B

The number of electoral votes is based on each state’s congressional delegation. Each state has two senators. Rural states with less population get more influence. Equal representation in the Senate is the only provision in the Constitution that cannot be amended.

The 1920 census showed that more people lived in urban rather than rural areas. In 1790, 95% of the population was rural. The 2010 census indicate that the rural population was less than 20%.

“By the mid-20th century, no state approximated majority rule…America at the time had some of the most unequal representation in the world. A series of Supreme Court decisions established the standard that representation means, ‘one person, one vote’ “~ Sacramento Bee circa 11/21/16 1B

By design our political institutions still have distinctly a pro-rural bias. “In the Senate, the least populous states are now more over represented than ever before…equaling a Republican bias. States containing just 17% of the population can theoretically elect a Senate majority. The bias also shapes the House of Representatives.” ~ Professor F. Lee

As the Sacramento Bee noted on December 16, 2016, “there have been more them 700 proposals to abolish the Electoral College.”

Exploring Our Interest Groups: Cultural History by Cherril Peabody

One of our interest groups, Cultural History, is a book group with a difference. They read books that focus on American and world culture, seeking to learn how we got where we are.  They are just finishing up their exploration of If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley, a book about the evolution of rooms and what goes on in them.  (Parenthetically, the versatile Worsley has written and narrated a TV program that just started showing locally on PBS: “Secrets of the Six Wives” — of Henry VIII, of course.)

Next on the Cultural History agenda is a book called The Innovators by Walter Isaacson, who has also written well-received biographies of Steve Jobs and Henry Kissinger, among others.  It’s about the evolution of the digital age, which began with work by Ada Byron, Lord Byron’s daughter, of all people. Two components were needed for the digital age: computers that individuals could use, and the Internet, which involves collaboration. Digitalization since then has been accomplished through collaboration, not through individual invention. If you think about it, there were no Edisons or Bells or Morses whom everyone knows involved in its development. Also important are the skills needed to make it work, both collaborative and technical. The final key point is that the digital age involves the intersection of the humanities and science, and those who work with it must be comfortable with both worlds.