Monthly Archives: March 2020

Policies Affecting California Women’s Well-Being are March Program Focus by Amy Rose and Cathy Locke

Women have made considerable progress since securing the vote 100 years ago, but they still face disparities on a range of issues including economic security, health and participation in political leadership.

Colleagues from the California Budget & Policy Center will update us on the status of women in Sacramento County and statewide during a March 25 presentation on the California Women’s Well Being Index.

The Wednesday evening meeting is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Arden-Dimick Library Community Room, 891 Watt Ave. (corner of Watt and Northrop avenues).

The Women’s Well Being Index, prepared by the California Budget & Policy Center, is a multifaceted composite measure looking at five dimensions of women’s well-being by county: health, personal safety, employment and earnings, economic security and political empowerment.

The California Budget & Policy Center (, formerly the California Budget Project, was founded in 1995 to provide an independent source of information on how budget and tax policies affect low- and middle-income Californians. The center provides analyses and commentary on issues including tax policy, economic trends, health and criminal justice.

Come learn about the issues affecting California women and how you can advocate for change.

The March 25 program is free of charge, but members and guests are asked to sign up online via Eventbrite or call or email Cathy Locke (contact information is available in the branch directory).


Presidents’ Message By Liz Jordan and Charmen Goehring

Liz Jordan

The saying goes that March roars in like a lion, but it feels like February stole a bit of March’s roar. Our much-anticipated 100th Anniversary celebration is behind us, but certainly not our ongoing pride in our Sacramento Branch’s contributions to our community.


This brings us to one of the most important issues before the branch that impacts our ability to continue as a vibrant organization … our need for volunteers and specifically for a member to step forward to assume the office of Finance Director. We were blessed for several years with members who were willing to take it on as a new personal challenge and by members with professional expertise. But now the Nominating Committee is facing a serious situation: a needed volunteer to take up the position.


Please read Sharon Anderson’s article about membership renewal. We have been trying to keep you informed about this significant change in the way you will be renewing membership for the 2020-2021 year. We will renew online this year using our most secure credit cards. It’s super simple, and you will get instructions via email and snail-mail. We are hoping you will continue to be as generous with our outreach programs (which are all tax-deductible!!). More information about that process will be mailed to you in April.


We were so fortunate to have Amy Rose step up to take on the Public Policy Directorship this year. Amy has left us for Houston, Texas, and a new job with Harris County Government. We will miss her energy and talent on our board and hope we can find her replacement! Good luck, Amy.


In an effort to help the enormous task of the Nominating Committee as well as bring the branch up-to-date with best practices at both the State and National AAUW, we propose the following changes to our By-Laws:

  1. To make the following changes to our Bylaws Article X: letter c. “the term of one year” to read “term of two years”.
  2. Add a new letter  ‘d’ to the Bylaws Article X. Officers, to read “Officers shall be elected in staggered terms as following: Secretary and Finance Director shall be elected in even-numbered years. President-Elect, Funds Director, Membership Director, and Program Director will be elected in odd-numbered years. The president-elect shall serve for a term of three years, one year as president-elect, followed by two years as president.

The Branch will vote on these changes during the April Branch meeting, along with voting on the proposed slate of officers for next year’s elected board.


Charmen Goehring

March 25, 2020, Branch meeting is an evening meeting at the Arden-Dimick Library Community Room on Women’s Well-Being. This meeting was planned by Amy Rose along with our Program Directors Cathy Locke and Karen Burley. Excellent information will be provided as well as a brief presentation by one of our scholarship winners.

April 25, 2020, at Plates Café is the popular Author’s luncheon. We will have an exciting presentation by Steve and Susie Swatt, along with Rebecca LaVally and Jeff Raimundo on California women’s achievements, celebrating the right to vote along with many other milestones. This is also our annual meeting and we vote on next year’s elected board and some proposed bylaw changes.

Equal Pay Day is March 31, 2020.  


Important Membership Renewal Information by Sharon Anderson

Our usual membership renewal forms will be mailed around April 20 but with a few important changes this year.

In the February Capital Ideas, we alerted Sacramento Branch members that all members are now required by national AAUW to renew dues through the Membership Payment Program (MPP). Association will no longer accept checks. This means that all dues (National, State and branch) must use the MPP invoicing system. To prepare, several members renewed membership last year and found it quite easy. Members just fill in their credit card number (including any donations to Association’s Fund programs) and click “submit.” Because Association absorbs the credit card fee, this system also saves our branch a considerable amount of money previously lost to credit card fees.

On April 20, in addition to the USPS mailed paper renewal form and instructions, there will be emailed invoices sent out to every branch member who has an email address. The member opens the emailed invoice, fills in the information, and submits payment directly to Association, with a copy to Membership Treasurer Sharon Anderson for maintenance of our local records.

For those who want to make donations to our local programs such as Speech Trek, Tech Trek, Scholarships, NCCWSL, etc., a check or credit card number will need to be included with the mailed membership renewal form. (This is essentially the same renewal form that you see every year.)

Look for more information about this process in your email inbox from Membership Treasurer Sharon Anderson as we approach the due date. Additionally, all Board members will be available to assist people who need help with the emailed invoices, although we don’t expect you to have any difficulty. For members who do not have email and cannot receive an emailed invoice, information will also be mailed in plenty of time to proceed with renewal.

Public Policy Updates By Amy Rose and Ginny Hatfield

What Public Policy Is (and means to AAUW Members)

March Primary

As of this newsletter, the Presidential Primary Election will have been held in California on March 3 (much earlier than the previous June primary dates in 2012 and 2016). The election determined presidential nominees, congressional and state legislative races, one statewide ballot measure, and local ballot measures. You can find your polling place here for future reference. 

Ballot note: Proposition 13 on the March ballot created some confusion among voters. It has the same number as Proposition 13 of 1978 but has nothing to do with the well-known constitutional amendment on property taxes. It instead is a request to authorize bonds to pay for school infrastructure. Separately, in November, voters will vote on a request by state leaders to modify Proposition 13 of 1978.

Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day will be recognized on March 31 this year, a whole week earlier than the past three years. But the bad news is the gap still exists. Consider tabling on a local campus to raise awareness among college students, or host a Cocktails & Convos evening at a local wine bar to get a dialogue going in your community. Click HERE for all the information you need on the Gender Pay Gap.

Public Policy Featured in March Branch Meeting

Want to know more about public policies affecting women in California? Come to the March 25 Branch meeting for a presentation by the California Budget and Policy Center to hear about the state’s paid family leave efforts and other indicators of women’s well being. 

You’ve Come a Long Way Baby…But You’re Not There Yet!

Perhaps many of you will recall the Virginia Slims advertising slogan from the late ’60s, “You’ve come a long way, Baby.” This slogan aptly fits the rise of the feminist movement in America, which most of us agree, dates back to the Seneca Falls, N.Y., convention in July 1848.

Aug. 26, 2020, will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the culmination of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. It took over seven decades for a woman’s right to vote to be guaranteed as the law of the land.

Since then, we have seen successive waves of the Women’s Rights movement. Activists in the 1960s and ’70s sought equal rights and opportunities along with greater personal freedom for women, similar to the goals of the suffragists, the first wave of feminism. But this second wave of feminism also encompassed every area of women’s experience – including politics, work, the family and sexuality. Major legislative victories were accomplished during this period: the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, legalization of birth control for married and unmarried couples, Title X Family Planning Program, Title IX, the Roe v. Wade decision, and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Third-wave feminists sought to question, reclaim, and redefine the ideas, words, and media that have transmitted ideas about gender, gender roles, womanhood, beauty, and sexuality, among other things; while fourth-wave feminism refers to a “resurgence of interest in feminism that began around 2012 and is associated with the use of social media.” The focus has been on justice for women and opposition to sexual harassment and violence against women. The movement is “defined by technology,” according to a British feminist, and “is characterized by [social media tools] that challenge misogyny and further gender equality.” Issues in the forefront include street and workplace harassmentcampus sexual assault and rape culture. Scandals involving the harassment, abuse, and murder of women and girls have kickstarted movements such as the “Me Too” Movement.

Where will feminism go from here? We’ve still got our work cut out for us as well as some unfinished business – namely the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, which has now obtained approval by the requisite 38 states and faces court challenges or perhaps a legislative solution; and the ratification by the U.S. Senate of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the international bill of rights adopted by the United Nations in 1979. AAUW has played a notable role in all these waves of feminism, and I am sure we will continue to do so as we strive for social and economic justice – because we’re not there yet.

Ginny Hatfield, AAUW-CA Public Policy Committee


Board Briefs February 3, 2020 By Cherril Peabody as well as Interest Groups, Book Groups, and Branch Birthdays

Here are the highlights of the February AAUW Sacramento Board Meeting:

 The Bylaws Committee presented two motions for recommended changes to Article X of the Branch Bylaws. The first motion would change the terms of branch offices from one year to two years. Seconded by J. Reiken, the motion carried. The second motion would add a new section to Article X designating staggered terms for all elected officers. The president-elect would serve for three years, one year as president-elect followed by two years as president. S. Beck seconded the motion, which carried. The reason for the proposed changes is to ensure continuity for the board. They will be presented to the membership for approval at the April annual meeting.

College/University Liaison G. Yost introduced Kahaulani Prodigalidad, a member of the Sacramento State AAUW Affiliate, who requested a loan of $950 to cover the cost of an annual license fee to present STARTSMART programs on their campus. Some of the funds may be reimbursed by the University. A. Scarlett presented a motion to approve the loan, $451 of the amount to come from the branch STARTSMART fund, and the balance to be taken from the branch reserves. L. Patterson seconded the motion, which carried.

Membership Director J. Stuter presented an idea for a starter membership fund to assist prospective members to join. After discussion Co-President L. Jordan asked Stuter to host a meeting about this idea and invite all branch members to discuss the idea further.

Scholarship Co-Directors L. Patterson and A. Storey reported that some members of the Scholarship Committee have expressed concerns that the financial information required of applicants is not sufficient. Another issue is whether to turn selection of the applicants over to a college or university in order to increase the number of applicants, but that may involve extending eligibility to men as well as women. The committee will be exploring options on both issues.

Speech Trek Co-Chair S. Beck announced that the committee expects five or six students to participate in the Feb. 15 contest.

Tech Trek Director J. Reiken reported that she is working to recruit an additional school from which students could be selected to participate in the program.

Recollections of our Sacramento Branch Executive Secretary/Treasurer by Pat Stilwell

Gestetner machine

The year was 1975. The Sacramento Branch, with 1,100 members, was in need of centralization of some of its functions such as addressing and mailing the newsletter, duplicating materials and collecting money. Finding a member who would volunteer to perform those duties on a regular basis was getting harder, so the branch board decided to create a paid position. This job was to be handled out of the Executive  Secretary/Treasurer’s home and required space for equipment and supplies.

By today’s standards, the equipment used would seem archaic! For instance, after picking up the newsletters from the printer, a hand operated device that used a metal plate which was embossed with the member’s name and address was used to address each newsletter. Each individual plate had to be inserted into the inking slot, and a handle was depressed to print the name and address on the newsletter. (That was only 43 years ago!) Imagine pulling down on a lever to address a newsletter 1,100 times every month.

In addition there was a Gestetner machine. Don’t know what a Gestetner is? It was a piece of equipment for duplicating flyers, reports, minutes, etc. It required typing on a typewriter on special paper. The paper was wound around a drum, and as it went around it turned out the needed documents. (Thank heavens it wasn’t hand cranked!) It was large and made lots of clicking noise!

The money collected included dues, donations, event fees, etc. Money was recorded and reported to the appropriate officer/chair and deposited in the bank. This meant that there was lots of mail for the Executive Secretary/Treasurer’s mailbox and many trips to the bank.

The Executive Secretary/Treasurer attended all board meetings to listen to plans that would include any function of the position.

As the branch membership declined and computers came on the scene, the duties of the Executive Secretary/Treasurer reverted to individual officers/chairs.

Personal Note: I loved this job. I made lifelong friends through AAUW and I will always be grateful to Sacramento AAUW for the experience and training it provided as I transitioned to the position as Office Manager for California AAUW in 1985.

Save the Date: Authors Luncheon Speakers Chronicle California Women’s Struggles for Political Equality by Cathy Locke

Women were allowed to vote in California’s statewide elections in 1911, nine years before the 19th Amendment granted women voting rights nationwide. Since then, women’s progress toward political equality has come in fits and starts.

This year’s Authors Luncheon speakers, Steve and Susie Swatt, along with co-authors Rebecca LaVally and Jeff Raimundo, have chronicled women’s achievements in and out of elected office in “Paving the Way: Women’s Struggle for Political Equality in California.”

The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at Plates Café, 14 Business Parkway, No. 149, off Fruitridge Road. The election of branch officers for 2020-21 will also take place at this meeting.

“Paving the Way,” published in 2019 by Berkeley Public Policy Press, was written with an eye toward this year’s 100th anniversary of national women’s suffrage,

“We tell the stories of dozens of women—many of them unheralded and lost to history – who transformed California since the Gold Rush – from early conservation efforts and the epic state suffrage battle to political pioneers and more contemporary women who are breaking barriers,” said Steve Swatt, the book’s lead author and a former political reporter with KCRA-TV in Sacramento.

His wife, Susie, a former AAUW Sacramento member, spent nearly 40 years as a staff member in the California Legislature and was a special assistant for the Fair Political Practices Commission. LaVally is a former editor in the California Senate’s public policy research office, and a former bureau chief for United Press International and Gannett News Service. Raimundo worked as a political and public relations consultant, following a career as a reporter and editor with The Sacramento Bee in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

“The Golden State’s women and girls are anything but monolithic,” writes Greg Lucas, California State Librarian, in his forward to “Paving the Way”. “Women historically have disagreed over such fundamental issues as the inevitability of female suffrage, the appropriateness of Roe v. Wade and notions of feminism itself. This book respects that diversity, individually and ideologically. Even so, it finds that the women who made the biggest differences in shaping California’s political landscape have had some qualities in common. Almost invariably, they were determined, resilient, and fierce.”

Please join us for this popular annual event as we continue to mark the 100th anniversary of our branch as well as women’s suffrage. This year’s luncheon entrée choices feature traditional Plates Café favorites: herb-roasted chicken, vegetable lasagna, or stuffed and seasoned portabello mushroom. To offset steep labor cost increases this year, we have opted for buffet-style service. Volunteers in the branch will be available to provide table service for members and guests who have mobility issues.

You may register for the Authors Luncheon on Eventbrite and pay with a credit card, or, if you prefer to pay by check, download the registration form by clicking here and mail it with your check to Cathy Locke (see address in branch directory). Reservations are due by Tuesday, April 14.

13th Annual Speech Trek Contest Celebrates Its Winner by Ann Arneill

On Saturday, Feb. 15 the Speech Trek Committee and many wonderful volunteers, family and friends of the speakers gathered at Cosumnes River College to listen to five high school students from the Elk Grove Unified School District speak on the topic: Are men and women truly equal today? Or are the suffragists of 1920 still suffering in 2020?  Students concurred that the suffragists are still suffering due to gender inequality!

Our 2020 Speech Trek Winners

First Place Winner was Sophia Wang, a freshman at Franklin High School, receiving $500. Second Place Winner, Noura Mahmoud, a junior from Pacific Grove High School, received $300. The Third Place Winner was Prayer Noyogiere, a sophomore from Cosumnes Oaks High School, who received $200.


The winning speech can be viewed at:

The Sacramento Branch’s winning speaker is entered into the AAUW CA Speech Trek Semi-Finals, and the top three winners will be announced around the first or second week in March. If Sophia Wang makes it into the top three, she will be invited to compete at the Annual Meeting on April 18 in San Francisco. She will also be presenting her speech as the May Branch meeting—something to look forward to because she is a very dynamic speaker.

Dr. Virginia Kidd, Communications Professor Emeritus at CSUS, and Beverly Hahner and Nina Mansfield, both members of the Mather Chapter of Toastmasters, judged the event. Ellynrose Sheehan, Speech Trek Committee member, was Greeter. AAUW member Kathleen Deaver served as timekeeper for the contest, and Billie VeerKamp, President of the CSUS AAUW Chapter, and her committee video recorded all of the student speeches. Thanks to other branch members for their help: Cathy Locke, Karen Burley, Gloria Yost, Linda Sparks, and Jan Suter.

For more information please contact:

Interest Group Updates by Becky Anton

Evening Board Games Seeking More Members

The Evening Board Games group meets on the last Friday of the month at 7 p.m. They play a variety of games including Mexican Train, Rummikub, Qwirkle, and occasionally a card game such as Hand and Foot. Currently, they are meeting in East Sacramento. Please contact Ruth Werner at (916) 442-3270 or for more information

Calling All AAUW Gourmet Groups

Are there gourmet groups out there we don’t know about? Are you interested in starting a gourmet group? Does your group have full AAUW membership? Call Interest Group Coordinator Becky Anton at 916-996-6518.

We know there are some groups that are no longer sanctioned AAUW groups. For various reasons some members have chosen not to continue AAUW membership, but they have bonded well enough that they want to continue on their own. We hope that in time, that will change and they will be in full AAUW membership. If a gourmet group happens to lose a couple, we hope they will reach out to the coordinator to welcome a new couple. I would like to see Gourmet Groups listed along with the other interest groups so they don’t get lost.

Here are a couple of Gourmet Groups in full membership that we would like to tell you about:

Diana Squire shared about her experience in a Gourmet Group: In the early 1980s we moved to Sacramento and I joined the Sacramento Branch of AAUW. I went to the yearly Fall Festival and signed up for the Gourmet Group. The Branch provided booklets with suggested menus for dinners – from appetizers through dessert. The suggested menus were from different countries so groups could try foods from around the world.

I was contacted by Marty Cox and she hosted a meeting. Four couples came to the meeting and we set a date for our first dinner. The hostess set the menu, provided the recipes and assigned each couple one of the courses to bring to the dinner. The hostess provided the main course and beverages (coffee, tea, wine….). Initially, in our group, each couple kept track of their expenses for their portion of the meal and at the end of the evening, the cost for the entire meal was split between everyone. This normally meant providing the host compensation for the extra expenses for the wine, and often the main course was the most expensive part of the dinner. However, after 30+ years of dinners we now just take turns and don’t keep track of the expenses – it all evens out in the end.

Little did I know when I joined the group that I would discover lifelong friends. Our first group of five couples fell to four couples after one had to drop out. We filled the opening, but after a year or so they too had to leave the group. Finally, we found a couple that made the group complete. We’re all about the same age and celebrating 50 years of marriage with our spouses. Sadly, we lost one spouse along the way, so now we are nine at the table. We’ve shared many a meal, watched our children grow up, and are enjoying our grandchildren. We’ve shared meals in our homes, in youth hostels, in campgrounds, at lighthouses, in Unionville, Nevada, and at B&Bs. We continue trying new foods and get together at least five times a year.

Our Gourmet Group – Marty and Ken Cox, Jean and Bob Bonar, Sabina and Wolfgang von Sydow, Diana and Frank Squire, Kathy Leahy. Currently, four members are AAUW members and the fifth will be rejoining AAUW, the Lodi Chapter, this spring.

Meet another current AAUW Gourmet Group that started about that same time with the menus prepared by a Committee of several members. This group has changed many times over the years and likes to reminisce about previous couples and the menus, too. They meet every couple of months or so when they can agree on a date when they are not all traveling somewhere. The hostess is rotated and plans the menu and sends the recipes out to the four couples. The hostess prepares the entrée and the beverages, and we all enjoy discovering new wines and recipes.

I joined this group when a couple moved and I answered an e-mail that they were looking for another couple. I have found this group always has good conversations about their travels, are interested in current events, and attend most of the other AAUW meetings and programs and firmly support the mission of AAUW.

This Gourmet Group includes Hedda and Tom Smithson, Shari and Gary Beck, Nancy Lawrence, and Becky and Ed Anton. All are AAUW members.




If you want to start a Gourmet Group, here are guidelines. Becky is available to help.

Click here for Guidelines for AAUW Gourmet Dining Groups

Funds Updates by Kathleen Asay and Merrie McLaughlin

Kathy Asay

Kathy Asay

The Numbers are In

Recently, we learned that Sacramento Branch contributed $7,885 to AAUW Funds in 2019. Thank you all. You are a consistently generous group. As you know, your contributions help maintain AAUW as an organization, as an advocate for women and girls and as a supporter of equity in education. Around the country and the world, women are earning advanced degrees, conducting research, banding together to take a stand—all with the support of AAUW Funds. AAUW has been a global leader in educational funding for women and girls since 1888 with $4 million awarded annually in recent years, $100 million since 1888.

Dianne Owens, CA AAUW Fund Director, also reports that the state exceeded its goal of $500,000 donated in 2019 and raised an outstanding $500,771.80. All over California, women like us are saying with their contributions that they believe in the goals of AAUW.

For Sacramento members, a surprise bonus: As you know, for every $750 we donate, we are allowed to recognize a Named Gift Honoree. Though most years we qualify for more, we gratefully select only three or four. But this year that $7,885 qualifies us for 10, and we have decided to honor 10.

See you in May with the names.