Closing the Gender Pay Gap by Nancy McCabe

April 7, 2018
10 a.m to 12 p.m.
2700 Fulton Avenue, Sacramento 95821
Department of Human Assistance, Room 58

Shannon Smith-Crowley

In 2015 women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent. That is an increase from 60 percent in 1960 due to women’s progress in education and workforce participation and men’s wages rising at a slower rate. At this rate, women should reach parity by 2059 unless the rate continues at a slower rate as it has since 2001. It could take until 2152 at this rate.


The gender pay gap has lifelong effects, contributing to more older women than men living below the poverty line. When you start off behind, you aren’t likely to catch up.

Angelique Ashby

The April 7 branch meeting focuses on what the current issues are and what efforts are being made to level the playing field. Even though many of us are out of the labor market, our daughters and granddaughters are being affected by this imbalance today and will continue to do so. Join us April 7 at 10 a.m. to hear Shannon Smith-Crowley the AAUW state lobbyist and Angelique Ashby, Sacramento City Councilwoman discuss what is happening in Sacramento both at the state and local level and learn what we, as AAUW members, can do to further the cause of pay equity.

Eventbrite - Closing the Gender Pay Gap with Shannon Smith-Crowley and Angelique Ashby

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

In February, we attended our first Speech Trek contest. WOW! I knew it would be good, but it was so inspiring. The contestants and their families really supported each other, filling the room with energy. Eight students spoke and each speech was unique, amazing in their differences on the same subject. Our branch winner will speak at the May meeting, so don’t miss it.

Right now, in a wet March, we are looking forward to our author’s lunch at Plates. This is my ninth consecutive year on the board, and I have already agreed to a tenth. Despite my fears when I took on my first position, Finance Director, everyone helped, answered my questions, excused any mistakes and made me feel welcome. That has remained true through the years. Being on the board, chairing a committee, or just being on a committee provides so many opportunities to not only serve our mission but also make new friends who share similar vision and values. I have learned so much and continue to do so. I feel I have made a difference and, best of all, made forever friends with wonderful women of all ages. So jump in. The water is fine, and you’ll be glad you did.

Cheers and hugs, Donna & Marty

Heads Up – Save These May and June Dates! by Deborah Dunn

There are two upcoming Branch meetings you will not want to miss, so mark your calendars now. Our May Branch meeting will be on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance, 2700 Fulton Ave. The winner of our February 2018 Speech Trek contest, Grace Tan, will deliver her winning speech on the very timely contest topic, “How Do We Stand Up to Sexism?” Our recently elected officers for 2018-19 will be installed, and meeting attendees will have an opportunity to mingle with and better get to know other members from their respective geographic areas.

Also, be sure to reserve Saturday, June 9 for the Annual Potluck and Year-End Celebration. Spouses/partners are welcome and encouraged to attend. Details will be coming soon, but for now, please hold Saturday evening June 9 for a time to socialize and celebrate another great year with our AAUW Branch friends.

We did it! By Kathleen Asay

Our 100th Anniversary Research and Projects Grant is complete! What had seemed nearly impossible in 2012 came about two years early. Now when we celebrate our anniversary in 2020, we may even have our first grant recipient(s) to celebrate with us. We can thank Marty McKnew for the idea of the grant as a way honor our great age. She and Donna Holmes, co-funds directors at the time, convinced a nervous board to go along. Papers were filed in November 2012, and the grant was established with $5,000 from branch reserves.

The rest of the $75,000 needed came through a campaign by Marty and Donna to educate the membership about funds. They also called upon their contacts in other branches, which led to at least $23,000 in donations from those branches. Many thanks to them all! Nancy Lawrence and Ruth Burgess took up the cause in 2015 and approached Sacramento Branch past presidents, asking them to lead the branch by pledging what they could as an annual donation for five years to make the 2020 completion goal. In the end, branch members rose generously to the call, and it only took three more years.

Can we do it again?

Now that the Anniversary Grant is complete, what’s next? We have one more unfinished fund, and that’s the Alicia Hetman R&P Grant. Can we complete two in one year?

For those who don’t know her, Alicia (my co-Funds Director) was AAUW-CA president 2012-14, and it is for this that she was awarded the R&P grant. She has an extensive and significant background in AAUW, from branch positions to state and national boards. Among other branch responsibilities, Alicia was twice president of the Marysville-Yuba City branch. She served AAUW-CA for 26 years, and served as public policy director and Educational Foundation VP before going on to be president. She also served many years at the national level as a member of various committees, as well as the Educational Foundation Board of Directors before it was melded into the national board, where Alicia was vice chair. Many of you know she was a candidate for President of AAUW last year. Health issues caused her to cut back her campaign and she failed to be elected.

Outside of AAUW, Alicia taught elementary school with specialist credentials in handicapped learning and training in gender equity, which was helpful for AAUW-CA’s programs, as well. Eventually, her work for AAUW-CA led to a job with the California Department of Education to implement the provisions of a bill on gender equity in education sponsored by AAUW. Since she joined in 1975, Alicia has contributed to AAUW with mind and heart. You’ll have a chance to support her grant when you renew your dues.

Speech Trek Celebrates A Wonderful Contest and 2018 Winner by Liz Jordan

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the Speech Trek Committee and many wonderful volunteers, family and friends of the speakers gathered at Cosumnes River College and listened to eight high school students from the Elk Grove Unified School District speak to the topic:  How can we stand up to sexism?  What can individuals and organizations such as AAUW do to break down stereotypes and biases in school, at work, in the military, and in our communities?  

Dr. Virginia Kidd, Communications Professor Emeritus California State University, Sacramento; Kasmira Kit, a former Marine and creative entrepreneur; and Danielle Metzinger, a Learning and Development Specialist for CalSTRS, judged this year’s contest.  AAUW member Kathleen Deaver served as timekeeper for the contest, and Morgan Glover, Past President of CSUS AAUW and current Tech Trek Co-Director, video-recorded all of the student speeches.  The Speech Trek Committee thanks Linda Patterson, Gloria Yost, Linda Sparks, Cherril Peabody, Barbara Sparks, Donna Holmes, and Vickie Nicholson for their help.

The winner of the 2018 Contest was Grace Tan from Laguna Creek High School, who took home the $500 prize.  The video recording of Grace Tan’s speech has been uploaded to YouTube, AAUW CA Speech Trek Channel.  AAUW Sacramento pays a $25 entry fee to submit Grace Tan’s winning speech to the State Semi-finals. In the picture above, the winners are, left to right:

  • Grace Tan–first place $500–Sophomore, Laguna Creek HS
  • Kathy Le–second place $250–Junior, Pleasant Grove HS
  • Simran Thandi–third place $100–Junior,  Sheldon HS
  • Harleen Kaur–honorable mention $50–Junior, Sheldon HS

Last year 15 branches from around California submitted entries.  The judges for the semi-final round view the videos of the branch entries and return their judging forms back to Marlene Cain, Speech Trek Coordinator for AAUW CA.  Five of the top speeches are selected; the 4th and 5th Place winners are named and awarded $250 and $100 respectively.  The top three speakers are invited to compete at the State Convention or Bi-Annual Meeting.

This year, the 2018 Finals will be held at Convention on Saturday, April 28 at the Marriott Irvine. The students and their chaperones will be feted at lunch when they will deliver their speeches to determine the 1st Place with a $1500 award, 2nd, with $1000 prize, and 3rd Place winner wins $500.   Those awards are made possible by the generous memorial donation by Mr. Gray Allen of Roseville for his late wife, Eleanor Stem Allen.  Eleanor Allen was an active member of Roseville/South Placer Branch of AAUW and a passionate supporter of the Speech Trek Program.

This year students from six of the district’s nine secondary campuses competed.  Kathy Le from Pleasant Grove High won 2nd place and a $250 award. Simran Thandi, Sheldon High School, won 3rd Place and a $100 award.  Harleen Kaur from Sheldon High School won Honorable Mention with a $50 award.

The Speech Trek contest for 2019 will be planned for the third Saturday in February. The Speech Trek Committee provides speech contest workshops at all nine of the high schools in EGUSD.

The Committee is always looking for interested members who want to work with high school students. This mission-based program provides an opportunity to grades 9-12 girls and boys to practice an important life skill: to speak publicly about one’s research and opinions on topics of gender equality.

For more information please contact:

Shari Beck, 916-451-5143,
Ann Arneill, 916-668-7371,
Liz Jordan, 916-354-9608,
Ellynrose Sheehan, cell 415-615-2099,

Upcoming Association Vote by Ruth Ann Hines

(** Editor’s Note: we originally edited the Sacramento branch board.  This is incorrect.  The National board is the board the feels strongly about eliminating the degree requirement for membership. We apologize for the confusion.)

In early March, you should have received emails from AAUW Association Editor Hannah Belec. If you still have them, click on the one that is about the vote coming up in April. If not, go to AAUW’s website and look for “vote.”

The following are the three proposals we will be voting on:

  • Create a three-year staggered board terms and includes a realignment of the board
  • Delete the requirement that board members be members of AAUW

“These first two proposals would bring AAUW’s board governance structure more in line with nationally accepted non-profit best practices in the needs of the organization.”

  • Eliminates the degree requirement for membership

The national board feels strongly that while the degree requirement made perfect sense at AAUW’s inception, this requirement is now perceived by many as counter to our mission and limits our ability to build the capacity needed to increase our impact as an organization.

Voting via email will begin on April 25 and end on June 9. Association is encouraging members to discuss these three issues before the vote

We encourage you to vote in this important election as Association bylaws require 5 percent of our members vote. In the last election, only 11.49% voted. We have a voting goal of 100% of our members, especially on these issues that could result in major changes to our organization.

If you have any questions, please give me a call at 916-806-1243 or email me at

Ruth Ann Hines
Branch Parliamentarian
AAUW-CA Governance Committee Member

AAUW Sacramento Branch Supports Cosumnes River College Food Pantry by Deborah Dunn

Kudos to our Sacramento Branch members for their generosity in providing more than 35 grocery bags full of non-perishable food to The Hawk Spot, the food closet at Cosumnes River College in February. The Hawk Spot was created in cooperation with the Elk Grove Food Bank in response to food insecurity among the students at CRC. After learning about The Hawk Spot during the November Branch program on women and student loans, the Sacramento Branch Board of Directors elected to take action. Members were encouraged to consider donating food to the CRC food closet. Our members rose to the occasion and gave generously.

Our Sacramento Branch received the following note from Mary Lou Alcantara, Student Ambassador at CRC:

“Thank you so much for the time, effort and donations that your association has given our food pantry. Cosumnes River College’s Hawk Spot currently serves about 200 students per month, and due to the growth of the program from last year, there have been times where we’ve struggled to provide amount of food needed for our students. The donations have helped us greatly in terms of providing for the growing population of students who come to us for aid.”

How It All Began for AAUW in Sacramento by Nancy Lawrence

On Feb. 25, 1920, 41 women met to form the Sacramento Branch of the Association of Collegiate Alumni (to become AAUW in 1921) after two newcomers to Sacramento brought the idea of college graduate women uniting to support education in the local area. The majority of the women were graduates of Stanford or the University of California; smaller numbers were from Mills, Vassar, Radcliffe, College of the Pacific, etc. Many of the original members were high school teachers such as Belle Cooledge, Sacramento’s first woman mayor.

The original “sections” or interest groups the branch offered were drama, legislation and education. The decade saw the addition of a modern novel section, new discoveries in food, and international studies. Branch members joined in coalitions with other civic organizations to promote better education, health and housing. The branch fully supported the effort to create a junior college here in 1921 and opposed tariffs on books and scientific instruments.

One issue the new branch advocated for in the 1920s was to increase teachers’ annual retirement income from $500 to $750. Dues for the branch increased over the decade from $1 to $2. At the same time, the branch raised $3,000 to create a loan fund for women going to college. One of the problems, as you might imagine, was recovering the loans. In later years that program became the scholarship program that we continue today.

Branch meetings through the decade always hosted speakers (most of them men) on serious topics that sound familiar today: Do Colleges Educate?, The School as the Burden Bearer, Post-war Resettlement of Refugees, Tariffs. Somewhat quaintly today, the meetings always included a musical performance by members. One meeting, perhaps before Big Game, had members singing the Cal and Stanford fight songs!

Women had gotten the vote in California in 1911, nine years before the 19th amendment was passed in the year of our founding. Yet in 1925, the branch voted against supporting a version of the Equal Rights Amendment by a 19-18 vote. Perhaps we should explore what that version of the ERA actually called for.

A glimpse of our founding decade indicates that many things don’t change, but community activism has been part of Sacramento Branch’s mission since our founding.



Start Smart Workshop at Sac State a Success! by Gloria Yost

The California State University, Sacramento, AAUW Chapter hosted a very successful Start Smart Workshop on salary negotiations on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Held on the Sacramento State campus, the event was open to all students. Sacramento Branch members Lisa Howard and Gloria Yost facilitated the event, using a PowerPoint presentation that coordinated with a student workbook that is an AAUW program

Participants learned how important it is to build self-awareness of personal value and skills, and to conduct research to determine an appropriate target salary range before entering in to a job interview. Perhaps the most beneficial section involved role play negotiating for a job in mock interviews where they had opportunity to practice using the suggested steps and many sample phrases included in the materials.

Kudos to Sac State officers Mollie McDonald, Ruby Pineda, Nicole Touchette, and Billie Veercamp for organizing this very worthwhile workshop.