Lobby Day in Salem

The 2017 AAUW of OR Lobby Day was a great day.  We had over 60 AAUW members attend the event, plus members of the Oregon Commission on Women, including Commissioner Dr. Doris Cancel-Tirado, Commissioner Nikki Fisher, Advocacy Commissions Administrator Lucy Baker and the Commissions intern Ty Schwoeffermann.  Thanks go to Claire Berger for working hard on organizing the event, and Penny Hoodenpyle (Hillsboro / Forest Grove) stepped up as well by greeting and checking in attendees as they arrived.
Special kudos go to these Branches: Ashland and Lake Oswego which each fielded 13 AAUW members, and Hillsboro / Forest Grove with 7.  Not only did these Lobby Day attendees get a chance to mingle with their counterparts throughout the state, but these branches were able to socialize and discuss Public Policy as well.
House Democratic Leader Jennifer Williamson kicked off Lobby Day.  She expressed her gratitude for our being there, and being there with such a large group.  She promised that she would do all she could to get a Fair Pay bill passed.  Newly minted, or as she said, “newbie” Representative Pam Marsh (District 5 – Ashland) echoed these words.  It is clear that there is a lot to do in order to get oriented to being a legislator, but it looks as if Rep Marsh is well on her way.
We also heard information about how budgets are prepared, and the process is far more complex — and fluid — than we might have imagined.  The topic might initially have sounded somewhat boring, but the presenters did an amazing job and all of us felt we left Lobby Day just a little wiser.
The absolute hit of the 2017 Lobby Day took place at the end of the day.  The Ashland and Hillsboro / Forest Hills Branch gave presentations about what they have done to encourage participation in AAUW of OR Public Policy.  And they have done a lot!  Claire Berger spoke about having members bring in their laptops and AAUW member numbers (need both) to Branch meetings and having members sign up for the 2-Minute Activist Action Alert Network right then and there.  She also referred us to the post-Woman’s March program organized around doing 10 ” Hear Our Voice,” pro-woman actions in 100 days.  We can do that too!  Ashland presenters Mimi Pippel and Phyllis Fernlund presented a brochure they had prepared about Lobby Day and AAUW of OR Public Policy. It is attached below and I strongly encourage you to take a look at it.  You might want to print one up for your Branch.  They also spoke of the effectiveness of having some informal coffees with groups within the Branch to discuss Public Policy and Lobby Day.  Given the numbers of members who attended Lobby Day, they are clearly doing something (a lot!) right.
Following the Ashland and Hillsboro/Forest Grove presentations, we discussed what Branches can do to encourage participation in AAUW of OR Public Policy. While Lobby Day attendees came and went as they visited their Representatives, a lively and informative discussion continued.  There were many ideas, and we anticipate continuing the discussion at Convention April 21-23. I will be speaking about our Public Policy at the Sunday luncheon, but I’m thinking of an informal meet up before then.  More on that to come!!  Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
Report from Trish Garner – State AAUW Public Policy Chair

The Feb. 11th Branch Meeting- More than Valentine Cookies

When people ask you what AAUW is, what do you tell them? The acronym AAUW stands for “American Association of University Women,” but then what do you say? Do you tell them we are a group of concerned women who meet each month to discuss issues that affect all women or that we raise money for scholarships for young women to attend college? Maybe you describe our branch by telling people about our mission, “Advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research,” but I think our organization is about much more than this. That is why our team has worked so hard to design a website that we can all be proud of, and we want to take you on a tour of this wonderful tool that you have at your fingertips. In addition to having the most up-to-date information on everything we are doing now, you will find a complete history of how we have worked for eighty years to improve women’s lives in Ashland. We will also provide a close look at the AAUW National website, and you will not believe what a wealth of knowledge it contains!

Established in 1881,15 alumnae from eight colleges met in Boston to create an organization for women college graduates to find greater opportunities to use their education and to enable other women to attend college. AAUW has since grown to become one of the world’s largest sources of funding exclusively for women college graduates. Every year they provide $3.5 to 4 million in fellowships, grants, and awards for women and for community action projects.

The AAUW Foundation also funds pioneering research on women, girls, and education.

There is much more to learn about this wonderful organization and its inspiring work on behalf of women all over the world, but if you want to know what
 that is, you’ll just have to show up at our branch meeting on Saturday, February 11 at 9:30 am. But “where is this meeting going to be,” you ask? Look it up on our website. Just kidding! It will be in
 the Diversions Room of the Stevenson Union. Bring your laptop, iPad, or smart phone and follow along with us. We’ll have members on hand to assist you and Valentine cookies because we love you! ♥

When: Saturday, February 11 9:30 am social time

10 am program

Where: SOU Stevenson Union Diversions Room

We Will Not Get Over It! It’s Personal!

Where do we go from here? I’ve been asking myself this since the election. Apparently the glass ceiling we thought we were breaking by electing our first female president is not made of glass, it’s made of concrete and we’ve been using the wrong tools.

We all know men (and women!) who feel threatened or insecure by strong female figures. We’ve watched the way this country has disrespected President Obama and the efforts he has made to advance women’s rights over the last eight years. The level of animosity towards women is higher than ever and I believe war was declared on us on November 8th. I will not “get over it”. I’m taking it personally.

So, what can we do? We’ve been educating ourselves – women are earning the majority of high level degrees from universities and there are more women in the workforce today than ever. In the past five years 30,000 cases of sex discrimination have been settled in our favor. So what is it?

Well, the AAUW (American Association of University Women) in collaboration with Harvard University and Project Implicit has created an online test. This test has determined that one key obstacle to women’s leadership is unconscious or implicit bias, which can cloud judgement in ways people are not even aware of. Go online and take this test. You’ll be surprised at the results!

So, you may ask,”What do we do with this information?” The first thing is to acknowledge our own bias’s so we can recognize them in others because we all know that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

In addition to educating ourselves we need to be pursuing degrees in higher paying fields, jobs that are usually held by men. We need to negotiate higher salaries for ourselves. We need to deluge our legislators with our message of fair pay and parental leave. A draft of the proposed fair pay amendment is available for you to see on our website. Just google AAUW Ashland and you will see it as well as a link to the Barriers and Bias Implicit test. AAUW Ashland (with a membership of 175 women) is going to Salem on February 15 to lobby for these rights.

So when you leave here today please take these thoughts with you. This is war! We will not get over it! It’s personal!

I’m Not Going Anywhere, I’m Standing Up

“I’m Not Going Anywhere, I’m Standing Up.”

My mind has been a jungle since November 9th, 2016. Each day I get up and begin the task of searching for legitimate news sources with articles that will help me navigate the political world under the new leadership of our country. These are not always easy to find.

Fortunately I have found my compass, which I lost on Tuesday, November 9. It has directed me to continue my work with AAUW through our dedicated Public Policy team and through my work with the female students as the College/University Chair at SOU. As our Public Policy Chair, Kathy Brandon said, “We will make our voices louder, our determination stronger and our commitment to our AAUW mission steadfast and unwavering.”

We hope to be able to take a binder full of personal stories about your experiences with pay inequity to Salem for Lobby Day on February 15, 2017. We know you’ve had these experiences, please share them with us.

I plan to be an onsite advocate at each SOU campus event associated with women’s issues. I will be continuing to encourage the students to become an AAUW Student Affiliate and attend the Elect Her program this winter. (www.ashland-or.aauw.net About Us/University Partners) Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to be involved with this.

“I’m not going anywhere, I’m standing up.

Which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world.”

“Ainsley Hayes Leo McGarry West Wing”


Mimi Pippel




January 14 – Don’t Miss This Meeting!

“It is now, after an election that the
 real work begins,”
said Lisa Maatz the AAUW National
 Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy. ”Women want progress on issues that affect them.” Pam Marsh, our newly elected State House District 5 representative, will be our featured speaker for our Public Policy Branch program on January 14, 2017. In a sizable victory she succeeds retiring Peter Buckley from Ashland, and represents southern Jackson County, except Medford. Pam made “working for issues that are fundamental to families and communities” the cornerstone of her campaign. During her term, she plans to address issues that are important for women and girls: education from birth through college or post-high school training, poverty, childcare, and transportation. Her unique background includes political experience in California and Oregon and, most recently, as a member of the Ashland City Council. Pam 
is known for bringing opposing people 
and viewpoints together for discussion and compromise.

Many of you know that she is co-owner of the Green Springs Inn and Executive Director of the Ashland Emergency Food Bank. In support of her efforts to feed those in need we request that our members attending bring a non- perishable food item for donation.

We have asked her to discuss our legislative priorities for 2017, particularly equal pay. You will have the chance to ask Pam questions and then participate in a table activity exploring more deeply the issue of pay equity and continue to share personal workplace experiences in which we were treated differently as women.

We hope to see you there for an exciting prelude to Lobby Day and the 2017 legislative session.

When: Saturday, January 14

Time: 9:30 am social time 10 am program

Where: SOU Stevenson Union Diversions Room

Please bring a non-perishable food item for donation. We will also be collecting donations for Dunn House.

Presidential Cabinet Picks Are Discouraging

pale-and-male_600November 16, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to unify our nation and be the president for all Americans. We at AAUW applaud the sentiment. Yet it can’t be overstated that actions speak louder than words. As President-elect Trump assembles his cabinet and White House team, he must keep in mind that personnel decisions are policy decisions. AAUW and its members and supporters are watching these nominations and appointments with keen interest. At this time, the list of recent and rumored appointees reported by the media and transition team show a vast majority of pale and male advisers. We at AAUW are not encouraged by the lack of diversity in the emerging Trump White House.

Bias and discrimination of any kind are not acceptable — not in our national dialogue or in a government that truly represents all of us. To make a sincere appeal for unification, we encourage the incoming administration to make appointments that reflect the makeup of our nation. These appointments should reflect the variety of experiences and backgrounds that make the United States the envy of the world. It also, by the way, makes for better policy that addresses the problems facing our country.

AAUW believes in speaking truth to power, and we will be a valued ally or fierce critic as the situation warrants. We can only hope that President-elect Trump stays true to his stated desire for unity and appoints advisers who aim to work for all Americans, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Throughout our more than 135-year history, AAUW has always stood for solutions that work for all women and families. We also stand united against bigotry and bias whenever and wherever they appear. Americans are watching, and our expectations are high.

By:   |   November 16, 2016

Witnessing History

In the last couple of days we have witnessed history and I want you to know that your Public Policy team will continue to advocate for equity for all women and girls. We will make our voices louder, our determination stronger and our commitment to our AAUW mission steadfast and unwavering. As Lisa Matz announced, “AAUW intends to be a fair critic and valued ally. Most importantly, in true AAUW fashion, we will not hesitate to speak truth to power.”

Your Public Policy team now looks to 2017 and the Oregon legislative session to pursue our goals of Fair Pay, civics education, workplace equity policies, and health care for all.

To represent us in Salem is our newly elected State Senator Pam Marsh.   We are very excited that she will address our January 14 program about her campaign and legislative priorities moving forward. We will also look at the skillful art of lobbying and persuasion, particularly discussing Equal Pay.

Your personal story can be used in lobbying at the capital and in our program. I encourage you to write about your experiences with pay inequity in 200 words and submit them to Bessie Azari or a Public Policy Team member by Dec. 10.


REMEMBR —- January 14, 2017, 9:30am here in the Diversions Room to hear Pam Marsh and discuss issues reflecting our commitment to our mission.

I’m sure you’re all anxious to know how much we made from our $$$ 4 Scholars sale.  Chair Chris Donchin announced at the October branch meeting that our net proceeds totaled close to $10,000! This included $800 sold from the bake sale – outstanding goodies! and $400 from the wine raffle.  We were able to have a drawing for 4 cases of wine! Three of the winners were members of our branch! Thank you to all who contributed in many ways! We’re counting this as a big success!


Julie Benezet


Bessie Azari wearing her green AAUW apron always working!


Chair Chris Donchin

AAUW of Oregon South District Meeting

On October 22 from 9:30 AM -2:30 PM our branch will be hosting the AAUW of OREGON South District Meeting.  This meeting will be held in Stevenson Union (where we have our branch meetings) upstairs in the Senate Chambers (Room 313). We will have the opportunity to meet the new SOU President, Dr. Linda Schott as well as our new AAUW of Oregon State President, Kathi Dew.  A video from the National Organization will be shown and we will have a panel discussion with three students from SOU who attended the National College Conference on Women Student Leaders, (NCCWSL) this past June.  After lunch Joyce Zook, the past state president from the Salem branch, will lead a workshop on “Developing New Leaders”.  I heard this presentation at the state conference in April and it’s very interesting and informative.  Developing new leaders is essential to ensuring that our branch is able to carry out its mission for years to come.  We strongly encourage our members to come, learn and have fun.

You will need to contact Gayle Clason via her email: Sew2day2013@gmail.com or by phone (541) 773-2013) no later than October 17 to let her know you’re interested in attending so she can order enough lunches and materials for all.

Attached is the link to the registration form, which you can fill out and turn in at the door with your $22 fee.