AAUW Women Continue to Advocate for
A More Perfect Union and
A More Perfect State!
- Scroll down a bit or click here to learn about the AAUW National 2022 Webinar Series on Inclusion and Equity
- Click here to find out about AAUW National Two-Minute Activist opportunities.
- Follow bills and Take Action 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.
AAUW National 2022 Webinar Series on Inclusion and Equity
AAUW National’s Inclusion and Equity Committee has created a virtual webinar series, which kicks off Thursday, January 27, at 4 p.m. ET (3 p.m. CT). As listed on the AAW National Website, the 2022 series includes:
Creating Allyship – Thursday, January 27, 2022, 3 p,m. CT
“What is allyship? How can one truly be an ally? What is the connection between allyship and privilege? Please join us for a discussion of allyship and learn how to hold branch programming on this topic. With diverse allies within their membership, states and branches can better build inclusive spaces and attract new audiences, including potential new members.”
Intersectionality Identified – Thursday, March 24, 2022, 6 p.m. CT
“Please join the Inclusion & Equity Committee for a discussion of intersectionality. By understanding the dimensions of diversity and how they intersect, we can begin to understand the complex and cumulative impact of discrimination and oppression. In this webinar, participants will learn about intersectionality as well as how to create branch or state programming for members on this concept.”
Social Justice: Creating Change – Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 6 p.m. CT
“Social justice is at the core of what AAUW does every day. Whether at the national, state, or local level, AAUW staff, volunteers and members work incredibly hard to help share a more equitable world. What does it mean to support social justice and how is that different (or the same) as racial justice, economic justice and the other core issues that AAUW works on? Please save the date to join us for a discussion of social justice and what it truly means to be a part of AAUW’s impact.”
The series will be recorded, and available for playback about a week after each presentation here on the National AAUW Website.
Find more information on National’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts, and register for any of these sessions on the National AAUW Website.
Two-Minute Activist – AAUW National
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:
- fill in your name and address
- use the suggested message text or personalize it as you wish
- click on “Send Message” and the message will automatically be sent to your US Senators and US Representative
Support the Voting Rights Advancement Act
This important legislation is still awaiting passage. As stated on the AAUW National website: “Our democracy works when everyone can fully participate. Elected officials routinely make decisions about issues that directly impact all of us. From our paychecks to paid leave, access to reproductive health care to access to education, our lives are on the line — and our vote is our voice.” Read more and Take Action on the National AAUW website.
Pass a Budget with Paid Leave & Child Care
“As Congress drafts the budget reconciliation bill, it must address key issues, including making child care more accessible and affordable, expanding the Child Tax Credit, providing universal pre-kindergarten to every 3- and 4-year-old and guaranteeing paid family and medical leave.” 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.
The Minnesota Legislature – Follow Bills and Take Action
5/6/22 Update: Approaching the end of session – what’s happening with voting rights?
The session ends on May 23rd and all bills must pass both bodies by May 22nd in order to advance to the Governor to be signed into law. The only big issue we have been following that is still alive is election rules and voting rights – the provisions are contained in the omnibus state government, elections, veterans and transportation omnibus bill (HF4293). Both versions of the bills contain a number of clarifying and technical provisions but they differ radically on changes of substance.
The House provisions (article 3 of the 3rd engrossment):
- expands the time for casting absentee ballots from 7 to 14 days before an election and makes conforming changes to counting and recording these ballots;
- increases access to ballot drop boxes; and
- makes it easier for persons in certain residential facilities, such as veteran’s home and battered women’s shelters, to vote.
The Senate provisions (article 6 of the 1st unofficial engrossment):
- limits use of absentee ballot drop boxes by
- requiring they be within 100 feet of the county auditor or municipal clerk’s office,
- requiring the actual voter to deposit a ballot into a drop box (i.e. you can’t drop off your sick spouse’s ballot on their behalf); and
- increasing costs of using drop boxes by requiring the recording and streaming of ballot submissions at ballot drop boxes 24/7 and collection from every drop box every day rather than every business day;
- increases costs and administrative requirements for use of all absentee ballots by
- requiring they be printed on paper with a security marking;
- requiring all absentee polling places be open during the same hours as the county auditor or municipal clerk offices for the entire early voting period and
- requiring live observers plus live video streaming of the entire process of handling and counting absentee ballots; and
- requires all same day voter registration to be entered into the state system before canvassing of the election starts.
The House passed its bill last week and the Senate passed its version of the bill Monday May 2. The bill will be headed to conference committee shortly. We will let you know the names of the conferees when they have been appointed.
4/4/22 Update: Omnibus bills – what are they and why do they exist?
This week most finance committees will be putting together their “omnibus” finance bills. Policy bills that spend no state money and raise no state revenue, such as a bill modifying data privacy rules, may pass separately. However, bills that spend state money or change fees or taxes generally end up in a finance committee’s omnibus bill.
Each finance committee in both the House and Senate is given a fiscal target by legislative leadership. The Senate and House often have different targets in each subject area. Usually, the chair of a finance committee initially picks the ideas from bills heard in that committee on which to spend their committee’s fiscal target. These are combined into a “base bill” for the omnibus bill in that subject area. The base bill may also include nonmoney (policy) provisions as well. After this bill is made public – a finance committee “marks up” the bill. Committee members offer amendments to add other provisions or exclude or change provisions in the base bill. The final bill when it leaves that finance committee may not exceed the fiscal target set by leadership. These omnibus bills must be out of finance committees by the end of this week.
Policy bills traveling separately had to be out of all policy committees in both the House and the Senate by the end of last week and sent to the House or Senate floor. None of the policy bills changing election law or addressing pay equity met that deadline. However – since omnibus finance bills may contain policy provisions, we will report next week on whether any of those provisions made it into an omnibus bill.As regularly as possible, 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 elections and bills related to pay equity. If you are interested in tracking other legislation use the “My bills” link under Other resources for taking action.
Take Action on Climate Change
On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, Marilyn Baeker of our Public Policy and Environment Committee led a lively discussion asking “What Can WE Do about Climate Change?” Marilyn solicited ideas, comments, and strategies from those who attended the session by working through several main talking points:
- Eat a Plant Based Diet
- Live Car Free – or Drive Electric
- Avoid Flying
- Buy Green Energy
- Have One (or more) Fewer Children
- Reduce Waste
If you were unable to join the live Zoom, or simply want to refresh your memory of the many good suggestions for action, a recording of the session is available on our Program Videos page.
And a reminder: Any time someone contacts a Senator or Representative to say they support funding for climate change solutions, that’s a good thing.
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.
Links to other organizations involved in advocacy:
- The Minnesota Women’s Consortium – now WoMN ACT® (Advocate, Collaborate, Transform): https://www.womnact.org/
- League of Women Voters of Minnesota: https://www.lwvmn.org/
- League of Women Voters 2020 Election Report: https://www.lwv.org/expanding-voter-access/2020-election-impact-report