Monthly Archives: October 2019

Tech Trek Turns 21: Brunch to Spotlight Branch’s 2019 Student Trekkers By Jo Reiken and Cathy Locke

Meet Sacramento AAUW’s 2019 Tech Trek students and celebrate the science and technology program’s 21st anniversary at the Tech Trek Showcase and Brunch on Saturday, Oct. 19.



The free event will be held from 9:45 a.m. to noon in the American River Room at Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Park Drive, Rancho Cordova.

Thanks to the generosity of Sacramento AAUW members, our branch was able to send our allotted six girls to the weeklong camp at UC Davis in July. Their days were filled with core classes in 3D-math, computer coding, anatomy and genetics. They met with members of the chemistry department, and learned about polymers and gasses. The veterinary hospital was a huge hit, as always, and this year the students also visited the university’s Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.

AAUW California member Marie Wolbach founded Tech Trek in 1998 with the help of an AAUW Community Action Grant. The camps, held on college campuses, are designed to provide middle school girls with hands-on problem-solving activities and encounters with women role models in science, technology, engineering and math.

Susan Wheeler, co-director of the camp at UC Davis, will be the guest speaker at the brunch, and this year’s trekkers will share their camp experiences.

The event will include a drawing for gift cards. Members interested in donating gift cards for businesses such as Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Amazon, movie theaters, Target, etc., are asked to send the cards to Jo Reiken, branch Tech Trek director, by Oct. 10.

Reservations for the showcase and brunch are due by Monday, Oct. 14. Sign up for free online via EventBrite here, or call or email Cathy Locke.

Presidents’ Message by Liz Jordan and Charmen Goehring

AAUW Sacramento off to an exciting 100th year

Liz Jordan

What does AAUW Sacramento do with your money? Our programs in September and October provide genuine opportunities to see how we are acting to level the playing field for women and girls in Sacramento.

At our Showcase meeting on Sept. 21, we heard our Scholarship recipients explain the importance of our support to their career efforts. We also listened to our very first NCCWSL recipients, two CSUS leaders whom we sent to the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders, held in May at the University of Maryland. So impressive!

Coming up we have an exciting opportunity to learn about our very successful Tech Trek outreach program with middle school girls. The Tech Trek brunch, headed up by Jo Reiken and Ashley Gilreath, is a must-attend branch meeting on Oct. 19, 10 a.m. – noon at the Rancho Cordova City Hall. See the full article about this meeting for registration information.

Open to all members is the upcoming IBC Leadership Training on Nov. 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sierra Vista Community Church Pilgrim Hall, 890 Morse Ave. The training and lunch are only $15. This is an opportunity for current and future AAUW leaders to

  • discuss local leadership needs
  • gain more insight into AAUW CA and National priorities as well as what tools and resources are available
  • develop implementation plans

See the flyer here for details about signing up for this opportunity.

What’s our future? Change.

Charmen Goehring

Sacramento is planning to celebrate our 100th Anniversary next February with a grand luncheon party. This looking back at our history means we also need to look forward to our future.

AAUW National has recently concluded a year-long self-analysis and restructuring, which included reducing its staff significantly and developing a more focused plan for future efforts. The mission, to “advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy” remains the same.

The sharpened focus is on four areas:

  • Education & Training
  • Economic Security
  • Leadership
  • Governance & Sustainability

To learn more about the Strategic Plan BEYOND ASPIRATIONS, go to and scroll down to the second half of the home page. Click on it and you will be taken to a full explanation.

The local impact of this plan is most immediately felt in our AAUW Funds. See the article from our Funds Directors Kathy Asay and Merrie McLaughlin in this issue about the changes to Funds. Look for other articles here on Capitol Ideas (our website) and at Branch Meetings about how to donate to the newly streamlined funds.

Our branch is also planning changes:

  • to our website
  • to our membership renewal process
  • to our local outreach donations process

We believe these changes will enhance your understanding of all AAUW efforts and events, save the branch money, and make it easier to donate to your favorite programs/projects.

As your branch leader-volunteers prepare each new change, we will provide opportunities to learn more in articles in upcoming newsletter issues, announcements at branch meetings and in News You Can Use messages to your Interest and Book Groups.


The AAUW California board and committees are working hard to bring you a convention that will energize you and your branch members. We will be celebrating the past as we look back at our fight for the vote and the legislation we helped pass, and then we will look to the future and the work still to be done.

We are all working on planning a wide cross-section of workshops, plenaries and speakers which may include:

  • an update on AAUW Fund
  • membership diversity (whether it be by age, ethnicity or sexual orientation)
  • civil conversations with others towards effective government
  • maximizing social media
  • fundraising
  • ADA requirements
  • partnering with young women in AAUW initiatives
  • encouraging young women to run for office
  • registering youth to vote and participate in government

Do you or your branch have an idea for a workshop, plenary or speaker?  Click HERE to submit your idea using the workshop application form, or email us at

You will also have the opportunity to complete the Work Smart program with an experienced facilitator.

There will be a chance to meet the candidates for the AAUW California Board of Directors. Directors and staff of AAUW California will be available to answer your questions. Several directors and staff of AAUW National will be there, too.

Convention details and registration information will be in the winter issue of the California Perspective and on the AAUW California website.

Funds Updates By Kathleen Asay and Merrie McLaughlin

Kathy Asay

Kathy Asay

AAUW’s Strategic Plan for 2018 sets out a bold vision for the future that is reflected in three new categories of focus on equity for women and girls, broadening our historic emphasis on education to provide for workplace equity, leadership opportunities and economic security throughout life. The new funds are Education and Training, Economic Security, and Leadership, along with the AAUW Greatest Needs Fund and the Governance and Sustainability Fund. One thing to note is that the new organization provides for flexibility in program planning and spending by creating fewer larger pools instead of many smaller ones.

For the next two months, we will try to familiarize you with these five funds. We’ll start with the Education and Training Fund (4450) which, like most of the new funds, incorporates what used to be individual funds or programs under a larger umbrella of support for similar activities. Officially, 4450 “addresses the barriers and implicit biases that hinder the advancement of women by championing equal access to education and ensuring that education at every level is free from sex discrimination.” Special focus currently is on STEM education, the enforcement of Title IX, and Pathways to Jobs. Programs include Fellowships Alumnae Initiatives, Fellowships and Grants, Public Policy, and Research.

The Economic Security Fund (4449) “ensures livelihoods for women through achieving pay equity for women, providing training in salary negotiation, and deepening women’s retirement security and quality of life.” The focus is on pay equity, Title VII, and retirement security. Programs include Start Smart, Work Smart, Work Smart Online, and the Legal Advocacy Fund.

Merrie McLaughlin

The Leadership Fund (4452) “supports the effort to close the gender gap in leadership opportunities by bolstering the participation of and increasing the number of girls and women in leadership roles, particularly in education and nonprofit organizations.” Focus areas are career, workplace and training as expressed in campus action projects, Empower and NCCWSL, providing leadership training for women college students.

Together, these funds will enable AAUW to not only support the programs that have been successful in improving equity for women and girls but to move into new programs as needs and opportunities arise in a rapidly changing world. Finally, if you are wondering about all the previous grant funds, like our 100th Anniversary Fund, they will continue to operate under the rules by which they were established.

MEMBERSHIP MATTERS by Janice Cesolini Stuter

$69.50! What a bargain for an initial one-year membership in AAUW. If you have friends or family who believe that equity and a level playing field for all the women and girls in our world is a priority we should enforce, please encourage them to join AAUW. Our national organization has established a program, Shape the Future, to encourage new members and members who are returning after two years or more of non-membership to join or rejoin for $69.50. The only requirement in addition to our basic requirement of accepting anyone with an associate (or equivalent) degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution is that the prospective member signs up at a public meeting. All of our monthly branch meetings qualify.

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. These free memberships can be awarded to existing members who have performed “above and beyond” the normal expectations, members who may have financial difficulties, etc.)

In case you have forgotten, please remember: AAUW national dues are almost entirely tax-deductible! Regular AAUW national dues are $59, of which $56 is tax-deductible; $3 of the national dues payment cannot be deducted because it supports the AAUW Action Fund’s section 501(c)(4) Lobby Corps and election-related activities. Discounted dues through Shape the Future are only $29.50, of which $26.50 is tax-deductible; $3 of the national dues payment is not tax-deductible. (In case you’re wondering, AAUW national life membership is $1,180 and is fully tax-deductible. Student dues are $18.81, of which $16.81 is tax-deductible and $2 is not.) Please do all you can to encourage new members to join or members who have been gone for two years or more to rejoin. Our mighty 200 member-strong branch needs to grow in membership in order to finish the battle for true gender equity. Please encourage any friends who have been members in the past to rejoin and friends who ought to belong to this esteemed, longtime organization, to attend a meeting and join our efforts.


Thank you to the following members who have officially joined our Branch’s Membership Committee.

  • Back-up at monthly Branch meetings: Sharon Anderson, Charmen Goehring, Ruth Hines and Barbara Smith
  • New Member Introductions and Activities: Barbara Smith, Anna Storey and Gloria Yost
  • Building Existing Members’ Involvement and Connectivity: Barbara Smith
  • Recruitment Brainstorming: Charmen Goehring, Cathy Locke and Gloria Yost
  • Membership Procedures/Records Updating, Streamlining: Sharon Anderson
  • Sunshine Chair: Jane Cooley.

Many of these members are also on the Board in other capacities. In order to really enhance membership, I would really appreciate additional branch members to volunteer to be on the section that focuses on building existing members’ involvement and connectivity. I hope to begin meeting with the different subgroups in the coming months to develop and implement plans in all the areas. I need your help!

AAUW – 2000s: A Decade of Working with Foster Youth, Starting Speech Trek and Assessing Our Future by Cherril Peabody

AAUW Sacramento – Empowering Women for 100 Years

The 2000s decade was a busy one for AAUW Sacramento. We started the new decade and millennium with an 80th Anniversary Tea at Eskaton Village in February. We initiated new outreach projects, and we increased financial support for the ones we had thanks to lots of fundraising!

In 2000 we sent four Tech Trek girls to camp and awarded two $600 college scholarships to women attending local public colleges. Later in the decade, we were sending five Tech Trek girls to camp at $900 each, and the award for college scholarships had risen to $2,000.

The branch started working with several agencies serving foster youth, providing filled backpacks and collecting other personal and household items for them. We sponsored the first branch Speech Trek contest in 2007-2008. The branch sponsored two Sister to Sister events during the decade for teenage girls, focusing on issues that affect their lives. We also sponsored two Moneywi$e Women conferences at CSUS during the decade.

We continued to meet with our interest and book groups. Singles Dining, Couples Dining and Film Fans groups started during this decade. We got to hear many articulate and entertaining speakers on a variety of subjects at our branch meetings. “Clean Money in Politics,” “Native American Women’s Issues,” “Images of Women in a Consumer Culture” and “Success Skills for Women” were just a few of the many topics. Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo talked to us about current issues in the city. Women of the World (WOW) presented programs featuring women from other cultures who talked about their experiences.

National AAUW published a new study, “Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus.” Around the same time Sacramento area Congressman Robert Matsui died, replaced by his widow Doris, who still capably serves the district.

Diminishing membership was a concern, nationally as well as locally, which resulted in the Sacramento Branch developing a strategic plan for the future of the organization. Though these concerns continued, at the end of the decade more than 200 members remained steadfast in their commitment to the branch mission.

AAUW Interest Groups by Kathy Papst

My name is Kathy Papst, and I am your new Interest Groups Director. I want to take this opportunity to thank former Director Cherril Peabody for her work and dedication, making all members feel welcome both in the branch and in joining Interest Groups. Cherril stressed the importance of members making friends outside of branch meetings and social events.

The Showcase on Sept. 21 was a great success as we were able to see our mission in action. Scholarship recipients were deserving, grateful, and hopeful of realizing their long-held goals. Many members and prospective members searched for an interest group to join; my job is to pass their interest and contact information along to the group leaders. Group leaders should contact those who signed up at Showcase.

Our branch also encourages members to suggest new interest groups. Some suggestions are wine enthusiasts, mahjongg, hiking, painting and calligraphy. If you wish to lead a new interest group, please contact me so I can help facilitate your group.

For more information, please call either myself or the leader of the group you wish to learn more about. My phone number is 916-862-2271, and my email address is

Be sure to attend the Tech Trek Brunch on Oct. 19 at Rancho Cordova City Hall. I look forward to meeting everyone at upcoming events.

Board Briefs, Interest Groups, Book Groups, Branch Birthdays and Hardcopy Articles

  • Click here for Interest GroupsCalendar Image
  • Click here for Book Groups
  • Click here for Branch Birthdays
  • Click here for the Leadership Flyer
  • Click here for the Printable Version of Newsletter Articles


Board Briefs: August-September Board Meeting, August 26, 2019 by Cherril Peabody

 Here are the highlights of the August-September AAUW Sacramento Board Meeting:

  • Co-President L. Jordan announced that she contacted 24 branch members who have degrees in business and related majors to ask if any of them would be willing to assume the position of Finance Director for this year. A. Scarlett moved to appoint acting Finance Director D. Holmes officially to the position until a new director is found. The motion was seconded by S. Anderson and passed. Jordan also announced that this year’s theme is Expanding. This theme will focus on two areas: Expanding our STEM outreach and Expanding our diversity and accessibility awareness.
  • Holmes announced that the Interbranch Council (IBC) luncheon, scheduled for Jan. 25, 2020, will be held at Plates. She and M. McKnew are seeking silent auction items to be bid upon at the luncheon to benefit the Funds programs.
  • Program Co-Director C. Locke reported that Program subcommittees are working on plans for the Branch Showcase meeting on Sept. 21 and for the Tech Trek Showcase and Brunch on Oct. 19. Co-Director K. Burley reported that she is working on obtaining speakers for the November program on the causes of homelessness and its effects on women and children.
  • Speech Trek Co-Director A. Arneill announced that the committee is seeking non-AAUW contest judges in order to comply with a new state AAUW policy. The 2019-2020 contest will be held on Feb.15 at Cosumnes River College. Because of generous contributions from branch members, they are increasing the cash prize amounts for the upcoming contest.
  • Public Policy Director A. Rose plans to connect with members of the California State University, Sacramento, affiliate regarding co-sponsoring a voter registration drive next year on campus. She wants to present at least one public policy workshop for branch members.
  • Membership Director J. Stuter is planning a process to follow up with interest group leaders after they have received names of potential members of their groups.
  • Scholarship Co-Director A. Storey announced that the Scholarship Committee will meet on Saturday, Sept. 28 to make plans for the coming year. This year’s recipients performed well in their classes last semester and will be speaking about their lives and plans at the Showcase meeting.
  • Funds Co-Director K. Asay announced that National AAUW has reorganized the Funds, which means that dues donations to Funds may have been reallocated. Thank you letters to donors are explaining the changes.
  • Co-Director J. Reiken reported that the Oct. 19 Tech Trek presentation and brunch will be held at the Rancho Cordova City Hall. The state Tech Trek Program Director will speak, along with the girls who attended camp this summer and a keynote speaker who is yet to be determined.

Old Business

 Co-President L. Jordan asked for volunteers to complete the Branch Policies and Procedures update process that was started last summer. R. Hines, C. Goehring, L. Jordan, A. Scarlett and S. Anderson agreed to serve on the committee.

 New Business

Bylaws: National AAUW has asked branches for input on proposed changes to the Association Bylaws. Parliamentarian R. Hines has suggested several possible changes that were passed around for review and comment.

Take Back the Night: N. McCabe reported the Take Back the Night women’s rally and march will be held this year on Oct. 12. She asked the board to approve co-sponsoring the event again. This year CHAR wants to split the co-sponsorship cost of $100 with our branch. A. Scarlett proposed and D. Holmes seconded a motion to authorize up to $100 with the understanding that CHAR will reimburse our branch for half the fee. The motion carried.

100th Anniversary Committee: The committee requested $1,000 to be used as a deposit to reserve the Northridge Country Club ballroom for our 100th Anniversary event in February. C. Locke moved to approve this request, K. Papst seconded and the motion passed.





AAUW – 1970s Environmental Action by Carolyn Martin

AAUW Sacramento – Empowering Women for 100 Years

Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” (1962) sounded an alarm that detonated a multi-faceted response to environmental degradation. This reached a crescendo in the 1970s with the passage of the California Environmental Quality Act, the federal Clean Air and Water Acts and thousands of other decisions to protect the environment and public health.

AAUW responded in 1970 with a national two-year study topic, “This Beleaguered Earth – Can MAN Survive?” After research and public policy training, Sacramento Branch members actively participated in many beneficial policies.

Can you believe it was legal to burn leaves in gutters? AAUW testified in favor of a ban, which passed. (It didn’t hurt that the fire chiefs all spoke in favor of the ordinance.)

The Branch was a founding member of the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) in 1971, and members served on the Advisory Committee for the first County General Plan in 1973. A major issue was transportation, including a proposal to build a freeway connecting I-80 and Highway 50 through Del Dayo. We supported a balanced transportation system with light rail (a wild concept!). Our ECOS representative was sued by a developer because she questioned his proposal for a large housing development on what is now the Consumnes River Conservancy at a public hearing. The Branch filed a “Friend of the Court” brief, and free speech prevailed.

Branch members were encouraged to recycle at a center just south of CSUS. Of course, we advocated for a countywide curbside recycling program.

A special effort to reach elementary school students led to the creation of “Our Friends in the Garden.” This felt board presentation emphasized the benefits of some insects such as ladybugs instead of insecticides. Hundreds of students were educated by AAUW volunteers.

On the state level, AAUW strongly supported the initiative to create the California Coastal Commission and testified on other groundbreaking environmental legislation.

AAUW played a very important role in environmental advocacy. We represented educated women voters who had done our “homework.” We actually had elected officials calling to ask for our participation on controversial issues to demonstrate that more than environmental “hotheads” favored changes to protect our environment. We were public leaders and often interviewed and quoted in the newspapers on these issues.