Welcome to the Southeast Valley, AZ Branch of AAUW!


ACTION ALERT:   Urge Your Senators to Reject Efforts to Gut Health Care

We need all hands on deck to stop this dangerous effort from advancing. Call your senators now and ask them to protect Americans’ health care  EVEN IF YOU ALREADY HAVE CALLED.  Vote has been delayed.

AAUW has a new tool to make it even easier to reach your lawmakers. Dial 1-855-973-0824 to be connected with the offices of your senators now. You’ll hear a brief introduction before being automatically routed to the appropriate office.   Or call the Arizona office numbers:  McCain  602-952-2410;  Flake  602-840-1891.

The message is simple:
My name is NAME and I am calling from CITY, STATE. As your constituent, I urge you to reject the American Health Care Act and any other effort that reduces access or does not provide the same level and quality of health care coverage for women and families.

Your voice is crucial to this debate. Pick up the phone – or send an email – and urge your senators to protect our health care now!


 National AAUW Election Results

The 2017 One Member-One Vote Election was considered a success with 11.49 % of membership voting.  (Quorum requires 5%.)  

AAUW  Chair-  Julia Brown;  AAUW Vice Chair-Peggy Ryan Williams;  AAUW Directors- Joanna Amberger, Susan Barley, Janet Bunger, Melody Jackson, Dot McLane, Leah Sakacs, Cheryl Sorokin, Mardy Stevens, Mary L. Zupanc

>All proposed Public Policy Program items passed.
>All but three ByLaws Proposals passed. Did NOT Pass:   Prop. #1 to Create an Advocate Membership Category; Prop. #2 to Eliminate Degree Requirement for Individual Membership;  #8 to Change Quroum to 3%.  
>Both Resolutions passed.

The AAUW Board of Directors DID increase National dues by $10 beginning 2018-2019.

National Convention 2017
Storm the Capitol with AAUW

U.S. Capitol

The AAUW National Convention was held in hot and steamy Washington, D.C. on June 14-17, 2017, at the Renaissance Hotel.  Fourteen Arizona AAUW members attended, including three Southeast Valley Branch members: Tillie Fortner, Margaret Noser, and Marcia Wagoner.

KEY SPEAKERS:  Judy Woodruff, PBS Broadcast Journalist, kicked off the Convention at the opening dinner. “I will be a news reporter till the day I die–I feel fortunate to be a reporter.” “ In the old days, one [token] woman was the norm.”  She was particularly influenced by her mother.   Today women are very visible on all media fronts and men are covering so-called ‘women issues’- health care and education. She commented on the incredible level of competition which challenges PBS to keep up with networks. “[we have] an obligation to reflect all parts of the country…to hold up a mirror to the American people to reflect what is going on in America…”   Delivery technology has changed news forever. “Reporters should never sleep because news is now 24/7.”

Woodruff related that partisan politics and polarization has reached a level previously unheard of in her three decades in the news business. “…It has been a remarkable 4½ months….You never know what the day will bring…” Congress representatives used to bring their families to Washington and members from both parties would spend more time together. “Now they are more isolated…and fewer are willing to work with the other side.” She feels that the rift is due to gerrymandering, and party leadership requiring members to ‘toe the line’ in order for the party to assist with the constant needs to raise huge campaign funds.

Setting the stage for Lobby Day, Linda DiVall, first Republican women to launch a political survey and strategy company and Celinda Lake, a prominent pollster and progressive political strategist, discussed the importance of women in politics with Anne Hedgepeth, AAUW VP Public Policy. They agree that women bring a different viewpoint to the table and that there is a great need for Campaign Financing Reform. Recommendations: Women should be problem-solvers; talk to the problem with doable solutions; engage with others of different viewpoints; not take anything for granted; take a stand; and of course, VOTE.

The 2017 Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Awardee: Laura L. Dunn, JD, founder of SurvJustice Inc., the only national nonprofit that provides legal assistance to sexual violence survivors in campus hearings across the United States. She shared her own 10-year struggle at the University of Wisconsin to get justice for the sexual attack she suffered. Justice is not the norm. She reinforced the importance of Title IX , and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act of 2013 which resulted in greater transparency of college behavior. As the criminal system has failed repeatedly, effective only 6% of the time, the civil system provides greater impact. Recommendations: If attacked, it is ALWAYS worth reporting just to get on the record; look at campus security policies; push colleges, particularly private colleges to be transparent; and promote for more Title IX Coordinators in K-12.

The 2017 Alumnae Reognition Award:  Tererai Trent, Ph.D. grew up in a cattle-herding family in rural Zimbabwe.  Alhough she lived in poverty and had 3 children by age 18, she had steadfast determination and a belief in herself.  Her experiences are chronicled in her book: The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can, emphasizing that education is the path out of poverty.

U.S. Supreme Court

ADVOCACY: Major component of the Convention when held in Washington, D.C. is lobbying our legislators on AAUW issues. Currently National AAUW only has two full time lobbyists so relies on member volunteers – the Lobby Corp – as well as members responding to Action Alerts throughout the country. New Two Minute Advocate Mobile is now available to all– text 21333 and type “AAUW” in message to join. It was emphasized that every step from bill to law is an opportunity to make comments and have input. Paper mail is screened for safety reasons, thus is very slow. Electronic communication is faster and is viewed–numbers do matter.

Members were encouraged to participate in AAUW Lobby Day and after some training on the chosen topics we donned our special T-shirts and were off to the Capitol. Chosen topics were Title IX , which has worked for almost 45 years to prohibit sex discrimination in all aspects of education, and the new AAUW research on student debt impact on women.   

Two disappointments- Meetings were at the legislators’ offices not the Capitol itself and our Branch met with staff, not the actual Senators and Representatives. Meetings lasted ten/fifteen minutes and all the staffers were young, earnest and very polite. After introducing ourselves and AAUW, we shared the importance of the selected topics to women’s lives and made our ‘ASKS’. Written material including research was provided to each along with our signatures as voting constituents. Sen. John McCain’s staffer seemed the most knowledgeable about the issues and McCain’s views. Rep. Andy Biggs’ staffer didn’t seem to know the legislator at all, being a recent assignee. “(I was impressed with the many young professionals, in their dark blue or black suits, power-walking up and down the hill, in the oppressive heat and humidity-great stamina!)  (Photo of AZ delegation on Members Only: Photos page.)
[More information and photos of Lobby Day on AAUW website.]  

EDUCATION;  Marcia Wagoner particularly enjoyed three sessions:  Global Perspective of Women presented by four young women who had received AAUW fellowships;  Planned Parenthood Funding which emphasized its importance to women’s health; and Telling Our Story to get out the AAUW story using the media and videos.  

“I felt very proud to be a member of AAUW and all we keep doing to achieve our mission.  It is often a challenge to keep responding to our community, state and federal government.”
                                                                                            –Marcia Wagoner

GOVERNANCE & FINANCES:  The Annual Meeting included key information from Chair Patricia Ho and the new CEO, Kimberly Churches. As of May 31, total membership including advocates was 180,000 (90,758 voting members.) National membership is growing faster than Branch membership. Only 9% of members have EVER attended a National Convention. Today the Convention costs are not covered by registration at the same time many members have indicated that registration is “too expensive.” Cost for facilities has escalated dramatically contributing to significant losses. The next National Convention will be postponed until 2020 to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of women getting the right to vote. Some significant savings on rent were made with the new headquarters. Changes in the budget will result in a smaller deficit in the 2017-2018 budget.

PERSONNEL: Results of the recent One Member-One Vote Election are in the above article. A Board decision for a need for new voices resulted in the loss of Lisa Maatz. After 15 years with AAUW, Maatz needed to take on new challenges. An evaluation of needs and relevancy is currently underway to determine staffing and positions.

VISION & GOALS: Where do we lead now and where can we lead tomorrow. How to scale to reach more women. How to ensure greater advocacy, transparency, and accessibility. How to establish financial stability.   National AAUW welcomes input from the membership.

“The AAUW National Convention…was highly interesting, informative, and inspirational.  I recommend this experience to ALL our members.”                                                                                                                              –Marcia Wagoner

[More information on Convention is on the AAUW of Arizona website and usually the National website will post specific  content information from various speakers as well as photos in a few weeks.]         [Thank you to Marcia Wagoner for contributing to this report.]

Summer Activities for 2017  

Interest Groups for 2017-2018

Branch Board for 2017-2018

Branch Meetings for 2017-2018

New Photos posted on Members Only: Photos page.  And more to come!

Miss one of our great Branch Programs or want more information? Notes are taken during a majority of the programs and posted on the Past Events/Footnotes page.  April Meeting now posted which includes the research  summary  and Arizona Charter School presentation  by our speaker, Jim Hall. Check it Out!

IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES…      Mark your Calendars

September 22     AAUW of Arizona State Board Meeting    Details to follow

November 4        AAUW of Arizona FALL FORUM,  Prescott

December 2    AAUW Funds Holiday Luncheon   Details to follow

January 19            AAUW of Arizona State Board Meeting    Details to follow

April 7            AAUW of Arizona Leadership Conference,  Tucson

Newest AAUW Research: 

DEEPER IN DEBT:  Women and Student Loans

The student debt crisis isn’t just an economic problem — it’s also a gender problem, costing women even more than men. AAUW’s new research report, Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans, finds that women hold a whopping 64 percent of all U.S. student debt, or a total of $833 billion compared to $477 billion held by men. And although a college degree generally leads to higher earnings, women with college degrees are still paid 26 percent less than men with college degrees. The result is that women shoulder student loans longer than men, with black and Hispanic women facing particular financial hardship. A college degree should open the doors to possibility, not bury students in debt.   Read the Introduction and view the panel discussion at it’s launching.

Exploring AAUW Work Smart Program: an Arizona Coup

The City of Tempe plus key Tempe businesses have partnered with AAUW to close the gender wage gap through negotiation training classes. City of Tempe Equal Pay Initiative plans to train 8000 over five years. Classes are free and open to anyone who lives, works, or studies in Tempe.

Jean Johnson, Scottsdale Branch, was instrumental in the planning, negotiating with Tempe, and implementing this National AAUW program and has been hands-on at the first set of sessions which started in December and ends May 30. The program begins again in the fall. State President Shirley Talley requested AAUW state board member volunteers to represent AAUW at each of the sessions. Margaret Noser was joined by Jeannine Reynolds and attended the two hour session on May 16 at the Tempe City Library.

The AAUW slide presentation was in full color, attractive and informative with statistics. Participants also received a detailed workbook covering the topics of ‘knowing your value’, ‘determining a budget in order to establish a target salary, including benefits’, and developing a negotiation strategy. Questions an employer cannot ask were also included. A key component for success is repeated ‘ Practice’ which was begun at the workshop. Attendees switched roles of applicant and employer.

National AAUW reports that participants salary negotiation skills and knowledge after attending an AAUW Work Smart workshop is 98%. Branch members interested in more information on Tempe’s equal pay initiative or reviewing the workbook should contact either Noser or Reynolds.

5th Past Presidents Luncheon Continues Branch Tradition

Southeast Valley Branch Past Presidents and members of the current President Team met May 12, 2017, at Bernards at Ocotillo Country Club for the 5th Annual Past Presidents’ Luncheon. This event makes it possible for current leadership to tap the expertise and advise of past presidents.

Janet Cox, most recent past president, organized another enjoyable get-together and was joined by Sue Garretson, Margaret Horn, Diane Larson, Margaret Noser, Betty Raveret, Jeannine Reynolds, and Marjorie Wright. (Unfortunately Fran Voltz, Holly DeVinck, Donna Haugland, Carmen Otero, Barbara Matte, Paulette Schutes, were not able to attend this year.) The entire President Team was also able to attend: Co-Presidents Toni Corrigan and Tille Fortner along with President-Elect Janet Odle.

Within Bernard’s private room, the women enjoyed lunch, casual conversation and discussion on branch issues such finances, leadership, communication and the impact of the upcoming AAUW National Convention. In June two board members, Fortner and Noser, will be attending the Convention, along with member Marcia Wagoner. Members are encouraged to share concerns with any of them to bring to Washington D.C. leadership.

(See Members Only:Photos for a photo.)

AAUW-AZ Spring Event 2017

A Historical Perspective

The AAUW of Arizona Spring Event on April 14, offered a trio of opportunities, all close to home in Tempe. AAUW members from across the state assembled at the Arizona Historical Museum for a delightful lunch and a presentation by Linda Hirshman, author of Sisters in Law, a moving story about the first two women on the U.S. Supreme Court – Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Southeast Valley Branch was represented by seven members: Toni Corrigan, Tillie Fortner, Sue Garretson, Margaret Noser, Sheila Petriello, Jeannine Reynolds, and Marjorie Wright. Many participated in an optional private guided tour of the amazing Arizona Historical Museum AND a docent tour of the O’Connor House, next door

The jam-packed day was developed by Shirley Talley, AAUW of Arizona President, as a“fun” conclusion of her two year term. She officiated at her final AAUW-AZ Board of Directors meeting and many participants witnessed the installation of new AAUW-AZ elected officers handled with skill and humor by Dr. Carolyn Warner.                                 

Hirshman entertained the participants with some items from her book as well as tidbits about her research and recent U.S. Supreme Court events. Her principal subjects, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor “had such great, yet different lives…one a Democrat, the other a Republican; one a liberal, the other a Goldwater supporter; one from Brooklyn, New York , the other from rural Arizona; one a Jew, the other a Christian: one a brunette, the other a blond.” They formed a great friendship and both had the ability to work with powerful men. Both were ardent supporters of the ERA Amendment. After reaching the U.S. Supreme Court they did not pull up the ladder to future women. O’Connor vowed, “..ok to be the first, but I will not be the last.”   

  KEEP IN TOUCH WITH AAUW. THIS WEBSITE WILL BE UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.  Your suggestions for other features and uses for this website are welcome. You can contact me using the “Contact Us” feature in the right column.


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