President’s Message on Upcoming National Dues Increase and Upcoming National Election By Angela Scarlett
I hope this note finds everyone well. Branch business is going forward. Programs are
developing meetings that fit our mission and engage our members, including a panel discussion on the California’s Master Plan for Aging on Wednesday, March 24, at 7 p.m. Tech Trek is working with our state program to pilot virtual Tech Trek. The Scholarships committee has rolled out electronic applications, and Speech Trek will have conducted its first online contest by the time you read this.
I don’t know about you, but I have always centered my attention on branch life. As president, I have found this focus can be to my detriment. Both National and California AAUW organizations send out many communications to which we should pay attention.
- National dues will be increasing $3 this fiscal year, 2021-22. While this puts our overall dues just over $100, it is a mild increase, to be sure. In July 2020, AAUW started sending out emails warning that National would likely be increasing dues over several years. As of this writing, National has two more increases of $5 scheduled for the ensuing two years. By the fiscal year 2023-24, your national dues will be $72. All but $3 of your annual dues remain tax-deductible.
- The National AAUW Election opens on April 7 and ends on May 17. As many of you already know, eliminating the degree requirement is on the docket again. It is notable that the last time the national board of directors introduced this proposed amendment was in 2009. Other AAUW members have submitted this proposal in subsequent years. I understand that our members feel frustrated and question why this keeps coming up, but the reason has evolved as times have changed. As membership dwindles, AAUW is also losing access to funding and grants from organizations that now see our degree requirement as being counter to our stated mission of supporting equity for all women and girls. Such funding helps fuel our mission-based work, including studies we have done on pay equity.
I know this is a precious topic to many, but irrespective of anyone’s voting preferences, I strongly urge all members to review the national election page here (https://www.aauw.org/resources/member/governance-tools/national-election/). There is a town hall video near the bottom of the page on dues increases and degree requirements. Please consider watching this. You can also see the election timeline (including requesting a paper ballot by April 16). The number of members who vote in AAUW national elections hovers around 8,000 members. That number is far too small of a percentage to determine our national governance and mission.
While I will try to be more mindful of bringing state and national news to our organization, I would love to find a member or two willing to work in the California and National “beats” by reviewing websites, newsletters and email updates, and then summarizing the most important information our branch members need to know. Liz Jordan, our current financial director, tries to stay abreast of issues, but she is also on our nominating committee, and we want more members engaged and involved at all levels of AAUW.
As always, feel free to reach out to me via email or phone. My contact information is in our directory.
Thank you for your dedication and involvement.
AAUW Sacramento Branch President