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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