Monday, August 24, 2009

A Million Here, A Million There. It starts to add up.

Purse (巾着; Kinchaku) : Good businessImage via Wikipedia

Here's an interesting NYTimes article about women and philanthropy. We're talking big money here. And, it's about time!

The Power of the Purse by Lisa Belkin
In general, women give differently than men. They are less likely to want their names on things and more likely to give as part of drives (large ones, like Women Moving Millions, and smaller ones, like living-room “giving circles”) that include other women. And they tend to spotlight different causes (women’s health, microfinancing of businesses owned by women) and for different reasons. A study of more than 10,000 large donors by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University suggests that while men describe their giving as practical — filling in the gaps that government can’t or won’t — women describe theirs as emotional, an obligation to help those with less.

Behind all this giving lies the theory that helping women and children is the way to change the planet. “Seventy percent of people living in poverty around the world are women and children,” says Christine Grumm, president and C.E.O. of the Women’s Funding Network. “If women have a roof over their heads and a home free of violence, and good and affordable health care, then so do children. In the larger picture, it’s not just about women, but entire communities. Women are the conduits through which change is made.”
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Jean Semilof, Serving Our Community

Jean Semilof is gregarious, upbeat, and full of energy -- exactly what a membership co-chair needs to be.

A realtor by profession for over 3o years, Jean says she is currently devoting a great deal of energy to the Ulster County Board of Realtors' community service projects.

She says, "I believe strongly that realtors should give back to the community. Last year, I spearheaded a very successful coin drive to benefit the Helping Hands Soup Kitchen at the Clinton Avenue Methodist Church and I am currently involved in planning an upscale yard sale to benefit the STARS mentoring program at the Everette Hodge Center, which the AAUW Kingston Branch is also particpating in."

Jean is a past President of the Ulster County Board of Realtors and a REALTOR of the YEAR.

  • Membership Committee co-chair with Suki Kerr, 2009-2010

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Meet Doris Licht, now practicing the art of managing our money

Doris is a ceramic artist and photographer who moved to West Hurley full time in 2002 to build the studio where she now works and offers small groups of students wheel throwing and hand building pottery classes.

She spent much of her career teaching ceramics, drawing, and photography at Hunter College and CCNY, and then on the Graduate Ceramics faculty at the Pratt Institute.

Doris grew up in Los Angeles where she attended Dorsey High School, which was famous for having the largest football field and the tiniest school building in the city of L.A. She attended Los Angeles City College where she majored in art and spent many afternoons lying on the lawn in front of the art building listening to Lord Buckley perform his monologues.

Doris also attended the Chouinard Art Institute and the Otis Art Institute where she studied Fine Art and developed her lifelong love of clay.

In addition to her work for AAUW, Doris serves as a member of the Hurley Conservation Advisory Council and as a trustee for the Maverick Concerts.

She writes memoir, provides Macintosh computer support, and is a new bridge player.

She was recently asked to become the treasurer of our Kingston AAUW branch for 2009-2010. She says she doesn’t know why, but we do.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

AAUW Takes a Position on Health Care

An MRI scan of a human head, an example of a  ...Image via Wikipedia

AAUW's emphasis is not on pushing one proposal over another, but instead ensuring that whichever program ultimately emerges provides access to quality and affordable health care for all Americans.

We believe there are three key elements that must be included in any final health care reform legislation:
  1. An end to the practice of "gender rating"
  2. Coverage of women's reproductive health services
  3. Access to and coverage of preventative services and care.
Join us in urging our members of Congress to make these three critical pieces a part of the final health care reform bill.

[You can use the Two-Minute Activist system to send your message]

"Gender rating," the process by which insurance companies charge men and women different premiums for individually-purchased health care plans, is a discriminatory practice that can result in women's monthly premiums ranging from four percent to 48 percent higher than men's. Reproductive health services are a basic element of women's overall health care, and coverage of such services should be required. Preventative care services such as screenings, immunizations, and educational material will not only improve women's health, but also reduce the financial strain on our health care system and improve the overall economy as a result.

Health care is intrinsically tied to economic security; this is particularly true for women, who earn less than men on average and use more health care services than men do. These two factors--less income, more costs--mean women face a high level of health care insecurity. Health care reform is necessary now more than ever, and it must focus on the need for access and affordability-in a way that is equitable to women.
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Capitol Briefing - More Forgeries Emerge in Climate Lobbying Effort

Wet Blanket Policy, directed by Dick Lundy, in...Image via Wikipedia

Today it came to light that those forged lobbying letters supporting changes to the climate change bill touched us directly. One of the fraudulent letters purported to be from an AAUW branch.

Capitol Briefing - More Forgeries Emerge in Climate Lobbying Effort: "'We've worked a long time to build up a reputation, and keep our name untarnished, and the notion that someone would come along and take that name ..... it's deceit. It's outright deceit,' said Lisa Maatz, the group's director of public policy and government relations.
In all, 12 fraudulent letters were sent to three Representatives -- all relatively new Democrats from coal-producing states. Three went to Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.), who is a first-termer like Perriello, and one went to Rep. Chris Carney (Pa.), in his second term."

You can read the press release from AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman here.
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Do you remember when the want-ads were segregated?

When I graduated from college and looked for my first job in 1969, the want-ads were segregated by gender -- Help Wanted Men and Help Wanted Women. It was the beginning of "Women's Lib."

I had forgotten how outraged I was over the innumerable inequities we faced as young women. Today, I focus on issues yet to be resolved -- pay equity, sexual harassment, comparable worth, education for women in developing countries... There's still so much to be done. But, I read this obituary today and remembered the battles of the past.
Gerald Gardner, 83, Dies; Bolstered Sex Bias Suit - Obituary (Obit) - "In 1969, First Pittsburgh, led by Wilma Scott Heide, who would become president of the national organization a few years later, filed a complaint with the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations against The Pittsburgh Press, then the leading local daily. The complaint contended that the division by sex of the paper’s employment ads — “Male Help Wanted” and “Female Help Wanted” — amounted to discrimination against women.

“What Gerry did was calculate the statistical chance that a woman could get a job in one of the male categories,” said Eleanor Smeal, the president of the Feminist Majority and a former president of NOW. “He calculated pay differentials. The disparities just flabbergasted him. He contributed the hard intellectual theory based on the math, and he made it understandable, powerfully so.”

When the commission upheld the complaint, The Pittsburgh Press took the commission to court, saying that the ruling violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press. The case went to the Supreme Court, whose ruling, in 1973, effectively forbade newspapers to carry sex-designated advertising columns for most job opportunities."
This quiet man was an effective activist for the feminist movement. According to the Washington Post's obituary:

"He produced a lot of change for the equality of women," said Evansgardner [his wife]. "He was shy, gentle and quiet but very active in women's rights."

Dr. Gardner organized a picket line at the 1973 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., because the league had a boys-only policy. His efforts there, and a series of lawsuits filed by NOW and women's rights advocates, pushed the organization to integrate girls for the first time the next season.

In 1975, Dr. Gardner provided more of his methodical research toward a federal lawsuit filed by NOW and the Pittsburgh NAACP, alleging that the Pittsburgh police department's hiring practices discriminated against women and minorities.

The lawsuit led to a citywide consent decree that impelled police to hire in groups of four: one white man, one white woman, one black man and one black woman. The decree remained in effect for 15 years but was later dropped after a lawsuit alleged reverse discrimination. The decree had helped Pittsburgh lead the nation in the number of female and black police officers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Here's a hat tip and thank you to Gerald Gardner. Your life made a difference in our lives.

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