Ohio Public Policy E-Newsletter-October 2009
Ohio Public Policy E-Newsletter – October 2009
From Jackie Evangelista, email@example.com – Ohio Public Policy Chair
IS YOUR BRANCH ON THE “A” LIST?
- I have cross referenced my two public policy listservs with the newly-published “AAUW Ohio Yearbook.” One lists all branches with public policy chairs. The other, which I call the “Stand In” list, includes a contact—usually the president if she has an e-mail address—from each of the branches not reporting a public policy chair. A warm welcome to two new public policy chairs: Katherine Suzo of the Defiance Branch and Miriam Burke of the Mason-Lebanon Branch. If you have a chair and failed to include her on your officer list sent to AAUW Ohio, please let me know her name and e-mail address.
A few branches that had chairs last year did not report one this year. The four branches with an asterisk after their name have a chair, but she has not reported an e-mail address. So the person receiving this newsletter from these branches is asked to please copy the newsletter and mail it to your public policy chair. If you are a president and would prefer that someone else in your branch receive this newsletter, please let me know. Branches on the A-list include: Bowling Green, Champaign County, Circleville, Cleveland, Dayton, Defiance, Delaware, Elyria, Oberlin*, Heights-Hillcrest-Lyndhurst, Holmes County, Ironton (Women’s Issues), Lorain*, Mason-Lebanon, Medina County, Mentor-Madison, Sandusky, Tiffin, Toledo, Van Wert, Warren-Trumbull, Xenia* and Willoughby*
- Just a reminder that having a public policy chair earns your branch a Glitter Point in the STARZ Award Contest. But more importantly, having a chair ensures that someone in your branch is plugged into the “Advocacy” prong of AAUW’s Mission Statement: Advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. So, if your branch isn’t on the list above, please see if you can find a member who will serve as your branch’s public policy chair and send me her information. THANKS!
HELP SCHOOLS—HELP STUDENTS—HELP YOUR BRANCH
- Developed by the Heights-Hillcrest-Lyndhurst Branch and then adopted as AAUW Ohio’s “Making History Project,” The New Little Book: Social Studies is an ideal AAUW public policy advocacy project. When the first school districts began using The New Little Book: Social Studies with their students preparing to take the Ohio Graduation Test in 2007, our mission of advocating for education was put in motion. Now three years later, the same school districts are continuing to buy and use the book because they have seen an appreciable improvement in their test scores. Last year, every participating branch increased its membership, and every participating school district raised its social studies test scores.
- There are many other Ohio school districts whose low test scores show they need The New Little Book, and this project is ready for use by many other AAUW/Ohio branches. It is a ready-made opportunity for all AAUW/Ohio branches to help their local schools and students. The New Little Book – written by AAUW branch members and Cleveland area teachers – only needs wider distribution. Your branch can contact your community’s parents and schools – teachers, curriculum director, or social studies coordinator – to make them aware of the study guide and its success in the schools that have used it. Pricing is based on the number of books ordered, and arrangements can be made for it to be used as a branch fundraiser if wanted. Get specific information on The New Little Book. Still have questions? Call 216-556-4968 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Submitted by Nancy Stellhorn and Jan Bowden
LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS PUBLIC POLICY
- At the Aug. 15 AAUW Ohio Leadership Conference in Delaware, Lisa Maatz, AAUW Director of PublicPolicy and Government Relations, told attendees that AAUW is focused on “what we can do to make things better for branches.” She advised branches to watch for a program by the end of the year that will help them set up Web sites that follow AAUW’s format. She suggested that branches participate in the dues pilot program, whereby AAUW collects dues for branches. She encouraged branches to use AAUW Action Network e-mails as a recruiting tool by forwarding them to prospective members and urging them to sign up to receive them directly.
- Lisa also chimed in frequently to add helpful information during my presentation, which encouraged integrating public policy programs and projects into branch programming. To give members an overview of our wide-ranging interests and goals, you can review the AAUW Federal Policy Agenda. The Agenda can be used as the basis for a member survey to determine their interests and suggest future program/project ideas. You can ask members to rank the lettered planks within the three Roman numeral categories. Bulleted entries can also be ranked, and members can be asked to circle three topics they would like to see as future branch program ideas. I am attaching a two-page summary of the 23-page document that can be copied and more easily used as the basis for such a survey.
- It was noted that the new AAUW “Programs in a Box” include several with a public policy focus. Of particular interest right now is the Campus Action Project, which awards $5,000 to colleges for projects related to issues raised by AAUW’s upcoming 2010 research report, Breaking through Barriers: Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Proposed projects must address some of the barriers girls and women face entering and staying in the STEM fields, particularly in physics, engineering, and computer science, areas with the greatest gender disparities. This award affords branches the opportunity to develop better relations with nearby colleges. But the deadline is Oct. 16, so you need to check it out quickly here. Attendees were also asked to set a goal of encouraging all members who are online to sign up for the AAUW Action Network.
REVIEW AAUW HEALTH CARE POSITION PAPER
- Given the important of the topic in the national debate at present, you may want to give members a copy of AAUW’s Health Care Position Paper at an upcoming meeting. It explains why women are especially vulnerable and supports three specific goals: ending the practice of “gender rating,” requiring coverage of women’s reproductive health services, and ensuring access to and coverage of preventive services and care..
WANT TO ENCOURAGE GIRLS’ INTEREST IN SCIENCE?
- Branches interested in encouraging girls to enter careers in math and science might be interested in referring to the Web site of an organization started by astronaut Sally Ride. Quoted in the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Ride explained that she founded Sally Ride Science in 2001 because “research shows as many girls as boys like science in the third and fourth grades, but we start losing girls in greater numbers in middle school. There’s still this stereotype that science is for geeks. I’m trying to counteract that message.” The Web site sells sets of classroom books on various science topics including one that encourages students to consider careers in four science areas and that cites both female and male role models described here.