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2007 Advocacy Accomplishments

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Thank you for playing an integral role in AAUW’s success in moving the mission forward this year. Your advocacy and that of tens of thousands of others in our nationwide network of e-activists has helped AAUW make an impact on public policy issues throughout 2007. The growing power and reach of Action Network can claim some impressive achievements. Just consider that over the past year, together, we have:
* Successfully advocated for the enactment of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill. AAUW actively supported this new law and similar bills for addressing increasing college costs and burdensome student debt, increasing access to higher education in general and for women in particular.
* Ensured a pay increase for nearly 7 million women by successfully advocating for the enactment of the first minimum wage increase in nearly 10 years.
* Improved opportunities for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields and addressed the shortage of highly qualified STEM teachers with the enactment of the America COMPETES Act. Action Network members supported STEM legislation throughout the year, ensuring earlier passage in the House of the 10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds Act.
* Supported successful passage of the Higher Education Act Reauthorization in the Senate and unanimous committee passage in the House (look for final passage next year). Action Network members helped ensure that the bills contain many priorities that AAUW has been working on for years, including the creation of the Patsy Mink Graduate Fellowship program and the expansion of SMART and Pell grant eligibility.
* Increased awareness of the wage gap between men and women through the promotion of AAUW’s report, Behind the Pay Gap, and through programming based on AAUW’s Pay Equity Resource Kit and forwarding Equal Pay Day e-cards across the country.
* Convinced the House to take the first critical step towards maintaining critical pay discrimination laws with the successful passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Action Network members continue to push for the Senate to take the next step by passing the Fair Pay Restoration Act, which will counter the Supreme Court’s wrongheaded decision in the Ledbetter v. Goodyear case.
* Increased to 226 the number of House cosponsors of Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that includes needed updates to the Equal Pay Act, and continued our work towards passage of this legislation.
* Successfully passed hate crimes legislation in the House and an amendment in the Senate, and ensured that an improvement of hate crimes data collection on campuses was included in the House Higher Education Act reauthorization bill.
* Preserved critical federal regulations on the Family Medical Leave Act. Action Network members submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor, ensuring continued federal support of the law in its current form.
* Strengthened our voice on Capitol Hill through a 20 percent increase in advocacy messages from Action Network members through AAUW’s Two-Minute Activist. Another 20,000 letters were sent to the Hill on behalf of AAUW members from the Public Policy and Government Relations Department.
* Put a face to our voice with approximately 1,800 visits to members of Congress by AAUW’s Capitol Hill Lobby Corps.
* Increased attendance and raised issues of importance to women at elected officials’ town hall meetings across the nation throughout the year.
* Prepared women voters to be ready to go to the polls in the upcoming primaries and caucuses.
* Held members of Congress accountable for their votes using the AAUW Congressional Voting Record. Action Network members thanked their elected officials who voted with AAUW on priority issues and expressed their disappointment to those officials who did not support our position.
* Increased awareness of public policy issues and advancements through a 50 percent increase in subscribers to Washington Update, AAUW’s member’s-only weekly e-bulletin for public policy leaders.