Monday, March 28, 2011

Reflections on Geraldine Ferraro

Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New YorkImage via Wikipedia
From Rokki Carr:

Geraldine Ferraro was my contemporary in some respects: age, immigrant parentage, profession delayed by motherhood, teaching careers, tenure as lawyers in the Queens County criminal justice system.

By sheer chance, I never met her until her campaign for Vice President of the United States, the first Italian American and the first woman to run for that office.  Without a doubt, she was persecuted by the press as well as by her political opponents based uniquely on her gender, treated as no male candidate had ever been, subjected to unnecessary scrutiny, even by her Church, all of which she withstood heroically, and with a display of intellect and moral character rarely so eloquently displayed.  She never won another political race although she continued to serve the public even through her long battle with multiple myeloma.  Her reflection on the failure of the Mondale-Ferraro ticket was a demonstration of her wit as well as of her feminism.
“Throwing Ronald Reagan out of office at the height of his popularity, with inflation and interest rates down, the economy moving and the country at peace, would have required God on the ticket, and She was not available!”
I identified with Gerry more than with any other woman in public life.  So where have we organized Hudson Valley women been  these thirty years?    Certainly not out there honoring or even acknowledging this Newburgh born champion of our rights.  Until her death this week, we just allowed her to recede into a very faint memory.  During the Sara Palin pantomime, her name never came up.  Like Frances Perkins, her predecessor pioneer on the national scene, we have allowed her to be forgotten.  She campaigned beside Hilary Clinton, but appeared only as a remote shadow.  I think it's time we awakened to the reality of how complicit we are in this feminine amnesia.

It's not too late to make amends for our communal transgression.
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's at Stake for Women in Wal-Mart v. Dukes

 On Tuesday, March 29, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Wal-Mart v. Dukes case. In addition, our Public Policy Film and Book Meeting will watch Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. 5:30 pm in the Kingston Library Community Room.

What's at Stake for Women in Wal-Mart v. Dukes: "Set against the backdrop of widespread disparities in pay, there is a tremendous amount at stake in the pay and promotions discrimination class action that will be argued in the Supreme Court on March 29th. In Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the Supreme Court will determine whether a nationwide class of women workers challenging alleged sex discrimination by Wal-Mart in pay and promotions can proceed. According to the plaintiffs’ evidence, women at Wal-Mart on average earned $5,000 less than men, even though women tended to have higher performance ratings and more seniority. Women also were less likely to be promoted to store manager positions and had to wait significantly longer for promotions than men. The Court’s decision will also effectively determine whether workers can continue to challenge company-wide discrimination by larger employers."

Title VII was intended to eradicate precisely the type of pernicious discrimination that is alleged in this case. Indeed, a company-wide class challenge is the only effective way to remedy company-wide discriminatory practices. With the average wage gap at 77 percent, women and their families are watching closely to see whether the Court’s holding will continue to allow the class action vehicle to be a critical tool for employees to challenge pay discrimination. In this economy, the stakes could not be higher.
AAUW's Legal Action Fund supports the plaintiff's case financially. Join us and bring a friend to discuss the film and its implications for us personally and as a branch.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3/22/11: World Water Day, Carbon Nation, & more!

Check out the updated AAUW Kingston "Public Policy Plus" calendar, including:

- Today is World Water Day

- Two films in the Kingston Library Community Room:

1. Tonight - 6:30 PM, Carbon Nation

2. Tuesday, 3/29 - 5:30 PM, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

Click on the link below for the updated calendar:

Click on the file name (kaauwpp+.pdf)
or the green DOWNLOAD button to save
and view the calendar.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

KAAUW "Public Policy Plus" calendar

Check out the 3/16/11 update, including:

Wed., 3/16,
3 PM, change of location for Ulster County Reapportionment Commission Weekly Meeting -- for today only: 29 Manor Avenue, Kingston

Tonight: 6:30 PM, Race to Nowhere, Saugerties High School Auditorium

Tomorrow, 3/17/11, 4:30 PM, A Global Conversation about the Lives of Women and Girls, Kingston Library Community Room with Lois Shapiro-Canter, president, CEO, and founder of the Saratoga Foundation
Click on the link below to check out the updated
AAUW Kingston "Public Policy Plus" calendar:

Click on the file name (kaauwpp+.pdf)
or the green DOWNLOAD button to save
and view the calendar.

3/17/11: Public Policy Committee to Continue a Global Conversation

A Global Conversation about
the Lives of Women and Girls
Thursday, March 17, 4:30 PM
Kingston Library, Community Room

As part of My Sister's Keeper, an AAUW-NYS Initiative, the Public Policy and International Committees of the Kingston AAUW are pleased to welcome our guest speaker Lois Shapiro-Canter, president, CEO, and founder of the Saratoga Foundation for Women Worldwide ( This meeting is a continuation of our Half the Sky book discussion. Come and join in the conversation!

Click here to download a flyer for this event.
Then, click on the file name (kaauw_msk_17mar11.pdf)
or the green DOWNLOAD button to save and view the flyer.

AAUW Kingston Branch Meeting March 19, 2011

Nurturing the Body as Well as the Mind
March 19, 2011, 1 pm
Kingston Area Library Community Room

Jill Taylor is a physical therapist who will talk with us about ways to care for ourselves. She will cover some norms for strength, endurance, and flexibility as we age. She'll share some of the research about the impact of exercise on our well being and its interaction with many disease processes. She will also information on community and internet resources.

Jill graduated from Ithaca college and has been a physical therapist for 35 years. She has worked in a variety of settings including private practice with an emphasis on orthopedic and sports medicine. For the last 10 years she has worked in a hospital setting with an emphasis on balance and vestibular patients as well as the general geriatric population. She recently took the exam for  specialist certification in geriatrics from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Join us on March 19th to have your questions answered.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

3/15/11: Book discussion on Frances Perkins

For our March book discussion, in honor of Women's History Month, we'll meet at 1 PM today (Tuesday, 3/15) in the Story Hour Room on the 2nd floor of the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street, to talk about The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and his Moral Conscience by Kirstin Downey.

Check out Marjorie Regan's Womens' History Month 2010 blog post about Perkins here.

In addition, March 25 is the
100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the 1-hour PBS documentary about it here.

There's a lot of good material on this site, including
an interview with
Kirstin Downey.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Congress to consider removing deadline to ratify ERA

Baldwin Aims to Ratify ERA

On Tuesday, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (R-WI) introduced a bill to speed ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The legislation (H.J. Res. 47) would remove the deadline for ratification and render the Constitution amended once three additional states ratify. The last congressional deadline for state ratification ran out in 1982 with ratification from only 35 of the needed 38 state legislatures. 
Antonin Scalia in 2010.Image via Wikipedia

Highlighting the continued importance of ratifying ERA, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently noted his belief  that the Constitution does not currently prevent discrimination on the basis of sex.

AAUW is one of over 25 organizations to have endorsed Baldwin’s bill, consistent with our 2009-2011 Public Policy Program
. We oppose all forms of discrimination and support constitutional protection for the civil rights of all individuals. 

This is an excerpt from this week's issue of Washington Update, an internal communication for public policy leaders and members of the American Association of University Women. 
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Slideshow Celebrating Int'l Women's Day in the Hudson Valley

Here's a slideshow of yesterday's celebration at the Eleanor Roosevelt Walkway Over the Hudson. A glorious day shared with hundreds of Hudson Valley Women.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Trip: MOMA and NYC, April 4, 2011

Please join us for this spring trip to The Museum of Modern Art, where you will find the following special exhibits:

         Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography
Over 200 works by outstanding women artists covering photography's 170-year history

Standard Deviations: Types and Families in Contemporary Design
Objects and designs of unique identity created for industrial scale

Picasso's Guitars 1912-1914
Fresh insights into Picasso's cross-disciplinary process during these breakthrough years

Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen
Two complete kitchens feature women's contributions to design objects, architectural plans, posters, photographs, and artworks

Paula Hayes, Nocturne of the Limax maximus
Organically shaped vessels made from blown glass, silicone, or acrylic and filled with a rich variety of plant life

Abstract Expressionist, New York
Presents the achievements of the 1950's generation that catapulted NYC to the center of the international art world

For more detailed descriptions, go to:

The bus leaves at 9:30 AM from the rear of the former Ames in the Kingston Plaza, picks-up at the Thruway Park-n-ride in New Paltz at 10 AM, and starts back from MOMA at 4:30 PM with a stop at Trader Joe's on Route 17.

Cost:  $59 includes bus, driver tip and museum entrance
          $56 for members of AAUW and SIP 
                              Bus alone:  $39

For reservations, call ViVi at 845-331-0155 (cell:  845-417-5229) or write, then send your check, made out to AAUW-Kingston Branch, to ViVi Hlavsa, 191 Lapla Road, Kingston NY 12401

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being | The White House

South fa├žade of the White House, the executive...Image via Wikipedia
 Today, kicking off Women's History Month, the White House announced the new report "Women in America." We're looking forward to studying the report and the media coverage it receives, especially given the Republican agenda as it relates to women.
Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being | The White House: "Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being

In support of the Council on Women and Girls, the Office of Management and Budget and the Economics and Statistics Administration within the Department of Commerce worked together to create the Women in America (pdf) report which, for the first time in recent history, pulls together information from across the Federal statistical agencies to compile baseline information on how women are faring in the United States today and how these trends have changed over time. The report provides a statistical portrait showing how women’s lives are changing in five critical areas:"
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3/1/11: Gerrymandering in Rosendale

Our Public Policy Film/Discussion this month


Tuesday, March 1
7 PM

Rosendale Theater
408 Main Street

Did you know that there are fewer competitive elections in the U.S. than there are in the USSR? Almost all election districts in the U.S. are “incumbent protected”, forever-safe seats, carved out so that the results are assured to one party or another. This is the year of re-districting across the U.S. based on the 2010 census.

"Quietly, without much comment or notice, the practice of gerrymandering has transformed from a dismal-but-bearable tradition of occasional opportunism into a cancer eating at the heart of democracy itself, rendering our votes nearly meaningless in countless constituencies across the land....nearly all U.S. Congressional districts -- along with state assembly and senate seats -- have been gerrymandered in one direction or another." -- David Brin. Ph.D.

Cost: by donation

Sponsored by: Mid-Hudson League of Women Voters

Before the film: from 5 PM on, all are invited to join LWV members for dinner at the Rosendale Cafe, 434 Main Street. Call 845-658-9048 to reserve.