Celebrate Action Network Successes in 2009!

December 23, 2009

U.S. Capitol domeThe growing power and reach of AAUW’s Action Network can claim some impressive achievements. Just consider that over the past year, together, we have:

  • Regained ground in the fight for pay equity by successfully advocating for the enactment of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, signed into law by President Obama on January 29, 2009. AAUW Executive Director Linda Hallman and AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz were in the front row at the bill signing in the White House.
  • Successfully supported Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, and celebrated this historic achievement for all women.
  • Convinced the House to take the first critical step towards strengthening and updating the Equal Pay Act with the successful passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, and increased the number of cosponsors in the Senate to more than ever before.
  • Ensured successful inclusion of AAUW’s top priorities in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including investments in higher education, school construction and modernization, and direct appropriations to states and localities to support critical services.
  • Advocated for coverage of maternity care and preventive care, an end to gender rating, and other protections in the largest health care overhaul in 40 years. Advocates also fought and rallied against the anti-choice amendments on Capitol Hill and across the country.
  • Ensured that a longtime champion for working women and their families has a seat at President Obama’s cabinet table with the Senate confirmation of Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor. 
  • Convinced the House to support work-life balance policies with the passage of the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act. Advocates also supported extending coverage of the Family and Medical Leave Act to flight attendants, who had been previously excluded from the law’s protections, and we celebrate the extension’s enactment this week.
  • Increased support for legislation that would prevent the taxation of forgiven student loan debt, making the ideals behind loan forgiveness a reality.
  • Increased the visibility of and respect for AAUW’s work through an in-depth meeting between AAUW Executive Director Linda Hallman and First Lady Michele Obama.
  • Celebrated the enactment of a no-cost technical fix that will again ensure university students and low-income women once again have access to affordable birth control.
  • Increased congressional support for outreach, education, training, support, and job placement assistance to help women train for and thrive in jobs that will boost the economic security of women and our nation.
  • Opposed continued funding for private and religious school vouchers in our nation’s capital that fly in the face of our nation’s commitment to civil rights and public education, and made progress towards an appropriate end to the voucher program.
  • Celebrated the anniversary of Title IX by encouraging members of Congress to enforce this landmark legislation in our high schools across the country, and taking part in a White House celebration with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. 
  • Increased awareness of the pay gap between men and women through programming based on AAUW’s Pay Equity Resource Kit, Equal Pay Day events, telling members of Congress to “Keep the Change until Women Have Real Change,” and showing members of Congress the everyday faces of pay equity. 
  • Supported Rep. Edward J. Markey’s (D-MA) investigation to protect AAUW’s good name and grassroots strength against astroturfing activities. 
  • Kept issues like pay equity, work-life balance, workforce investment, and education in the spotlight by submitting comments and recommendations to President Obama, the Obama administration, the White House Task Force for Middle Class Working Families, and the White House Council on Women and Girls.   
  • Strengthened our voice on Capitol Hill through tens of thousands of advocacy messages sent from Action Network members to their members of Congress.  Another 21,000 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 the AAUW Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps
  • Held members of Congress accountable for their votes using the AAUW Action Fund 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 mission.  
  • Delivered educational and advocacy programs in communities across the nation on a variety of topics using AAUW’s new Programs in a Box system.
  • Kept members of our communities informed via letters to the editors of local papers on a variety of topics, including pay equity and Title IX.  You can see just a few of the published letters in AAUW’s Newsroom.

In the past year, together, AAUW has made great progress on fair pay, education, and a host of other issues.  We have made our voices heard, but our work is far from over.  These tough economic times are a challenge to all of us, but they can be especially devastating to women because of harassment, discrimination, unfair wages, and more. Please make a contribution now, so that AAUW can intensify our crucial work to break through barriers for women and girls in the coming year.

Avatar By:   |   December 23, 2009

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Lea Given says:

    I am wondering if the Paycheck Fairness Act is more of a boon for trial lawyers and government pork (notice all the money proposed for the creation of a negotiation training agency) than a clear plan for ending inequities in pay between men and women. Do AAUW members ever actually review these proposals before jumping on the liberal bandwagon?

    On another note, why hasn’t AAUW lobbied to eliminate the Windfall Elimination Act and the Government Pension Offset which deprive many women of the social security payments they have earned or which they should be entitle to receive as spouses? This travesty affects primarily women teachers, by the way!

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