November and December Public Policy Events and Update
Debbie Karvey, as Georgia Public Policy Chair was able to attend a lobby day event sponsored by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. This event, on November 19th, took place in Washington, DC, with coalition organizations, including AAUW, gathering together to garner senate and house support for key inclusions in the rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA.)
Originally penned during the civil rights movement to provide equitable education for all children, this bill was most recently reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act. It became apparent that the existing law needed improvements as it was no longer serving its purpose. Recently President Obama signed the newly re-authorized bill now called, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA.)
The 4 key issues requested by coalition members of their Senators and Congressmen were:
- Federal Oversight
- Equity of resources
- Disaggregation / cross-tabulation of data
Coalition members this past week participated in a follow up call organized by the Leadership Conference. Materials, strategies and oversight will be made available. The new law places responsibility on states and local government to enable every student to succeed. Accountability and equity of resources are included in the bill, but cross-tabulation and federal oversight have been minimized. It will be an important new bill to monitor here in Georgia, especially as non-profit and parent advocate groups earlier this year petitioned Governor Deal to improve GNETS schools – claiming disabled students civil rights are being denied by segregating them in inadequate schools.
In the beginning of December, at the invitation of Georgia 9to5’s Charmaine Davis, Debbie Karvey attended the annual meeting of the Family Values @ Work organization in New York City at the Ford Foundation. Coalition members representing agencies and non-profits across the country attended. As of the meeting, three states have successfully added paid sick leave to governing statutes. Key take-aways are intersectionality of issues and the need to establish relationships with voters to share and care about family values at work. There is still a lot of work to do.
Georgia coalition members continue to work to pass the Family Care Act (FCA.) This act would provide a definition of today’s family, enable employers with 10 or more employees to extend earned sick leave (paid or unpaid) to care for family members without fear of losing his/her job and allot up to 5 family sick days per year. The mutually beneficial productivity and morale is a win/win for all. AAUW members will be asked to rally and support the passage of the FCA in 2016 … it has a good chance of being passed as coalition members strategize and plan. The current plan is to introduce the bill in both senate and house at the same time.
Advocating For Women and Girls in 2014-2015
In 2013-2014 we accomplished so much and that could not have happened without our members and supporters.
Moving into this new season we are dedicated to progression and growth not only in our membership but also in our policy work.
Through hard work we have created an AAUW GA Policy Toolkit to streamline our effectiveness in doing policy work as a state.
The toolkit includes:
- A suggested timeline
- How- to guides with samples
- AAUW research on our current policy issues (Human Trafficking, Equal Pay, and the Family Care Act)
- AAUW branded sign in sheets to grow our activist base, and more.
Want to get involved with our state wide policy work, but don’t where to start? Check out the AAUW GA 2014-2015 Policy Toolkit today!
Keep up to date with politics in Georgia with the Political Digest.
Find your senator or representative in the Georgia General Assembly.
Elections results can be found at the Secretary of State.
The state identified the following signature projects for the year. They are the Georgia Lobby Corps and the 2012 Project.
The goal of the Lobby Corps is to establish a lobby corps to conduct direct and grassroots lobbying in the state of Georgia. Lobbying is advocating for specific legislation, providing position support and information to the legislator. Direct lobbying is talking with a legislator, whether in the home district or in Atlanta. Grassroots lobbying is convincing the public of the value of specific legislation.
Establish a list of people for grassroots lobbying, including branch members and national members in Georgia. The Public Policy committee will send them alerts as to what is coming up in the legislature for a vote, and encourage them to call or write to the legislator from their district.
A. Recruit branch members and national members to direct lobby at home: talk with local legislators in their district offices.
B. Recruit branch members and national members who are willing and able to go to Atlanta to lobby in the state house.
Use the Georgia Family Care Act (HB 432) as the first project working in collaboration with the Georgia job/Family Collaborative.
The Georgia Family Care Act would allow employees who currently have paid sick days on their job, to use them for illness or medical appointments, for themselves, a child, spouse or elderly parent. Proposed legislation would not require any employer to add additional sick days, only to allow for family flexible use of current policy.
The second signature project is Run for Office or the 2012 Project to encourage and increase the number of qualified women running for office in Georgia who support AAUW mission and goals. Existing training programs will be assessed and barriers to running for office will be explored. The 2012 Project is a national, non-partisan campaign to increase the number of women in Congress and state legislatures by taking advantage of the once-in-a-decade opportunities of 2012.
For more information contact, Pat DeWitt, Public Policy Chair.
The Lobby Corps, the Congressional Voting Record, and the Voter Guides can be found at the AAUW Action Fund website.
AAUW covers the issues important to our mission on the Public Policy page. Check out the new Public Policy Principles adopted at the 2009 AAUW convention.
The House passed (voice vote) the National Women’s History Museum Act of 2009 (H.R. 1700) on October 14. 2009. The bill, introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), permits the National Women’s History Museum to purchase land from the National Mall for a museum in appreciation of women’s many accomplishments and contributions to our nation.
Join the AAUW Action Network to receive timely emails on what is happening in Washington.
Keep track of bills or the Georgia delegation with Open Congress.