Take Action!

AAUW Women Advocate for
A More Perfect State with an Equal Rights Amendment
to our Constitution!

  • Scroll down a bit or click here to find out about AAUW National Two-Minute Activist opportunities.
  • Follow issues of particular importance to Minnesotans and Take Action on bills during the Minnesota Legislative Session here.
  • Find out about actions YOU can take to address Climate Change here.
  • See other resources and links for taking action here.

Two-Minute Activist – AAUW National

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act passes Senate and House!

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, highlighted as a Two-Minute Activist opportunity on this page in June and July of 2021, was part of the year-end omnibus bill passed by Congress in late December 2022. Read more HERE.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to contact their legislators about this important legislation!

Two-Minute Activist is an AAUW National program that provides a quick and easy way to “send emails and texts to your legislators to fight for equal pay, family leave, stopping sexual harassment, equality in education and more.”

To become a “Two-Minute Activist” go to the webpage and simply click on the link for the issue you wish to support to read more about it, then:

  1. fill in your name and address
  2. use the suggested message text or personalize it as you wish
  3. click on “Send Message” and the message will automatically be sent to your US Senators and US Representative

Pass the FAMILY Act

“Unlike the majority of developed countries worldwide, the United States does not guarantee paid annual leave, paid time off for illness or family care, or paid parental leave. And for many Americans, this unpaid time off work is untenable and it threatens their economic security.” Read more and Take Action on the National AAUW website.

Support the Freedom to Vote Act

“With so much at stake each time we head to the ballot box, it’s crucial that everyone is able to make their voice heard. Our democracy works when everyone can fully participate — and our electoral participation needs the protections in the Freedom to Vote Act.” Read more and Take Action on the National AAUW website.

Find quick and easy Two-Minute Activist opportunities and signup to get regular action alerts on the National AAUW website.

Take Action Minnesota!

As regularly as possible during the 2023 legislative session, we will be posting information on one or two hearings of interest coming up in the following week. We will also continue to update the following links to bills related to electionsbills related to pay equity, and bills related to reproductive rights. We will be adding a link to bills related to a MN ERA. If you are interested in tracking other legislation use the “My bills” link under Other resources for taking action.

State Legislative Update – January 28th

Last year the public policy group provided annotated lists of bills in the following subject areas.  We will continue to do so but may change/add subject areas in the future.  These bill links will be updated every couple of weeks.

Reproductive Rights – HF 001/ SF 001, the main bill providing statutory protection for reproductive rights passed the House Floor last week and the Senate in the early hours of Saturday morning the 28th, and is on the way to the Governor’s desk. To see other bills related to reproduction rights go to the my bills link on this issue.

Voting Rights and the Election process – More than 40 bills have been introduced in this subject area so far.  The  complete list can be seen at voting rights bills.  Most of the bills make it easier to register and vote, including bills that allow preregistration by 16 years olds and automatic registration when applying for a driver’s license.  Another major proposal would reinstate voting rights to felons who have completed their incarceration.  A few bills related to election certification and eliminating the electoral college for presidential elections are in response  to the January 6th capitol riots.  There are again a handful of bills that would limit same day voter registration and require photo identification to register to vote.  A few bills have had hearings, but the only ones that have made it to either the House or Senate Floor are minor clarification bills.  Expect more activity on this subject later in session.

Employment Equity bills – There are currently three bills introduced to provide extended paid sick and other leave benefits that will be particularly helpful to women.  Women often provide a disproportionate share of medical care to family members and also often work in lower paying jobs that do no provide paid medical and family leave.  The bills are listed here.

Why lobby for an Equal Rights Amendment to the State Constitution?

  1. Many people believe gender equality is the law of the land but neither the state nor federal constitution specifically provides equal legal protection regardless of gender under the law.
  2. Even though 38 states ratified the national equal rights amendment, they did not do so within the time frame set for ratification in the authorizing legislation.
  3. Bills have been introduced at the federal level to remove the ratification deadline. In the meantime, more than 20 states have included this protection in their state constitutions (see the states HERE).
  4. 2023 is our chance to help pass a bill to vote on adding an equal rights amendment to the Minnesota Constitution!

Put your support in writing! We are encouraging all members to to call, write, or email their State Senators and Representatives supporting equal rights for all – regardless of gender.

Find contact information for your State Representative and Senator HERE.
Suggested text for your letter: Word FormatPDF Format

Branch Advocacy Initiative
Pursuing public policy advocacy on issues that align with AAUW’s national and state priorities was the subject of the November 1, 2022, presentation by members of the St. Paul Branch’s Public Policy and Environment (PP&E) Committee and Kelsey Waits, AAUW Minnesota’s Vice President of Public Policy. Members can access the presentation slides and video here.

Members in attendance expressed strong interest in exploring opportunities for the St. Paul branch to develop a plan to take a more active role in advocacy on issues affecting women and girls. Going forward in consultation with branch leadership, the PP&E Committee will:

  • Continue to provide information on national and state issues affecting women and girls
  • Collaborate with other AAUW branches and organizations on critical issues
  • Identify paths to engage members and get their input on issues

Watch for emails from our committee and visit this page regularly to get updates and information on actions you can take on important issues. 

Take Action on Climate Change

On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, Lee E. Frelich, Director, Center for Forest Ecology, University of Minnesota, gave a presentation entitled “Saving Our Forests Now – They’re Key to Protecting Our Planet.”

The key points made by Dr. Frelich include:

  • Humans have always changed the forest landscape, but climate change is accelerating the process at an alarming rate.  
  • Too much logging can render a forest unrepairable.
  • The world’s forests are necessary to trap carbon & for the survival of all species including ourselves.
  • You can help by planting trees, but they must be the right type of trees for your area of the planet.

If you were unable to attend the live program, a recording of the session is available on our Program Videos page.

Other Resources for Taking Action

  • Find your Federal and State legislators here.
  • Go to https://www.mnvotes.org/ to access comprehensive elections and voting information, including registration and absentee ballots, at the MN Secretary of State website.
  • Set up a MyBills account: MyBills allows you to track House and Senate bills in the Minnesota State Legislature by bill number and topic. When you log in, your bills will be listed along with information about recent or upcoming significant action. You must log in to see this information, MyBills does not send email alerts.
  • Check on individual bills of interest to you in the Minnesota State Legislature here.

American Association of University Women – St. Paul Branch

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