Public Policy Priorities guide all AAUW CA actions that relate to public policy issues, including action on legislation. Our priorities are reviewed and revised every two years. In 2018, we began the review and revision for 2019-2021.
In November 2018, we sent out an every-member electronic survey. This survey listed the priorities and asked members to agree with the current statements or to offer suggestions for changes. 526 members completed the survey. The majority of the participants indicated agreement with the current priorities. A number of members provided comments and made suggestions for specific changes.
The Public Policy Committee reviewed the survey results discussed suggested changes. Based on the total survey response, the Committee made revisions to the current priorities as reflected below.
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To achieve economic security for all women, AAUW CA advocates:
- Pay equity, fairness in compensation and benefits, and economic justice.
- Equitable access and advancement in employment, through vigorous enforcement of employment anti-discrimination statutes, including age discrimination.
- Strengthening retirement benefits and programs, including public pension viability, and protecting Social Security from privatization or reduction in benefits.
- Programs that provide all women with education, including financial literacy, training, and support for success in the work force.
- Strengthening programs that encourage career development and earning potential, including career and technical education, access to post-secondary education, job training for welfare recipients and training for incarcerated women.
- Policies that support work-life balance, including medical leave, family leave, quality and affordable child and dependent care.
To support a strong system of high quality public education, AAUW CA advocates:
- Vigorous enforcement of federal Title IX (Education Amendments of 1972) and all other federal and California civil rights laws pertaining to education.
- Adequate and equitable funding for high quality public education for all students, including preschoolers.
- Increased support for programs that break through barriers for women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
- Protection of programs that meet the needs of girls and women in all levels of education and fields of study, including sexual health education and athletics.
- Opposition to the use of public funds for nonpublic elementary and secondary education, and for charter schools that do not adhere to the same civil rights and accountability standards as required of other public schools.
- Support for and adequate funding that gives women and other disadvantaged populations access to higher education, including two-year degree programs and vocational training.
To guarantee equality, individual rights and social justice for a diverse and inclusive society, AAUW CA advocates:
- Self- determination of one’s reproductive health decisions.
- Increased access to quality, affordable health care, and comprehensive family planning services.
- Freedom from violence and fear of violence, including bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, human trafficking, hate crimes and gun violence, in homes, schools, workplaces and communities.
- Strengthening California programs, including affordable housing, that improve the lives of women, children and families living at or below the poverty level.
- Support for United Nations programs that address human rights and women’s and girls’ concerns.
- Freedom in definition of self-identity and family, and guarantee of civil rights for all forms of self-identity and all family structures.
- Vigorous protection of and full access to civil and constitutional rights for all. Continued support for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.