Volume 115 Issue 4

November 2023

2023-2024 Theme:

Building Connections to Meet Future Challenges

Message from the President

Dear Members,

Well, we are finally experiencing some beautiful relief from the strangle hold of the summer heat!

We received an email from a San Antonio College (SAC) representative that SAC will not renew its institutional membership with AAUW due to Texas Senate Bill 17 which eliminates DEI offices and programs from all state funded institutions.

Our Lady of the Lake has severed any relationship with AAUW due to AAUW’s stance that everyone has the right to make decisions about their own reproductive lives without government interference.

As you know, Governor Abbott called a third legislative session to address several issues to include school vouchers.

There are 14 propositions on the Texas November ballot. Proposition 9 authorizes cost-of-living adjustments for some retired teachers who have not received any increase in their retirement for 20 years.

The Supreme Court continues to rule against states’ attempts to regulate guns, prioritizing their sacred 2nd amendment above human life and public safety.

The situations above are just a few of many actions that should cause serious concerns about the future of this state and of our country. Again, the next 14 months are very important. The next 3 times we go to the polls will determine the future of this country. This scares me as never before. The realization that we- (minorities, marginalized, poor, women) are still fighting for the same things we were fighting for at the beginning of my life - 75 years ago -and more.

Again, I ask: what can we do to possibly affect the outcome of any of the issues from our level of involvement? If you are interested in discussing, planning, and implementing an action call me at 571-330-1039 or email me at dcarr23.woman@gmail.com.

Remember, we are fundraising for our Textbook Scholarship. We are also recruiting volunteers. See ads in this newsletter.

Diane Claiborne-Carr


AAUW San Antonio



2023-2024 Branch Leaders

Executive Committee


Diane Claiborne-Carr       

President Elect

Claudia Walker     

Vice President Membership

Ruth Lyle                         

Vice President Programs

Deborah Andrepointe              


Mary Ellen Pratt     


Antonina Duridanova


Suzanne Benson

Standing Committees

Public Policy

Pat Sanford


Antonina Duridanova


Jeanette Pierce

Karen Reichensperger


Martha Steele




Malinda Gaul


Mary Ellen Pratt


Kimberly Henry


Jeanette Pierce




Community Coordinator





Michelle Burk

Member Outreach

Kathy Dicke




November 4, 2023

11:00 AM Central Time


Check your email for the Zoom Link which will be emailed directly to you.


November is the “Giving” month, so please consider donating what you would have paid for lunch at an in-person meeting to our Textbook Scholarship Fundraiser. Our November meeting is our traditional push for the Textbook Scholarship Drawing. So, purchase your entries now. See Textbook Scholarship Fundraiser page.


Plan to have breakfast, coffee, or tea as we listen to our guest speaker and discuss your points of interest of the presentation.

Collaboration Matters: Building Deeper Connections to Face Future Challenges

Heather Gatlin

Chief of Staff

Leadership Academy

UT Austin

Heather will share her collaborative efforts to create an organizational culture where staff are valued and treated as critical to the overall mission of higher education and where they step into visibility as empowered leaders. She will share how this work becomes even more critical and challenging as SB17 places new limits on the ways in which such work can be implemented, and the ways in which she and others are coming together to build even deeper connections to face future challenges. 

Heather is the recipient of the Staff Excellent Award, which honors the efforts and contributions of outstanding staff members across UT Austin colleges. She is the creator and facilitator of the first ever Staff Leadership Academy. As part of the planning team, she not only facilitates the monthly in-person sessions, along with invited collaborators who provide instruction and expertise on topics such as DEI, wellness, and mindfulness, but she ensures that participants in the program are able to feel empowered to step into their full leadership genius. She cultivates a community of outstanding, courageous, and transformative leaders and builds an organizational culture where challenges are faced as opportunities. Her goal for the academy is to continue to work collaboratively to build a supportive and growth-minded community that furthers individual and collective mission and work.

Minutes of the October Monthly General Meeting

Theme: Building Connections to Meet Future Challenges

October 7, 2023

Crowne Plaza San Antonio Airport

20 members were present

The meeting was called to order at 11 AM by Ruth Lyle, VP for Membership. Members and visitors were welcomed. Ruth reminded us of the AAUW San Antonio Textbook Scholarship Fundraiser drawings. Prizes are Visa gift cards and fundraiser is open from September 28 to December 2. Entries can be made via Zelle or check. Most Interest Groups will also have tickets available.

Lunch was served.

Dre Andrepoint, VP Programs introduced our speaker, Jamie Lumpford from the Dallas Texas area. (See her bio in our October newsletter.) Her presentation was entitled “The Journey -Glass Ceilings and Glass Cliffs.” Jamie told us about her various career moves in the human services, insurance, banking, convention center, business continuity and risk management areas and the glass ceilings she encountered. Some glass ceilings are self-imposed, others are systemic.

Jamie’s recommendations for overcoming glass ceilings are:

Advocate for yourself

Seize opportunities

Shine bright

During the question-and-answer period, Kate Vetters recommended Jamie go to the AAUW website and check out “Start Smart“ and “Work Smart” to see if there are opportunities to connect with those programs. This was the first time Jamie had given this presentation and we suggested she continue them with high school and college women as they begin their careers.


Jeanette Pierce needs volunteers for the Scholarship Committee. See her if you can serve.

Claudia Walker, President Elect, will be traveling to Regional AAUW meetings in St. Louis October 19-21.

Ruth Lyle reminded us of the emails we are receiving for two-minute activist do not necessarily have two-minute activist in the subject line. Please scroll down and click on the “take action bar”.

Gail Coe has two broken vertebrae. She had a non-invasive procedure and is currently at Blue Skies Texas Rehab Center. Please send cards to her home or visit.

Ali Heller reminded everyone of the upcoming Culinary Adventures this Thursday at Best Quality Daughter Restaurant at the Pearl. Parking in the lot behind the restaurant is free on weekdays prior to 2 PM. Please RSVP to her ASAP. If you would like to be added to the email reminders, please send Ali an email or text.

Debbi Sochia reminded the group of our book club meeting Saturday, October 21. The book is “Dictionary of Lost Words” by Pip Williams and the meeting will be held at Eleanor Skelley‘s home.

Movie Classics will meet at Felice Sieffert’s on Friday, October 27 per Wondra Chang.

Meeting was adjourned at 1 PM

Submitted by Ali Heller



The AAUW San Antonio Branch offers scholarships to assist women in purchasing textbooks. Scholarships are given to undergraduate/graduate students who are attending a college/university in Bexar County and high school students with an unconditional letter of acceptance to a college/university in Bexar County for the upcoming summer/fall. 


To raise money for these scholarships we are

holding a drawing for VISA cards.





This fundraiser is open from 28 Sept-2 Dec 2023.


The drawing is on 2 December 2023 during our Monthly General meeting.

You do not need to be present to Win!

You do not need to be a member of AAUW-SA!

1 Entry $10

3 Entries $25

10 Entries $75

15 Entries $100

How do I get entries?

  • During the December monthly meeting.
  • During some Interest Group gatherings.
  • Zelle – recipient address for AAUW SA aauwsatx@gmail.com  (Email Antonina Duridanova, ninadanoff@sbcglobal.net, to notify of Zelle payment and number of entries.)
  • Mail check with number of entries requested to:

AAUW SA Branch

P. O. Box 460825

San Antonio, TX 78246

If you pay by Zelle or check, we will fill out the entry form and place in the drawing.


If you have return address labels include one for each entry if you mail a check or bring to the general meeting (saves you time filling out the entry form).


Please support this worthy scholarship by participating in this fundraiser and sharing this information with non-members. Please forward this flyer to friends and family or pass it to members of other organizations of which you may be a member. 


Contact Ruth Lyle with questions.

Call/text 210-722-1732

Email ruthannlyle@gmail.com


Discord is everywhere, or so it seems. Check out Congress and it’s clear that infighting takes precedence over problem-solving and solutions. Check the Third Special Session convened on October 9th by Governor Abbott. Public school funding is under attack with the governor pushing vouchers that many Texans, including those in rural areas, oppose. Abbott calls this Educational Freedom on his agenda. He refers to vouchers as education savings accounts. He says these accounts allow parents to pick the public or private school that best fits their child. Whose child? There are no accountability standards for private schools. They can reject applicants, they do not have to provide services for students with special needs, and they can expel disruptive students. These accounts are simply vouchers, and they undermine free and public education for all. A recent Texas Tribune article said that if the governor really wanted what’s best for all students and parents, he would raise school funding. There is major support across political divides for this. Remember, the 88th session started with a $32+ billion surplus. In fact, public school funding is not even on Abbott’s agenda.

Special Session #3 agenda items that are included in addition to the above are Border Security, Public Safety, and ending COVID restrictions. These go as far as prohibiting local standards and practices such as local COVID-19 vaccine mandates by private employers and adding authority for all licensed police officers to remove undocumented immigrants from Texas.

Even more worrisome, is that some members of the Texas legislature have accepted contributions in the millions from one or more organizations with ties to white supremists and antisemitic activists.

And now in the world at large two wars are being waged.

These are scary times, indeed. The flight or fight response is instinctual and ingrained in humans. No matter how much simpler it might feel right now to take a position of ignoring all of this and going on with our daily routines, we must ask ourselves what that accomplishes.

If we value freedom, value free and public education for all, want public representatives who work across the aisle for results that serve people rather than making headlines for their own self-promotion, then now is the time to fight for what is right. Begin by keeping informed:

• Visit our AAUW national website for some of the most well-researched information available on issues

• Read emails national sends with information and calls to action

• Read AAUW TX Public Policy Constant Contact emails and take action

• Use the Texas Legislature Online website to find out how to contact legislatures directly and track bills as they move through the legislative process

• Study the nonpartisan League of Women Voters website for information on the pros and cons of proposed legislation including Vote11

• Locally, at the branch meeting on October 7th, information sheets on each table urged members to vote in favor of Texas Proposition 9, the COLA for retired teachers.

A very smart woman in our branch who many of us know said, “Don’t leave Texas. Make your voice heard and your vote count.” I second that, and I hope you do too on Election Day November 7th and beyond.

Pat Sanford

AAUW SA Public Policy Chair

AAUW TX Public Policy Advisory Committee


Most people don’t know that Texas teachers are not able to draw their spouse’s Social Security or all of their own, just because they taught in Texas. Also, they don’t know that when a Texas teacher retires, they do not receive a cost-of-living raise like those who draw Social Security, so this is important for us. Please vote. Retired Texas teachers could use your help!! This is important! Please share.

Prop 9 - Vote YES!

*****Texas Voters: In November, there will be 14 propositions on the ballot. PROP 9 authorizes a cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment for some of the Teacher Retirement System annuitants. The monies to provide for this small COLA will NOT COST THE TAXPAYERS ANYTHING! The funds are ALREADY IN the TRS Account. We just need everyone in Texas to vote YES in order for the legislature to release the funds. The annuitants who will receive these funds have not had ANY increase in 20+ years.

Please spread the word to all your family and friends. Tell them to VOTE YES FOR PROP 9!!! Retired teachers deserve this Cost-of-living adjustment!!!

Important Dates for

November 7, 2023 Election

on Constitutional Amendments

Also, please note that there is an election for the San Antonio River Authority Board of Directors (two at-large Bexar County board members). There is also an election for the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD school board. None of these races have incumbents.

Invite a friend or family member to attend a meeting. If they join as a New Member after attending a San Antonio AAUW event or meeting, the National dues are half price: only $36. AAUW Texas dues are $13.00, and San Antonio Branch dues are $16.00, for a total of $65 for their first year.


You can pay online with Zelle or by check.

call/text/email Ruth Lyle for assistance





Volunteers are needed for the following Positions and Programs:


Program Committee Members

Nominating Committee Members

Fundraising Chair and Committee Members

Webpage Master


Community Coordinator


Marketing Strategist

Newsletter Coordinator

Computer Wizards!

Scholarship Application Evaluators

Holiday Get-Together Committee Members


Please contact Diane Claiborne-Carr: dcarr23.woman@gmail.com


Patricia Tucker with Stacy Abrams

at Planned Parenthood

Lea Fagin and Wondra Chang at The Woman's Club of San Antonio Celebration

Interest Groups


No Wine, Women & Wisdom in November and December

RSVP to Malinda Gaul



Thursday, November 9

11:30 am

Arenas Marisqueria Lounge

19903 Stone Oak Pkwy #202

San Antonio, Texas 78258

RSVP (text or email)

only if you plan to attend

by Tuesday, November 7 at noon

Ali Heller


Text 210.617.8189


Monday, November 20

12:00 noon


14424 San Pedro Ave. 78232

Contact Pearl Eng




Saturday, November 18

10:00 am

The Killers of the Flower Moon

by David Grann

Via Zoom

RSVP to Diane Carr for the link



Friday, October 27

1:00 pm

4242 Broadway

San Antonio, Texas 78209


Kathy Dicke kdicke946@gmail.com

Felice Sieffert fgsiefftx@gmail.com

Wondra Chang wchang646@gmail.com


Friday, November 17

1:00 pm

100 W. El Prado #207

San Antonio, Texas 78212

To RSVP Contact

Kathy Dicke kdicke946@gmail.com

Culinary Adventures

Book Discussion

Movie Goers

Since the movie schedule comes out every Thursday we cannot plan a month in advance. Look for notice when there is a good movie.


You can donate to the AAUW San Antonio Branch for Scholarships by making a check out to AAUW SA and sending it to AAUW San Antonio Branch, P.O. Box 460825, San Antonio, Texas 78246.

You can also donate to AAUW Greatest Needs

by clicking HERE.

The Two-Minute Activist
The Two-Minute Activist is a source of information on topics relating to women’s issues. It also enhances our ability to send emails and texts to legislators to fight for equal pay, family leave, stopping sexual harassment, equality in education and more. Sign up on the AAUW webpage to get regular alerts to be able to take timely action.
You can also text “AAUW” to 21333 to get AAUW action alerts via text. 

Follow AAUW San Antonio on:

Facebook www.facebook.com/aauw.sanantonio

Twitter @AAUW_SanAntonio

LinkedIn AAUW San Antonio

For more information visit the AAUW websites: