AAUW Washington Update Sept. 1

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From: AAUW Public Policy & Government Relations Dept.
To: AAUW Public Policy Leaders
Date: Friday, Sept. 1, 2006

  • President Bush Announces Intention to Re-nominate Expired Judicial Nominations
  • National Support for School Vouchers Decreases
  • Speak Up in the 2006 Ask a Working Woman Survey
  • A Fitting Tribute
  • Give Us Your Feedback
  • AAUW Voter Guide Template Online
  • Voter Education Materials Available
  • AAUW Governance — Your Chance to Participate


President Bush Announces Intention to Re-nominate Expired Judicial Nominations
A Wednesday, August 30 White House press release announced that President George W. Bush intends to re-nominate five judicial nominees whose nominations expired when the Senate recessed for August, including Terrence W. Boyle, of North Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit. Many judicial nominations were returned to the President on August 3rd because of a rule that all nominations pending and not finally acted upon at the time of taking an adjournment or recess for more than thirty days shall be returned to President Bush. AAUW opposes the Boyle nomination because Judge Boyle is disturbingly out of step with mainstream legal thought, as evidenced by the extraordinary number of his decisions that have been reversed upon appeal. He has repeatedly been wrong in his application of important civil rights laws, and he has issued troubling rulings on gender discrimination in the workplace.
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National Support for School Vouchers Decreases
A recent survey conducted by the Gallup Organization and Phi Delta Kappa, an association for education professionals, found that national support for the use of public funds to pay for private school vouchers has dropped over the past year. According to the survey, the percentage of respondents favoring vouchers dropped from 38% a year ago to 36% this year. Opposition to school vouchers grew from 57% to 60%.
AAUW opposes the use of school vouchers to divert public funds to private or religious elementary and secondary schools; the appropriate strategy for improving our nation’s schools is to direct resources toward improving public schools, rather than diverting public funds into private institutions.
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Speak Up in the 2006 Ask a Working Woman Survey
The AFL-CIO and its affiliate Working America are once again sponsoring the Ask a Working Woman Survey. The survey asks questions about work conditions and women’s priorities for improvements to labor laws. The survey is still open, but not for long; Responses will be given to every U.S. representative and senator as well as state and local officials around the country on Labor Day.
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A Fitting Tribute
As a fitting tribute to the female tennis champion and women’s rights advocate, the U.S. Tennis Association has decided to rename U.S. National Tennis Center in honor of tennis legend Billie Jean King. The stadium will officially bear Billie Jean King’s name on the first day of the 2006 U.S. Open. On Mother’s Day 1973, tennis-pro Billie Jean King accepted the challenge of fellow tennis star Bobby Riggs when she took to the court for a match which became known as “The Battle of the Sexes.” In three straight sets, King defeated Riggs, but King’s battle for gender equity on the court and off did not end there. King was instrumental in the passage of Title IX as she was well aware that athletics had the ability to positively impact millions of girls’ lives. She crusaded for equal prize money for female tennis players and after King threatened to boycott the U.S. Open, unless it paid its female and male champions the same, the tournament quickly changed its policy.
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Give Us Your Feedback
Did you go to a town hall meeting with one of your members of Congress in August or do you know one of your members of Congress? If so, we’d like your feedback. Please go to http://capwiz.com/aauw/lrm/feedback.tt and fill out the feedback form.
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AAUW Voter Guide Template Online
AAUW voter guides provide nonpartisan information about candidate positions on AAUW priority issues. Because issues important to women and families are typically at stake in elections, it is vital that women go to the polls knowing where the candidates stand. That’s where AAUW voter guides come in. To create voter guides for your Congressional elections use the voter guide templates on the AAUW website. One template has been created for House races and a separate template has been created for Senate races. The templates include current issues critical for women and girls. You will need to document the positions of the candidates on the issues listed in the voter guide. Thorough guidelines on creating voter guides are available on the AAUW website in chapter 9 of the Woman-to-Woman Voter Turnout manual.
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Voter Education Materials Available
The Power of One Vote postcards, stickers and pins designed to be used as companion pieces to the Woman-to-Woman Voter Turnout manual are available, and have just been mailed to all state public policy chairs. These extras can be helpful in making your voter turnout campaign more visible in your community and in creating awareness of your branch’s advocacy activity in this coming election season and beyond. Whether distributing the postcards, stickers and pins to volunteers directly involved in your voter turnout campaign, wearing the pieces yourself, or circulating them throughout the community by posting them in key locations such as a library or a popular local coffee shop, you will be getting your message out with minimal effort and maximum return. The Power of One Vote logo speaks for itself but also invites conversation, so be prepared to engage in dialogue with community members and explain the goals of your campaign and AAUW’s work. This is also a great time to recruit members for AAUW’s Member Get a Member Campaign. These voter turnout materials and the Woman-to-Woman Voter Turnout manual are available on request. Please contact the Public Policy and Government Relations staff at VoterEd@aauw.org or 800/608-5286.
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AAUW Governance — Your Chance to Participate
To submit candidacy forms for national Board or Committee openings: DEADLINE Oct 1, 2006
http://www.aauw.org/member_center/leader_corner/CallforCandidates.cfm
To propose an Amendment to AAUW Charter and Bylaws: DEADLINE Oct 1, 2006
→ http://www.aauw.org/member_center/forms/bylaws_amendment.cfm
To propose a Resolution for the 2007 National Convention: DEADLINE Oct 1, 2006
→ http://www.aauw.org/member_center/forms/2007Conv_ProposedResolution.cfm
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