Friday, January 29, 2010

Lilly Ledbetter sent me an email this morning

Well, it wasn't just to me. It was to everyone who supports fair pay -- for everyone. Who's currently suffering from unfair pay? Women and minorities.

Lilly was reminding us that it's been a year since the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law, President Obama's first piece of legislation. We all acknowledged then that it was half a loaf. The Paycheck Fairness Act is the other half. And it's stalled in the Senate.

Data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that, in 2008, women continued to earn just 77 cents for each dollar earned by her male counterpart.

What will the Paycheck Fairness Act do? It provides a much needed update of the 46-year-old Equal Pay Act by creating stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, empowering women to negotiate for equal pay, and strengthening federal outreach, education and enforcement efforts.

The bill would also deter wage discrimination by strengthening penalties for equal pay violations and by prohibiting retaliation against workers who ask about employers' wage practices or disclose their own wages-provisions that would have helped Lilly.  In short, the bill updates the law to reflect the practices and processes under more recent civil rights laws.

So, Lilly emailed me, asking me to take action -- to tell my senators to get on the stick and pass this legislation already. I know my senators in NY are in favor, but I need them to show leadership in getting this moving.

Take Action!
Please join Lilly and me, and many other men and women accross the country in urging our senators to quickly pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. Simply click on this  "Take Action!" link . Then follow the instructions to compose and send your message.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, January 28, 2010

AAUW responds to the State of the Union address

It's the same old pay equity story

Percentage of Women Breadwinners Rise, But Pay Inequity Remains Prevalent

More men have lost their jobs; more women support their family as the primary or only breadwinner, underscoring the critical need for women to receive equal pay.

The Pew Research Center released a report on the affects that women's advancement on college campuses and in the workforce has had on various aspects of marriage. 

Women, Men, and the New Economics of Marriage analyzed demographic and economic data and found that more men in 2007, compared with men in 1970, were married to women whose education and income exceeded their own.  The report found that, in 2007, 22 percent of men were married to women who made more money that they did, compared to just 4 percent of men in 1970.

While AAUW celebrates the fact that women have made remarkable strides in education and the labor force during the past four decades, these gains have yet to translate into full equity in pay - even for college-educated women who work full time. Women continue to make, on average, just 77 cents on the dollar to their male counterpart.  Research released in April 2007 by AAUW shows that just one year out of college, women working full time already earn less than their male colleagues, even when they work in the same field.

ACTION: The current recession, where job losses have hit men harder than women, is also responsible for propelling the number of women breadwinners to unprecedented numbers.  In these tough economic times, when more and more families are counting on a women's salary to make ends meet, fair pay is even more critical, not simply to family economic security but also to the nation's economic recovery.  Urge your senators to take the next critical step in the fight for pay equity by quickly passing the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182).

Photo by  Napalm filled tires

The impact of considering Tiller's murder "justifiable"

Judge Rules "Justifiable Homicide" Defense Possible in Roeder Trial

Update: This week the judge ruled that the shooting could not be considered a "justifiable homicide" and on Friday, January 29, 2010, the jury returned a guilty verdict. 

On Tuesday, Jan 12, Kansas Judge Warren Wilbert ruled for a second time that attorneys for Scott Roeder, the man who confessed to the murder of Dr. George Tiller in May 2009, may argue a "justifiable homicide" defense under a plea of voluntary manslaughter.  Under Kansas law, voluntary manslaughter is defined as "an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force."

On both sides of the abortion debate, many believe the final decision may influence others to kill abortion providers because of the possibility of a lower sentence for voluntary manslaughter.  According to the Associated Press, Don Spitz, a supporter of Scott Roeder and website manager for the Army of God said that this decision "may increase the number of people who may be willing to take that risk."

Feminist Majority Foundation Executive Vice President Katherine Spiller agreed saying, "Let there be no mistake, the rulings of Kansas Judge Warren Wilbert are being seen by extremists as a green light for those who would murder abortion providers."

AAUW supports the right of every woman to safe, accessible, affordable, and comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services.  This position stems from AAUW's 2009-2011 Public Policy Program, which advocates, "choice in the determination of one's reproductive life ... increased access to health care and family planning services including expansion of patients' rights."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Live Better Longer, Branch Meeting January 16, 2010

Joy Gross in July, 2009 after her jump

Joy Gross is a legendary 81-year-old health pioneer who will reveal how you can reverse aging and stay vibrant and joyous using her proven strategies for eating, dieting, detoxing, breathing, exercising, and having great sex.

She is her own best advertisement, a best-selling author, and extraordinarily entertaining as a speaker.

Saturday, January 16, 2010
2:00 pm
Kingston Area Library

p.s. We will be collecting gifts for the women's shelter at both the January and February meetings. Bring something a woman living in a shelter might need or will make her feel a bit special.

Monday, January 4, 2010

AAUW's 50 Books for Young Readers 2010

  Each year, the AAUW St. Lawrence Branch collaborates with the Potsdam, NY Public Library staff to compile a list of 50 books published within the last three years with a women’s history and biography theme.
Anyone looking to buy great books for a daughter, granddaughter, niece, neighbor, or to donate to a book to your local library can access the list for the reading recommendations.
The 2010 50 Books list is available on the branch website at In addition, the earlier 50 Book list from 2009 is still available at the branch website at
Most of the 2010 50 Books are for 9-12 year old readers, but some are for young adults and some are for younger readers (as early as four years old).  The topics include the suffragettes, science and invention, arts and entertainment, colonial America and the revolutionary war, American Civil War and slavery, 1900-1945, religious traditions, sports, (un)common individuals, and film and television, as well as some international women.
AAUW's 50 Books for Young Readers 2010 excerpt from the Gouverneur Times
Nice idea, isn’t it?

Friday, January 1, 2010

AAUW Kingston Membership

You can join Kingston AAUW as a member or a friend. Everyone is welcome to join.

In principle and practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or class.

Friends include all those who do not have the requisite 2- or 4-year college or university degree to qualify for Association (national) membership. Although friends may not vote at branch meetings or hold elective office, they may participate in all meetings, committees, interest groups, and activities of our branch. Moreover, by joining, friends help support our local community outreach, scholarships, and programming.

Membership fees include national Association ($49), New York State AAUW ($10), and local dues ($8) for a total of $67. Friends' membership fees remain in the local branch.

Scholarship help is available for those in need.

To join, download and print the membership form and send it, with your check, to the address listed. If you have questions feel free to contact any officer.