Monthly Archives: May 2021

AAUW Program year ends with honors, speeches, hope for our city

AAUW Program year ends with honors, speeches, hope for our city – By Kim Rutledge

The final program of the AAUW Sacramento Branch was held on Saturday, May 15 on Zoom. The meeting started with the installation of new officers for the 2021-22 branch year, led by Gloria Yost. Marty McKnew and Donna Holmes were sworn in as membership co-directors, and Carole Cline was sworn in as secretary.

Liz Jordan presented President Angela Scarlett with her past-presidents’ pin, even though she will serve as president for another year. Liz also gave us a fascinating history of the pin’s origins and design. Other past presidents in the meeting shared about what the pin means to them.

Outgoing Membership Co-director Bonnie Pennix honored the branch’s 50-year members: Dorie Bracchi, Susan McLearan, Elaine Moody, Pat Stilwell and Gloria Yost. Each 50-year member received a certificate, which was mailed to their home.

Speech Trek winner Saher Haidari delivered her winning speech and impressed us all with her intelligence and poise, even over Zoom.

Funds Director Charmen Goehring presented this year’s branch named gift honorees: Karen Burley, Sharon Anderson, Marty McKnew, Arlene Cullum and Pat Winkle.

Our keynote speaker was Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela. She engaged our members in a discussion about her priorities for the city, including addressing housing and homelessness issues. She also spoke about the importance of having more women in leadership roles at all levels of government.

Looking ahead to the 2021-22 program year, please save the following dates for the Fall 2021 programs: Saturday, Sept. 11; Saturday, Oct. 23; Saturday, Nov. 13; and Saturday, Dec. 11. More program details will come in the next newsletter. If you are interested in helping plan next year’s programs, please email Kim Rutledge – you will find her contact information in the Sacramento Branch Membership Directory.

President’s Message

President’s Message By Angela Scarlett

Angela Scarlett

Summer is right around the corner and our AAUW branch will take a bit of a break. In July new officers will convene and start planning the program and events for the coming year. I hope you enjoyed our May program “A Glimpse of the Future,” and we look forward to seeing you in September for our kickoff event.

As life starts to become more “normal,” have a fun and memorable summer and remember to stay safe!

Membership Renewals and Donations

Membership Renewals and Donations By Sharon Anderson and Liz Jordan

Sharon Anderson, membership treasurer, and Liz Jordan, finance director, want to thank the members who have so eagerly renewed their membership and made significant donations to our branch outreach programs, and to our Dues Assistance Fund and General Branch Operations Fund.

As of the date of this writing, May 15, 2021:

  • 107 branch members have renewed membership on time. Thank You!
  • 49 renewing members used the convenience of online renewal. Last year, at the end of renewal season, a total of 41 members used the national Membership Payment Program (MPP). Conclusion: we are already more efficient this year, in mid-season than we were last year at the end of the renewal season.  This saves hours of branch volunteer time. Good Job!
  • Members have generously donated $7,006 to our local branch activities!
  • Many of our 50-Year, Honorary Life members (MBHL) who do not have to pay branch dues, faithfully send in their $20. We are so appreciative.

The deadline to renew is June 1. Because our newsletter comes out very close to this deadline, we urge every member:

  • If you have not yet renewed, do so as quickly as possible.
  • Whether renewing online or by check and snail mail, all members should return their Renewal Form to Sharon Anderson to update contact information. Did you find that conveniently addressed envelope?  If you can’t find it, Sharon’s address is in the directory.  Her contact info is 916-396-9790;

The renewal process requires many hours of volunteer time:

  1. Making trips to the bank to deposit checks.
  2. Updating membership and bank records (lots of data processing).
  3. Notifying Interest Groups and branch committees of members who have indicated an interest in their area of responsibility
  4. Calculating next year’s branch budget, which is based on dues collected.
  5. Updating and preparing the branch directory starting July 1
  6. Printing and mailing the directory to the membership in early August.

Sharon Anderson and Liz Jordan want to thank all members for their timely renewal and for the generosity of their donations to local and national needs. Thank you!

Living Our Mission of Equity

Living Our Mission of Equity By Charmen Goehring

We invite you to join us in a monthly equity conversation looking at our own biases, and what actions we can take to attract diversity to our branch and become better people in the process. We are reading the book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” by Isabel Wilkerson and discussing what we have read, along with exploring other issues related to race and equity. We meet the second Wednesday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Zoom. We plan to continue to meet over the summer.

The Zoom meeting code is 737 420 3780, or you can join using this link:

We will discuss Part 4 on June 9 at 7p.m. If you have questions and to RSVP, please email Charmen at

Membership Matters

AAUW MEMBERSHIP MATTERS By Bonnie Penix and Jan Stuter


As we end our membership year, we are very pleased to welcome our newest member,

Bonnie Penix

Carmen L. Hobbs, to AAUW Sacramento. Carmen has a BS in nursing from San Jose State University and an MS from Sonoma State University in nursing leadership and management. She is retired from the position of nurse consultant with the State of California. She has a particular interest in working with our Public Policy and Scholarship Committees. She also is interested in joining Great Decisions, Cultural History, Readers’ Theatre and the Singles Dining Out groups. Carmen made a point of attending our final program meeting of this year on Zoom, and we are all eager to meet her in person as COVID restrictions are lifted.

Sadly, this will be the last column of our two-year term as co-membership directors and what a tumultuous two-year period it has been! The joy of our 100- year anniversary and the challenge of the COVID pandemic were only two of the events that shaped and influenced our term. We wish Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew the best outcome as they navigate membership during their two-year term.

Janice Stuter


One of the last recommendations I would like to make as I end our stint in office: Instead of eliminating a degree requirement for members, why not add an “or” qualification that would extend membership to any interested women and men without formal degrees who have contributed to the advancement of equity for women by working with us locally, statewide, nationally or internationally as a volunteer, financially or otherwise, on projects related to our goals. This qualification would certainly broaden the net we are able to cast to recruit new members while still focusing recognition on one of our primary goals, education and equity for all women. We might also be able to award posthumous membership to those awesome women and men who fought for equity and are no longer with us. I hope National will explore this as an alternative path to more inclusivity in our organization.

1970s scholarship recipient never forgot AAUW’s support

1970s scholarship recipient never forgot AAUW’s support By Cathy Locke

Each year, AAUW Sacramento awards scholarships to women, congratulating them on their achievements and wishing them continued success, but typically we lose track of them after they graduate. Rarely do we learn how life plays out for them.

We were gratified in 2019 when former scholarship recipient Charlene Rasmussen contacted the branch and donated $4,000 to the scholarship fund in acknowledgement of the support she had received 45 years earlier. We have awarded scholarships in her name the past two years.

Rasmussen died April 7 in Coronado, Calif., where she had lived since moving from Sacramento in 2017. She was 78. Her family said she suffered an aortic tear after enjoying a day full of activities. In May, the AAUW Sacramento Scholarship Fund received a $6,000 donation from Scott Rasmussen, a principal partner of Sacramento-based Ravel Rasmussen Properties, in memory of his mother. He said the family plans to make annual contributions to AAUW scholarships that will be given in her name.

In the early 1970s, Charlene Rasmussen was a single mother raising two boys. She worked at Sears in Florin Mall and was studying government at California State University, Sacramento, in the evenings.

As a student in 1972, she was asked by Sacramento Planning Commissioner Phil Simpson and one of her professors at CSUS to examine the city’s building code and zoning ordinance to determine their effect on preservation of Sacramento’s historic buildings.  Her report, “Factors Affecting Historical Structures in the City of Sacramento,” has been cited as a catalyst for the city’s historic preservation movement. It dovetailed with AAUW Sacramento’s historic preservation efforts, including the branch’s 1973 publication of “Vanishing Victorians: A Guide to the Historic Homes of Sacramento.”

In 1974, based on her undergraduate work and with the support of an AAUW scholarship, Rasmussen was admitted to the graduate program in urban and regional planning at the University of Sheffield in England.

“She was always very grateful for what you (AAUW) did for us,” Scott Rasmussen said.

He and his brother, Brian — ages 14 and 9 at the time — spent the year with their mother in England, and were able to tour England and France with her. It was a life-changing experience for all three, Scott Rasmussen said.

“It profoundly affected my entire outlook … I have a world view that I would not have had,” he said.

The family returned to Sacramento, and Charlene Rasmussen went to work as a budget analyst in the Sacramento County Executive’s Office. She retired in 2003.

Scott Rasmussen said his mother had a tremendous respect for government and people who devote their careers to public service.  She kept up on current events in retirement, and also proved to be an astute investor in the real estate and stock markets, her son said.

The family requests that any donations in Charlene Rasmussen’s memory be made to her favorite charities: Sacramento State University; the University of Sheffield; and AAUW Sacramento.

Funds Update

Funds Update By Charmen Goehring

Do you remember the statewide Legacy Circle contest that ends June 30? AAUW Sacramento is close to winning!! If you have been thinking about remembering AAUW in your estate, this would be a great time to make that commitment and join the Legacy Circle! Call me if you have questions, or find a brochure on

Between January and May, our branch has contributed more than $2,700 to the AAUW Funds. Thank you to each of you who has made a donation. The majority of those monies went to the Greatest Needs Fund, which allows AAUW the maximum in flexibility to address needs as they arise, as well as fund the majority of our signature projects and staff. Please consider a gift to AAUW’s Greatest Needs Fund today!

Tech Trek Update

Tech Trek Update By Charmen Goehring and Jo Reiken

AAUW Sacramento is sponsoring four of our 2020 girls this summer in the Virtual Tech Trek Camp! This new format will be interesting to see and we look forward to hearing from the girls at our September meeting. If you are interested in volunteering at this summer’s camp, which will be on a Zoom format, let Charmen or Jo know and we will get the volunteer application link to you ASAP!! Training will be available for all volunteers. Learn something new this summer!

Branch Birthdays, Book Groups, Printable Newsletter Articles, Interest Groups, and Did You Know?

Branch Birthdays, Book Groups, and Printable Newsletter Articles

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

Interest Groups

You can find out about the Interest Groups offered by the branch by looking at the banner on the home webpage (just under the branch photo) and clicking on “Activities”. Click on “Interest Groups” and you will find a list of all Interest Groups, when they meet, and the group leader to contact for more information (email addresses and phone numbers can be found in the Branch Membership Directory and Handbook).

Some Interest Groups are taking a break during the pandemic, but a number are still meeting – virtually! According to the Interest Group Coordinator, Vicki Nicholson, here are the groups that are currently meeting:

  • All Book Groups
  • All 3 sections of Great Decisions
  • Art & Architecture
  • Board Games (Evening) – recently started meeting again!
  • Film Fans
  • Reader’s Theater
  • Travel

Feel free to contact a group leader to learn more about the Interest Group. They would love to have you join in!

Did You Know?

AAUW CA Public Policy Update: A reminder that you can get the latest information on California state public policies that concern the AAUW mission at