Four of us attended the 2017 AAUW National Convention in Washington, D.C. from June 14 – 17! At the end of the first day, while enjoying the Opening Dinner, we were enraptured with broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff, the Co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour! She has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at CNN, NBC, and PBS.
Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 9:00am hundreds of AAUW advocates from across the country stormed Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress in support of policies that advance AAUW’s mission of gender equity. Regina Ayars, Bessie Azari, Kathy Brandon, and Mimi Pippel flexed their political muscles by urging Congress to support women as they pursue their educations.
Our focus was two-fold: recently released AAUW research shows that women in particular struggle with their student debt; and we also know that women and girls continue to face discrimination in schools. Kathy Brandon spoke to our Senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and our House Representative, Greg Walden about Student Debt. It is imperative that Congress
strengthens and protects federal financial aid, such as the Pell Grant program, and fully supports the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in their work to implement and enforce Title IX.
Mimi Pippel spoke to our senators and representative on this topic. While we were in the Capitol we were joined by Senator Elizabeth Warren in the elevator to ride up to the senators offices. WOW! It was a moment none of us will forget!
Temperature in D.C. – mid 90’s with 70+ humidity -We had to chill any way we could – Kathy chose the fountain in the plaza by our condos. Aside from rubbing elbows with the “rich and famous”, each of us attended an excellent selection of workshops and daily briefings and will be bringing back new skills and exciting information to help our branch continue our mission.
On Friday evening at the Closing Banquet after the 2017 AAUW Alumnae Awardees were recognized we were in for another treat! The speaker was none other than Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. We had a strong showing and hope we helped to advance legislation that makes a difference for women and girls.