U.S. Congress

AAUW’s Public Policy Priorities:

These priorities are adopted every two years by an every-member vote and represent the goals and mission of AAUW to advance equity for women and girls.

The scope of public policy includes legislation, voter registration, voter education, support of non-partisan candidates, candidate forums, and other forms of lobbying, monitoring local boards and establishing community programs without legislation.

 

AAUW’s 2017-19 Public Policy Priorities summarized:

To support a strong system of public education that promotes gender fairness, equity, and diversity, AAUW advocates for:
– Adequate and equitable funding for quality public education for all students
– Opposition to the use of public funds for nonpublic elementary and secondary education and to charter schools that do not adhere to the same civil rights and accountability standards as required of other public schools
– Protection of programs that meet the needs of girls and women in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education, including strong promotion of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and comprehensive sexual health education
– Vigorous enforcement of Title IX and all other civil rights laws pertaining to education
– Increased support for and access to affordable higher education for women and disadvantaged populations
– Increased support for programs that break through barriers for women and girls in STEM fields

To achieve economic self-sufficiency for all women, AAUW advocates:
– Pay equity and fairness in compensation and benefits
– Equitable access and advancement in employment, including vigorous enforcement of employment anti-discrimination statutes
– Greater availability of and access to a high standard of benefits and policies that promote work-life balance, including quality and affordable dependent care
– Programs that provide women with education, training, and support for success in the workforce, including nontraditional occupations and women’s entrepreneurship
– Strengthening programs, including welfare and career and technical education, to improve postsecondary education access, career development, and earning potential
– Strengthening retirement benefits and programs, including pension improvements and protecting Social Security from privatization

To guarantee equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse society, AAUW advocates:
– Vigorous enforcement of and full access to civil and constitutional rights, including affirmative action and expanding voting rights
– Self-determination of one’s reproductive health decisions
– Increased access to quality, affordable health care and family planning services, including expansion of patients’ rights
– Freedom from violence and fear of violence, including hate crimes, in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities
– Support for U.N. programs that address human rights and women’s and girls’ concerns
– Freedom in the definition of self and family and a guarantee of civil rights for all family structures
– Passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

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December 2016 Update:

Courts Matter — Get the U.S. Senate to Take Action on Judicial Nominees

Carol Bloch, Co-Chair of the Courts Matter Coalition of Nebraska (AAUW-NE is a member), which has been working very hard to get the U.S. Senate to take action on 25 qualified judicial nominees for the federal bench.
AAUW-NE wants the Senate to vote on each of the recommended candidates for judgeships before the current lame duck session of Congress adjourns for the rest of the calendar year.  Senators Fischer and Sasse need to hear from AAUW-NE members to encourage them to urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put this action item on the Senate agenda during these final working days.  The easiest way to do this is with phone calls to the Senators’ Washington offices.  (Senator Deb Fischer:  202-224-6551, Senator Ben Sasse:  202-224-4224)
An article on this matter by the Co-Chairs of Courts Matter of Nebraska appeared in the December 8, 2016 edition of the Lincoln Journal-Star.  It can be viewed here.

Nomination of Betsy DeVos to be Next U.S. Secretary of Education

President-Elect Donald Trump nominated Betsy DeVos to be the next U.S. Secretary of Education.  This is not good news for public schools and students.  The National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) joined forces to gather signatures of members and supporters of public education to sign onto a letter affirming support of a quality public education for every child regardless of zip code. 
AAUW is in line with both organizations’ positions regarding the need for a strong public education system while being opposed to vouchers, tuition tax credits, and charter schools.  Betsy DeVos has done everything she can to promote these schemes for the past two decades.  NEA, AFT, and AAUW oppose them because they take money away from public schools which are already underfunded at the federal level, and in many cases, at the state level as well.  Studies show that neither vouchers, tax credits or charter schools provide better learning results than what is taking place in our public schools nor are they held to the same accountability standards as public schools. 
AAUW-NE members are encouraged to sign onto the letter affirming strong support for public education. 

Summer 2016 Update:

Immediate Action Needed on U.S. Supreme Court Nominee

AAUW-Nebraska has been a member of Courts Matter Coalition of Nebraska (CMCN), an organization of like-minded groups working to get vacancies filled in the federal judiciary, for a number of years.
Of current importance to our coalition is the appointment of a federal judge to fill the vacancy left by the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February.  Over 100 days ago, President Obama nominated federal Judge Merrick Garland to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court.  However, Republican leadership in the Senate has refused to hold a hearing and a vote on the nomination.  Such action is the Senate’s constitutional role in filling vacancies on the federal bench in a timely fashion.
Carol Bloch, CMCN President, is requesting AAUW-Nebraska members contact Nebraska Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse to at least meet with Judge Garland to consider his qualifications for the Supreme Court.
Attached are:   1) an email and letter from CMCN requesting such action; contact information is also provided, and 2) an open letter to Senators Fischer and Sasse signed by 25 professors at the University of Nebraska College of Law – the letter requests they urge their Senate colleagues to hold hearings and vote on Judge Garland.
Attached are:   1) an email and letter from CMCN requesting such action; contact information is also provided, and 2) an open letter to Senators Fischer and Sasse  signed by 25 professors at the University of Nebraska College of Law – the letter requests they urge their Senate colleagues to hold hearings and vote on Judge Garland.

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