Daily Archives: March 4, 2020

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: https://youtu.be/kCptMlM3VZk

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: