Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How much less have you earned?

WASHINGTON - APRIL 04:  Federal Aviation Admin...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeNow you can calculate how much less you, your daughter, or your granddaughter -- or any other woman, of course -- will earn than a man with comparable experience doing the same job. The "Get Out of the Way of Fair Pay" campaign we talked about here last week sent me a calculator "widget" that's now embedded in our side-bar.

Take a look, and when you're totally depressed or incredibly angry, tell the Chamber of Commerce they should get out of the way of fair pay.

You can send the National Chamber of Commerce a quick email by going here.

Here are links to the board listings for each of our local chambers. See who you know. Call them up. Send them emails. Ask them to take a stand -- tell the national Chamber of Commerce to get out of the way. Ask them to support the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. After all, many of them are women, and they all have mothers, sisters, wives, children, and -- oh yes, employees who are women.

Let's get the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed this legislative year.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How would you fix health care?

The Obama-Biden Transition Team is asking people to contribute their own thoughts and ideas for how to fix the system at Health Care. They've asked people to organize Community Discussions all across the country, and Ruth Wahtera, a member of our branch public policy committee has volunteered to host a discussion this Saturday. Details are on the Unofficial Passions blog here.

If you would like to host a discussion before December 31st, you can find the information on the Transition website. The Transition Team provides a moderator's guide and a participant's guide. They include a half dozen or so questions to discuss and provide directions for getting feedback to them.

If you haven't visited the Transition website, take a look. They're working hard to use web 2.0 tools to engage us all.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A gender pay gap for artists

Image via WikipediaRokki Carr passed on the link to this LA Times article about the pay gap for women artists:
A gender pay gap for L.A. artists (NYC too) | Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times: "A gender pay gap for L.A. artists (NYC too)
9:01 PM, December 1, 2008

As a follow-up to its report 'Artists in the Workforce, 1990-2005,' released in June, the National Endowment for the Arts is releasing today the results of a closer examination of the gender pay gap between men and women artists discovered by the original study.

Surprise -- women artists earn less....

"We find that artists are remarkably entrepreneurial... and the fact of women working in these lower-population areas is a sign to me of how women, in a sense, are really at the forefront of that entrepreneurship, and bringing it to those communities," Iyengar said.

The gender pay gap increases with age and varies by occupation: Women performing artists, including dancers, actors and musicians, have more parity with their male peers than women in non-performing arts occupations, including designing and art direction. But then, performers are traditionally paid less than those in non-performing arts capacities, so there's less cause for women performers to celebrate their parity."

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Tell the US Chamber of Commerce to Get Out of the Way of Fair Pay

AAUW Dialog recently noted that the Out of the Way of Fair Pay campaign points to a recent study that reports women lose $434,000 over a lifetime of work due to the gender wage gap. Watch their one-minute video featuring Batgirl, Batman, and Robin.

Click here to send a letter to the US Chamber of Commerce protesting their opposition to pay equity reform proposals in Congress -- the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Party Planned for December 16th

We are pleased that Split the Bill, a musical duo that includes Elisa Geliebter, manager of the children's book program at Lisa Libraries, has agreed to provide the entertainment at our Holiday Party, Tuesday, Dec. 16, from 4 pm at the Kingston Library.

Please bring an unwrapped gift (valued around $5), suitable for a woman in the domestic violence shelter. They especially need bath and personal care items, games, puzzles, and books for all ages, and winter hats, scarves, and gloves.

Here's a bit from Split the Bill’s website:

With lots of close harmonies, interwoven acoustic guitars, piano and mandolin, this singer-songwriter duo consists of Myra Dirnfeld and Elisa Geliebter.

Their songs and arrangements have been called "compelling. . . and haunting". The Kingston Freeman wrote that Split the Bill makes music in "a comfortable living room way that's been lost in recent years. Split the Bill does a fine job of bringing real music back, as it should be."

Split the Bill performs a blend of intriguing and rhythmic originals and covers including The Beatles, The Indigo Girls, Radiohead, Jackson Browne, The Eagles and Emmylou Harris.

The duo is based in the Hudson River Valley between the river and the mountains; the sound of the beautiful land flows through their music.

AAUW Kingston Book Club revises reading list for 12/08 to 6/09

Edith Wharton: The House of MirthImage by Wolf Gang via FlickrImage by Wolf Gang via Flickr

Dec. 16, 2008 - ViVi Hlavsa will help us explore the poems in Section 2 of the looseleaf binder that she has assembled. The binder can be purchased or borrowed from the library.

Jan. 13*, 2009 (* note the date change) - Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon. A story about a couple who meet at Julliard and are separated by WW2, when the husband goes back to his native Denmark and becomes involved with the successful rescue of the Danish Jews.

Feb. 17, 2009 - The Known World by Edward P. Jones. Before the Civil War, a black slave buys his freedom and then buys black men to work for him.

March 17, 2009 - The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. This heroine in early 20th-century New York has no fortune and is unable to find her place in the upper level of society. A fictional depiction of the rigid class system of the time.

April 21, 2009 - ViVi Hlavsa’s One Book, One Community selection: Russian Journal and selected short stories by Andrea Lee.

May 19, 2009 - Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles (BCB). Adair Colley, an 18-year-old girl in Missouri at the time of the Civil War is arrested by the Union Army as an Enemy Woman. She is interrogated by a Union Major and they fall in love.

June 16, 2009 - Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. Henry Fleming is a teenager who joins the Union Army during the Civil War. He is fearful of killing and dying and friends betray his fears. His wound is the red badge of courage. This is a coming of age story that does not glorify war. It has been called the first modern American novel.

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AAUW Branch Members at the United Nations

AAUW Kingston Branch members visit the United Nations on December 2nd for the conference: The Impact of Climate Change on Women and Children. Left to right: Garnette Arledge, President, Janine Mower, Irene Miller, Susan Holland, and Denise Springer

Friday, December 5, 2008

What's Up With Voting Machines in New York?

Hacking DemocracyImage via WikipediaWhat's Up With Voting Machines in New York?

  • How does a mandated switch to op-scan computers in 2009 square with the Constitution?
  • Can we save our levers---and millions of dollars, too?
  • Can op-scan voting be trusted?

These questions will be covered in a public forum

7 pm, Tuesday, December 9

at the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street

The forum will begin with the video "Hacking Democracy", which shows how optical scan computers, even with paper ballots, can be secretly hacked without a trace.

The video will be followed by attorney Andi Novick's explanation of why op scan, or any other computer voting, does not square with the NY State Constitution, which demands an "observable, transparent, and secure" system that computers cannot comply with.

She will also update the public on a pending legal case to ensure that legislators adhere to the Constitution and will detail the enormous costs a switch to computers would entail now and over the years vs keeping our levers.

Sponsored by the American Association of University Women, the program is free, and questions from the audience will be encouraged.

For more information: contact Irene Miller at 518 678-3516
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

AAUW Members Attend UN Conf. on Women, Children, and Climate Change

Janine Mower attended the UN conference on Women and Children and Climate Change with others from our branch this week. She has a new, personal blog, the View From My Kitchen Window where she has posted a series on her trip to the city, her reflections on being at the UN, and her summary and comments on the conference speakers.

Visit her new blog, congratulate her in the comments, and read her impressions of the day.

View From My Kitchen Window: "We left the conference and as we drove back to Ulster county- thru the streets of one of the most important cities in the world, New York city, I was struck by how vulnerable we all are.

Many Americans are living one pay check away from financial disaster.

In order to not feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems we face as humans on this wonderful planet, I seek out a small local problem and do my best to help it come to a resolution. I'm sure that there are many others out there that do the same."
Thanks for sharing your experience, Janine.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who will you record this holiday season?

November 28th, this coming Friday, we celebrate the first annual National Day of Listening. It's an event conceived by StoryCorps, the folks who travel around the country in an Air Stream recording studio capturing conversations -- oral histories -- for the Library of Congress.

Exploring their site, listening to the excerpts they've posted, is a few minutes well spent -- exciting, moving, inspirational. Got me thinking of all the people I'd like to record.

Who will you record this holiday season?

StoryCorps provides a Do-It-Yourself guide and on-line video, a question-generator, toolkits for teachers and librarians, and great excerpts. Visit them here.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bush Administration Targets FMLA

Bush Administration Targets Family Medical Leave Act

From the AAUW Two Minute Activist:

With only two months left in office, the Bush Administration is rolling back protections for which AAUW fought for more than a decade to enact. This week, the Department of Labor released regulations that will make it harder for most workers to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. These regulations will take effect January 16, 2009-just four days before President Bush leaves office-but you can act now by urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make expanding FMLA a priority in the 111th Congress.

Since the FMLA was enacted in 1993, millions of workers have been able to take unpaid leave to care for their families and themselves without the fear of losing their job. While the new regulations contain a few good provisions for military families, they make it harder for most workers to reap the benefit of this act. Workers will have less time to give notice of their need for leave, while at the same time, they will need to fulfill increased requirements for requesting leave. Workers will have a tougher time using paid leave in conjunction with FMLA leave, leaving many workers unable to afford to take leave at all. In addition, employers will have greater access to health information on workers and their families, jeopardizing their medical privacy.

In these tough economic times, losing a job could mean financial disaster for many families. Rather than making it harder for American workers to take the leave that they need to care for themselves and their families, we should be expanding the FMLA to ensure that all workers are covered and can afford to take the leave by making it paid.

AAUW's member-adopted Public Policy Program has long supported flexible workplace policies to address the family responsibilities of employees. AAUW believes that creating work environments that help employees balance the responsibilities of work and family is good public policy - good for workers, good for families, and good for business.

Take Action! (click this link and scroll down to send a quick message to Nancy Pelosi.)
Urge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make expanding FMLA a priority in the 111th Congress so that America's families don't have to choose between keeping a job and caring for themselves or a loved one. Simply scroll down and follow the instructions to compose and send your message.

For more information, read AAUW's position paper on family friendly workplaces.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

AAUW Conference Call Available Until Monday

United States Capitol (2002)Image via WikipediaListen and Give Feedback to Replay of
Post Election Analysis Conference Call

If you weren't able to join AAUW's Public Policy and Government Relations Department on the phone last night for the AAUW Post Election Analysis Conference Call, then you can call in and listen to a recording of the call.

Hundreds of AAUW members joined AAUW's Executive Director Linda Hallman and the Public Policy and Government Relations Department staff on the phone last week to hear about the post-election environment and what it means for AAUW's public policy agenda. The call covered both legislative and grassroots components: a look ahead at AAUW's legislative agenda for the 111th Congress, and the role that you can play in moving our agenda forward.

The call was recorded and will be available for playback until Nov. 17. To listen to a replay of the call, call toll free 1-888-203-1112 and use the passcode 61901065. The call starts approximately two minutes into the recording, so don't worry if you don't hear the program immediately.

If you've listened to the call, we'd like to get your feedback. Please fill out our online survey at this link.
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Gov. proposes state budget 21% cut for libraries Take Action.

New York State Governor David Paterson opening...Image via WikipediaFrom our friend Al Ahlstrom

As a library user and interested citizen, I urge you to follow through with this appeal from our library system NOT to cut libraries in the state budget. The governor plans a 21%(!) cut. Please follow through with this instruction and see the rationale for our protesting such a cut. Thank you.

Al Ahlstrom

Governor Paterson released his proposed cuts today and libraries were front and center: Governor Paterson has proposed a $20 million cut to library aid - that's a 21% cut to library and system funding that has been static for a decade.

Did that wake you up?

Take action:

* Take 5 minutes out of your day this week to send a letter through NYLA's automated faxing program - the letter is already written for you - it does not get any easier.

* Take 5 more minutes to call your legislator Here are some talking points:

  • Libraries have already contributed their fair share toward reducing the state's budget deficit. Library Aid has already been reduced twice this year from $102 million to $99 million.
  • Between 1998-2006, libraries and library systems received no increases, while other educational institutions received generous increases.
  • Library use is up dramatically in every community across the state. [use stats from your own library here - circulation, program attendance, door count, computer usage]
  • Library systems are the backbone of our libraries and information infrastructure. They are an example of how the library community has long been a champion and role model for regional cooperation, resource sharing and providing services in a cost-effective and efficient manner, that saves libraries of all types and their patrons money.
There is still room on the bus to Albany for the Rally next Tuesday, November 18th. Register online

Your voice matters - make sure it is heard. Thanks in advance for your time!


Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Coordinator of Member Information
Mid-Hudson Library System
103 Market Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
845.471.6060 x239
FX: 845.454.5940
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Give Thanks to All Our Veterans; Remember the Often Forgotten Women Who Serve

The fact that today is Veterans Day has hovered in the background as I worked. I knew I wanted to post something in remembrance but the words weren't there yet.

I found myself thinking about Mary, a colleague of mine years ago, and the other nurses I know who served in the Vietnam War. After the war, they seemed to gravitate to assignments in the Emergency Department or the Intensive Care Units -- places where their competency and composure, well tested under fire, kept the daily threat of chaos at bay. These fine nurses served us well as soldiers and continued serving us as civilians.

As I reflected on them this afternoon, two things happened.

First Patty Hankins, a professional photographer and AAUW member in DC, posted a link to her memorial photos. They included her lovely photo of the Vietnam Women's Memorial sculpted by Glenna Goodacre honoring all the women who served in the Vietnam War.

Then, I saw this brief slide show:

President-elect Barack Obama and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth shared a moment of silence at 11 a.m. this morning after laying a wreath at the Soldiers Memorial in Chicago.

These images captured what I wanted to say.

Today women stand side-by-side with their male colleagues in many military roles unavailable to women in Vietnam. We fought for the right for women in the military to take their place alongside men, just as we fought for the vote and continue fighting for pay equity, comparable worth, Choice, and childcare.

Today we honor and remember all our veterans -- men and women who serve us at great personal sacrifice. May we keep you in our minds and hearts everyday and care for you as you care for us.

Many thanks to Patty Hankins for permission to use her photo in this post. I encourage you to visit her site to see more of her photos available for sale.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Join Thanksgiving Food Collection for local Food Pantries

Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, and Cranberry Sauce -...Image by Old Shoe Woman via FlickrLet's make this Thanksgiving food collection an AAUW special project for November.

Locally, Hanneford's food store's pitching in to help the urgent needs at our Food Pantries. I know Rondout Valley Food Pantry expects to provide 150 meals, a huge jump from last year.

So together with the Kingston Public Library, AAUW members (and pass this on to friends also) can purchase these Thanksiving food gift boxes for ten dollars while doing their own shopping. Hanneford's (I don't know about the other groceries, maybe, ask!) has a prepared holiday box with *everything* except turkey for Thanksgiving. Cans of corn, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce; boxes of stuffing and brownie mix, plus spaghetti and tomato sauce for another meal.

When you come to shop for your holiday, you also pick up the very visible box in the front of the store. When it comes time to pay your own bill, the charge of $10 for each box can be added at the register. Final step, then you bring the gift box to Kingston Library.

Margie Menard, the Library director, is an AAUW member and will alert the staff to accept the boxes.

For those of you planning to come to book club or branch meeting, you can deliver the gift box upstairs to the book group at 1 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 18 and to the branch meeting that same night at 7 p.m. in KAL.

The boxes will be distributed to People's Place in midtown Kingston, and to the Rondout Valley Food Pantry that serves Stone Ridge, Accord, Marbletown and south residents.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Learning about RSS

A few of us are meeting tomorrow morning at the Muddy Cup to learn about RSS. What's RSS? Here's a simple video description.

So, roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, butter your bagel and learn about something new!

Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008
Muddy Cup in Kingston

Monday, November 3, 2008

November Book Discussion: Memories, Dreams, Reflections, by C.G. Jung

Correction: The book for November is Memories, Dreams, Reflections, by C.G. Jung.

We are meeting at the Kingston Area Library Nov. 18th at 1pm.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kingston AAUW in the News

New York seal.Image via Wikipedia
Friday night forum - an excerpt from an article in the Catskill Daily Mail

Barber also took part in an Oct. 24 “Meet the Candidates Night” at the Saugerties senior center in neighboring Ulster County. Of the 22 candidates running for New York State Legislature in Greene, Ulster and Dutchess counties who were invited to the event, 10 RSVP’d and seven turned out to discuss their positions on campaign finance reform, healthcare, the economy, the environment and education.

The Kingston chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) sponsored and hosted the event, and they identified the five topics as vital issues of concern.

“I really think events like this are extremely important because first of all, it is very expensive for the candidates to run their campaigns, and the ads that they put out on the radio and so on — they just don’t do it. We need a lot more of these so that people get to know who is running and what they’re running for,” said Palenville resident Irene Miller, who coordinated the event. “We need to know what a candidate’s record is, and what their background is so that we can make good, informed decisions.”

Miller is a member of the AAUW and the New York Citizens for Clean Elections.

Other Greene County candidates who attended the forum include Assemblyman Pete Lopez, an incumbent in the 127th district who is running unopposed, and Assemblyman Tim Gordon, who is seeking re-election against Steve McLaughlin in the 108th district.

“It’s one thing to vote, and everybody should vote, but if you just go in and pull a lever, it doesn’t mean anything,” said Miller. “It’s important to know what you’re voting for, because it’s the only way we can have a democracy, and it’s the only way we can control what’s going on in our lives.”

The AAUW provides a powerful voice for women and girls through advocacy, education and research. It was founded in 1881 and today the organization boasts 100,000 members nationwide with 1,300 branches and 500 college and university partners.

“The candidates who came were very good. They all gave their positions openly and thoughtfully, and I think it was really a wonderful exchange for the audience,” said Miller, “The issues covered at the event are very important, and the voters got to hear each candidate’s position first-hand.”
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kingston CATV to Broadcast Candidates Forum Friday

Unofficial Passions: "Last Friday the Kingston AAUW branch hosted a 'Meet the Candidates for NY State Legislature' event. Kingston Community Access TV filmed the event and you can watch it Friday evening, October 31st, from 7-9 pm.

The candidates addressed the state budget crisis, pay equity, green jobs, health care, education, and campaign financing.

Candidates who attended include:

* Greg Ball (R), NYS Assembly District 99 (Dutchess)
* Don Barber (D), NYS Senate District 51 (Greene)
* Kevin Cahill (D), NYS Assembly District 101 (Dutchess, Ulster)
* Larry Delarose (D), NYS Senate District 39 (Orange, Ulster)
* Timothy Gordon (Ind.), NYS Senate District 108 (Greene)
* Pete Lopez (R), NYS Assembly District 127 (Greene, Ulster)
* Anne Rubin (D), NYS Assembly District 103 (Dutchess)
* Jonathan Smith (D), NYS Assembly District 102 (Dutchess)

Candidates who committed but didn't show up include:

* Steve McLaughlin (R), NYS Assembly District 108 (Greene)
* Robin Yess (R, C, I), NYS Assembly District 101 (Dutchess, Ulster)"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Pregnancy Penalty

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978 -- 30 years ago this month. Things are better, but women of all ages are still paying a price in the workforce for having children. Reduced wages and reduced pensions.

AAUW - 30th Anniversary of the Passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act: "While men can typically encounter a job boost from fatherhood, women often hit the 'maternal wall,' according to experts who study the issue. While more than 80 percent of American women become mothers during their working lives, studies show there is a 'motherhood penalty' on wages of approximately 5 percent for every child a woman has. 1These pay inequities find their way into women's golden years, not only in the form of fewer funds to save during their working years but also in smaller pensions in retirement.

On Capitol Hill, AAUW is fighting for family-friendly legislation that would help fulfill the promise of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. 'Unfortunately, AT&T is basing part of its arguments in the Hulteen case on the Ledbetter decision, so women are already reaping what the Supreme Court has sown with that wrongheaded decision,' said Maatz. 'In these tough economic times, there should be an even better incentive not only to enforce the Pregnancy Discrimination Act properly and vigorously but also to pass the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.'"

Here's a bit about the Hulteen case:

AAUW is closely watching AT&T v. Hulteen, a case before the Supreme Court involving the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The high court will decide whether women who took pregnancy leave before the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act should get full service credit for their time on leave when calculating their retirement benefits. AAUW has signed on to an amicus brief in the Hulteen case on behalf of the women, arguing against discriminatory practices that treat pregnancy leave less favorably than leave for other disabilities when calculating such benefits.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

12/2 United Nations: Join Us

:en:UN Parliamentary Assembly logo. Contribute...Image via Wikipedia
Each year AAUW joins the League of Women Voters as co-sponsors of a United Nations Briefing Conference to discuss an issue of global significance to women and children. Join us for this year's briefing Tuesday, December 2nd.

The Impact of Global Warming
on Women and Children Around the World
United Nations Headquarters, NYC

1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Briefings Program in the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium

Program Options

(additional charges)

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Optional UN Tour

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Optional Lunch Buffet in the Delegates’ Dining Room includes International Buffet, Dessert Bar, and Coffee/Tea.

4:30 p.m. -- 5:30 p.m. Optional UN Tour

Conference Fees


  • Members of AAUW and other sponsoring organizations - $55;
  • Non-Members $70;
  • Students - $45

Discounted Tour, Lunch, and Briefing package - sponsor members only: $ 100

Optional Tour - all: $12

Optional Buffet - all: $40

Please note: The UN requires proper attire -- no jeans, shorts, sneakers

We will coordinate transportation from the Mid-Hudson Valley. For additional information and a registration form, email your request.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: AAUW Focus on Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day on the web. And this year the focus is on poverty. The organizers' goals are to educate people about poverty and move them to action. Here are a couple of posts and ideas you might be interested in reading:

First, I posted about poverty in Ulster County on our Unofficial Passions Blog and I posted to thank the people who work every day combating the effects of poverty on my company grant-writing blog, 79 Grant Writing Resources.

LifeHacker (my favorite place for "tips and downloads for getting things done") reminds us that other people can benefit from our old computers. We haven't mentioned our arrangement with John Foundas for some time. He refurbishes old computers and works with Arlene Bruck to get them to families of Kingston High School students. is a great blog that has a post today on The Shameful Link between Health and Wealth.

To check out more posts about poverty, you can visit the Blog Action Day website.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

AAUW Supports Plaintiff in Case before the Supreme Court

Supreme Court of the United StatesTwo important cases are on the Supreme Court docket this session. Like the Lilly Ledbetter case, they underscore how important the Supreme Court is when it comes to issues that are central to women's safety, economic security, and equity.
Supreme Court Hears Harassment Case « AAUW Dialog: "Vicky Crawford, an employee of the Nashville Metro School District, was asked by her employers to cooperate with an internal investigation of sexual harassment allegations made against her boss. Crawford was later fired and believes she was terminated in retaliation for substantiating the sexual harassment allegations under investigation. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 contains an anti-retaliation provision, two lower courts narrowly interpreted the law and found that an internal investigation is not protected by Title VII."

AAUW signed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of the plaintiff in March 2008....
And, from Alexis A. Moore, President & Founder, Survivors In Action
Another important case coming up for cert with the US Supreme Court is Martin v. Howard University. Attorney Dawn V. Martin is seeking justice. While Martin was employed at Howard U as a law professor she became the target of a campus stalker and was later fired when she asked Howard U to implement there security measures.
As 'leciaimbery' points out in her AAUW Dialog post, so many recent cases have been decided by 5-4 rulings that we cannot underestimate the importance of each high court justice. Our elected officials nominate and appoint them.
The confirmation of extremist, activist judges to the federal bench undermines a fair and balanced judiciary and could turn back the clock on decades of progress for women and girls. You can read AAUW’s position paper on federal judicial nominations and visit AAUW’s Legal Advocacy Fund Resource Library for more information.
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Friday, October 10, 2008

If Women Were More Like Men: Why Females Earn Less - TIME

Have you read this article in Time's on-line edition?

People argue about why women are paid less than men. Is it because women choose lower paying work? Don't take their careers seriously? Take time off for children and family? Or is it because men discriminate against women?

Well, here's a report of very unusual study which would seem to indicate that it's clearly discrimination -- at least some men.

If Women Were More Like Men: Why Females Earn Less - TIME: "If Women Were More Like Men: Why Females Earn Less
By John Cloud Friday, Oct. 03, 2008"

What do you think?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Are Girls More Violent Today?

I share this with you because of our many discussions about gender.

Recently 'Dear Abby' responded to a letter from a grandmother whose granddaughter had attacked her when she refused to loan her the car. Yesterday, there was another from a mother whose daughter attacked her.

In the not-for-profit and law enforcement communities there's been a lot of talk about the increase of violence by girls. Is this a cultural change?

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (a branch of the US Department of Justice) established a "Girls Study Group" (GSG) in 2004. Now they're beginning to publish the results of their research. (Bold formating is mine)

OJJDP News @ a Glance - September/October 2008: "One of the findings of the GSG is that girls are not more violent now than in previous years. Comparative analysis of official and self-report data revealed that the increase in girls' arrests is due largely to a change in how the juvenile justice system is responding to girls' behavior. Further analysis indicates that the increase in girls' arrests appears to be an unintended result of relatively new mandatory, or proarrest, policies put in place to protect victims of domestic violence. This outcome highlights the need to work with law enforcement to identify appropriate responses to conflict between girls and their family members, and for communities to support and provide families with access to family-strengthening and mediation programs that provide intervention rather than just simply arrest.

Clearly, family-strengthening and mediation needs to be available to all families -- not just girls. How do we teach families that have a pattern of resolving conflicts with violence that there are other, more effective, less harmful methods?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Show your creativity before Nov. 3rd

Playing cards have been used as vehicles for p...Image via WikipediaNational AAUW is having a design contest. Here's an opportunity to show your talent. Submissions are due before Nov. 3rd.
AAUW - Spring 2009 Note Card Design Contest: "Calling all AAUW Artists

To showcase the artistic talents of AAUW members, AAUW announces the AAUW Note Card Design Contest. Our 2009 note cards will be made special by using members' original art on the front of the cards. To make them even more special, AAUW members will select the three designs that appear on the cards by voting once a week online for your favorites. Every time you vote, you are automatically entered into a drawing to win one of ten $25 gift certificates to ShopAAUW.

Enter soon and encourage your friends to enter this exciting new AAUW contest. Then, make sure to visit the AAUW Design Gallery to see all the terrific artwork submissions and vote for your favorites.

Help us to ensure that the boxes of cards we mail to AAUW members next spring are uniquely AAUW."

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

10/21: Read the Poisonwood Bible with Us

Book cover of Book cover via AmazonFrom Marjorie Regan:

Hi Everyone,
Our AAUW book club will meet Oct. 21st, 1pm at the Kingston Area Library. You have 2 and 1/2 weeks to finish reading the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

At our meeting we will have a guest, Sr. Barbara Blackman, a sister of St. Ursula living at Linwood in Rhinebeck. Sr. Barbara lived in the Congo for 10 years and will talk about some of the current and past political situations there, that Kingsolver mentions in her book.

Also, if you would like to do so, you can go on line to Reading Group Guides to get ideas about the book.
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Sunday, September 28, 2008

10/24: Meet the Candidates - Ulster, Green, & Dutchess Counties, NY

The Kingston Branch of the American Association of University Women is sponsoring a "Meet the Candidates Night" featuring candidates from Green, Ulster, and Dutchess counties who are running for the New York State Legislature. The meeting is being held as a public service to permit candidates to state their positions on campaign finance reform, pay equity and comparable worth, health care, and other state issues, which will be followed by interaction with voters from each of the counties.

Join us at the Saugerties Senior Center, Friday, October 24, at 7 pm.

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9/30: Watch 'Hacking Democracy' at the Public Policy Committee

Hacking DemocracyImage via WikipediaThe Kingston Branch of AAUW invites everyone to join us Tuesday, September 30th, to watch and discuss Hacking Democracy.

HBO: Hacking Democracy - Synopsis: "Electronic voting machines count about 87% of the votes cast in America today. But are they reliable? Are they safe from tampering? From a current congressional hearing to persistent media reports that suggest misuse of data and even outright fraud, concerns over the integrity of electronic voting are growing by the day. And if the voting process is not secure, neither is America's democracy. The timely, cautionary documentary HACKING DEMOCRACY exposes gaping holes in the security of America's electronic voting system."

This year we will spend part of every Public Policy committee educating ourselves about important public issues.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Help Embrace make $25 incubators available

How exciting! AAUW Fellow Jane Chen's company, EmbraceGlobal, has a chance at a $1.5M donation from American Express to make the $25 incubators they've designed available throughout the world. All they need is for all of us to vote for them before September 29th! Here's the link:
Just visit the Embrace website at to cast your vote.

Want to read our original post about this AAUW fellow and her company? Read it here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

10/3/08: AAUW-NYS District 4 Fall Conference

On Friday, October 3, the Poughkeepsie Branch will host the AAUW-NYS District 4 Fall Conference: Beyond the Rhetoric: Understanding how multiculturalism can help your personal, professional, & organizational growth — a day of panels, roundtables, and community discussions about ethnic and racial diversity.

David Tulin, our keynote speaker, is outstanding in his field of diversity training. Galen Kirkland, our luncheon speaker, is the Commissioner of Human Rights for New York State.

Please join us! First: let Geeta Desai (845-297-7589) know ASAP which roundtable (Business Development, Cultural Competency, Education, Health & Human Services, or Media) you want to attend (your 1st & 2nd choices), then send your check and registration form to Cathleen Kinn. The fee for AAUW members is $30, which includes breakfast, lunch, & afternoon dessert.

For more information, check out the Conference Web page.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

9/16/08: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Hi Everyone,
Here's a reminder about AAUW's book club. We'll meet at 1 PM on Tuesday, Sept. 16, upstairs in the Kingston Library.

We'll be discussing the book The Reluctant Fundamentalist, after a presentation on the author, Mohsin Hamid, by Rokki Carr. The main character, Changez, is a Princeton-educated Pakistani. He has a wonderful job in NYC until 9/11 changes everything.

We'll also talk about many aspects of the current situation in the Middle East. I recently saw the movie Not Without My Daughter. It's about a woman married to an Irani trapped in Iran and trying to leave with her daughter. And remember the book we read by Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran. Last night, I saw the movie Flight 93, made to remember the aircraft that crashed in Pennslyvania on 9-11-01.

Here's a quotation from a lecture given at Hillsdale College by Mark Steyn, an author and columnist. A complaint has been filed against him in Canada by the Canadian Islamic Congress bacause of a book review he wrote. The group accused him of being a "flagrant Islamophobic". In his lecture, he paraphrased Sir Edward Grey, who said, on August 3, 1914, "The lamps are going out all over Europe." (Remember reading Barabra Tuchman's Guns in August?) Steyn said, "Today the lights are going out on liberty all over the Western world, but in a more subtle and profound way."

All of these things can be fodder for our discussion. Should be interesting.
From, Marjorie Regan