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Here’s what AAUW accomplished in 2016

2016 December 29
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According to a message from AAUW Action Network, here’s what AAUW accomplished this year:

More than 200,000 messages went out to state and federal legislators.

AAUW Action Network supporters in all 50 states made their voices heard on our priority issues. With your help, we contacted all 435 U.S. House offices and 100 U.S. Senate offices throughout the year!

6 states passed new equal pay laws in 2016.

AAUW members played a key role in achieving new equal pay laws in California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Utah. Yes, those are red, blue, and purple states taking action to close the gender pay gap — thanks to you and AAUW.

714 resource guides were delivered to Title IX coordinators in 29 states.

AAUW branches and supporters delivered critical new resources released by the U.S. Department of Education to make our schools safer and more equitable. This first tool kit of its kind was created at AAUW’s prompting, and now we are delivering the good news nationwide.

We collected 2,200 signatures on AAUW’s petition urging Anheuser-Busch to sign the White House Equal Pay Pledge.

Just three months after the pledge was released, on Women’s Equality Day, Anheuser-Busch signed the pledge. To date, more than 100 companies have signed on and committed to closing the gender pay gap.

We celebrated 44 years of Title IX with Sen. Harry Reid.

AAUW presented Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) with our Title IX Champion award at a packed Capitol Hill reception in June. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Dina Titus (D-NV) also spoke to the crowd of 300 attendees about the positive impact Title IX has made in our country’s schools. AAUW has long been a protector and defender of Title IX, and your strong voices have helped to make this groundbreaking civil rights law a real success story.

Members organized more than 900 get-out-the-vote events in 46 states.

AAUW branches, Younger Women’s Task Force chapters, and student organizations hosted voter registration drives and candidate nights with AAUW’s It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard resources. If you haven’t told us about your get-out-the-vote or voter education event, it’s not too late!

19 AAUW members were elected to state legislatures.
We know of 19 AAUW members who were elected to state legislatures or state senates in 2016. Do you know of any AAUW members in office? Be sure to tell us about them!

12 AAUW delegates attended the White House United State of Women Summit.

AAUW members were invited to the inaugural United State of Women Summit, where they heard from influential leaders including President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and AAUW’s longtime friend Lilly Ledbetter.

The AAUW in the Statehouse newsletter launched with1,767 subscribers.

This new monthly e-bulletin provides updates on state policy from across the country, tips and resources for more effective advocacy, and insider information about good and bad bills in the states. For dues-paying AAUW members, this is a free benefit! Subscribe online, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly e-bulletin, Washington Update, to keep up to date on all the latest news in our nation’s capital.

Members hosted more than 200 Equal Pay Day events nationwide.

AAUW members and supporters hosted local events to mark Equal Pay Day 2016. At the national office, staff held a block party where Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Arquette and Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) thanked AAUW for our work. (Start getting ready for the next Equal Pay Day: April 4, 2017.)

AAUW was 1 of 55 industry-wide Power of A Award winners.

The AAUW State Public Policy Program won a silver award at the American Society of Association Executives Power of A Awards for grassroots innovation and notable impact in the program’s first year.

2,786 Lobby Corps meetings were held with congressional staff.

The AAUW Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps held thousands of meetings with members of Congress and their staff to advocate for AAUW priority issues. These dedicated members represent AAUW advocacy areas (like equal pay, paid leave, voting rights, and college affordability) every week Congress is in session.

AAUW co-hosted 2 congressional briefings.

AAUW co-hosted U.S. House and Senate briefings on women and minorities in STEM and on sexual harassment in education with the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, an important coalition we chair. These coalition events not only educate Hill staffers, but they also show Congress the broad support for our issues.

We testified in support of salary transparency for 63million workers.

AAUW’s Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy Lisa Maatz was invited to testify at a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hearing. She testified in support of requiring employers to submit wage data to help increase salary transparency and close the gender pay gap. The new data that will soon be collected by the existing EEO-1 form will be a critical research and enforcement tool.

We broke the news that 91 percent of colleges likely underreported incidents of campus rape in 2014.

AAUW policy staff members Lisa Maatz and Anne Hedgepeth were invited to speak at the National Press Club’s Newsmaker Conference in January about AAUW’s analysis of campus sexual assault data, which found that 91 percent of colleges disclosed zero reported incidents of rape in 2014. When campuses report zero incidents of rape it simply does not square with research, campus climate surveys, and widespread experiences reported by students — and zero-reporting should be a red flag to advocates that there may be problems with the school’s reporting system and Title IX response.

AAUW leaders in 18 states helped demand better data on harassment in schools.

AAUW’s analysis of federal data showed that 67 percent of U.S. school districts reported zero allegations of sexual harassment or bullying during the 2013–14 school year. AAUW state leaders in 42 states sent letters to governors asking for the state to correct the zeros. A reported zero usually indicates that a school failed to recognize, address, and report the sexual harassment that we know students — especially girls and LGBT students — struggle with every day. To date, members have received responses from 18 states.

AAUW tracked 120 pieces of legislation in Congress, and more than 1,050 bills at the state level.
By tracking legislation, AAUW successfully championed the passage of congressional bills on issues ranging from sexual assault prevention to public education. Through Action Network, we were also able to stop or improve harmful measures such as the Russell Amendment, which would have opened the floodgates for taxpayer-funded discrimination in federal contracts and grants. When we needed to influence the conversation, you made your voices heard loud and clear through AAUW Action Network. State public policy chairs played a key role in monitoring state bills using AAUW’s innovative legislative tool, State Net.

Action Network members and supporters submitted8,896 comments to the federal government.
These coordinated public comment efforts resulted in better regulations on AAUW priority issues such as equal pay, data collection, and civil rights in K–12 schools.

Feeling inspired by what we did together?
Help AAUW continue speaking truth to power in 2017.
With your support, AAUW will continue to be a valued ally or a fierce critic — whichever is needed in the year to come.

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