A big Texas welcome to you from your new president. I am a member of the North Harris County branch and have served as their president for three years. The odd number of years is because we switched from two-year terms to one-year terms and began electing a president-elect who would assume the position of the president the following year. Since becoming AAUW TEXAS president I have been filling the appointed offices with wonderful women from around the state. The new board has met once officially on July 21 and has just begun working on our strategic plan.
When I vacated the office of Vice-President of Programs, that left a vacancy; thank goodness, Terry Whalen was willing to step in and fill this office for me. There are three new District Representatives: Cheri Butler for the North District, Cheryl Fuller for the Central District and Stephanie Jones for the West District. Other new officers are Margaret Carlson as Bylaws/Parliamentarian Chairman and Margo Johnson as Branch Services Officer. Shirley Selz will fill as in the SHARE Program Coordinator position. In our communications department we have a new Facebook manager, Jerrilyn Woodard-Entrekin. I am very thankful that all these ladies said yes. The new AAUW TEXAS BOARD IS EXCITED AND READY TO SERVE YOU. LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP!
At our first board meeting on July 21, we approved the yearly budget which included money budgeted for each Texas branch to have a Zoom account at the state’s expense. Just sign up with Zoom and turn in your receipt to Diane Roberts, the state treasurer. email@example.com
I was in Austin on August 1 to testify at the State Board of Education about the social studies standards. The SBOE is in the process of adopting new standards for social studies K-12 – something they have not done in years. Since I was already in Austin, I arranged a meeting with Kevin Stewart, our lobbyist from the last state legislative session. We have hired him again for the 2023 legislative session and will be picking the topics and eventually the bills that we want to back this year. These are some of the categories that were important to us in the last legislative session:
- Medicare advancement for maternity care – last session passed it to 6 months, it should be 12 months.
- Sexual assault – in the workplace- treatment of the victim, what if she gets pregnant?
- Workplace issues
Neonatal care – Texas can be compared to a 3rd world country
- Women’s health issues
- STEM issues for education
Of course, since then the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. This is one of the most recent upheavals for women no matter where you stand on the issue of when life begins, one cannot deny the confusion, fear, and loss of dignity that many women feel due to the decision. I will send out a survey soon to all of you with the issues on them so that you can prioritize the ones you are most interested in following closely this legislative session.
Pat Rehm’s Public Policy committee will be getting out information to you shortly about ways you can become involved in the fall election. See her article in this newsletter.
Terry Whaley and her committee are working out an exciting plan for programs. The Board is rolling and has many great things brainstormed that we are working out the details on.
STAY TUNED! This is a time when AAUW is most needed. Girls and women need to know that they are valued and that they can succeed.
AAUW Texas President