November Update

Democracy Begins at Home

Do you recall that old bumper sticker “Think Globally, Act Locally”? It’s time to look to our own communities and carefully commit to the people who plan and run our local governments. USA begins on Main Street, in cities big and small, rich or poor. At a time when the voice of the people can be blocked or obscured at the national level by a government shutdown like the one we endured in October, your vote still speaks volumes in your hometown—but you must cast it. Please, mark your calendars. The next Election Day is November 5.

Obama Nominates Woman to Lead Federal Reserve

Janet Yellen has been nominated by the President to lead the U.S. Federal Reserve. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to serve in this role and is one of the most qualified nominees for the position. She currently serves as vice chair of the Federal Reserve and has previously headed the San Francisco Federal Reserve and the Council of Economic Advisors.

AAUW Leans In on Government Shutdown

After the federal judiciary announced that it would have to cut back court operations after October 17 if the shutdown persists, citizens were outraged to learn that families of fallen soldiers would be unable to receive death benefits due to the shutdown. After private donors offered to pay the death benefits to families—and hundreds of people signed an AAUW petition on the issue—the House and Senate passed legislation to reinstate the payments, and President Obama signed the legislation into law.

CA Governor Signs AAUW-Supported Bills

The hard work of AAUW-California paid off when Governor Jerry Brown signed two of the bills they supported. The first bill, SB 770, expands the definition of family for whom a worker can take paid leave to include a seriously ill sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or parent-in-law. The second bill, SB 138, protects the personal and sensitive health information of individuals covered under another person’s health insurance policy like a partner, spouse, or parent.

AAUW Executive Director Speaks Out in TPM

Linda Hallman published an op-ed on October 2 in Talking Points Memo about the work that still needs to be done to decrease the 23 percent gender pay gap.

Health Care Reform Is Happening

October 1, 2013 was the first day of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. People can now begin to enroll in health insurance through the state exchanges, with coverage beginning January 1, 2014. As an organization, AAUW believes that everyone deserves access to quality, affordable, and accessible health care. With the launch of open enrollment under the ACA, more women and their families than ever before will have access to that right.

The House of Representatives Pulls National Science Laureate Bill

The bill would have established a science laureate to serve as a role model and help to educate and inspire our next generation—including young girls—to pursue careers in STEM fields. Read more on AAUW’s blog.

“Beijing Plus 20” Hillary Clinton’s New Foundation Initiative

At the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting at the end of September, Clinton introduced an initiative that will review the progress of women’s rights worldwide and encourage the full and equal participation of women. As a Strategic Partner of CGI, AAUW provides a gender lens for key issues facing women and girls around the world.