Tag Archives: AAUW_CA

Public Policy

Public Policy News By Liz Jordan

AAUW CA Promotes its Priorities with the Legislature, Prepares for a Vote on New Ones

By Ginny Hatfield, Amy Hom and Kathi Harper, AAUW CA Public Policy Committee       

If you participated in this year’s Lobby Days on March 21 and 22, you know it was a whirlwind of activity.  Over two jam-packed days, 120 AAUW CA members from 50 branches met with 46 Assembly offices and 23 Senate offices.  Most of the meetings took place via Zoom and the majority took place without a hitch.  For the first time, some of our members met in person in Sacramento.

While most meetings were conducted with legislative staff, we were able this year to schedule 10 meetings with the members themselves — six Assemblymembers and four Senators.  In addition, Kathi Harper, AAUW CA Public Policy Chair, and Kathy Van Osten, our AAUW CA Legislative Advocate, met with the Governor’s staff and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s office.

We were happy to learn that our organization was known to many of the legislative staff and legislators with whom our members met.  Some had spoken to branches in their districts; others were familiar with our public policy priorities and expressed alignment and support for them; and a handful were appreciative of the background we provided about our mission and programs. A sterling endorsement came from none other than Alf Brandt, policy consultant for Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, whose mother was an AAUW member in the 1940’s in Orange County.  He credits her involvement in AAUW “making me the man I am today.”

The reception of our “Top 3” bills — AB 1394, SB 287 and AB 549 – was generally favorable, especially the two social media bills.  Both staff and legislators could identify with the pervasive problem of having children who are or will be targeted by social media.  AB 549 needed a bit more explaining, as some were unfamiliar with CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.  You can find more information on these and all the bills we are supporting here: https://www.aauw-ca.org/documents/2023/03/bill-tracking.pdf/.

During our Lobby Days event, we were able to get our message across to those who make our laws and to highlight AAUW, our mission, accomplishments and the benefits we bring to our communities throughout CA.  It was an empowering exercise in advocacy and for those of you who participated, AAUW CA thanks you!

Adding this reminder: it’s time to vote on the updates to the Public Policy Priorities for 2023-25.   In response to input from 466 members, the state Public Policy Committee has recommended and the Board has approved 11 changes, which can be viewed here: https://www.aauw-ca.org/2023-proposed-public-policy-priorities/.  Highlighted additions include support for: civics education, access to diverse staff and curriculum, safe infrastructure and access to technology in our schools, gun violence prevention, and a fourth pillar to support women in leadership roles. Voting opens April 22. Make sure you make your voice heard!

AAUW CA And National Tidbits

AAUW CA And National Tidbits

National and state elections are around the corner.  If your email address is correct in the Community Hub (National’s Members Only page) you will receive an online ballot.

National Election Details California State Election Details
  • April 5 |voting opens (online voting is encouraged)
  • May 15 | Online voting ends at 5:00 pm ET
  • May 17 | Vote results announced online
  • April 22 |voting opens (online voting is encouraged)
  • May 13 | Online voting ends at midnight PT
  • May 17 | Vote results announced online
  • Annual State meeting features ACADEMY AAUWARDS!

SAVE THE DATE: April 22, 2023, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 over Zoom

AAUW California’s Annual State meeting, open to all members, is on April 22, 2023, from 9-4 on Zoom. This year’s theme is the Academy AAUWards! Join the re- carpet interviews, listen to inspiring keynote speakers, and watch the Speech Trek and Gov Trek finalists. Cheer on your fellow members and branches for all sorts of AAUW awards, get a public policy update, and meet the board candidates. And, every awards event worth its swag bag has after–parties! Join our Zoom-style parties to hang out with your friends! Look for more information soon!

Celebrating AAUW California, its branches, and its members will be the most fun event of the spring! Don’t miss out on the Academy AAUWards on April 22nd! Get ready to mingle!


On January 28th we launched our inaugural virtual Gov Trek session with just over 60 future leaders and 40 volunteers in attendance from across California!

AAUW California 2023 Gov Trek’s inaugural session started with a video address from fellow Californian SPEAKER EMERITA NANCY PELOSI.  We were privileged to have the first woman Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives greet us as we begin our journey together to explore careers in public office and elected positions.  https://youtu.be/szcsrAj0Ir4

Five distinguished women leaders addressed Gov Trek participants in the Women in Leadership Panel. They discussed elective office and public service at different levels of government, including the skills and challenges involved with them, and other related career paths in leadership and political participation. The speakers were:

  • Kathleen Van Osten, AAUW California Advocate and Lobbyist
  • Ellen Montanari, Deputy Campaign Manager, Rep Mike Levin
  • Regina Luzincourt, Lobbyist and Former Press Secretary, State Senator Parker
  • Shana Hazan, VP San Diego Unified School Board
  • Griselda Ramirez, Senior Director of Community Engagement, Partnerships, and Strategic Initiatives, Office of San Diego County Board of Supervisor Chair, Nora Vargas.

Click HERE to watch Gov Trek Session 1. The speaker sessions will be recorded and available to AAUW California members on the website HERE in the Student Program Materials section.

  • Ratify the ERA!

On February 1, lawmakers introduced new legislation to remove the arbitrary ratification deadline preventing enactment of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  You can lend your voice by becoming a Two-Minute Activist.  This link will take you to the national website where you can send an email directly to your representatives, urge congress to act, once and for all, to ensure women and men are guaranteed equality under the law.

Urge Congress

Also, you can sign up to be mobile activist!  To be a Two-Minute Activist Mobile, text “AAUW” to 21333 to receive timely, targeted action opportunities straight to your cell phone via text message.

  • Spring Shopping with AAUW

Check out the cool new branded items in the online ShopAAUW store, including stainless steel tumblers, wireless charging pads, pens, journals and more!

  • Power Partnership: AAUW & Ms. (free one year subscription!)

As part of a special partnership, a free, one-year subscription to the legendary Ms. Magazine is available to all members. Sign up to get yours today.

·       Special Panel Event: Closing the Digital Gender Gap

Join AAUW on Wednesday, March 15, at 2 p.m. ET. for an engaging online panel discussion about the “digital gender gap.” Learn from an expert panel how women are still being left behind from pursuing the most promising tech fields of the future—and how we can work to change that. The event is part of the 67th NGO Committee on the Status of Women and UN Commission on the Status of Women.


·       Two Can’t-Miss Inclusion & Equity Webinars

AAUW’s national Inclusion & Equity Committee is pleased to offer two engaging and informative webinars this spring. On Thursday, April 6, from 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET, we’ll share information with local branches and states as they prepare to celebrate Diversity Month in April and the World Day for Cultural Diversity on May 21. Then, on Wednesday, May 10, from 7:30 pm–9:00 pm ET, we’ll provide a hands-on learning opportunity for AAUW members to explore aspects of diversity and intersectionality. Please join us!

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, a Fitting Time to Observe Transgender Day of Visibility

By Melissa Maceyko, Member AAUW California Public Policy Committee

Each year on March 31, the world observes Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) to raise awareness about transgender people. It is a day to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans people, while also drawing attention to the poverty, discrimination and violence the community faces.

We understand how women’s history tells the story of misogyny, which is the systemic mistreatment of women, girls and feminine peoples through forms of physical and structural violence.  But we rarely consider how it is linked to transmisogyny, which focuses on the complex intersections between transphobia and misogyny that are faced by trans women and girls, as well as transfeminine and gender non-conforming peoples. It is a term that attempts to capture multiple layers of gender-based marginalization and systemic mistreatment. If misogyny and transmisogyny are not combatted together, then the root of the problem will never truly be eradicated.

Although the past decade has seen a more vocal public push for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives around gender, the current sociopolitical climate in the United States is not supportive of, and is often openly hostile to, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Under this sphere of increased hostility is the explicit targeting of trans women and girls and transfeminine peoples with words, actions and legislation. It is particularly important for women’s organizations who seek to combat gender-based forms of oppression to build coalitions and take a stand against misogyny and transmisogyny in all its forms, because misogyny and transmisogyny come from the same place. They both describe gender-based oppression that results from the prioritization of masculinity alongside the degradation of femininity.

Targeted hostility against trans women and girls and transfeminine peoples can be seen not only in the alarming uptick in physical violence against this community, but also in the increasing persistence and intensity of public debates over whether or not trans women and girls and transfeminine peoples are “real women” that belong in “women’s spaces,” including gender-specific bathrooms, women’s sports teams and locker rooms. These debates prioritize misplaced and misunderstood claims of biological authenticity. They are dehumanizing and cannot be disconnected from other forms of violence as they normalize widespread and explicit marginalization and exclusion.

As a women’s organization, the increasingly hostile environment for trans women and girls and transfeminine people should be at the forefront of our collective education and activism — let’s help ensure that history doesn’t continue to repeat itself.   Visit the Public Policy website to learn more.

AAUW CA Tidbits/Printable Articles


AAUW CA Office New Mailing Address:

AAUW California
PO Box 160067
Sacramento, California 95816-0067

AAUW CA Facebook and Instagram Pages

Their Social Media pages are packed with content specific to AAUW California; this effort was a recommendation from the marketing consultants they engaged last year. They are currently running six(!) promotional campaigns:

  • Gov Trek,
  • TheKindness of Color webinar,
  • theGrowing Membership webinar,
  • theAbout AAUW: Did You Know? spots,
  • and the newFamous Women in History and Days to Celebrate announcements (look for the fun recent post on “Call a Friend Day.”)

The graphics for all of these are really eye-catching!

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION                                                                            

Stormy Miller Sabia, DirectorDEI Committee Chair, diversity@aauw-ca.org


The AAUW California DEI Committee sends a great big THANK YOU for your participation in our first DEI coordinator/director community conversation – “Let’s Talk DEI.”  We prepared an agenda that identified the goals of the meeting, organized breakout rooms to provide you an opportunity to get to know one another, and hoped your group of DEI branch coordinators/ directors would become collaborators around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.   Not only did you do just that, but you collectively took the ball and hit it way out of the park!  All the breakout rooms buzzed with friendly introductions and candid biographical information that showed amazing variety yet a similar longstanding commitment to equity for women and girls.

While we thought we would have to spend time explaining the meaning of DEI, you have been advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion one way or another for many years in your own milieu.  Those coordinators/directors who were new to DEI quickly grasped the scope of the challenge ahead and didn’t seem to shy away. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome from Session I.  And to those who provided feedback and input, thank you for your openness and transparency as we work to improve the space and community dialogue.

Did you miss Let’s Talk DEI: Session I???  Here’s a link and password (653525) to access the recording.

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