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Read the Winter issue of AAUW of Ohio Orbit — and register for Convention

2017 February 16

Winter is here but spring is not far away — and that means it’s time to register for AAUW Ohio Equity Day and Convention 2017. And if you do so before Feb. 28, you’ll get the best rate possible by being an Early Bird.

You’ll find registration and program details inside the Winter 2017 issue of your AAUW of Ohio Orbit.

Also in this issue: 

  • A fresh look for our Silent Auction: Fill a Purse for Change. And a call to open our checkbooks to meet our $5,000 fundraising goal for Convention.
  • Now that we’ve marched and cheered a great film, it’s time to educate and advocate for women and girls: a message from President Christine Siebeneck
  • State updates on charter schools, sexual violence, and human trafficking policies from Karen Rainey, state public policy chair
  • Be a star and apply for your branch awards: Get the details and the links
  • Find out which branches are tops in growth
  • District meeting news
  • Updates from our branches, including a member who is now serving on the Ohio Board of Education
  • AAUW at the Women’s March
  • Links to resources from national AAUW

You can also download past issues of Orbit.

Be the change: Register for AAUW Ohio Equity Day & Convention 2017

2017 February 12

It’s time! Register today for AAUW Ohio Equity Day and Convention 2017, with its theme of “Women: Be the Change,” and help advance equity for women and girls.

Registration is open! So don’t delay and register today to get the best registration rate through May 1.

Dates: May 5-6, 2017

Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Columbus-Worthington, 175 Hutchinson Ave., Columbus.

Hotel Reservations: Make reservations at 800-870-0349. Our special rate is $129. Identify yourself as a part of AAUW 2017 Convention to secure the special rate. Breakfast is included with your hotel stay. Reservation deadline is April 15.

Spread the word: Download our Convention flyer and pass it on!

FYI: Our annual meeting will move to Friday evening, May 5, so we can devote the full day of Saturday, May 6, to Equity Day.

Attendance Incentive

With five paid two-day rate registrations, the branch president (or her designee) attends free! Early bird registrations count toward this goal. Branch president registrations will be reimbursed.


We are team building with millenials by having Saleha Azmi run a student track alongside our traditional program, which will be open to all attendees. Azmi, a graduate student at Bowling Green State University, started the school’s student chapter.

Bowling Green State University student leader Saleha Azmi, who started the AAUW student chapter at BGSU and was featured in BGSU news, will lead a special track for millenials.

Then to send us off on a high note, we have DeLores Pressley, motivational speaker and personal power expert. This international keynote speaker, author, and life coach is founder of the Born Successful Institute and DeLores Pressley Worldwide.

Overall, this convention is for everyone, members and guests. There are opportunities to promote the woman you choose to be! Show them the superhero in you!

Get more details

Get all the details about AAUW of Ohio Equity Day and Convention. They include:

  • Registration rates, including Early Bird, regular, late, student and non-member rates
  • Program
  • Advertising in the event program book
  • Silent Auction: Fill a Purse for Change
  • Menus
  • Branch award submissions

Download our Convention flyer and pass it on!

How ACA repeal will affect women: A fact sheet, a meeting, and sample tweets

2017 February 11

ACA Impact on Women Fact Sheet Social Media Toolkit

 Under a new president and Congress, lawmakers have vowed to push forward with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), jeopardizing the healthcare coverage of nearly 1 million Ohioans. If the ACA is repealed without a viable replacement, Ohio women stand to lose access to affordable healthcare coverage and vital services for reproductive, preventative, and primary health.

The Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network created a fact sheet to show how women have benefited from the ACA, and what exactly is at stake if it is repealed. The fact sheet is available online as a PDF.

Columbus meeting on ACA

In addition, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m., Columbus City Council President Zach Klein is hosting a community discussion on the potential impact of an Affordable Care Act repeal, how to utilize local resources and advocate for access to healthcare.  Here’s the Facebook link for more details about the free event and how to reserve tickets.

Meanwhile, consider tweeting about this using one or more of the sample tweets below.

Sample Tweets on ACA

  • #ACARepeal may cost millions for states like OH receiving fed funds via Medicaid expansion. What else is at stake?
  • It’s vital to let lawmakers know an #ACARepeal is dangerous & harmful for women & families. #ProtectOurCare
  • The stakes are high, particularly for women, if the #ACA is repealed. #ProtectOurCare #WhatsAtStake
  • The #ACA has greatly benefited women. Find out exactly #whatsatstake for women under #ACARepeal #ProtectOurCare
  • Millions of women gained access to affordable healthcare under #ACA. #ProtectOurCare #WhatsAtStake
  • Incr access to care for women of color contributes to reducing health disparities #ProtectOurCare #WhatsAtStake
  • Thanks to the #ACA, more young women have been able to access coverage #ProtectOurCare #WhatsAtStake
  • Under the #ACA: Women no longer charged more for coverage simply bc they’re women #ProtectOurCare #WhatsAtStake
  • The #ACA guarantees women coverage for preventive services such as birth control w/o copays #ProtectOurCare
  • The #ACA protects against insurance discrimination for survivors of DV. #ProtectOurCare #WhatsAtStake
  • Under the #ACA: maternity care coverage is guaranteed w/o extra cost to women #ProtectOurCare #WhatAtStake
  • The #ACA requires employers to accommodate nursing mothers in the workplace #ProtectOurCare #WhatsAtStake
  • Women can no longer be denied coverage, charged more b/c of pre- existing condition #ProtectOurCare #WhatsAtStake
  • Insurance companies can no longer discriminate, deny coverage for gender-related health conditions #ProtectOurCare
  • Under #ACA, low & middle-income women provided financial assistance to purchase health coverage #ProtectOurCare
  • Under #ACA, low-income women receive care from providers like PP via Medicaid reimb & Title X #ProtectOurCare

Hashtags to use in your tweets

#ProtectOurCare #WhatsAtStake #ACA #ACARepeal


Stand up for our right to choose: Attend an Ohio event

2017 February 2
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and its coalition partners are sponsoring some terrific events this Winter. Consider attending an event near you.
2/8/17 in Columbus
We know 2017 will bring many challenges to abortion access and reproductive health care in Ohio. What we need to learn is how to fight and who will stand with us. The Freedom of Choice Ohio coalition is hosting a series of activist bootcamps training. Join us and you’ll learn about legislation, messaging, and tactics to continue the fight for sexual freedom.
2/9/17 in Cleveland
Freedom of Choice Cleveland Coalition is hosting an evening of education and activism on reproductive choice. The evening begins with a panel discussion to address the moral, legal, legislative, and practical consequences of recent attacks on reproductive rights, as well as providing insights on how to respond effectively through direct action. Following the discussion, groups will host advocacy stations, where guests will be invited to engage in educational and advocacy activities around these issues.
2/15/17 in Columbus

‘Comedy @ Ace of Cups’ and Columbus Stands Up for Choice! are proud to present our next pro-choice and pro-local comedy show and rally, benefitting NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio!

Public Policy News – February 2017

2017 February 1

By Karen Rainey, AAUW Ohio Public Policy Chair,

Keeping up the momentum: What we can do after the Women’s March

 In this issue:

  • Issue of the Month: Working in Coalition–Roe Together Events
  • Women’s Public Policy Network Update to 131st General Assembly Record
  • Potential Impact on Women of Repeal of the Affordable Care Act
  • What to Expect in the Governor’s Budget

Working in Coalition: Roe Together Events this Month

Stronger together isn’t just a campaign slogan, it’s a guiding principle for making a difference, especially with volunteer organizations. We speak more convincingly when we speak with one voice. The coalition Freedom of Choice Ohio (FOCO) has been an integral part of AAUW Ohio’s public policy program for more than 20 years, as we have supported annual lobby days, Roe anniversary events, and legislative calls to action. (The primary purpose of Freedom of Choice Ohio is to advocate for reproductive rights and to provide member organizations and the public with information and education on public policy matters related to protecting and preserving reproductive freedom, including the availability of safe, legal abortion and contraception.)   Now the call to action is taking the form of a series of activist boot camps around the state—in Columbus Feb. 8, Cleveland Feb. 9, Dayton Feb. 18 and Toledo March 2. (Cincinnati’s event is Jan. 31.)

The serious threats to reproductive rights and women’s reproductive health are incentive enough to participate in the boot camps. The events are free, but registration is needed to provide adequate food and materials. Here are the sign-up sites:

Columbus, Wednesday, Feb. 8: Temple Israel, 5419 E. Broad St., 6-9 PM.

Cleveland, Thursday, Feb. 9: SEIU, 1771 E. 30th St., 6:30-9:30 PM.

Dayton, Saturday, Feb. 18: Harmony Creek Church, 5280 Bigger Rd., 12:00 PM.

Plans are still being made for the Toledo event on Thursday, March 2. Watch for details.

Women’s Public Policy Network Legislative Update

Our newest coalition partner, the Women’s Public Policy Network, has updated its legislative scorecard with the final actions of the 131st General Assembly relating to women’s economic security. You can find it here: The final analysis shows that of the 22 policy goals, more than two-thirds scored a ‘D’ or an ‘F.’ Three policy goals moved from ‘D’ to ‘F’ when last-minute amendments prohibited cities from passing minimum wage increases or being required to provide paid family leave. You can use the scorecard, together with the economic security agenda, as a reminder of what needs to be done in this new session of the legislature—and to keep your representatives accountable on these significant issues.

Potential Impact on Women of Repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Now in its final edits is an important piece outlining what’s at stake for women if the Affordable Care Act is repealed—also coming from the Women’s Public Policy Network. It should be on the website ( within the next week and can be widely shared. The goal is to be sure that our members of Congress do not repeal the ACA without a viable replacement. There’s a Twitter hashtag, #ProtectOurCare that can be used to share the fact sheet.

What to Expect in the Governor’s Budget

Declining state revenues, the impact of the state income tax cuts back in the last Taft administration, are resulting in an austere budget proposal. Even so, more state tax cuts are being recommended, to be offset by a 0.5 percent increase in the state sales tax. Here are some specifics relating to education:

  • An overall increase in K-12 funding of about one percent. This will mean cuts for some districts, generally equal to their school population loss.
  • A freeze on higher education tuition and fees at public institutions for two years.
  • A cap of $300 on the cost of textbooks for students at public colleges and universities, with the institutions picking up any additional costs.

It’s proposed that Medicaid expansion be preserved, provided that Congress does not pull Medicaid funding in a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.   The hearing process is just beginning—we’ll be watching as matters progress.

As always, your questions and comments are welcomed.


AAUW Medina County Branch offers scholarships

2017 January 30

The Medina County Branch of the American Association of University Women is accepting applications for two $1,000 scholarships to be given to “non-traditional” women undergraduate students who will be attending an accredited college or university for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Carol Rommel and Denise Douglas (center) were awarded scholarships by the Medina Country Branch in 2010. They were accompanied by daughters, Cheyenne Rommel (far left), sophomore at Cloverleaf High School, and Elizabeth Douglas (far right), new graduate of the University of Akron.

Applicants must be residents of Medina County. The deadline for submission of the application, college transcript, and professor recommendations is April 1, 2017.

The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of financial need, academic achievement, and clarity of stated goals and objectives. The applicant must be attending an accredited college/university.

A “non-traditional” student is a woman who has returned to college to finish an undergraduate degree, or a woman who delayed entering college for several years after completing high school or earning a GED.

For information or applications, call Cheri Ingraham, Scholarship Committee Chair, at 330-723-3355 and leave a telephone number, or contact her by email at

Information is available through The Akron Community Foundation at You may also visit the AAUW Medina Branch web page:

AAUW at the Women’s March on Washington

2017 January 27

AAUW was at the Women’s March on Washington and in cities around the country last Saturday to advocate for equity for women and girls. AAUW members were front and center.

Now, as national reminds us, our march forward does not end when the signs are packed away and the crowds head home. It’s more critical now than ever that we come together to make our message heard, starting today. Here’s how you can march forward with AAUW:

For over 135 years, AAUW has been the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls – and we don’t intend to quit. Together, we can make a difference.

You can view AAUW’s photo album from the march on Facebook. AAUW Ohio members marched too. Here are a few photos from our members.

Holly Norton (at far right), Lima Branch member, with friends on the way to the D.C. march.

Holly Norton took this photo in the midst of the crowd at the pre-march rally in D.C.

This group from Akron includes AAUW Ohio members Paula Maggio and Pat Millhoff, second and third from right.

Two young women march wrapped in a peace flag.

This lineup of women at the march included pink pussy hats and bicycles.

8th Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day is Feb. 2

2017 January 9

The 8th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day will be held at the Statehouse on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This year, a second event is planned: the first annual Ohio Youth Trafficking Prevention Summit, on Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., also at the Statehouse.

Events are free but tickets are required.  You may register at Eventbrite. These events are hosted by Rep. Teresa Fedor. 

Public Policy News – January 2017

2017 January 7

By Karen Rainey, Public Policy Chair, AAUW of Ohio

Happy New Year! Here’s to a fresh start and renewed resolve to make a difference for women and girls.

In this issue

  • Issue of the Month: Update on Education issues
  • March on Washington Jan. 21; State March Jan. 15
  • Congressional Redistricting: Kasich Endorsement
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Update on Education Issues

School funding. In the last moments of the 131st session of the General Assembly, Rep. Andrew Brenner, Chairman of the House Education Committee, dropped a bill that would totally change how schools are funded. House Bill 628 was, its sponsor said, intended to be a starting point for discussion of school funding reform. The plan would do away with all local levies and fund schools with a new statewide property tax, Ohio Lottery profits, and General Revenue funding. Under the bill, the state would also assume all local bond debt for school districts. (Cost savings would be achieved through the state’s better bond ratings.

Essentially, the money would follow the child. Charter schools and traditional public schools would be funded at the same rate, except that e-schools would be funded at a 70% rate because they have less overhead. All state scholarship programs would be eliminated. Transportation would be handled by educational service centers on a regional basis.

The state property tax would likely be set at 38 mills. Brenner is not pushing to include his proposal in the governor’s budget; he expects months and possibly years of discussion to reach a consensus and bipartisan support.

So, what do you think of the possibilities? No more local levy campaigns? No more special vouchers? More coordinated transportation? Let us know your reaction.

Graduation rates. Concerned that large numbers of students are not meeting the new standards for graduation, the State Board of Education has voted to form a workgroup of parents, legislators and education officials to recommend how to proceed by April. Lowering the standards was discarded as an option at this time.

Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). ECOT lost in the courts again in a bid to prohibit the state from reviewing its log-in duration data to determine enrollment—and reimbursement. ECOT plans to appeal.

State Ranking. A Quality Counts report by Education Week, a national education trade newspaper, has given Ohio’s education system a “C.” That places Ohio 22nd among the states and the District of Columbia. The ranking is based on factors including student achievement, education financing, preschool enrollment and graduation rates. The Ohio Department of Education responded to the ranking as an opportunity to evaluate ways to improve performance and to raise expectations for students. Achievement gaps attributed to poverty are a major problem.

Marches on Washington and in Ohio

AAUW has now endorsed the Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington. A recent email notes that the national office will be open to marchers as a gathering/warming center (1310 L St., NW). You can check the association website for details. More recently plans have been made for a Sister March on Sunday, Jan. 15, in Columbus, beginning at 12:30 p.m. at COSI and marching to the Statehouse. The Facebook link for the state march is: Events include a Save Health and Social Rights Rally at the Sheraton Hotel beginning at 6 p.m.   If you plan to participate, please share your photos and your impressions on our Facebook page.

Congressional Redistricting

The latest development in the efforts to reform congressional redistricting is a request from Governor Kasich to include a reform measure in the state budget. The governor suggested that the legislature follow the model for change that was adopted by voters in 2015 for redistricting state legislative districts. In citing the need for reform, he noted that politicians and voters alike are locked into conservative and liberal “silos” and do not respect or tolerate other views. The unexpected endorsement by the governor was met with skepticism on the part of legislative leaders, who do not want to give up their current prerogative to draw the lines.

The coalition Fair Districts=Fair Elections continues to be our vehicle for pursuing reform. You can add your personal endorsement at

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

The 8th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day will be held at the Statehouse on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This year, a second event is planned: the first annual Ohio Youth Trafficking Prevention Summit, on Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., also at the Statehouse. Events are free but tickets are required.  You may register at Eventbrite. These events are hosted by Rep. Teresa Fedor. 

As always, your questions and comments are welcomed. You can email me at, or call 740-368-9001.


Here’s what AAUW accomplished in 2016

2016 December 29
by admin

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.