Presidents’ Message and Fall Showcase Updates by Liz Jordan and Donna Holmes

Liz Jordan

Dear AAUW friends – Most people don’t accept the privilege and challenge of leading the Sacramento Branch as a Co-President and then develop a major health crisis. I did, but now I am returning to good health while learning as much as possible to help lead our AAUW Branch. I am so grateful for the deep experience of this year’s board, and especially for the willingness of four new board members: Cathy Locke, continuing as the Phone Tree Chair, also joins Deborah Dunn as Co-Director of Program. Newest to board membership, Danielle Metzinger joins Kathy Asay in Co-Directing the AAUW Fund. Ann Arneill, with several years serving on the Speech Trek committee, is joining Shari Beck as Co-Director of Speech Trek. Ashley Gilreath joins Jo Reiken as Co-Director of Tech Trek. Thank you to all.

Angela Scarlett, Communications Director, is looking for a member to provide Social Media Assistance, keeping us current on Twitter and Facebook. Please contact either Angela, Donna Holmes or myself if you can assist.

Donna Holmes

Since 1976 I have worked on various AAUW committees and projects, most recently as Speech Trek Co-Director. Hopefully, this helps prepare me to work alongside Donna Holmes as your Co-President. I am learning about all that AAUW does, from Sacramento to Washington, D.C. Thank goodness we have Donna guiding me through the learning process.

Our mission this year is to get you involved! AAUW Sacramento provides a perfect introduction to new friends, an easy education in new skills/information, and a powerful contribution toward equity. Join the fun.

Start by registering for free today for the annual Showcase meeting, Saturday, Sept. 15, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at the Arcade Library. The Showcase theme is “Your AAUW Contributions at Work.” Our Cosumnes River College partners will present their project, an AAUW Grant funded program called “Focus4Women.” Meet branch scholarship winners, Tech Trek participants, and California State University, Sacramento student affiliates. Attendees will also have an opportunity to sign up for many other projects, committees and interest groups.

Eventbrite - 2018 Annual Branch Showcase

Looking ahead October, we join our sister branch Citrus Heights/American River (CHAR) to host an educational forum on our November ballot measures, with presenters from McGeorge School of Law on Oct. 13.

 For a list of all planned programs, check out the 2018-2019 Membership Directory, then mark your calendar for some wonderful experiences.

Of the many friendships and experiences we gain through AAUW, the greatest reward we achieve is an unlimited future for women and girls.

Read Membership Updates, Next Year’s Proposed Budget, Interest Group Calendar, Book Group Calendar

Membership Matters by Linda Patterson and Sharon Norris

As our Branch meetings begin again this Fall, it is nice to remember that we have a great membership recruitment tool in the Shape the Future campaign. The Shape the Future membership campaign is an opportunity for current members to offer a discounted rate to prospective members. With this campaign, new members pay just 50 percent of the national dues rate when they join AAUW at a public event. Branches also earn one free national membership to give away for every two newly recruited members, with a maximum of three free memberships annually. Please encourage friends and family to join AAUW at a Branch event. That benefits both the new member and the Branch.

Please welcome new member Mollie McDonald. Mollie graduated from California State University, Sacramento, in May with a BA in psychology and a minor in statistics. She will be attending University of Nevada, Reno, in the fall to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Mollie is the past president of the CSUS AAUW affiliate and was on the Branch 2017-18 Tech Trek Committee. Although she will be moving to Reno temporarily to attend school, she intends to reside in California permanently, with the goal of giving back to her community. Mollie hopes to attend the September Branch meeting. Please take the opportunity to say hello and welcome her to the Branch.

Proposed Budget for 2018-19

The Board of Directors has approved the budget for fiscal year 2018/2019 (click here for part 1 and here for part 2), and   Branch members are asked to review the proposed budget which will be voted on at the September Showcase.

Please direct any questions or suggestions to May Ruth Lynch at 916-382-4412 or

Interest Group and Book Group Calendars and Printable Articles

  • Click here to see the Interest Group Calendar.Calendar Image
  • Click here to see the Book Group Calendar.
  • Click here for a printable version of the articles.
  • Note, if an event has passed, please contact the coordinator for future dates!

Funds Update by Kathleen Asay and Danielle Metzinger

Kathy Asay

As I go into my second year as a Co-Funds Director for the Sacramento Branch, I am pleased to introduce my new partner, Danielle Metzinger. Danielle joined AAUW five years ago after graduating from William Jessup University. She has participated in a book discussion group and a Great Decisions section, helped select scholarship awardees, and served as a judge for Speech Trek contests. Exposure to these programs piqued her interest in the Funds side of AAUW. Professionally, she has leadership experience in the nonprofit, private and public sectors. She currently works as a Learning and Development Specialist at CalSTRS, and she is pursuing a master’s degree in Organization Development at the University of San Francisco.

Danielle Metzinger

Danielle has a busy life, but she is committed to sharing her busy life with all of us to help us learn the many ways AAUW Funds help us as an organization improve equity and education for women and girls in this country and abroad. AAUW Funds has given us reports such as Graduating to the Pay Gap and programs such as Tech Trek. They have supported research projects by branches and individuals, particularly graduate and post-doctoral women. We are justly proud of all that women have accomplished with the aid of AAUW Funds.

We begin our journey on a high note this year with the recent completion of the Sacramento branch’s 100th Anniversary Research and Projects Grant. Danielle and I will share the progress toward our fund’s first grantee, as well as what we learn about other Funds activity locally and nationally. We will also keep you informed about opportunities to enjoy the proud moments that Funds has given us all.

To that end, you are encouraged to attend any of the three fall Funds luncheons to meet some of our wonderful recipients:

  • NorCal – South San Francisco: Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Basque Cultural Center,
  • NorCal – Danville: Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Crow Canyon Country Club,
  • SoCal – Seal Beach: Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Old Ranch Country Club, https://seal -beach-

For more information, see or contact one of us.

Tech Trek Wins Grants to Help Send Girls to Camp by Ashley Gilreath

We are pleased to report that the Soroptimist International of Sacramento North, Rotary Club of Sacramento, and Point West Rotary have awarded grants to the AAUW Sacramento Branch for the Tech Trek program. We are delighted that these groups have continued to support the program. We also want to acknowledge Owen, McGinty & Reinken CPAs and the numerous contributions of our members to support the Tech Trek program. We would like to thank the Tech Trek committee for all of their work to make this program happen.

These gifts have made it possible for the Branch to send six middle school girls to the Tech Trek summer camp at UC Davis. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Tech Trek program and the 10th year that the Sacramento branch has been able to support the program. We are excited to send our 95th camper to the program.


Speech Trek Updates by Ann Arneill

Our Speech Trek Committee is planning for the 2019 Speech Contest on Feb. 16, 2019. Students compete for four cash prizes from $50-$500. High School students in the Elk Grove Unified School District are invited to speak for 5-6 minutes in a prepared extemporaneous speech.

The topic for this year is very timely: “How can we–students, parents, faculty, our communities, and organizations such as AAUW–eliminate violence aimed at our schools? What actions can we take to prevent another tragedy from taking place?

AAUW Sacramento has been very successful over the last 11 contests. Our winners have gone on to the AAUW CA Speech Trek Semi-Finals and Finals to win all five possible places, from 1st Place ($1,500) to 5th Place ($150).

Planning for another successful competition year has just begun. We recruit high school students to compete by presenting an informational workshop on each of the nine high school campuses in the Elk Grove Unified School District. The workshop, conducted by a Speech Trek committee member, includes contest information and speech preparation materials for interested students. Committee members coach students who commit to the competition.

The contest is named after a Roseville branch member, Eleanor Stem Allen, whose family makes a large annual memorial donation in her honor. If you are interested in making a donation or in joining the committee’s efforts for the contest, please contact:

AAUW, The 1940s by Carole Cline

Photo Credit: PBS The War at Home

The Second World War heavily influenced the AAUW Sacramento Branch and the entire national organization throughout the 1940s. As early as July 1940, the minutes of the Sacramento Branch show the formation of a committee by member Catherine Patterson to arrange secure foster homes for children of the British Federation of University Women. Branch president Verna Lawson spearheaded the Branch’s movement to contribute financial aid to European University Women who were fleeing dictatorships. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the United States’ subsequent declaration of war, Mrs. Lawson informed the AAUW State Board of Directors that Sacramento was requesting the State Department of Education to address the continued education of “American-born children of aliens” who “may be evacuated to concentration camps for the duration of the war.” True to its principles, AAUW advocated for the safety and protection of women and children, the primary victims of the violence and politics of war.

Nationally, the Army contacted AAUW, asking its assistance in recruiting women as computers for the war effort while at home, Sacramento juggled its ongoing commitment to local charities and children’s causes at the same time members were participating in USO drives, victory book drives, and buying Defense Bonds. Members became civil defense volunteers and even took defense jobs. AAUW supported the formation of women’s units in the military, advocating equal pay for equal rank. In 1942-43, the Branch held a series of forums on education and wartime employment for women and created the AAUW Volunteer Bureau to provide emergency services, keeping records of the training and work experience of each member. Membership grew from 526 in May 1941 to over 600 members in 1945, and to 736 members by 1947.

Branch meetings continued throughout the war, with members sponsoring the City Public Health Pre Natal Clinic and sitting on the “Community Welfare Council, [working with] Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, Children’s Theatre, Public Health Nurses’ Week, youth clubs,” and a host of other community organizations. The Marionettes group entertained thousands of children with scripts written by Branch members such as Hazel Pendleton, who later donated eight original scripts to the AAUW archives. Proceeds were often parsed out to fund national AAUW causes as well as to support local projects such as the Placerville Branch’s effort to purchase a county library. The ongoing tradition of awarding scholarships to eligible senior high school girls planning to attend four-year colleges and universities continued throughout the 1940s.

In August 1945, two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the war. AAUW member Virginia Gildersleeve was the only woman made a member of the United States delegation to attend the conference to establish the United Nations. Locally, the Sacramento Branch invited Dr. Lynn Townsend White, Jr., president of Mills College, to speak. Dr. White’s subject, “The Geographic Trouble Spots of the World,” included a discussion of the Russian point of view. Dr. White explained that, to the Russians, the United States was like a giant octopus whose tentacles presented an alarming danger to Russia. It was Dr. White’s view that the United State now had to develop a sense of responsibility toward the power it had. Thus, the arrival of the Atomic Age and the Cold War took a seat among the tea cups at the luncheon held at The Senator Hotel in the fall of 1945. By 1949, the Sacramento Branch of AAUW had reached 930 members, the largest in the state.

Public Policy Updates by Ashley Anglesey and Our November 2018 Ballot Proposition Forum Co-Sponsored with CHAR

Public Policy Updates by Ashley Anglesey, Public Policy Director

Social movements such as the #MeToo, #TimesUp, and #WeSaidEnough campaigns have had a huge impact on the 2018 Legislative Session, resulting in the introduction of over a dozen bills related to fighting sexual harassment and improving the workplace in California. AAUW California co-sponsored two bills:

AB 2282 (Eggman) was signed by the Governor and Chaptered by the Secretary of State into the Labor Code on July 18. This bill refines language from previous laws to prohibit employers from asking for prior salary information in the job interview process, and from using this information discriminatorily if they obtain it.

SB 1284 (Jackson) is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This bill would require private employers with 100 or more employees to submit to the Department of Industrial Relations employee data broken down by race, ethnicity, and sex for each job category. Doing so could substantially improve the Gender Wage Gap and promote more transparent working conditions, as well as provide data that will help efficiently identify patterns of wage disparities and allow for targeted enforcement of equal pay laws when appropriate.

Other bills AAUW California is watching:

Assembly Bills: 1867 (Reyes), 1868 (Cunningham), 2186 (Thurmond), 2713 (Rodriguez), 2747 (Holden), 2785 (Rubio), 2819 (Holden), 2979 (Burke), 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher), & 3081 (Gonzalez Fletcher).

Senate Bills: 224 (Jackson), 320 (Leyva), 419 (Portantino), 691 (Lara), 820 (Leyva), 908 (Nguyen), 984 (Skinner), 1284 (Jackson), 1300 (Jackson), & 1343 (Mitchell).

You can track bill information by going to and entering in the bill numbers in the “Quick Bill Search” box on the main screen. Further analyses of these bills and policy advocacy will follow in newsletters to come. If you are interested in being part of the Public Policy Committee, I would LOVE your participation! Please email me at

November 2018 CA Ballot Proposition Forum on October 13

On October 13 at 10 a.m., AAUW Sacramento is co-sponsoring a forum on the November 2018 Ballot Propositions with the AAUW Citrus Heights- American River branch. Professor Mary-Beth Moylan and a panel of McGeorge Law School Students will review the propositions on the November 2018 ballot. A Q & A will follow the panel.

Register for free on Eventbrite. Here is the Ballot Proposition flyer.

Eventbrite - November 2018 Ballot Proposition Forum



Interest Group Updates by Cherril Peabody

The Program Committee has been working on plans for the Showcase Branch Meeting on Sept. 15. During the Showcase, branch members have an opportunity to sign up for interest groups for the coming program year.

Here is information about several potential new interest groups members have suggested:

  • Drop-In book group: Vicki Nicholson suggested this group and has agreed to chair it if enough people sign up. Each member would bring a different book she would like to recommend to the group each time and tell briefly what it was about and why she liked it.
  • Genealogy: Nancy McCabe suggested this group and has agreed to help organize it, but it would need an identified chair (contact person). This group will be mostly for beginners who want to learn about genealogy. They will meet occasionally to identify community and online resources and exchange information.
  • Current Events: This group suggested by Mary-Gene Page would meet regularly to discuss current events that have been agreed upon by the group. There is a possibility that this would be a joint group with AAUW CHAR (Citrus Heights-American River Branch).

These interest groups are continuing and accepting new members:

  • Art and Architecture (1st Friday, 10 a.m.)
  • Board Games (Last Friday, 7 p.m.)
  • Bridge for Fun (1st Tuesday, 1 p.m.): substitutes only
  • Chicago Bridge (4th Wednesday, 10 a.m.): substitutes only
  • Couples Dining Out (4th Sunday, 6 p.m.): needs new chair
  • Cultural History (1st Thursday, 1 p.m.)
  • Film Fans (3rd Tuesday, matinee – time varies)
  • Great Decisions 1 (3rd Monday, 7 p.m.)
  • Great Decisions III (3rd Monday, 1 p.m.)
  • Readers’ Theater (2nd Wednesday, 7 p.m.)
  • Scrabble Just for Fun (Last Monday, 1 p.m.)
  • Singles Dining Out (1st Sunday, 6 p.m.)
  • Travel (2nd Tuesday bimonthly, 10 a.m.)

These groups are continuing but currently unable to take new members:

  • Great Decisions II (2nd Thursday, 7 p.m.)
  • Healthy Heart Dinner (2nd Sunday, 6 p.m.)

These groups have been discontinued:

  • Board Games (Daytime)
  • Walk-to-Lunch

If you are interested in signing up for any of the groups that are taking new members, please email me ( before the meeting and let me know.

Leigh Stephens Obituary by Molly Dugan

Leigh and her husband Bob

Leigh Stephens, a leader in the Sacramento branch of AAUW for 49 years, died July 14. She was 80.

Stephens served as president of the branch in 1977-1978 and founded the Women of the World program, spearheading the group for more than a decade. She initiated a study of women in the media and oversaw branch publicity for many years.


“She was very proud that she was there almost 50 years,” her husband Bob Aldrich said. “She was really supportive of AAUW’s work towards equal pay and equal rights. She met a lot of people (in AAUW) of like mind.”

Stephens, a retired Journalism and Communication Studies professor at Sacramento State University, focused her teaching and research on women’s rights and women’s role in the media. Her work with AAUW was a natural complement to her professional endeavors, her colleague and friend Virginia Kidd said.

She told younger women that “they had the right to do what they wanted to do,” Kidd said. “She was a very positive person. She had great faith in attitude.”

As part of her focus on education, Stephens founded Women of the World, an AAUW  program that brought speakers from around the globe to Sacramento branch members. She organized the quarterly events and chaired the committee for more than a decade.

“It was a way of reaching out and learning about women and their culture in other countries,” Aldrich said. “It was to share knowledge and cross-cultural ties.”

Ruth Burgess, who worked with Stephens on many projects, recalled Stephens leadership ability in AAUW. “She would step up and lead a group and get it organized,” Burgess said. “She had a real love for AAUW.”

One of those projects included a study titled Images of Women. Stephens organized branch members to watch television news and entertainment programs and advertisements and document the roles of women. She gathered the data and wrote the report, which is now part of the AAUW archives.

“It was eye-opening for people to see that women were almost invisible,” Burgess said.

Stephens handled publicity for the Sacramento branch for many years, and upon leaving the position, wrote a how-to manual for publicity and conducted training sessions for board members.

A native of Americus, Ga, Stephens earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Mercer University and a master’s degree in Communication Studies at Sacramento State. Besides teaching at the university, she was the first woman to teach classes at Folsom Prison, Aldrich said.

Stephens also taught writing, editing and public relations through her consulting firm, Creative Communications Associates, and was the author of numerous articles and textbook chapters. She also wrote “Covering the Community — A Diversity Handbook for Media” and “12 Steps to Clear Writing.”

She was active in several organizations focused on women and media and the recipient of several awards for her academic research. After retiring, she wrote for Valley Community Publications.

“She was a mentor, she was a leader, she was a spokeswoman,” Aldrich said. “She wore many hats.”

In addition to her husband, she is survived by four children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Services were private.

Her family has established the Leigh F. Stephens Journalism Scholarship at Sacramento State University.  Contributions to the Professor Leigh F. Stephens Journalism Scholarship fund at CSUS can be sent in her memory to The University Foundation at Sacramento State, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA, 95819.