What’s AAUW Public Policy All About? by Amy Rose

What Public Policy Is (and means to AAUW Members)

Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our advocates have taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day – educational, social, economic, and political. Our positions emanate from our Mission, Vision and Values:

  • Mission: To advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy
  • Vision: Equity for all
  • Values: Nonpartisan. Fact-based. Integrity. Inclusion. Intersectionality.

Our positions are rooted in our member-approved Public Policy Priorities at both the national and state levels. The AAUW California Public Policy Priorities for 2019-2021 were approved by our members this spring and can be found on the website www.aauw-ca.org. The AAUW CA Public Policy Committee meets early in each legislative session to review bills and determine those on which to take action. In Washington, AAUW staff and volunteer advocates communicate with both Congress and the administration. In California, we employ a part-time lobbyist to represent AAUW CA in the California Legislature.

Economic Security is a critical issue for women of all ages, a foundational aspect of everyday life, and is particularly important to women’s ability to support themselves and their families. Many continue to struggle with economic insecurity, wage discrimination, and employment benefits. Legislated solutions could benefit many women.

Real change in federal and state policy, however, will only come about when our elected officials hear from voters like us!  It is so important that branch members be up to date on AAUW positions on federal and state legislation consistent with AAUW’s mission, and contact elected officials to share our positions. And we must hold those we have elected accountable as they vote on issues affecting women and girls.

Become involved with your branch’s Public Policy Committee. Become an activist by signing up on the national website: aauw.org/resource/two-minute-activist. This will connect you with both state and national calls to action. Start now! It’s never too soon to begin educating yourself about the issues in the important 2020 elections!