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Joint program takes on issue of sexual assault

2016 October 15

ACTION OHIO Coalition For Battered Women presents “Confronting the Issues of Sexual Assault” on Oct. 26, 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the Clintonville Woman’ssexual assault Club, 3951 North High St. in Columbus. AAUW Ohio is a co-sponsor.

Is it still “He said,” vs. “She said?” What is consent? Is justice attainable? And how do we take action? These questions and more will be discussed during a panel presentation and the conversation that follows.

Panelists include:

  • Lynn Bilal, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
  • Elizabeth Joy, Survivors To Alivers, Inc
  • Krystal Martin, Mt Carmel Crime & Trauma Assistance Program
  • Jennifer Rausch, Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
  • Susan Wismar, Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio

This event is presented in partnership with the following organizations:

  • AAUW of Ohio
  • American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio
  • Business & Professional Women of Ohio
  • Columbus NOW
  • NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation
  • National Association of Social Workers –Ohio Chapter
  • Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio
  • Women Have Options
  • The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
  • Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University
  • Zonta Club of Columbus

RSVP: by Oct. 20, 2016, by completing the registration form and making payment.
Cost: $35 per person

For more information: 614 825-0551 or to

All are welcome.



Get the Starz Award application form and instructions

2016 October 12

Make sure your branch qualifies for the AAUW of Ohio Starz Award for the 2016-2017 year. Download the Starz Award Application Form 2017 and explanation.

JoAnn Benseler recognizes branches who won Starz Awards.

JoAnn Benseler recognizes branches who won Starz Awards.

Starz applications should be completed and mailed to JoAnn Benseler, 147 Sandstone Loop East, Westerville OH 43081, by March 16, 2017.

Awards will be distributed at AAUW of Ohio Equity Day and Convention 2017, which will be held May 5-6 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Columbus/Worthington.

Purpose of the Starz Award

  • To increase communication between branches and between branches and the State Board.
  • To help branch members become aware of their responsibilities to achieve the goals of AAUW.
  • To acknowledge the efforts of branches in achieving these goals.

Key dates to remember

  • April 8 or 9, 2016 – Branch represented at State convention.
  • July l, 2016 – Branch Officer List sent to Administrative Coordinator.
  • Sept. 1, 2016 – Branch dues collected and sent to AAUWOhio Administrative Coordinator or to National Office in Washington, DC.
  • December 31, 2016 – Contribution Report Form for Fundraising sent in.
  • March 16, 2017 – STARZ application finished and mailed to JoAnn Benseler.


Updated edition of pay gap report is out

2016 September 27

AAUW’s The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap is here, and the fall edition of the report has more truth in it than ever.big-win_email

How do we explain the 20-cent gender pay gap (a statistically insignificant change from last year), and what do race, location, and career choice have to do with it?

See how the gap in Ohio stacks up to the national number, and learn more about what states are doing to promote (or hinder) equal pay. Plus, new for this edition, AAUW discusses how the gender pay gap is connected to disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. You can also download a PowerPoint on the report.

Read it and share with your social media networks.

New issue of AAUW of Ohio Orbit is out!

2016 September 15
by Paula Maggio
The dog days of summer are here. And with them come the summer issue of your Orbit Summer 2016AAUW of Ohio Orbit. In it, you’ll find:
  • Save the date for AAUW of Ohio Equity Day & Convention 2017
  • Why we give: a message from Deborah Wooldridge, our new philanthropy vice president
  • An update about our state focus for the new year and a call to plan programs that advocate and educate: a message from Christine Siebeneck, state president
  • Details on how to share your branch program news via our state website and social media accounts
  • Tools you can use in this election: a message from Karen Rainey, state public policy chair. These tools include the AAUW Ohio Voting Record 2016 of the 131st Session of the Ohio General Assembly.
  • Update: Bylaws are changing again!
  • State membership update: A message from Cheri, Crothers, our new membership vice president

Download back issues of the AAUW of Ohio Orbit.

AAUW of Ohio Voting Record now online

2016 September 8
Here is the latest AAUW of Ohio Voting Record. The AAUW Voting Record scores theAAUW of Ohio Voting Record 2016 votes of our state legislators on bills important to AAUW of Ohio members.  Please print copies, email the link to your lists and make copies available to branch members and a wider audience as well.

Get the score: View the Ohio Women’s Economic Security Scorecard

2016 August 17

In 2015, several women’s advocacy groups, including AAUW of Ohio, came together to form the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network. The purpose of the group was to scorecard exec summarylobby for women and family issues in the General Assembly, and to make a greater impact by working for common goals.

The first order of business was the drafting and adoption of the Economic Security Agenda last fall. 

Now the network has introduced a Women’s Economic Security Scorecard, grading the General Assembly on its performance in meeting those goals.  See for yourself what’s been accomplished—or not—in this session of the General Assembly.


Learn where Strickland and Portman stand on issues

2016 August 3

Where does Democratic candidate Ted Strickland stand on passing laws aimed at closing the gender pay gap? Where does Republican candidate Rob Portman stand on raising the federal minimum wage?

Where do Ohio U.S. Senate candidates stand on a woman’s right to access affordable contraception without asking her boss’s permission?

These answers and more can be found on the AAUW Action Fund’s 2016 Ohio U.S. Senate Voter Guide. The Action Fund has thoroughly researched the candidates’ records and public positions to assess where they stand on AAUW’s priority issues.

Voting record

Leadership Workshop 2016 cancelled

2016 July 19

Summer is a busy time for AAUW Ohio members — and this year may be busier than usual for our members. As a result, our Leadership Workshop 2016 has not generated the number of registrants we need to hold this event and cover our expenses. Consequently, our Aug. 13 workshop is cancelled.

We will refund the registration fee for our registrants by Aug. 20. We will also email pertinent leadership materials to our branches later this summer so branch leaders can continue to enhance their skills.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes. And we thank you for your support of AAUW’s mission to advocate for equity for women and girls.

Convention coverage, Leadership Workshop and more in Spring issue of AAUW of Ohio Orbit

2016 May 25

Although it’s late in May, it seems that Spring is finally here. And with it comes the AAUW Orbit Spring 16Spring issue of the AAUW of Ohio Orbit. You can read it two ways:

  1. Download it as a PDF.
  2. Read it online. This option will also give you the choice of downloading it as a PDF and sharing it with your social networks and/or email contacts.

Here’s what you’ll find in the AAUW of Ohio Orbit Spring 2016 issue:

  • News about Leadership Workshop 2016, Aug. 13, at Otterbein University
  • President’s Message: Bringing STEM to girls in our communities
  • What’s new at the Statehouse
  • State Bylaws news
  • Coverage of AAUW of Ohio Equity Day & Convention 2016, including recognition of all of our branches that won awards!
  • STEM events — and more news — from branches statewide
  • Leadership Essentials: brand new and reorganized resources from AAUW National that will make your job easier

Visit this page to download back issues of AAUW of Ohio Orbit.

Public Policy News: May 2016

2016 May 23
by admin

By Karen Rainey, AAUW Ohio Public Policy Chair

Here’s the “Issue of the Month” plus suggestions for program planning and other news—please share with your branch members.

In this issue:

 Issue of the Month: Endorsements in Nonpartisan School Board Races

 Resources for Branch Programming (Attachment)

 Legislative Updates—HB 511, Family-Medical Leave Act; HB 417 and HB 419, Fetal Remains—Abortion; SB 298, Charter Schools E-Schools Attendance; Medical Marijuana Select Committee

 Recap: Women United for Change

Issue of the Month: AAUW Endorsements in Nonpartisan Races

State Public Policy Committee Member Jackie Evangelista has contributed the following item. It’s what your branch can do to support public education, always near and dear to AAUW members.

Consider Endorsing Pro-Public Education Candidates for the Ohio State Board of Education and your Local Boards

Did you know that AAUW Ohio and its branches are free to endorse candidates in all nonpartisan electoral races such as the Ohio State Board of Education and your local boards of education? In doing so, you will help advance AAUW’s public policy position on public education and help inform the public.

In fact, three Northeast Ohio branches—Heights-Hillcrest-Lyndhurst, Cleveland and Northeast— recently endorsed Meryl Johnson, a retired Cleveland public school teacher, union activist, and member of the Heights-Hillcrest-Lyndhurst Branch, for the District 11 seat on the Ohio State Board of Education. Parts of all three branch territories fall within District 11. They then asked AAUW Ohio to support their decision and endorse Meryl during the convention business meeting on April 9 in Worthington. The resolution, which also encouraged branches to replicate the action, passed.

Your Ohio Public Policy Committee encourages you to investigate those running for both the Ohio State Board of Education and the local boards of education that fall within your branch territory. About half the elected state board members are on the ballot every two years. There are 11 elected members, who represent districts that are comprised of three Senate districts, and eight appointed members. Since the terms run for four years, this allows for overlap and continuity. You can read about the current board members at: To help you determine which member(s) serve your branch territory, refer to the state board map.

The seats that will be elected in 2016 include:

District 1, currently held by Ann Jacobs of Lima.

District 6, currently held by Michael Collins of Westerville (not running again)

District 8, currently open (runs from Mahoning to Meigs County along the eastern Ohio border)

District 9, currently held by Stephanie Dodd of Granville

District 11, currently held by Mary Rose Oakar of Cleveland

If you choose to take on this short-term project, your first task will be to learn whether the candidates currently holding the position plan to run for re-election. Mary Rose Oakar was term limited out, prompting Meryl to declare her candidacy. Some of the above candidates may also be term-limited. Next you should determine whether the incumbent agrees with AAUW Public Policy positions on education. You may find clues about whether those currently serving support public education from reading their biographies. However, if you aren’t familiar with the member, ask around to find out about his or her record vis a vis public education. If he or she is a strong supporter of vouchers, charters and/or homeschooling, AAUW would not consider them to be supporters of our education public policy position. AAUW does support charter schools but with a very long list of caveats, many of which Ohio’s charters do not meet as evidenced by the many scandals that have long been swirling around them. Read the AAUW position. While the legislature finally passed a weak bill to create more accountability, it has just gone into effect and its impact hasn’t been felt yet.

If the person currently representing your district does not plan to run again, your next task would be to research who else plans to run for the State Board of Education within your branch’s territory. Your county board of elections can tell you who has registered to date, but candidates have until Aug. 1st to register; however, if you are satisfied that your incumbent or other candidates who have declared earlier strongly support public education, you may wish to endorse them early to give them more time to benefit from your endorsement while campaigning. You may endorse more than one candidate if they meet our criteria. Then you can repeat the process on the local level investigating all the local boards of education that fall within your territory, learning who plans to run again and whether any seats are open, what new candidates plan to run and what their positions are. You are encouraged to invite the candidates that meet our criteria to speak at a meeting in the fall before the election.

To keep your endorsements in compliance with AAUW requirements, you should soon add the following “Clear Procedures on Endorsements” to your Policy Sheet at a branch or board meeting before making the vote to endorse:

1. Motions to endorse a nonpartisan issue or candidate shall be made at a branch or board (choose one or both) meeting.

2. The motion to endorse should include the name of the nonpartisan candidate or the issue of interest.

3. The motion should clearly state a rationale that identifies how endorsing the candidate or issue will support AAUW’s Public Policy Program.

4. The motion must be supported by a majority of the deciding body.

Here are a few other important directives from national:

AAUW/Branches/States may not contribute money, mailing lists, or anything of material value to candidates for any elective office, partisan or nonpartisan.

AAUW/Branches/States may not publish paid political announcements in AAUW publications.

Before a nonpartisan election in which AAUW has endorsed a candidate(s), AAUW/branches/states may invite the endorsed candidate(s) to speak at a meeting on her/his/their candidacy without inviting nonendorsed candidates.

By shining a light on these important education races, which often go under the radar, you will be doing your community a service. Citizens often have no idea who the candidates are or whom they should vote for. There are individuals who are more committed to privatizing public education than strengthening it on boards throughout Ohio. So long as citizens are willing to tacitly accept this reality by failing to become informed, public education will continue to be eroded. Encourage your branch to play a small role in reversing this trend and helping Ohio’s school children by adopting this easy-to-do public policy project.

Resources for Branch Programming

In case you missed the handout at convention, here are the State Public Policy Committee’s suggestions for your next program year. Please bear in mind that your state board is continuing the women’s economic security theme for the next year, so you may also want to look closely at programs that deal with the issues of paid sick and family leave, minimum wage, day care, Social Security, and equal pay. AAUW has Quick Facts position statements on most of these areas.

Legislative Updates

Charter School Accountability: Senate Bill 298, designed to require online schools to track the number of hours each student is participating in coursework daily, has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee instead of the Education Committee, where it would have been received more favorably by the committee chair. State support is based on attendance figures, which appear to have been scammed in several instances. The future of the bill looks dim; please contact the chair of the Finance Committee, Sen. Scott Oelslager, at 614-466-0626, to request that hearings be held on the bill.