NOVEMBER 19th PROGRAM: The AAUW FUND: Everything You Wanted To Know & More!!

Hi Onliners!

We have an exciting program STARTING ON NOVEMBER 19TH about The AAUW FUND and are lucky to have Sharon Westafer, chair of the AAUW CA Fund Committee, help us to better understand the “new” AAUW Fund and why contributing NOW is so important.  Sharon will be available from NOVEMBER 19-20.

Our guest expert for this program, Sharon Westafer, is a 5th generation Californian who was born and raised in Auburn.  She has degrees in social work and nursing and is a retired registered nurse who enjoys reading, travel, cooking and walking.  A dual member and past president of the Stockton and Long Beach branches, she now serves as a member of the AAUW National Fund Raising committee, Director on the AAUW CA state board and chair of the AAUW CA Fund committee, Co-chair of the Long Beach branch STEM career conference and member of the Long Beach branch scholarship selection committee and Tech Trek committees.  She is also membership vice president for one of her local library’s Friends of the Library.

Some of the areas Sharon will be covering will be:  an overview/history of the Fund; “One AAUW”; the new “Charting the Course” Campaign, and how to donate online.

Also participating will be 2015-2016 Career Development Grant Recipient Alejandra Rosas. She has recently moved to Southern CA and is pursuing a master’s degree in communication at Johns Hopkins University via the Internet!  A multimedia editor and videographer at Volunteers of America, she captures and shares the stories of individuals living on the margins of society. She hopes to continue working in film and video production, expanding her abilities as a storyteller and producer of meaningful content.

Alejandra travels a lot and will be sharing her experience as a grant recipient and what’s it’s like to live an “online life.”

Anyone who was subscribed to the September program on AAUW’s Solving the Equation will remain subscribed to this program.  If anyone not currently subscribed to the program email list wishes to join this program, please contact Communications Chair Sandy Hansen before the program BEGINS ON NOV. 19TH.  Tremayne Parquet at the national office plans to subscribe to this program.

Please feel free to participate and ask questions!

Here are some useful links to review prior to the NOV. 19 program:

Overview of Funding & Awards:

Diagram and explanation of AAUW’s “One Fund”

Explanation of the new Charting the Course Campaign

Description of the Legal Advocacy Fund

November Selection for Book Group

Disgruntled - February-150pxOur November book is Disgruntled by Asali Solomon, 2001-02 American Fellow. The discussion will begin on November 25.

Contact if you would like to join us.

Kenya Curtis is only 8 years old, but she knows that she’s diferent. It’s not because she’s black — most of the other students in the fourth-grade class at her West Philadelphia elementary school are, too. Maybe it’s because she celebrates Kwanzaa, or because she’s forbidden from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Maybe it’s because she calls her father “Baba” instead of “Daddy.” What Kenya does know is that her difference is connected to what her Baba calls “the shame of being alive.”

Effortlessly funny and achingly poignant, Asali Solomon’s long-awaited debut novel follows Kenya from West Philadelphia to the suburbs, from public school to private, from childhood through adolescence, as she grows increasingly disgruntled by her inability to find any place or thing or person that feels like home. A coming-of-age tale, a portrait of Philadelphia in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, an examination of the impossible double binds of race, Disgruntled is a novel about the desire to rise above the limitations of the narratives we’re given and the painful struggle to craft fresh ones we can call our own.


AAUW CA Public Policy Update

2015 Legislative Update – AAUW California
The 2015 legislative year began slowly in January but soon heated up in part due to our participation in a new, exciting coalition – Str♀nger California Advocates Network. This coalition, organized by the Women’s Policy Institute, was made up of two dozen groups, some with established Capitol credentials and many new to advocacy but with significant experience in working with communities affected by the four pillars of the California women’s economic agenda. Our agenda had four established pillars under which two dozen bills on which we advocated as a coalition were categorized.
Pillar One – Fair Pay and Job Opportunities
Pillar Two – Access to Childcare
Pillar Three – Family Friendly Workplace
Pillar Four – Eradicating Poverty
AAUW California’s agenda primarily focused on Pillar One – Fair Pay and Job Opportunities, and supported many of the Str♀nger California bills with a few non-coalition bills added, but we were very deliberate that our focus was Fair Pay. We sponsored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 50 (Gonzalez) to bring attention to Equal Pay Day, and cosponsored with the California Employment Lawyers Association a bill on closing the gender wage gap, that if the Governor had signed the bill, would have made California first in the nation to have a bill prohibiting employers from using prior salary history to establish new pay. Unfortunately AB 1017 (Campos) was vetoed, along with another progressive bill to attack the gender wage gap, AB 1354 (Dodd) requiring state contractors to have plans in place for fighting gender pay inequities.
The vetoes occurred on the last day the Governor could act, October 11th, by citing our biggest victory of the year, Senate Bill 358 (Jackson), which he signed, as the reason. SB 358 was a sorely needed update to California’s Fair Pay Act. Not only does it prohibit retaliation for disclosing wages amongst coworkers, but closes a huge loophole used by employers when employees sued for wage discrimination based on gender. This was a tremendous victory that received national attention, the importance of which should not be discounted amidst our disappointment with the vetoes; but we know from the AAUW Analysis of Gender Pay Laws by State that multiple avenues of addressing this problem are needed. This is particularly true after the recent disappointing news from the Census that the gender pay gap has barely budged in the last decade.
We’ll be back. Perhaps not in 2016 but sooner rather than later. We’ll take time to marshal our forces and stock our ammunition (data). Part of what would be helpful in the fight are YOUR STORIES. In talking with people about the bill, there was an amazing number who’d either personally been affected or knew someone who had been disadvantaged by having to disclose their prior salary history in order to apply for a job. It can vary from failure to get an interview because your credentials were assessed using your low salary as a proxy, and by that measure you were deemed unqualified and therefore not worthy of an interview. It could be you were paid below the established range, or less than a colleague because the company policy was to pay prior salary plus x% only. Summit your stories to Please include your contact information and if you’d be willing to be public with your story.
Meanwhile, we hope to have our Fair Pay poster person, Aileen Rizo-Acosta, at our 2016 California meeting to talk about the impact of using prior salary history to establish new wages. Aileen and her family traveled to Sacramento from Fresno dozens of times to persuasively testify on both SB 358 and AB 1017 by relating her compelling story. Read about her story here and follow her on Facebook . Her lawsuit against her employer for paying her $20,000 below a less qualified male colleague because of her prior salary should be heard early in 2016, and we’ll make sure to update you. Please “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter using @aauwcalobbyist and @aauw_ca.
The new legislative year (2nd year of a two year session) will begin January 4, 2016. The website will be updated with our new agenda after the March Public Policy Committee. Thanks to your support, especially our Two-Minute Activists, we are able to move our agenda forward.

Meeting at U.S. Treasury

U. S. Treasurer Rosie Rios presenting tour of Women in the Treasury

U. S. Treasurer Rosie Rios presenting tour of Women in the Treasury

On Friday, October 9, as national Board vice chair I had the honor of joining 50 of my fellow AAUW members, including the Board of Directors, and our CEO for an exclusive, behind-closed-doors roundtable session with U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, the “woman behind the woman on the $10 bill.” We had a very open and productive conversation about whose face should grace that new bill, as well on the persistent gender pay gap and other pertinent issues. 

The decision, by Rios and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, to make a woman the face of the $10 bill has reignited two long-standing discussions that AAUW cares very much about: how to represent the key role that women play in our nation’s history and how to empower women today. As the 43rd treasurer of the United States, Rios is key ally in both those discussions.

The timing of our meeting was also fitting: just under a week before Latina Equal Pay Day, the symbolic date each year that Latina women have to work to in order to be paid what a man was paid the previous year. Working 10 whole latina-EPDenglishmonths extra just for the same pay — it’s shameful!

A prominent Latina political figure, Rios shares our frustration about the pay gap and the still-unequal status of women in the United States. Her signature appears on roughly half the banknotes in this country. After our discussion, I know she shares our commitment to real change, not spare change — and to getting more of those signatures into the pockets of hardworking American women and their families!

AAUW has a long history of advocating for women’s economic security and pay equity. It was an honor to be part of this chapter in that ongoing legacy.

Alicia Hetman AAUW CA Online Branch Mermber

Which woman’s image should go on the $10 bill?

new10image_noBGIf you’ve visited the national AAUW website recently, you may have been asked to participate in AAUW’s poll about which woman’s image should be placed on the $10 bill.  The U.S. Treasury department has announced that in 2020 they will be honoring the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment (giving women the vote in this country) by redesigning the $10 bill with a woman’s image.  So now is the time to be a part of the decision of which woman will be so honored.

If you haven’t participated in the AAUW poll yet, do so today!  After you’ve made your selection, you’ll see how others have voted thus far.

2015-2016 Fall Funds Luncheons

Want to spend a lovely afternoon getting acquainted with the newest AAUW Funds Fellow and Grant recipients in your area—and enjoy a delicious lunch?

Then register for the Fall Funds Luncheon in your area:
Southern CA, October 18 at the Airport Marriott-Irvine
(RSVP by October 6; Payment deadline October 15)

Northern, CA, October 25th
 at the Crow Canyon Country Club – Danville
(RSVP by October 13; Payment deadline October 22)

Legal Advocacy Fund 0ct. 15 Supreme Court Preview Call


For those of you who have not already done so, please subscribe to the monthly LAF Express Newsletter.  The September Edition (in addition information about the Supreme Court Preview Call) also includes information about bringing a LAF Litigant to your State AAUW Cnvention, and how to get $750 to Host an On-Campus Event this year.

On October 15, Amalia Lam, Senior Manager, Legal Advocacy Fund, will educate us by analyzing the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming term. Federal courts are sometimes the last, best hope for victims of discrimination in education, employment, or health care. This term the Supreme Court will hear a number of cases that could significantly affect the rights of women and girls. As in her SCOTUS preview call last October, she will highlight and summarize the court’s most important cases. Save your spot by registering online today for what will be an amazing October 15th call!

And, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to LAF  to help balance the scales of justice and be sure to credit the AAUW CA Online Branch.


National Voter Registration Day

National Voter Registration Day – happening today, September 22 – is a nonpartisan nationwide effort to register tens of thousands of voters. We are proud to join groups such as Rock the Vote, the League of Women Voters, and the Bus Federation Civic Fund to mark this occasion for the fourth year in a row.

AAUW and the AAUW Action Fund are committed to registering voters for the upcoming 2015 and 2016 elections – a time when young women in particular are less likely to vote even though the stakes are just as high.

How will you #CelebrateNVRD? Here are three easy things you can do:

Make sure your registration information is updated! You are most likely already registered to vote, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure your voter registration is current. Maybe you moved recently, changed your name, or haven’t voted in a few years. Visit AAUW coalition partner to check your registration in advance so you’re not surprised when you show up to the polls.

Encourage your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to register to vote. We need your help getting others registered to vote by spreading the word. There are important races all over the country in 2015 and 2016, and the candidates on the ballot will have a huge say on issues such as equal pay, college affordability, jobs and the minimum wage, violence against women, access to birth control and other health care issues, voting rights, and more. Forward this email to them and urge them to register to vote or update their registration today!

Tweet up a storm! To start, make sure you are following us on Twitter – @AAUW, @AAUWActionFund, and @AAUWPolicy. We’ll be posting all sorts of content throughout the day, so retweet your favorites! Also, make sure to include the #SheVotes hashtag in every tweet and include the #CelebrateNVRD hashtag if your tweet is specifically about National Voter Registration Day.
Not sure what to tweet or post to Facebook? How about a picture of you holding up a sign that says why you will be making your voice heard this November?

What Does The Legal Advocacy Fund Do?

The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) provides financial and organizational support for a select number of cases that challenge gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace or in education.

Want to know more about:
Your Rights At Work
Your Rights On Campus
Legal Case Support for Gender Discrimination/Harassment                 •Finding Legal Help
Case Support Travel Grants
Campus Outreach Grants



The Legal Advocacy Fund is one of the well known of the 20+ Funds/Programs/Projects that AAUW supports.   During this year we will learn more about them.

Of all of the funds, the Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) is nearest and dearest to my heart.

As a social worker, fighting all forms of discrimination is very important for me.  LAF  works to challenge sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace. LAF resources range from community outreach programs to backing of major cases.  Sex discrimination today takes a variety of forms: unfair pay, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 can affect both women and men. LAF addresses these barriers by informing people of their rights and using the legal system to seek justice and change.

Every month Mollie Lam, Senior Manager, Legal Advocacy Fund, publishes The LAF Express to keep us up to date about issues concerning this vital fund. The LAF Express is no longer archived on the site.    If you have not already done so, sign up here for your free monthly LAF Express.     The August edition focuses on “Victories at the Supreme Court; Appeals Court Blocks Unconstitutional Abortion Restriction in North Dakota; and Campus Outreach Grants.    Listen to a recording of the July 23, 2015 Supreme Court Wrap-Up Call  and take a look at the LAF Wrap-Up Blog.