Tag Archives: PublicPolicy

AAUW Priorities-Armchair Activism


There are ways to be active with AAUW even if you don’t have a lot of time to be involved or are not on the Board of Directors. The last event of the year will be the May meeting where we will vote for the next Board for 2024/2025. There is a break after that for the summer, but I encourage our members to keep our mission in your mind over the summer months. Both the national and state websites have ways to keep abreast of what is happening with legislation and continued efforts with equity for women and girls. This is an ongoing effort because those who oppose our efforts to achieve equity do not take a break from their efforts to thwart equity for 50 % of the population.

Both the national and state websites have ways to support legislation that AAUW supports without spending a lot of time. I am a member of the “Two Minute Activist” where you can support efforts to pass laws that AAUW is actively involved with. One would think that this doesn’t have much clout, but having thousands of members who make their voice heard really makes our Congress and Senate members take notice.

It only takes “two minutes” to look at the legislation that helps assist change for future generations while sitting at home. All you need to do is go to AAUW.ORG and click on Two Minute Activist and sign your name in support for upcoming laws that may change the future for all women. There is a message that you can sign or you can add your own additional message to tell why you feel that this legislation is so important. Even if you do not do this, please keep reading and listening to news outlets that keep you informed with the latest news on women’s issues for our children and grandchildren’s future.

***From the AAUW California Public Policy Committee:
Please click <here> for the April issue of Public Policy News. This issue contains the article “AAUW California Public Policy Committee Sets 2024 Legislative Agenda” for inclusion in your branch newsletters.


Title IX – What Is It and Why Is It Important?


“Title IX – What Is It and Why Is It Important?”

AAUW was instrumental in championing and supporting legislation for equality for women and girls in schools, colleges and universities, which led to the passage of TITLE IX in 1972. This important law was established “to ensure that male and female students and employees in educational settings that receive federal funding are treated equally and fairly”. It protects against discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment.

This law fundamentally changed how schools treat girls in the academic setting, but also in high school and especially collegiate sports programs. This law forced schools to change both funding and opportunities for equal involvement in sports programs. Before this law was enacted, the NCAA (National College Athletic Association) reported that women’s sports were only 2 percent of the budget for all sports programs in colleges and universities. This includes both participation in and scholarships for athletic endeavor.

At first, there was considerable opposition from administrations and coaches. Many of them felt that if they were to give women equal share in sports funding, then it would force schools to severely reduce or even eliminate some men’s programs. Rules were established for how the funding would reach the goals of equality and has been a tremendous success.

Is TITLE IX still relevant? The 50th anniversary of this legislation was celebrated on June 23, 2022. TITLE IX is much more than athletics. This legislation affects all aspects of education, including, for example:

  • Recruiting and admissions
  • Career and technical education
  • Comparable facilities and course offerings
  • Financial assistance
  • Student health and insurance benefits
  • Sexual harassment and assault
  • Harassment based on gender identity

In 2024 TITLE IX’s work is not done. In recent years, the Department of Education has worked to dismantle many of the TITLE IX protections, including harassment and violence. AAUW encourages support for the GEEA (GENDER EQUITY IN EDUCATION ACT), which would provide, in part, TITLE IX coordinators the resources, training, and technical assistance necessary to ensure that TITLE IX protections are not further eroded. It also would establish an Office of Gender Equity in the Department of Education.

For further information, please go to both the national and California websites. There is a fact sheet on the national website, published in 2022 with the history and developments over the last 50 years of this landmark law. I would like to encourage our members to educate yourselves regarding issues of the ongoing work for equality for women and girls. If you wish to do more, please contact Kathy Papst (my contact information can be found in the Membership Directory) and I will help you to become involved at the branch level to contribute and support this and other Public Policy issues. Thank you.



Last October, the Sacramento and CHAR branches held a joint meeting about Reproductive Rights and the Equal Rights Amendment.  We are not alone in believing that the Dobbs Decision in 2022 probably would not, could not, have happened, if the ERA, RATIFIED in January 2020, had been published in the Constitution.  The President, through the Attorney General, instructed the Archivist to not publish the ERA as the 28th Amendment.

We shouldn’t have to beg for fundamental rights, and we shouldn’t have to fight for 100 years for basic equality!  It’s time for action, not excuses.

This year, the ERA Coalition, a coalition of more than 300 rights organizations of which AAUW is a member, has taken the stand that 100 years to wait is long enough.  They have a new campaign “Not One More!”  Recently, they started a companion campaign “Shouting for Equality.”  They are asking all of us who care, to call the U. S. Archivist, Colleen Shogan, to tell her it’s time to officially add the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.  Here are the Coalition’s instructions:

Call into the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) general line asking the Archivist to publish the ERA. Please be polite and respectful in your language. We have a sample script for you below!

Call the Archivist directly at 202-357-5900 and leave the following message:

This message is for the U.S. Archivist. My name is …{your name}… and I’m calling from {your state}. I would like to ask you to do your duty and publish the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment. The ERA has fulfilled the requirements set forth in Article V of the Constitution, and we can wait no longer for full constitutional protections. Thank you!

NOTE:  Call Monday-Friday.  The Archives do not take messages on weekends or Federal Holidays.

Also, for more information about these campaigns or to learn more about why the ERA is languishing in political limbo go to https://eracoalition.org; https://equalmeansequal.com; https://www.equalrightsamendment.org

President’s Message

President’s Message By Nancy McCabe

The Jan. 31 email from AAUW California Public Policy News outlined the basic tenets of the new School Board Project. This involves monitoring local school board meetings to determine whether they are adhering to the state’s 2016 framework in history and social sciences, which requires schools to strongly emphasize student inquiry and reflects on the contributions of many diverse groups.

“Effective school boards are equity driven, making intentional governance decisions that combat institutional discrimination and bias (both explicit and implicit) and eliminate disparities in educational outcomes based on socioeconomic status, gender orientation, disability or family background.” These are a lot of governmental words that spell out problems that you basically “know them when you see them.”

We are being asked to monitor school board meetings in our area for adherence to these policies, which in common parlance are banning books, and gender or racial discrimination. We share with CHAR seven school districts in our county — Elk Grove, Folsom-Cordova, Natomas, Robla, Sacramento City, San Juan and Twin Rivers. We need a member to pick a district where you have an interest — where you live or have a child or grandchild — and attend their meetings and report issues to our contact person Sue Miller, a member of the Roseville branch.

Anne Just, who has a lot of knowledge of school boards, has agreed to chair this project, but she needs a co-chair, as she is a traveler. If you are concerned about the direction that some groups are attempting to take public schools, please read the above referenced article and contact Anne with your interest. Be assured that California AAUW has assembled a toolkit for us to use — we aren’t reinventing the wheel! You can find the latest AAUW California Public Policy News <here>.

Thank you for your interest and involvement in the education of our children. Let’s give them an equal start in their educational journey.



As Director of Priorities, I have a responsibility to make sure that our branch members really understand the mission for AAUW. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find more members to volunteer for the committees under the umbrella of PRIORITIES. I hope that some of you will take the opportunity to investigate why we are still here after 100-plus years. We can be a force for change for women and girls in California, and even the nation.

The website for AAUW California has a tremendous amount of information regarding the 2023- 25 gender equity through advocacy platform. There are four areas of interest that are priorities for change.

  • Social and Racial Justice for All Members of Society
  • Equal Access to Quality Public Education for All Students
  • Increased Representation of Women in Leadership Roles
  • Economic Security for All Women

These and other issues are on an informational card available on the website by emailing office@aauw.ca.org or you can download them <here> and print them on your home printer.

Legislation supported by AAUW is divided into four levels:

  • A LEVEL Priority

In 2023, 19 out of 22 supported bills made it to the Governor’s desk and were SIGNED, which is an 86.3% success rate.

There are so many opportunities to become involved without going to a lot of meetings or becoming a chairperson. I want to encourage our members to keep abreast of what is going on in the branch and in California. If you have any questions about legislation or the mission, please do not hesitate to call or email. If you want to get involved, but are worried about the time involved or what you would need to do, think about pairing up with someone else and taking turns to report to the members. Please get involved, especially in this election year. Thank you.

Did You Know? 

Did You Know?

CA Public Policy News By Amy Hom and Melissa Maceyko

Co-chairs, AAUW California Public Policy Committee

Please click <here> for the January issue of Public Policy News. It includes

  • Information on the next Branch Public Policy meeting
  • Information on Lobby Days
  • Key links to public policy resources
  • An article about Parents’ Rights

From the IBC Fund Luncheon

One of our AAUW Fund recipients, Krystal Lau, is a published author. She wrote a book for children, “My Elastical Fantastical Bubble” and  shared a link to her story here: https://literacycloud.org/stories/3093-my-elastical-fantastical- bubble/

April Program Quiz Answers

Banned Books and the Right to Read Anything!

Quiz answers

  1. c) Satanic Verses was banned in 14 countries = blasphemy against Islam. There are a lot of Islamic countries.
  2. b) China has banned 33; Singapore, 32; Indonesia, 24; Australia, 22, and the US, 20.
  3. d) All of the above.
  4. c) Spain

It’s AAUW’s Art Contest Time!

AAUW’s annual art contest is officially under way, and we invite members to submit a high-res image of their original painting, photography, sculpture, collage or other artwork. We will be accepting submissions through January 31, 2024. Your work could be among the winning entries!

Starting in February, AAUW members will select their favorite entries via ranked-choice voting. The winners will be featured on a collection of notecards sent to all members this spring. The back of each card will include the winning artist’s biography, a fact about AAUW and a highlight of the artist’s local branch affiliation when applicable.

For more information on submitting artwork, or to peruse last year’s art gallery, please visit the AAUW Art Contest page <here>.

Sunshine Chair

Pat Winkle is our Sunshine Chair and needs to hear from you if you know members who might appreciate a get well, sympathy or “thinking of you” card. As she doesn’t know everyone, she needs your help in remembering our friends. Her contact information is in the directory.

Printable Newsletter Articles

Click here for Printable Newsletter Articles.

The Latest ERA News

The latest in ERA News By Liz Jordan

National AAUW

On Dec. 13, 2023, AAUW participated in the ERA Coalition March in Washington DC.  Our CEO, Gloria Blackwell, spoke during the program, which was streamed on Facebook.  We were alerted to this event by email.  Did you tune in?

According to Meghan Kissel, AAUW senior director of policy and membership advocacy, AAUW’s strategy is as follows:


  • 2 Joint Resolutions: H.J. 25 to affirm that the deadline is arbitrary and, therefore, remove it. AND H.J. 82 to remove the deadline and ask the Archivist to publish the ERA as the 28th Amendment.
  • Discharge petition to get H.J. 25 out of the Judiciary Committee (Chaired by Rep. J. Jordan of Ohio) and force a vote.


  • Some states will be introducing resolutions of support for the ERA, serving to continue putting pressure on the Biden administration.

2024 Elections:

  • Polling shows favorable numbers for the ERA, and the November elections are critically important. Electing representatives, as well as senators, who believe in the necessity for an Equal Rights Amendment could produce the majority and, hopefully, the 60 percent needed in the Senate to pass the previously mentioned resolutions.

National urges us to use the Two-Minute Activist tool that comes with email messages from Washington.  It’s so easy to use; just click through, type in your name etc. and send!! On Dec. 18 we received an email from Meghan Kissell about supporting AAUW’s efforts to get the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) passed by using the Two Minute Activist.  It took me less than a minute to send email messages to both California senators and my House representative.  If you haven’t tried it, you really should.  It makes me feel like I can do something besides jump up and down!!

AAUW also recommends writing letters to the editor, which has two lives – first when letters are read in the publication, and again when they are posted on social media and tagged to the decision makers in question, i.e. Biden, your House representative, senator, etc.  We do have voices.  We just need to use them.

Local Letter Writing

As a follow-up to our joint Oct. 14 meeting about the Crises in Reproductive Healthcare and the ERA, the CHAR branch (Citrus Heights/American River) formed a new interest group called the Social Justice Power Hour.  They have been writing to the news media and politicians, and when we hear back, we will “shout it from the rooftops!”

A Novel Suggestion

Bonnie Penix, in Sacramento AAUW, sent me a suggestion for a good novel, “A Spark of Light” by Jodie Picoult on the topic of reproductive healthcare.  Bonnie writes: It is about a women’s reproductive health services center and those who come for birth control, abortions, etc.  It takes place in Mississippi. While fiction, it touches on so many of the stories in The Abortion Chronicles, the reader’s theater presentation we performed at the October meeting. Bonnie says book groups might want to put it on their lists for their future selection meetings and perhaps it could become an all-Sacramento-branch reads.  So, Book Groups, take notice!

Need an email message model?

One last item on the local list is a model email message that you can adopt or adapt, address it, sign it, and make it your own.  As I mentioned at the December branch meeting, I am including a model email message you might want to adopt and use.  National’s critique was that the tone of my model was “too confrontational” and, therefore, less effective.  I made some modifications to the model to lower the confrontational temperature.  However, every individual should modify it to her own voice and intention.  You may access here through this link <here>.

Could the ERA help the Reproductive Healthcare Crises?

Could the ERA help the Reproductive Healthcare Crises? By Liz Jordan

AAUW Position on the Equal Rights Amendment: To guarantee equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse and inclusive society, AAUW advocates the passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

When we look at the issues developing around the crises in reproductive healthcare, we must ask: Could the Equal Rights Amendment be important to finding solutions?

My thinking is “yes!” Why?

  • Because the simple language in Section 1. says “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex. “

Specifically, the Dobbs decision in 2022 says that states can decide if their citizens have a “right to privacy in their personal decisions.”  So, a woman living in New York has a right to privacy in her personal decisions that she makes for herself, but a woman living in Idaho does not have that right to privacy.

Individual states would not be allowed to decide a woman’s rights.   The women in Texas, and in other restrictive states (see the Guttmacher Institute interactive map) have fewer rights than women living in California.

  • The equal protection of the 14th Amendment protects people from discrimination based on race, religion or nationality. Gender is not a protected class and therefore not entitled to “strict judicial scrutiny.”  This results in a lower success rate when bringing gender discrimination suits before the Supreme Court.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia said in 2011 that there is nothing in the US Constitution that protects women against gender-based discrimination.  For women to become a “protected class” under the Constitution, we must be added, specifically and clearly, to expect constitutional protection.

Yearly, thousands of women swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, but nowhere in the Constitution is a woman protected by the Constitution.  Gender should also be a protected class entitled to “strict judicial scrutiny.”

Women living in every state should have equal access to all reproductive healthcare, and their lives and liberty should be protected by the US Constitution.

Why should the Archivist publish, or be told to publish, the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution?

  • Because the only two requirements for an amendment, stated in the US Constitution, have been met for the 28th Amendment (ERA).
  • 2/3 of both houses passed in 1972.
  • Ratified by 3/4 of 50 states, 38 states, in 2020.
  • Because the issue of the seven-year deadline, or three-year extension to 1982, is without merit.

The deadline is arbitrary.  Deadlines for ratification have been applied only in the last 100 years.  The deadline for the ERA does not appear in the text.  It appears only in the Preamble to the Amendment.

The 27th Amendment became part of the US Constitution in 1992.   It was sent out for ratification in 1789, just after the Bill of Rights was ratified, and was lost in the process.  The 27th Amendment governs how Congress may vote itself a raise in compensation but may not receive it in the same Congressional session.  This amendment was quite popular, when it was finally ratified 203 years after it started the ratification process, because Congress was very unpopular with the electorate in the 1980s.

There were questions raised about its legality, but Congressional leadership believed it was not politically smart to delay publication.  The 27th Amendment was published immediately, without ceremony but with certification, into the Constitution.

Why does an amendment that governs congressional pay compensation get swift treatment, while the amendment protecting equal treatment for more than half the population of the country must satisfy an arbitrary deadline that does not appear in the language of the amendment itself.

  • Because Congress is incapable of removing the deadline. For four years, over three successive Congressional sessions, they have attempted to remove the deadline by joint resolution.  Yet women wait.  And wait.  And wait.  For over 100 years we have waited.

President, Joe Biden, campaigned on a promise to get the ERA/28th Amendment into the US Constitution.  He has, also, publicly supported all congressional resolutions that nullify the arbitrary deadline. 

  • Because no state has ever successfully rescinded its ratification after it voted for an amendment.

More than one state attempted to rescind it’s vote for the 14th Amendment, the amendment that provided the rights of citizenship to “formerly enslaved persons.”  Some states were compelled to ratify the 14th Amendment as a requirement to be accepted back into the Union.

I propose that we ask some hard questions. 

  • Let us ask every politician holding federal office, from the President to your local senator and member of House of Representatives, what she or he has done, is doing, will do to secure equal protection for women in the Constitution?
  • Let us write to every woman working for a major television and/or radio news channel to ask when will they do programing about the conundrum of the Equal Rights Amendment, especially as it relates to the unequal access to healthcare?

Questions we could ask:

Why isn’t the 28th Amendment part of the US Constitution? 

  • Why doesn’t President Biden tell his new Archivist, Colleen Shogan, to publish the amendment?
  • Would we have the Dobbs decision with the Equal Rights Amendment as a part of our Constitution?
  • Why don’t national news reporters ask Biden about the ERA at news conferences?
  • If women political leaders and military members swear to protect the Constitution, why aren’t they protected by it?
  • Is there a political agenda preventing the certification and publication of the Equal Rights Amendment?

Write letters and/or emails to:          

Women in News Media

Margaret Brennan, Face the Nation, CBS, 2020 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 457-4481; facethenation@cbsnews.com

Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, Rachel@msnbc.com; *Jen Psaki, Inside with Jen Psaki on MSNBC; *Joy Reid, The Reidout on MSNBC; *Nicole Wallace, Deadline Whitehouse on MSNBC; *Alex Wagner, Alex Wagner Tonight on MSNBC; *Stephanie Ruhle on 11th Hour on MSNBC.

The news women listed above may all be emailed at MSNBCTVinfo@nbcuni.com

Lindsay Davis, ABC News Live Prime, https://www.linseytdavis.com/contact/

Political leaders

For our California senators:

Alex Padilla                                                                 Laphonza R. Butler

112 Hart Senate Office Bldg.                                      G12 Dirksen Senate Bldg.
Washington DC 20510                                                 Washington DC 20510
501 I Street Ste 7-800                                                  https://www.butler.senate.go
Sacramento, CA 95814

For Your House of Representatives:

Find your representative: www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

Presidents’ Message, AAUW Priorities and Public Policy

President’s Message By Nancy McCabe

By now we are hoping that a cool fall has arrived. It is time for moving on with holiday preparations and fall activities. I am also hoping that it brings a renewed interest in our branch’s event schedule. The upcoming plans are spoken to in other articles, which will give you reasons to join in.

An important reason that AAUW is able to continue to provide superior programming is the continuing contributions of a group of ladies who have served as president, often several times. The program vice-presidents are both former presidents, as are six in appointed positions. The list of all former branch presidents is in the back of your directory. The following ladies are all former presidents. Those with a * have served in terms separated by years, and those with a # served more than one term consecutively. Terms go back as far as 1974-75. Please acknowledge these ladies when you see them and offer a friendly hello and thank you: *Marilyn Orrick, Susan Whetstone, Linda Whitney, *#Gloria Yost, Linda Sparks, *#Hedda Smithson, Pat Morgan, Mary Williams, Jean Bonar, Jane Cooley, *Marty McKnew, #Molly Dugan, Cherril Peabody, *# Nancy McCabe, #Donna Holmes, #Elizabeth Jordan, *Charmen Goehring and #Angela Scarlett. Also, note that Charmen has been a president in five branches and state president once. Many other past presidents remained members until their death.

Our branch depends on our members doing what they can, so if you are able, please volunteer to be on a committee, be a greeter, bring refreshments to a monthly meeting, or help clean up after a meeting as we must use someone else’s space for our events. Volunteering is a great way to meet other members, which is a benefit to joining in.

See you soon! — Nancy

AAUW Priorities By Kathy Papst

Hello Members,

I am proud to be the new director of the AAUW Sacramento branch AAUW Priorities. AAUW advocates for “equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse society”.

PRIORITIES include four areas of concentration: Public Policy, Civil Rights Advocacy, Title IX and AAUW Funds. Charmen Goehring is continuing as chairperson of Funds, and I am chairperson of Civil Rights Advocacy, Title IX is currently vacant, and we have a new, young member as chairperson of Public Policy, Marissa Floyd. Welcome Marissa!

We will report to our branch on what is happening with national, state and local legislation and policy updates. The reports will be uploaded to the Sacramento branch website. I hope that our members will read these reports, and keep abreast of important information about equity and rights.

I now want to make a plea for someone to take on the chair of Title IX. I feel that this issue is very much misunderstood, yet very important. If you want to get involved on the board, this would be a great place to start. Chairpersons do not have to attend the monthly board meetings. I look forward to working with such talented and involved members.

CA Public Policy

From Amy Hom and Melissa Maceyko, Co-chairs, AAUW California Public Policy Committee

Please click <here> for the latest issue of Public Policy News. This issue contains an article on the outcome of the Legislative Session , and other important updates and resources.

President’s Message

President’s Message By Nancy McCabe

As I write this, summer is hanging on, and we are anxious for cooler weather and fall
activities. Apple Hill, fall sports and sweaters are looking pretty good.

By now, our first monthly meeting is in the record books and we are looking forward to our Oct. 14 event. I hope to see you attending our events as the Smith and Smithson team is planning our second Lights, Camera, Action program. This will be our best program season in a while as they are creativity personified!

On another note, I would like to introduce you to pages 1-8 in the front of our directory. I think most of us use the directory only to locate other members, but we are overlooking some really good information. As we all are being encouraged to recruit friends and family to join our branch, page 1 describes who we are and what we stand for. Page 2 is the membership cost and board meeting schedule. Page 3 describes the standing programs that are an asset to the community. This is what I talk about when I am sharing what I am most proud of. (I know, don’t end a sentence with a preposition!) The following pages are interest groups, branch programs and branch leaders.

As an FYI, please add Marissa Floyd as the Public Policy chairperson. We are so
pleased that she has agreed to take this on to keep us informed about legislation.
Our voting board, those who attend board meetings, consists of the four elected
and five appointed members. Thus, meeting attendance is narrowed down to
attract leaders who are meeting-adverse. Keep this in mind when you are asked
to help out!

See you in October!

P.S. Also note our Tech Trek co-chairs for 2023-24 are Marlys Huez and Joyce Humphrey. At the Sept. 23rd kickoff we were introduced to our summer 2023 Tech Trek campers.