Monthly Archives: September 2020

October Program – CA Ballot Proposition Forum

Election 2020 CA Ballot Proposition Forum By Gloria Yost

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
6:30pm on Zoom

AAUW Sacramento and AAUW Citrus-Heights American River are jointly hosting a forum on the pros and cons of the ballot propositions in the November 3 election. Join us as Professor Mary Beth Moylan and a panel of McGeorge School of Law students review the current propositions on the November ballot. Professor Moylan is the Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and a Professor in the Global Lawyering Skills (“GLS”) program at McGeorge School of Law.

Professor Moylan will be joined by her students who will present key points about each of the 12 propositions on the upcoming ballot in November. We will take as much time as possible for questions. Questions may be submitted before the meeting and for any unanswered questions, we will get answers out to participants shortly after the event.

Please register for this virtual meeting on the Eventbrite link below. You will be sent a Zoom link two days before the forum.

To see a list of the 12 propositions, follow this link.

President’s Message

President’s Message By Angela Scarlett

As I sit at my computer, I am contemplating the turmoil our nation is in right now. The national election is six weeks away.  The entire west coast has had massive wildfires, and COVID-19 is still very much a presence in our lives.  And finally, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, died from cancer.  Justice Ginsburg’s work as a lawyer often challenged sex-based discriminatory laws for both men and women in the United States.

  • In 1971, Ginsburg wrote a brief for the case Reed v. Reed. This case challenged an Idaho law requiring probate courts to appoint men to administer estates, even if a qualified woman could perform that task.
  • In 1973, she first appeared before the Supreme Court on behalf of Air Force Lt. Sharron Frontiero. Federal law required Frontiero to prove that her husband, Joseph, depended on her for at least half his economic support to qualify for housing, medical and dental benefits. Had Lt. Frontiero’s husband been the solider, the couple would have automatically qualified for those benefits.
  • In 1975, Ginsburg represented widower Stephen Wiesenfeld in challenging a Social Security Act provision that provided parental benefits only to widows with minor children. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that sex-based distinction unconstitutional.
  • Ginsburg also wrote an influential brief in Craig v. Boren. This 1976 case established the current standard for evaluating the constitutionality of sex-based laws.

Justice Ginsburg’s legacy has far-reaching implications for gender equity, part of AAUW’s core mission. May her legacy continue to inspire many.

Now it is time to go on to more practical matters of our branch. Our October meeting is the second time we will have had the opportunity to collaborate with AAUW Citrus Heights American River (also known as CHAR).  We will be co-hosting a webinar presentation by students from McGeorge Law School on October 14 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  The law students will be providing the pros and cons of 13 ballot initiatives.  Please invite a friend and register for free on Eventbrite .

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or ideas.

Angela Scarlett
AAUW Sacramento President

Membership Update

Membership Update By Bonnie Penix and Jan Stuter

Even in these challenging times, we were able to come together on Zoom on Saturday, September 12, to present a successful Sacramento Branch Fall Showcase. We were reminded of our mission to advance women and girls through research, education, advocacy, and philanthropy. We shared more about our outreach programs and interest groups. And we met the dynamic young women who were scholarship recipients this year.

AAUW Sacramento Branch can be a connected community, inspired to contribute our time and skills in a meaningful way. Each of you can help expand our Branch  by sharing our goals with women you know: your sisters, sisters-in-law, daughters, granddaughters, their friends, your nieces, neighbors, coworkers. They are all potential new members who may want to join us. Please take the time to invite one of them to explore what we have to offer and what we do.  Men who support equity for women and girls, and are college graduates themselves, are also qualified to join.

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to these women who recently joined us:

Cristina Whitlock of Folsom, a UC Davis graduate with a BA in Sociology/American Studies,  MA in Social Work from CSU — new member

PJ Missman of Fair Oaks, a UC Davis graduate with a BS in Zoology — renewed after a five-year absence, dual member with CHAR

And this space reserved for:  your friend!   Remember, we are all part of the Membership Committee.

Jan Stuter & Bonnie Penix
Membership Co-Directors

Interest Groups

Interest Groups By Vicki Nicholson

In this prolonged season of limited physical contact, health experts underscore the importance of maintaining social connections.  Branch interest groups are an ideal vehicle for strengthening interpersonal connections with other members who have similar interests.

On pages 4-6 of the 2020-2021 directory you will find a summary of current interest and book groups, ranging from Art and Architecture to Travel.  Interest and book groups generally meet monthly and many are “meeting” virtually in order to stay connected.  It is never too late to join a group!  Although I have belonged to the Sacramento Branch since 1994, only recently have I joined an AAUW book group.

Consider joining at least one ongoing group.  Our branch meetings often feature informative speakers, so the opportunity to gain knowledge is definitely a benefit of membership.  However, interest/book groups offer camaraderie and long-term friendships which go a long way to counter social isolation.

For more information about a particular group, contact the leader listed in the directory.  If you have questions or would like to form another interest group, please contact me at (916) 684-7170.

AAUW Sacramento Branch Public Policy Update

AAUW Sacramento Branch Public Policy Update By Arlene Cullum

It has been an exciting opportunity for me to reconvene the Sacramento AAUW Branch Public Policy Committee these past few months.  Although very new to AAUW, I originally joined to help impact outcomes for women and girls in California.  During my tenure in a hospital director role for thirty years in Women’s and Children’s services, I have had the opportunity to advocate on the national and state levels to improve health outcomes for pregnant women and newborns, and children with special healthcare needs.  I look forward to the chance to focus on issues affecting economic security for all women, the promotion of high-quality public education and assuring equality and social justice for this population.

I am so incredibly awed by the depth of public policy background and the diverse public policy and advocacy experience of the members of our branch committee.  We have representation of attorneys, prior Congressional aides/assistants, former mayoral representative, lobbyists, university advocates, and individuals who have worked extensively with coalitions that support and promote needs of women and girls.

Sue Miller, the State AAUW Public Policy Co-Chair, provided us a comprehensive overview of the national and state priorities for public policy for AAUW, the role of the state committee, and the relationship of our branch committee to the state committee.  The focus of the State committee is on leadership training this year.  In the State newsletter and on the State website, you can find information on the webinars that include topics such as Get Out the Vote, How to Talk with your Legislator, among others.  The two coalitions to which the California AAUW is participating includes Stronger California and the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom.

The typical calendar of activities for the State Committee includes monitoring the State budget release mid-January followed by a meeting the end of February to select bills for that legislative session that meets the criteria for the AAUW Public Policy priorities.  The State Committee in conjunction with the AAUW lobbyist, determines either a support, oppose, or watch status on each bill.  In 2021, there will be a State Lobby Day, most likely April 15 and 16, 2021.  The committee will review the May Revise of the State of California budget and weigh in on issues in that forum as well.  As the bills make their way through their legislative committees, the lobbyist and State committee monitors the progress.  Our committee has prioritized the following activities for the coming year:

  • October 14: Co-host Ballot Initiative Review (McGeorge Law Students) with CHAR
  • Early Fall: Provide input to State Committee on public policy priorities for 2021-22 sessions.
  • Late Fall: District office visits to Representative Kevin McCarthy, Senator Richard Pan and Congresswoman Doris Matsui.
  • Late Fall: Host a Lobbying 101 virtual webinar in conjunction with the National Women’s Political Caucus.
  • Spring: Participate in State Lobby Day

AAUW Public Policy Position on CA Election Propositions

AAUW Public Policy Position on CA Election Propositions By Sue Miller

In November, voters will make decisions on 12 state ballot propositions.  These cover a variety of issues.  The Public Policy Committee reviewed the ballot measures to see which ones are relevant to our Public Policy Priorities and to our mission. There are 7 that AAUW will support based on this review.  We hope you will agree and vote to support these measures.

Several do not address issues relating to our Priorities and mission.  Those are listed as “No Position.”  As an individual, you will need to decide how you will vote on these issues without AAUW’s recommendation.

Propositions with SUPPORT positions have brief descriptions of what they do and who sponsored the measures, as well as key supporters (pro) and opponents (con).  AAUW policies that apply are listed in parentheses.

Prop 14    Stem Cell Research             SUPPORT (access to quality health care)
Initiative bond measure
Asks voters to approve a bond for $5.5 billion to support continued stem cell research, as past bond money is now used up.  Stem cell research is used in developing cures for and treating diabetes, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, stroke.

Sponsor:  Robert Klein a real estate investor and activist.

Pro:  American Assoc. for Cancer Research, American Diabetes Assoc./LA         

Con:  Center for Genetics & Society

Prop 15    Property Taxes/Split Roll     SUPPORT (funding for education)
Initiative Constitutional amendment
Changes the property tax structure to assess large commercial properties worth more than $3 million at current market value.  It exempts from changes in property taxes residential properties, agricultural land, and business with a value of $3 million or less. Money generated goes to public schools and services provided by local jurisdictions.

Sponsor:  Schools and Communities First Coalition


Con: Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Assoc., AMVETS

Prop 16    Affirmative Action             SUPPORT (educational opportunity)
Legislative statute
Reinstates race, ethnicity, and country of origin as considerations for school admittance and government employment.  A previous proposition was passed by the voters banning the use of these factors by schools and government agencies.  That ban would be negated by this measure.

Sponsor:   California State Legislature

Pro:  California State Student Assoc., CTA, CFT

Con:  American Freedom Alliance, American Civil Rights Institute

P17    Voting for Parolees                   SUPPORT (expansion of voting rights)
Legislative Constitutional amendment
Allows people on parole to vote once their prison sentence has been completed and they are re-entering the community under parole.  Currently, those on probation can vote.  Imprisoned felons cannot vote.

Sponsor:   California State Legislature

Pro:  ACLU, LWV California

Con:  Crime Victims United of Calif., Election Integrity Project

P18     Voting at 17                               SUPPORT (encouraging voting)
Legislative Constitutional amendment
Allows 17-year-olds to register and vote in a primary election and any ensuing special elections if they will be 18 by the general election, thereby experiencing a full election cycle.

Sponsor:   California State Legislature

Pro:    Alex Padilla (SOS), California Assoc. of Student Councils

Con:   Election Integrity Project of California, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc.

P21    Rent Control                              SUPPORT (affordable housing)
Initiative statute
Authorizes local governments to place rent control measures on housing that is more than 15 years old.  Single family homes are exempt if no more than 2 properties are owned.  Landlords are guaranteed fair financial returns.

Sponsor:  Aids Healthcare Foundation/Housing is a Human Right

Pro:  ACLU So Cal., Dolores Huerta Foundation

Con: Congress of Calif. Seniors, Prometheus Real Estate Group, Inc.

P25    Cash Bail:  yes or no    SUPPORT (social and economic justice; equality/impact on minorities)
Initiative referendum
Voters decide to keep or reject SB 10 which ends the use of cash bail in determining whether a suspect is released or kept in jail while awaiting trial, and instead uses risk assessment as a way for judges to decide about releasing jailed suspects awaiting trial.

YES vote – Keep SB 10 and the new risk assessment for jail release
NO vote – Continue cash bail system

Sponsor:  American Bail Coalition

Pro:   Calif. Democratic Party, SEIU

Con:  Howard Jarvis Tax Assoc., Calif. State Conference of the NAACP

AAUW has taken NO POSITION on the following propositions:
P19    Property Taxes   Allows transfer of property tax amounts for older homeowners
P20    Criminal Justice  Restricts early parole for certain violent crimes
P22    Gig Workers   Makes rideshare and delivery drivers independent contractors
P23    Dialysis Clinics    Mandates new requirements for dialysis clinics
P24    Consumer Privacy   Expands consumer data privacy laws

Policies Affecting California Women’s Well Being Are November Program Focus By 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.

Representatives of the California Budget & Policy Center will update us on the status of women in Sacramento County and statewide during a November 14 presentation on the California Women’s Well Being Index. This free meeting will be held virtually, using Zoom. Please mark your calendars!

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.

Branch Birthdays, Book Groups, Printable Articles, and Board Briefs

Branch Birthdays and Printable Newsletter Articles

  • Click here for Branch Birthdays
  • Click here for Book Group books for October
  • Click here for Printable Newsletter Articles

Board Briefs  by Karen Burley
The Board met at the end of August and will be holding its next meeting on October 5, the first Monday of the month as per our regular schedule. Look for the October Board Briefs in the next edition of the branch newsletter.