February 1, 2021 A Virtual Lobby Day
Twelve members of LWB attended virtual Lobby Day on February 1st to learn about the nine bills in this legislative session that AAUW-WA is supporting. Many of these bills are co-sponsored by legislators from the districts in which our members live. Several concern reproductive or maternal health. Tax-related bills are also in our list, particularly one that would expand paid family and/or medical leave. Another would create a tax credit for working families, who have been severely impacted by the months of the pandemic.
A bill of special concern to AAUW is SSB 5140, which concerns the treatment available—or not—in sectarian hospitals for pregnancy-related emergencies. Several hospitals are turning away women who are experiencing miscarriages or pregnancy complications and making them go to another hospital to get the necessary care. These can be life or death situations, and accessible care may be hundreds of miles and hours away.
June 12, 2021 Health Matters: Advocating for Washington Women
The June this virtual Women’s Health Care Kickoff, sponsored by State AAUW with Dr. Alyson McGregor discussing Sex and Gender Health and Dr. Dorothy Roberts talking about Race-Based Medicine and Women’s Health, was both exciting and interesting to the LWB members in attendance. In follow up, State has planned additional webinars over these next four months.
August 7, 2021 Summer Leadership Meeting
Five members of LWB attended this virtual meeting.
The opening presentation by Amy Klosterman, was very informative and comprehensive. She presented the history of Title IX and how it has evolved from matters of equity for gender athletics to present day sexual harassment issues.
State Public Policy Director, Sandra Distelhorst, discussed a new tool, Bill Track 50, for tracking bills that would allow constituents to see how their legislators voted on issues that AAUW supports.
Two members of Lewis County branch shared ways to grow and retain members as their branch is the only one in the state to have grown during the past year.
Karen Anderson, State Program Director, shared ways to use oral histories of members and branch history as ways of engaging branch members.
Judy Peasely, State Communications Director, updated us on ways branches can share events with other branches through the state website.
The final breakout session offered several choices to follow up on the discussion sessions where members were able to share ideas on the issues discussed at the meeting.