Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

Happy New Year! 2018 has arrived!

We can’t leave 2017 without acknowledging the wonderful team who worked so hard on our lovely Holiday Party – Carolyn Martin for her great presentation, Mary Williams on piano, Mary Schneider and Vivian Counts for the table décor, and Deborah Dunn and Nancy McCabe (in absentia) and all their team. Thanks to all of you, we collected more than 300 books for Love, Talk, Read. Gloria Yost encouraged the Sacramento State Affiliate members to attend, and it was great to have them with us. And finally, thank you everyone for the warm welcome to our surprise guest – the president of the San Antonio Branch, Karen Reichensperger, PhD.

Looking ahead to 2018, we have a great line-up of activities for our branch. In January we have the annual Capitol Cities Inter-Branch Funds Luncheon. This year’s two fellows, Kara Leong from UC Davis and Zawadi Ahidiana from UC Berkeley, are receiving their support from local grants. We are so delighted women honored to have grants in their name or their branch’s name will be introducing them at the luncheon. Look for the flyer in this newsletter, and sign up today.

Now that it is 2018, 2020 is not far away. What is so important about 2020, you ask? It was in February 1920 that the Sacramento Branch held its first meeting. Ruth Burgess is heading up a team to celebrate this big anniversary. They are asking for your help in the way of AAUW stories. We all have them. What’s yours? Ruth will be looking for it. Watch the newsletter for monthly updates on all the plans for 2020 and how you can participate.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2018!

Marty and Donna

The Countdown to 2020 Has Begun! by Gloria Yost

1928 AAUW Sacramento Roster

With the kickoff at the December meeting, AAUW Sacramento has begun the run up to our 100th birthday in 2020. Over the next two years, stories about AAUW, its members, issues we’ve supported, and the impact our organization and its members made in our city, state and nation will be shared in Capitol Ideas. We start the sharing of information with five questions:

DID YOU KNOW…that when the Sacramento Branch began in February 1920, it was one of Northern California’s largest women’s organizations with 800 members?

DID YOU KNOW…that the Sacramento Branch was actually part of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae when it was organized?

DID YOU KNOW…that the purpose of the Sacramento Branch was to unite college women in our vicinity with the national organization in working on educational, civic, and social problems?

DID YOU KNOW…that in 1921 the national organization changed its name to the American Association of University Women; however, its purpose remained the same?

DID YOU KNOW…that Sacramento Branch Records are archived at the Center for Sacramento History?

Mark Your Calendars for Saturday, Feb. 17 For Speech Trek Contest by Liz Jordan

It’s the future of the movement for gender equity. It’s the best feel-good event of the AAUW year. It’s a chance to see a dozen young people from the Elk Grove Unified School District high schools speak to the topic: “How do we stand-up to sexism?”

Please join us at Cosumnes River College in Room #150 of the new Winn Center. Easily accessible off Bruceville Road from 9 a.m. to noon. The setting is inspirational, the speakers are tomorrow’s leaders, and the issue is timely. These high school students will have 6 minutes to compete for cash awards of $100, $250 and $500.

Everyone, even those with handicap placards, must pay the $2 parking fee, so be sure to find the pay station before leaving your car. Otherwise, this event is free to members and the public. Bring a friend!

Want to help? Or need more information? Contact:

Shari Beck, 916-451-5143,
Liz Jordan, 916-354-9608,
Ann Arneill, 916-737-0131,


Exploring Our Interest Groups: Art & Architecture by Cherril Peabody

Art & Architecture on Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour

One of our most popular interest groups is Art & Architecture, chaired by Deborah Dunn. Currently more than 70 members come at least occasionally when the group explores a museum or visits an artist’s studio or checks out public art, either in Sacramento or elsewhere in the region. Each month a different member volunteers to plan and make arrangements for that month‘s activity. In December, the group took the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour.

The group meets on the first Friday of each month. On Jan. 5 the group will visit the home and gallery of internationally-exhibited artist Mehri Yazdani in El Dorado Hills. Yazdani, born in Tehran, Iran, has lived in the United States for 35 years. She has been widely exhibited both here and abroad and has won many awards for her work. Her paintings are semi-abstract, characterized by brilliant color and rich textures, and reflect the influence of ancient frescos and reliefs. Her work is on permanent display at the California State University, Sacramento Library and the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in Sacramento, and the Crocker Art Museum featured her work in a 2000 exhibit. Nancy Nolen-Swanson is organizing this expedition, and you can contact her for more information.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund provides funds for the AAUW Research Reports by Alicia Hetman

The AAUW Eleanor Roosevelt Fund was launched in 1988 and is the funding vehicle for AAUW’s groundbreaking research on issues related to gender equity in education and the workplace. Our work influences the national discussion on topics like the pay gap between women and men, sexual harassment in the schools and on college campuses, and the under-representation of women in science and engineering. AAUW research serves as a catalyst for action.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund programs have changed over the years, but the ideals remain the same. AAUW leaders recognize that we must continue our “ongoing support of greater participation by women and girls in actively shaping their future.” In addition to the research conducted, the Eleanor Roosevelt Fund also provides an annual Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Award. The 2017 Award Recipient was SurvJustice, Inc., a national nonprofit that increases the prospect of justice for all survivors through effective legal assistance. I was given the great honor of presenting the Award to Laura L. Dunn, SurvJustice’s founder, during the AAUW 2017 Convention. We were all very impressed with the work of SurvJustice and inspired by Dunn’s life story that led her to start SurvJustice.

There is a critical need for AAUW members to annually contribute to The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund. This Fund is not stipend-producing and relies on “new monies” each year to fund our phenomenal research. I encourage all AAUW Sacramento members to annually contribute to The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund. If each member would make a commitment to give an annual gift specifically to this fund, just think about how those additional contributions will enhance our groundbreaking research. I give my additional gift to The ER Fund every Mother’s Day to honor a woman in my life. I hope you’ll join me by gifting what you can afford to further the work of The Eleanor Roosevelt Fund.

The leaders who created the fund and award were inspired by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:

It is today that we must create the world of the future. Never have we needed as acutely as now – in a world of ferment, shifting and changing its course, often without direction – the full use of all the brain power we have. We need every single mind. We cannot afford to have any potential talent or ability dulled to apathy.

Deeper in Debt Recap by Alicia Hetman

Alicia Hetman

The “Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans” program in October was very informative and provided a great opportunity for the attendees to learn more about how the issue is handled in the Sacramento area. We heard from Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Financing, Lupita Cortez-Alcala, Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, and Yolanda Garcia, Financial Aid Supervisor at Consumnes River College.

When asked what AAUW members could do to help students navigate through the maze of student loans, Cortez-Alcala suggested that we receive training and assist in the student trainings offered by the California Student Aid Commission. I have her contact information and in January will begin to see if some of you may be interested in participating in this project. For more information, I can be reached at

Membership Matters by Linda Patterson and Sharon Norris

It’s a great time to join AAUW. Not only are our programs outstanding and our mission important, but right now membership dues are a bargain. Membership dues paid between Jan. 1 and March 15 are half the cost for new or returning members. During this time National, State and branch dues are halved, bringing the cost to $54.50. New members who join at one of our public events between Jan. 1 and March 15 pay only $42.25. If you or anyone you know is considering membership, now is the time to make the commitment. For more information, please contact either Sharon or Linda at

In It for Life? Make It Official

Empower future generations through your lifetime membership in AAUW! Show your commitment to advancing equity for women and girls. Contact us to upgrade your existing membership today and receive a letter of recognition, a certificate, and a lapel pin that you can wear proudly knowing that you’ve put your values into action to advance AAUW’s mission. Lifetime membership in AAUW is a one-time, fully tax-deductible gift of $980. Become a life member today!


Our Annual Holiday Luncheon is Saturday, December 9 at 11:30 a.m. by Nancy McCabe

Annual Holiday Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.  on Saturday, December 9. Reservations due by December 4.

(Editor’s Note:  Folks, as this newsletter is coming out when the reservations are essentially due,  if you were still deciding whether to come to the Holiday Luncheon, please register via Eventbrite immediately or contact Dawn Boyd immediately at 925-321-9946 to let her know that the check is on its way and your menu choice.)

Please join us for our always enjoyable holiday luncheon which will again be held at North Ridge Country Club. The setting is lovely, and you get to enjoy the program, Mothers of Invention, given by our member and renowned speaker Carolyn Martin. When Carolyn earned her M.A. in History from the University of Washington, women rarely appeared in her studies. She later took a Women’s History class at CSUS and has continued to research and teach about women’s contributions in many fields. Her presentation is both fun and enlightening-Did you know that a woman invented disposable diapers? Scotchguard? Permanent Press? Talk about necessity being the mother of invention!

Music will again be provided by our talented member Mary Williams.

The menu selections are Chicken Fusilli Pasta and Vegetarian Lasagna. A vegan meal is available by request. Included in the lunch are salad, bread, coffee, tea and crème brulee. Parking is free and there is a full no-host bar.

  • Click the button below to register and pay with Eventbrite (note that the cost on :

Eventbrite - 2017 Annual Holiday Party

  • Click here to print the form if you wish to pay by check made payable to AAUW Sacramento. Mail to Dawn Boyd to her address in the directory.

Please bring new or gently used children’s books for Love-Talk-Read. Reading to children greatly enhances their chances for success in life. This group donates books for children up to twelve years of age to numerous organizations both here and abroad. If you want to make your book donation go farther, you may want to check out Friends of the Sacramento Public Library Book Den. See their website for location and hours. They have a great selection!

We have approximately 230 members so let’s aim for 230 books!

See you at lunch!

Presidents’ Message by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

As we prepare our December message, it is approaching Thanksgiving and we would like to start by saying how grateful we are for our board and all the members who have helped with all our activities. There is power and energy in working together, and we can change the world for the better.

So far there has been a tabling event at California State University, Sacramento with our CSUS affiliate, the “Equal Means Equal” screening with the AAUW Citrus Heights-American River branch on getting the Equal Rights Amendment passed, once again partnering with other women’s groups for Take Back the Night, and November’s Deeper in Debt panel on women and student loans. Special thanks go to the ladies who lead these events: Ashley Anglesey, Deborah Dunn, Morgan Glover, and Liz Jordan. Without their committee leadership, these programs would not have happened.

We also want to express special thanks to our often unseen and unsung heroines, the ladies behind the scenes on EVERY program

  •  Shari Beck – e-blasts
  • Dawn Arnone Boyd – reservations and registration
  • May Ruth Lynch – paying the bills
  • Cherril Peabody – publicity
  • Kim Rutledge & Angela Scarlett – newsletter and website
  • Angela Scarlett – Eventbrite links and set-up

This is only our most recent gratitude list. We cannot say thank you too many times!

If you have not read AAUW’s newest study, Deeper in Debt, please do. You may download the PDF from the website or get a copy at the holiday luncheon on Dec. 9. Our panel provided even more insight, including a fruitful discussion on how housing costs are a much bigger factor than tuition in California. The November issue of the Kiplinger Retirement Report has an article on student loan impact on seniors. “Borrowers age 60 and older had $66.7 billion in student loan debt in 2015, up more than 700% from 2005, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”

Lastly, the California AAUW vote to fix our charitable status did not pass. In this particular election there can be no NO votes, only yes. Twenty-six people voted no, so we have to do it all over again. This is expensive, and the attorney fees also take large sums of money that then cannot go to mission-based programs. We have been granted the opportunity to repeat the vote, and it will happen after Thanksgiving. Keep an eye on your email, and then vote yes. Questions may be referred to RuthAnn Hines of the State Governance Committee. Thank you.

Have the holiday season of your dreams, Donna & Marty