Announcing a Change in the AAUW of Texas Programs VP Position
It is with very mixed emotions that I announce the resignation of Melodia Gutierrez from the position of AAUW of Texas Programs VP. Melodia joined the board in 2013 as the AAUW State Organizer – an AAUW staff member of a program that only lasted a few years. She has been a member of the State Board for every year I have served the board and her enthusiasm, energy, insight, skills, and friendship will be greatly missed. We will also miss getting to see Lee and Archie. After leaving AAUW, Melodia worked with AARP in the DFW area. This past year she has relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina to continue her social justice work as the Associate Regional Campaign Director at the Human Rights Campaign. We wish her well on her new journey.
Please welcome our new Program VP, Terry Whaley, from the Georgetown and Austin branches. As a former president of the Georgetown branch Terry brings her AAUW experience to the state board, and we are very appreciative of her willingness to jump in and carry us forward into the next fiscal year and the planning of our 2022 convening. You have already had an opportunity to respond to a survey from Terry. You may meet her at the Programs Zoom call on Thursday, June 17, 4pm. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to receive an invitation to that meeting.
A special thanks to the AAUW Branch Membership Vice Presidents for their assistance in guiding our AAUW branches during the 2020-2021 year of unprecedented times of COVID-19. Branches of AAUW have encountered challenges that have not been seen before, thanks to you for helping to keep the branches alive. We all were introduced to Zoom, took crash courses, spent time practicing and learning more about the virtual world each time. Even though we could not meet in person, many of you thought out of the box and created unique enjoyable ways to keep the members of your branches engaged and involved. THANK YOU! AAUW Texas will also purchase a subscription to Zoom for each Texas AAUW branch during the 2021-2022 year.
As we prepare to begin our AAUW 2021-2022 year, I challenge each of you to make a special effort to reach out to new members, retain the current members by encouraging them to renew their membership. Increasing membership will ensure AAUW remains a viable organization.
Please review each branch member’s contact information sent to AAUW National for accuracy. We would like all members to receive information so that they are informed.
Membership Vice President
87th Texas Legislature Update
Since AAUW's current fiscal year will end soon, let us recall our state public policy actions from July 2020 through June 2021. The State Board of Directors focused first on “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) in late summer and early fall. During the winter months, attention was turned to the upcoming 87th Legislative Session and how to access information about bills being proposed on the Texas Legislature Online website (TLO). In late 2020, three recommended lobbyists were interviewed on Zoom, and Mr. Kevin Stewart in Austin was selected by state board representatives for his extensive legal and lobbyist experience, as well as his interest in our common legislative concerns.
Now that the regulated session of the 87th Texas Legislature has ended, it is appropriate to summarize how our organization supported legislation related to our national mission. By hiring Mr. Stewart as our lobbyist, AAUW Texas had a direct connection to the legislative process and could register our priorites for bills that he identified and authors whom he contacted for us. He also led us to share our legislative actions with other organizations having similar interests, such as the League of Women Voters, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Texas Women's Healthcare Coalition.
A four-person state advisory group has been working with Mr. Stewart to monitor and address the legislators during this first session: Gloria Long, AAUW Texas President, Pat Rehm, State Public Policy Chair; Georgia Kimmel, Public Policy Chair for the West Harris County Branch; and Pat Sanford, Public Policy Chair of the San Antonio Branch. Taking advantage of Kevin's expertise, we have focused on EQUITY in several areas of legislation. Those include Women's Healthcare, Childcare and Education, Family Paid Leave, Job Training and Advancement, Elections, Voting Rights, and Voter Suppression. Since the beginning of the five-month legislative session, numerous bills in these areas were tagged for our support by a lobbyist's process called “dropping a card.” Mr. Stewart also delivered letters stating our position on certain bills, according to the timing of the legislative process.
While it was a difficult session in which to pass bills, given the limitations created by the pandemic and the winter storm, we nevertheless saw some of our top priority items passed into law. HB 21, for example, extends the period in which sexual harassment complaints can be filed with the workforce commission and is currently sitting on the Governor’s desk. HB 133 extends Medicaid coverage for women for six months after delivery or miscarriage. HB 390 creates new requirements for training and signage about human trafficking at lodging establishments. SB 45 makes the failure to take immediate corrective action after an incident of sexual harassment an unlawful business practice. HB 290, which intends to remove administrative burdens for kids on Medicaid and to keep eligible kids in the program, did not pass on its own. Later, however, it was amended onto HB 2658, which did go to the Governor's desk after passing through both the House and Senate.
In addition to encouraging all state members to contact their representatives individually regarding bills they favored or disapproved, AAUW Texas publicly opposed SB 7. It restricts access to voting for Texans with disabilities, elderly Texans, and communities of color. It was expected to be passed until it was suddenly stalled on May 31st, the last day of the regular session. That happened when numerous representatives left the chamber early and caused the quorum needed for approval to disappear at Midnight. It may reappear, however, in a summer session expected to be called by Governor Abbott.
Even though many bills on our “support“ list did not complete the approval process, our combined group and individual efforts have been worthwhile and commendable. According to Mr. Stewart, AAUW Texas has had signficant success in pushing agenda items forward and strengthening relationships with legislators.
The next AAUW Texas quarterly public policy Zoom meeting will occur on Tuesday, June 15, at 4:00 PM. Since it is the last meeting in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, it will provide an opportunity to evaluate the level of advocacy which has been achieved. Plans for legislative action in the summer and fall sessions may also be discussed. All AAUW Texas members may receive the link. Please RSVP to email@example.com to attend.
AAUW ELECTION RESULTS
AAUW of Texas congratulates Malinda Gaul on her re-election
as the AAUW Board Vice Chair.
Here are all the election results:
Julia T. Brown – Board Chair Malinda Gaul – Board Vice-Chair
Elizabeth Haynes – Board Member Joseph Bertolino – Board Member
PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES were approved by 92% of voters.
BYLAWS TO REMOVE THE COLLEGE DEGREE MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENT
received 63% support - 66.6% was needed, so the change did not pass.
Save the Dates!!
Your AAUW of Texas State Board has begun planning for the 50thState Convening to be held in the DFW area, hosted by the North District. Please mark your calendar for each of the last 2 weekends in April 2022, watch your state messages for confirmation of which weekend we will meet, and plan to join the celebration.
It is never too late to view a webinar you missed, just click on the link above.
Social Change Ambassadors Certificate Program
Do you know a young professional who wants to make a difference where she works? This June, AAUW will launch its Social Change Ambassadors Certificate Program, a virtual learning and networking experience for early- to mid-level professionals who want to make workplace practices more inclusive and equitable. Encourage the young professionals in your life to take advantage of this seven-week series of career-development courses. For $25, you can sponsor their journey. Help your young professional take the AAUW equity message on the road.
Nominations for AAUW Texas Board
Please consider sharing your talent and your AAUW leadership skills on the AAUW Texas state board for the 2022-2024 term beginning July 1, 2022 and ending June 30, 2024. The nominating committee led by Dixie Christian, chair, and Brenda Moss, alternate chair, and including the current District Representatives; Lucy Barrington, Betsy Calabro, Emelia Hoefle, Marsi Liddell and Sara Wood; has been approved by the current AAUW Texas board. Please contact one of them for an application to nominate a candidate for any of the following offices: AAUW Texas President, Vice Presidents of Programs, Membership, and Funds as well as AAUW Texas Finance Officer, Secretary and one District Representative for each of the North, South, Central and West districts. Self-nomination is acceptable. The deadline for application submission is October 1, 2021 and voting begins April 1, 2022.
Please join West Harris County Branch and the national AAUW organization in honoring Margaret Carlson and her fifty-year membership in AAUW. Margaret is a member who leads by doing. She is a mentor and friend to scores of AAUW members throughout Texas and in the nation. Margaret works tirelessly to make sure the West Harris County Branch shines a light on the good works of AAUW.
When Margaret was a mere 39-year member of AAUW (33 years in Texas), West Harris County nominated her for the 2010 Outstanding Texas Member Award. Of course, she was the recipient! The following is an excerpt from that nomination. It will give you an idea of her dedication to AAUW.
With Margaret's 39 years’ experience in AAUW (33 in AAUW Texas), she is frequently sought for her leadership and experience. During the 1992-1994 biennium, Margaret chaired the AAUW Texas Structure and Bylaws Task Force that led to the selection of district directors to encourage up-and-coming leaders throughout the state to further hone their leadership skills and experience by serving on the AAUW Texas Board of Directors. Margaret conducted training for the newly elected district directors for three subsequent biennia. Then again in 2002 and 2004, Margaret was asked by AAUW Texas presidents Malinda Gaul and Pat Ross respectively to share her years of experience with AAUW Texas -- this time as Bylaws Chair and Parliamentarian. Now she is co-chairing the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2010 AAUW Texas Convention.
But Margaret's AAUW Texas leadership goes back much farther. She was elected treasurer (1979-1981) when there were over 10,000 members. Those were the days when branch dues were due to state treasurer on August 10. Even giving birth to a son on August 13 that first year, she never missed a single dues deposit! She subsequently served two terms as editor of The University Woman, during which time the state publication garnered a 1st place, a 2nd place, and two honorable mention awards in the Association state bulletin awards competition. Later she served an elected term as secretary for AAUW Texas and also filled an unexpired term as secretary. It was during this time that the first Educational Foundation study Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America was published. As a follow up action, Margaret chaired the Texas AAUW Educational Equity Roundtable, where 40 leaders from the fields of education, politics and industry participated in discussion and committed to ways they would work for educational equity in Texas.”
When you see the list of responsibilities that Margaret has held in addition to her work at West Harris County branch, I know you will want to join us in thanking her for her dedication.
Editor of The University Woman Texas (UWT)
Bylaws Chair and Parliamentarian
Co-chair of Local Arrangements Committee for 2010 and 2018 AAUW Texas Convention
Co-chair of Local Arrangements Committee for 1987 national AAUW Convention - Houston
Bylaws and Resolutions Committee Member
North Harris County Branch
Honors Barbara Hine
50 Year Member
On May 20, 2021, the North Harris County Texas Branch of AAUW was honored to recognize Barbara Hine as an AAUW Honorary Life Member at our End of Year Dinner. The branch presented her with a 50 Year Pin, a certificate from Texas AAUW, and a spring hanging basket.
We congratulate Barbara Hine on her 50 years of dedication and service to AAUW.
Barbara was a graduate of Beloit College with a degree in Sociology and Psychology. She first joined AAUW in 1971 while living in St. Louis, Missouri. Her interest in the mission of our organization led her to become a Paid Life Member in 1976. We are fortunate to have had Barbara become a member of our branch in 1981.
Since joining the North Harris County Branch, Barbara has been an active participant in branch activities, committees, and fundraisers. She served as the Branch President from 1982 to 1983 and is currently the Chair of our Daytime Bridge Interest Group. Barbara is a vital member of our branch and we appreciate her continued involvement with AAUW.
Corpus Christi Branch
Branch President Shirley Selz, Community Outreach Committee Chair Kelly Gonzalez, and Committee Member Diana Torres Cardenas honored twenty senior girls for their achievements and overcoming the challenges of the Covid pandemic.
Miller High School is the oldest high school in Corpus Christi. Located in an underserved area, it enrolls the highest number of homeless students. All senior girls received acceptance letters from colleges and universities.