Public Policy

AAUW Public Policies Priorities 2017
In this year of unprecedented political negativity and uncertainty, including fear, anger, distrust, and personal attacks, AAUW stands with other progressive women’s organizations with optimism for the future of women and girls in our representative democracy. Our mission,programs, and advocacy all target equity and address the removal of bias and barriers for all women.

13 AAUW Ashland Members Lobby Lawmakers for Fair Pay and Lobby Day 2017

“Come Senators, congressmen please heed the call, don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall. For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled. There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’. It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls for the times they are a changin’.

An unprecedented 13 Ashland members traveled to Salem to lobby our new legislators, Pam Marsh and Alan DeBoer, to ask them to vote “yes” for the fair pay bill.

HB 2005 (SB 252) makes it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate in the payment of wages and unlawful to screen job applicants based on salary history. e bill also extends the time limitation to bring certain pay equity claims.

Representative Marsh voiced her support for the bill. Senator DeBoer received our references and materials but was not familiar with the bill, citing the fact that he has been in office only for a couple of weeks and 440 bills have been presented so far. He was welcoming and receptive to our arguments.

HB 2232, relating to reproductive health care, requires the Oregon Health Authority to implement a program to reimburse costs of services, drugs, devices, and procedures related to reproductive health provided to individuals who can become pregnant and who would be eligible for medical assistance if not for certain federal requirements. We asked for a “yes” vote on this “emergency” bill also. Sixty AAUW members from around
the state met in the morning to hear speakers from the House and Senate and a representative from Governor Brown’s office. Jennifer Williamson, House Democratic leader, called this an “all- hands-on-deck session” referring to the$1.8 billion hole in the budget. Pam Marsh said we are making our visit in a time of crisis. Finding new funding sources, we realized, has our lawmakers’ attention now—early in this long session.

Our charge is to be persistent and to frequently urge our representatives to support fair pay. Attending Lobby Day or our Branch were: Regina Ayars, Bessie Azari, Pat Brewer, Sara Brown, Ginny Dugan, Christine Fernlund, Phyllis Fernlund, Erin Finklea, Mimi Pippel, Sarah Seybold, Sandy eis, Sara Walker, and Paula Wilken.

—Bessie Azari, Public Policy


The Public Policy Team had an outstanding year! We accomplished a tremendous amount of important work especially in preparing for and participating in the 2016 AAUW Lobby Day in Salem.

  • Members researched possible legislation including minimum wage, pay equity,
    childcare for students, maternity leave, and other topics
  • Six members including both of our co-chairs attended Lobby Day 2016 in Salem.
  • Met with multiple legislators including Senator Alan Bates, Representative Jennifer Williamson, Representative Sal Esquival and others.
  • Committed to support and attend the 2017 AAUW Lobby Day
  • Hosted Trish Garner, AAUW OR Public Policy Chair at our February Branch meeting

Following Lobby Day, Public Policy organized a rally on the Plaza

April 12, 2016 – Equal Pay Day

Left to right front row: Margaret Dole, Lyn Gutierrez, Leslie Kaufman, Ginny Dugan, Pat Brewer
Left to right back row: Joan Amaratti, Bessie Azari

in support of Pay Equity Day on April 12. We wore t-shirts and held signs saying “ Equal Pay for Women” and were cheered on by passing motorists. Join us next year!

Team member, Lynne Stolzer, raised visibility on the issue of women’s lack of resources in retirement. She researched the topic, connected with the state Treasurer’s Office and updated the team on HB2960 which eventually passed and was signed by Governor Brown. The bill established a state payroll deduction program allowing women and men the opportunity to save for their retirement even if they do not have an employer based program. Thanks Lynne. We lost a key member, Joan Amaratti, who make a career move to the Bay Area. Good luck to Joan. Join us for an exciting 2016-2017 program; Lobby Day in February, Pay Equity Day in April and more.

View a detailed history of our work in Public Policy.


Senator and President Pro Tempore Diane Rosenbaum spoke at AAUW Lobby Day.


Representative Carla Piluso with Lobby Day attendees on February 10th in Salem

Ashland AAUW member, Olena Black talks with Patricia Garner, AAUW OR Public Policy Chair

Ashland AAUW member, Olena Black talks with Patricia Garner, AAUW OR Public Policy Chair

Patricia Garner, AAUW OR Public Policy Chair, speaks at the February Ashland Branch meeting

Patricia Garner, AAUW OR Public Policy Chair, speaks at the February Ashland Branch meeting