Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 2 at state convention: Good Day, Irene!

Greetings from the Otesaga Hotel in beautiful downtown Cooperstown, where the women are most definitely above average! ;)

Breaking news
The state delegates overwhelmingly passed the new and improved Clean Money, Clean Elections resolution at the business meeting on Saturday morning — hurray! AAUW NYS will post it on their Web site and send some official information about it to the branches soon.

Got inspiration?
We heard from more excellent women on Saturday, at the podium and in the audience, including LAF Luncheon guest speaker Claire Shuster (more info). Claire Schuster, a tenured Associate Professor of Nursing at Berea College, spoke of her suit for sex discrimination in pay.

Patricia Smith, New York State Commissioner of Labor, related her efforts to enforce the minimum wage law on behalf of employees of New York City greengrocers (receiving $250 a week for 72 hours work), deliverymen for A and P and Gristedes (paid $2 an hour), and bathroom attendants in nightclubs and restaurants (no pay; charged $25 to $50 a week for the opportunity for tips). She pointed out that legislation is useless without enforcement, and enforcement requires budgeted money.

Christianne Corbett, Research Associate at AAUW’s national office, gave a preview of the upcoming report, “Where the Girls Are”. Both genders and all ethnic and income groups have been making gradual but steady improvement in test scores, with boys continuing to do better on average in math and girls higher on average in verbal skills. Since white, Hispanic, and Asian males continue to attend college in larger numbers that females in the same groups, the so-called “boy’s crisis” turns out to be more specifically a crisis for black men, who are far less likely than black women to earn degrees.

Carolyn Donovan, AAUW’s representative to the United Nations, updated us Sunday on her efforts on women’s education, the status of women, and women’s human rights. She has worked to include “and girls” in each statement for women’s rights. She pointed out that the United States is the only major nation of the 7 countries who have not ratified CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

P. S. Has anyone heard from The Capitol Gang?

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