Ohio Public Policy Challenge
AAUW has challenged states and branches to establish firm relations with our legislators—especially senators and representatives at the national level. Your state public policy co-chairs would also like to extend that challenge to the state level.
The challenge is to get all branches in the state to send their public policy chairs and one or more additional members to visit their legislators, drop off a note of congratulation, share some information with him or her about an AAUW position that is important to you (it may be different on the state vs. national level), take your camera and get your photo taken with your legislator and send it to us.
What you can do
- Any time your legislators are home on holiday break is an excellent time to work on this project. Send a member of your legislator’s party to meet with him/her. Despite the polarization in recent years, “partnership” is being stressed over “partisanship” at present. And there are issues—especially related to education—on which some legislators of both parties agree.
- If you are unable to schedule an appointment with your legislator, meeting with his/her aide can be as helpful.
- If even that isn’t possible, ask if you can drop off information about one of our current issues and leave your contact information.
- If someone calls you back, you can begin working to develop a relationship with your legislator or his/her aide.
- Include Pay Equity in your discussion. Pay equity is one of the most important issues AAUW branches or Public Policy Interest Groups can be working on. If your members are enlivened by this issue, read the Association’s excellent Pay Equity Resource Kit. It is a 39-page report that will educate you about the issue and show you how to carry out various actions to advance it. It could be the sole focus of a Public Policy Interest Group.
- One of easiest recommended actions is getting your legislators to sign one or both of our Fair Pay Pledges, which are included below. They can be printed in large type with a border like a certificate to add emphasis. If you think your legislator will be receptive, ask him/her to sign the first pledge in time to get a photo for our conventions. Then come back in late April on Equal Pay Day to ask him/her to sign the second pledge.
“Pay differential in my office will be based on a bona fide factor such as education, training or experience rather than sex. I understand that in signing this pledge, my name will be added to a list of supporters of pay equity maintained by (name of local AAUW branch)
Signature __________________________Date_____________________ “
“I, ________________________________ Date_____________________
pledge to stand behind working women by supporting pay equity legislation.
I also understand that in signing this pledge, my name will be added to a list of supporters of pay equity maintained by the (AAUW branch). “
Remember that the legislator’s staff can be your best ally. They can get the pledge signed for you even if you can’t get an appointment.
Suggestions for a pleasant visit
- Smile, but go with an agenda. Choose a topic–economy, social issues, environment, education, something you are sincerely interested in and on which your legislator has expressed a public position. Your legislator’s positions on issues important to AAUW are recorded on the Association Web site in the issues section. Copy the issue paper about the topic you want to discuss and give it to your legislator.
- Be sure they know you are a constituent and ask for support of our position. Remember they get elected to do what their constituents want done.
- Ask them to sign the Fair Pay Pledge.
- Have your picture taken with them.
- Thank them for seeing you. Follow up with note thanking them again. Don’t let them forget you. And then please send us a copy of the photo with a short report about your visit covering when, where, topic covered, and legislator’s reaction.