Monthly Archives: May 2020

May 30 Branch Meeting Goes Virtual by Liz Jordan

Due to the ongoing pandemic and the difficulty in allowing groups of people to gather, AAUW Sacramento has decided to move the last meeting of the year to a Zoom meeting.  The Board of Directors has used the Zoom application twice for the April 6 meeting and the May 4 meeting.  The AAUW CA Annual meeting was also held remotely on Zoom.  We don’t have a great deal of expertise but enough experience to believe we can do this!

The traditional aspects of the May 30 meeting will be at the center of the agenda:

  • Installation of new board officers
  • Honoring our 50-year members
  • Honoring our Named Give Honorees

At the time of writing this article for the May issue of Capitol Ideas, the meeting set up is still in development.   If possible, the virtual meeting will begin at the same time as the in-person meeting.  The Program Directors and Committee will send an e-blast as soon as the meeting perimeters have been established.  A reminder e0blast will be sent the week of the meeting with directions for how to “attend” the meeting. 

If you haven’t heard about how you may attend by Tuesday, May 26, or if you have questions about attending the meeting, please contact

Presidents’ Message by Liz Jordan and Charmen Goehring

Liz Jordan

Dear Members,

As everyone who sends you a message these days, the first and last thing we say to each other is, “I wish you well, good health, peace of mind.” And I do wish that for all our members.

What happened to the April Newsletter?

The April newsletter was nearly complete, but due to illness and work/life imbalance, it was never sent. Sometimes life happens, and boy has life happened to our world these days. We just have to move on. And so, we are moving on.

The Election

In my message to you last month, we wrote about the election, which is now completed. Because our in-person Annual meeting was canceled due to the pandemic, we needed an electronic method for the membership to vote remotely. Fortunately, our go-to-whenever-you-need-help, Shari Beck, had experience with Google Docs and Google templates. Also, Shari’s good friend at CalRTA, Jim Sterling, just happened to be available to help us create an electronic ballot. It was sent by e-blast on April 10 with a deadline of April 17.

The election was a success in that:

  1. We need a quorum of the membership to vote. Our Bylaws require a 15 percent quorum, and we had nearly a 30 percent turnout. A member who doesn’t have email were mailed a ballot with an addressed envelope, and six of those 11 members returned their ballots.
  2. We put two measures forward to change the terms of our elected officers to two years, and to stagger the offices to be elected so that we have half of the board with a year of experience under their belts. This is the way AAUW and AAUW CA elect officers, and it allows for new blood and experience simultaneously. Our branch membership voted overwhelmingly to make these changes, which will also allow us to submit our change to National’s 5 Star Recognition program.
  3. Congratulations to our new 2020-2021 elected Board of Directors are:
  • President – Angela Scarlett
  • President-Elect – unfilled
  • Program Directors – Kim Rutledge and Gloria Yost
  • Membership Director – Jan Stuter and Co-Director unfilled
  • AAUW Fund Director – Charmen Goehring
  • Finance Director – unfilled**
  • Secretary – Della Knowles
  • Nominating Committee – elected members Molly Dugan, Liz Jordan, Donna Holmes.

Charmen Goehring

  1. How does a branch exist without a Finance Director?

     Short Answer: it doesn’t.

The Nominating Committee did much of the same searching that I did last Summer and Fall, phoning many members, asking for a member to take the Finance Directorship. No one has been willing/able to step forward.

Our current Finance Director, Donna Holmes, was Finance Director previously for more than a single term. She also served as Funds Director, Scholarship Director, and as President for two years. She is unable to continue as Finance Director, and she has contributed greatly to our branch. Our previous Finance Director, May Ruth Lynch, served for six years, and she spoiled us with her expertise year after year. But her doctor won the argument.

It’s time for someone else to take on this position. It becomes less complicated with our transition to MPP, the online renewal program that National provides. No branch can exist without a Finance Director. This 100-year-old branch with more than 200 members will have to disband if no one steps forward to volunteer.


Membership Outreach During the Pandemic

Fourteen board members volunteered to call their fellow members during the first two weeks of our membership renewal. Their goals are two-fold:

  1. Make sure members are well and have the help they need.
  2. Make sure they understand how to renew their local, state and national membership and donate to their favorite outreach programs.

Past-President Molly Dugan volunteered to organize an Errand Squad that provides small, in-person services for members who are struggling to accomplish grocery pickup or other small errands.

Those board member volunteers are Charmen Goehring, Kathy Asay, Anna Storey, Karen Burley, Ruth Ann Hines, Linda Patterson, Ann Arneill, Jane Cooley, Shari Beck, Cathy Locke, Jo Reiken, Kim Rutledge, Gloria Yost, and Barbara Smith.

Liz feels like quoting her grandmother: Bless their hearts!

 May Branch Meeting

The May Branch meeting has developed a traditional program: Installing the incoming officers, honoring our 50-year members as well as our Named Gift Honorees, and having the Speech Trek Branch winner reprise her/his speech for the audience.

Because of social distancing restrictions related to the coronavirus, our Saturday, May 30 installation meeting will be conducted online, beginning at 10 a.m. We are developing a meeting the membership can attend via the Zoom App much like the AAUW CA Annual Meeting was done on April 18. Stay tuned for further information that will be sent by e-blast in early May.

Membership Renewal for 20/21 by Sharon Anderson, Membership Treasurer

All Sacramento branch members will have received their postal-mailed renewal packet by late April. The renewal deadline is, as always, June 1.

Those members who have an email address will also have received National’s online dues invoice from this address:, with the sent date of April 21. If you haven’t already, please complete the invoice to pay dues and any donation to AAUW Funds. Please use a check to make any donations to our branch’s local programs. Then mail the renewal form back to me in the envelope provided in the mailed packet with your donation check enclosed.

If you wish to donate to National’s AAUW Funds, note that “AAUW Funds” on the invoice refers to the Greatest Needs Fund #9110. The pull-down menu lists the other funds open for donations. You can donate to only one fund on this form. Please contact our AAUW Funds Director, Kathy Asay, with questions on this.

Thank you for participating in this new online method of paying dues. It saves steps for both the branch and the National organization, and we hope it’s also convenient for you.


Printable Newsletter Articles, Branch Birthdays, Tech Trek Updates, and April Board Meeting Notes

Branch Birthdays and Printable Newsletter Articles

  • Click here for Branch Birthdays
  • Click here for the printable version of the newsletter articles

Update on Tech Trek and Future Plans

Due to the ongoing pandemic, AAUW CA has canceled Tech Trek camps for this summer. All monies sent in by the branch will be held over for next year’s camp. Our branch intends to honor the girls who were selected this year and involve them in a branch Tech Trek alumni effort that is being created. More information will follow.

Board Briefs April 6, 2020 by Cherril Peabody

 Here are the highlights of the April AAUW Sacramento Virtual Board Meeting:

 Membership Treasurer S. Anderson reported that she had ordered the membership milestone 50-year pins from National AAUW that were approved for purchase at the March Board meeting. C. Goehring confirmed that the pins were received.

Co-President L. Jordan announced that she has created a ballot that can be filled out and returned online. This is necessary because the April branch meeting where the branch election for next year’s board officers was scheduled to be held has been canceled because of COVID-19. The ballots will be emailed on April 10 with a deadline of April 17 for the completed ballots to be returned. Paper ballots will be sent to those without computer access. Thirty-two completed ballots are needed for a quorum. The results will be sent via email.

The Nominating Committee still needs a Co-Membership Director and a Finance Director for the 2020-2021 program year.

Scholarship Co-Director L. Patterson announced that the Scholarship Committee reviewed the applications of 10 women and selected five of them via email to be the recipients of the 2020-2021 $2,000 scholarship grants.

Program: The Board is looking at possible videoconferencing alternatives for the installation meeting if the restrictions on public gatherings remain in place through May.

Tech Trek Director J. Reiken reported that this summer’s Tech Trek camp has been canceled because of COVID-19. Before State AAUW made this decision, our branch had chosen two girls each from three schools to participate. State is now asking for participating branches’ input into whether the girls selected for this year’s camp should be allowed to be carried over until next year’s camp, which would make them a year older than the usual age.

Old Business: The AAUW Convention was canceled because of COVID-19.

The idea of establishing a Stewardship Committee to help thank branch donors was discussed. S. Anderson will write an article for Capital Ideas and B. Anton will write an item for Branch News You Can Use announcing this new branch volunteer opportunity.

“Pathways To Now” Vignettes by Creative Writers/Sacramento Branch of AAUW by Betty Foot Henderson

Reprinted from the Creative Writers Groups publication in 1985

Dear Friends and Gentle Readers:

Welcome to this gathering of the Creative Writers Section of the American Association of University Women, Sacramento Branch.

Creative Writers started shortly after the end of World War II when a few women who were already friends decided to meet one evening a month at one another’s homes and write. With pads and pencils, laps and lamps, quiet and concentration – they would write until 1 or 2 in the morning, with interruptions to read and criticize and encourage one another’s work.

The group included Phyllis Hyatt Gardiner, whose heartwarming book on her parents, “The Hyatt Legacy,” was printed in 1959. Alice Madeley Matthews’ Sacramento memories appeared as articles in the Sacramento Union. For her 90th birthday in 1984, the articles were compiled into a book titled, “I Remember – I Remember,” as a gift from the Country Day School, which she helped found. Dr. Catherine Patterson, professor at Sacramento Junior College, wrote of her childhood in a California lumber camp. Isabel Johnson compiled letters written from Java by her engineer father. Margarette Christian Moehr was a gifted English teacher at Sacramento High School.

Their happy enthusiasm attracted others into their circle. In 1946, Margarette suggested they should become a section of AAUW. By 1951, when she was president of the Sacramento Branch, Creative Writers Section was active and growing.

Through the years the Section became too large and divided into a Daytime Section, presumably for those who had retired from work-a-day jobs, and an Evening Section for those who preferred night meetings.

In 1963, the Section put together a SAMPLER of members’ writings. In 1966, SAMPLER ii was produced, and SAMPLER III came out in 1971. Most of our members also worked on the production of the Sacramento Branch opus, “Vanishing Victorians,” which absorbed our attention for some two years prior to 1973. Alice Matthews wrote the beautiful introduction for the book, a blend of Sacramento history, personal memory and poetry. We are all proud to realize that this book actually did stop the wanton destruction of Sacramento’s beautiful old homes.

The star of our Section was Margaret Craven, author of “I Heard the Owl Call My Name,” and writer of some 50 years’ worth of beautiful short stories. So modest! One awed member said to Margaret, “I am only a would-be writer,” “Oh, but we all are!” was her instant reply.

There are other remembered names – no, not just names – vivid personalities! I daren’t start to name them! But the Section takes pride in the knowledge that most of our writers have become “published,” in magazines, newspapers, and/or books.

A few years ago, with new members coming in, we discovered that as we read and talked we would learn some astonishing facts about each other’s lives. “I wish I had a vignette about each of you,” said Marilynn Moehring, then Chair of the Daytime Section. That was the beginning of the collection of intimacies.

As each was read, we found we all experienced that warm thrill of discovery.

Speech Trek Contest Celebrates Its Donors by Ann Arneill

The Speech Trek Contest season is drawing to a close. We have one final event that we urge you all to attend: the May 30 virtual Branch Meeting where our First Prize winner, Sophia Wang, will deliver her speech on the topic: Are men and women truly equal today? Or are the suffragists of 1920 still suffering in 2020?

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many Branch members who contributed to Speech Trek in 2019. Because of your generosity, we can award $1,075 in cash prizes to our winners each year. We were also able to purchase a video recorder for the whole branch to use with which we also recorded our contest speakers. Donors include Ann Arneill, Kathleen Asay, Alice G. Bauer, Shari Beck, Jean Bonar, Jane Cooley, Vivian Counts, Kathleen Deaver, Deborah Dunn, Judy Foote, Lori Franz, Cheryl Fuller, Joan Hammond, Jennifer Henderson, Lisa Howard, Marlys Fredrickson Huez, Elizabeth Jordan, Catherine Locke, Susana Mullen, Vicki L. Nicholson, Marjorie Patzer, Bonnie Penix, Marianne Rorden, Elizabeth Rose, Karen Ann Rystad, Mary Schneider, Sandi Schoenman, Ellynrose Sheehan, Hedda Smithson, Shirley Wheeler, Linda Whitney, Patricia Winkle, Sandra Winter, and Gloria Yost.

Despite Challenge of Stay-at-home, Scholarship Committee chooses 2020-2021 Awardees by Anna Storey and Linda Patterson

Before Zoom became the preferred mode for online meetings, the Scholarship Committee used the “old-fashioned” email method to discuss applications and choose five scholarship winners for the 2020-2021 academic year. All the applicants were remarkable candidates, and the choices were difficult. Below are photos and brief profiles of next year’s scholarship recipients. Each scholarship is for $2,000.

Sidra Awais

Sidra Awais

Sidra Awais is a student at Sacramento State majoring in Accounting. She expects to graduate in June 2021.




Phuong Ly

Phuong Ly

Phuong Ly attends Sacramento City College and plans a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She expects to graduate in 2023.




Tiffany Joseph

Tiffany Joseph

Tiffany Joseph attends American River College. She plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She expects to graduate in 2024.




Maria Carrillo

Maria Carrillo

Maria Carrillo attends CSUS and is majoring in Communication Studies and Political Science. She expects to graduate in 2022.




Elizabeth Adam

Elizabeth Adam

Elizabeth Adam attends American River College and is an AAUW affiliate member. She plans on a bachelor’s degree in Geology and Earth Sciences and plans to graduate in Fall 2024.

We look forward to hearing from these women when they come to the September branch meeting and introduce themselves to members.


All the current 2019-2020 recipients — Sidra Awais, Brianna Delaney, Asiya Amal, Athena Aviles, and Emily Wirth — are doing online classes this semester (including labs!) and have reported that all is well, despite the challenges.


AAUW Sacramento Branch is blessed with members whose generosity makes funding so many scholarships possible and enables women with extraordinary challenges to pursue their dreams of earning a bachelor’s degree. The Scholarship Committee thanks you!

Funds Updates By Kathleen Asay and Merrie McLaughlin

Kathy Asay

Kathy Asay

Greatest Needs

Our annual membership renewal packets were mailed out in mid-April, and enclosed with them is an opportunity for us to donate to the Funds that make AAUW the powerhouse for women that it is. In 2018, AAUW created a Strategic Plan for the current and future operations of our organization. We’re hoping you are becoming familiar with the five new funds that grew out of that plan but, if not, here’s a review. As you will see, the funds of the past have been absorbed into these, the funds of the future.



The first and probably most vital fund is the Greatest Needs Fund #9110 because as it states it can be used where needed, even to support programs administered through other funds. By enabling AAUW to respond quickly to societal change and opportunities for action, it ensures our participation in the effort to provide equity to women and girls.

The next three funds are Education and Training #4450, Economic Security #4449 and Leadership #4452. These funds are more specific in their goals and funding targets. Education and Training supports public policy, fellowships and grants, and research to see that all levels of education are free from sex discrimination. Economic Security #4449 includes pay equity, Title VII and retirement security through Start Smart, Work Smart, and the Legal Advocacy Fund. Leadership #4452 seeks to develop women leaders so that the concerns of women and girls will be considered in training and careers. NCCWSL is a leadership program at the national level. (At the branch level, funds for college students to attend the national conference are raised locally.)

The fifth fund is Governance and Sustainability #4451, which is designed to support the operation of AAUW using modern technology and communications to expand and create vital and diverse outreach.

These are big, important goals. If you have any questions about these goals and the funds that support them, please contact us.

Public Policy – Reproductive Rights by Claire Noonan, AAUW CA Public Policy committee

Reproductive Health for All in 2020

As American women consider action to ensure reproductive health rights in 2020, it is useful to recall that in the 17th and 18th centuries pregnancy termination was legal under common law before ‘quickening’ (fetal movement) that occurs approximately 16 weeks after conception.

After 1850 the crusade in the U.S. against voluntary pregnancy termination stepped up. According to Lauren McIver Thompson (author of “Battle for Birth Control …”) physicians, known for irregular practice and lack of training, in order to “establish their place as respected members of society” argued about the ‘rights of the unborn’ – sound familiar? New York Times, December 15, 2019.

By 1900 in accord with the Comstock Act of 1873 most states had passed laws restricting termination and contraception. As a consequence, by the 1930s one report estimated that 681 thousand abortions led to 8 – 10 thousand maternal deaths.

It took a decision by the Supreme Court in 1973 to change the numbers, but the struggle continues. On Friday, Jan. 24, at the March for Life rally, the president threatened to take away California’s federal funding in accord with the Weldon Amendment because of California law that ensures private insurers provide abortion and contraception coverage. The HHS department gave the state 30 days to lift the regulation, saying that the state is not compliant with the amendment. Note that four years ago federal opinion confirmed California’s compliance to not discriminate against a health care facility. Yet, Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) on Feb. 21, emailed support for health care entities that don’t want to supply equal legal health services to all.

After the February 4 president’s State of the Union speech, there is no doubt women must continue to advocate for reproductive health rights – especially for black and Native American women who have far higher pregnancy-related mortality rates than white women. Of 15 policies suggested by the National Partnership for Women the most important: access to all forms of abortion care and contraception regardless of where you live.

This past February, two bills were voted down in the U. S. Senate:

  1.  to institute a 20-week abortion ban and
  2. to require medical care be delivered to infants that survive abortions, a misleading bill, given that infanticide is already a crime.

Our February 100th Anniversary Party – Our Good News

Our Saturday, February 29, 100th Anniversary party was such an amazing success.  Gloria Yost and Linda Whitney worked for over two years with a committee of changing size and membership to provide historical articles and a very well-planned, entertaining, warm and welcoming party.  From Mary Schneider’s dramatically beautiful table centerpieces to Carole Cline’s funny and timely skit, Jean Brown and Vicki Nicholson’s reformed Musettes with their enthusiastic songs accompanied by Mary Williams, to AAUW CEO Kim Churches energetic and interesting presentation, the program looked back and looked forward at our AAUW Sacramento Branch, at what we have accomplished and contributed, and to where we go from here.

Cherril Peabody and her committee created four pleasing and informational displays of Sacramento’s outreach programs and a fun slide show loop of great memories.  Anna Storey and her committee created the wonderful memory book of photos and articles for us to enjoy and keep as a memory of the day.

We want to share with all our members the Resolution we received from the County Board of Supervisors, the Certificate and letter from AAUW (click here for the second page) and Kim Churches and also a note of congratulations from the Woodland Branch.