Since 1881, AAUW has been a leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW encourages women voters to get involved in the political process and gain a better understanding of the impact legislative action can have on our lives.
The recent US Supreme Court Dobbs decision on abortion has stimulated action in many states across the nation, including California. Our legislature passed and Governor Newsom signed AB1666 which will enable a woman coming into California to receive an abortion to be protected from lawsuits originating in her home state. This bill was co-sponsored by AAUW CA! A further step protecting a woman’s right to make personal medical decisions is a Constitutional Amendment, Proposition 1, which will be on the November 8 ballot. It would amend the California Constitution to prohibit the state from denying or interfering with an individual’s reproductive freedom in her most intimate decisions, which includes the fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and the fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. AAUW CA supports this Constitutional Amendment.
Congressional races are particularly important this November. Redistricting after the 2020 Census has changed the boundaries of many Congressional districts. In the current partisan climate, we need to be aware of what is at stake in both our national and state upcoming elections. Your current member of Congress may no longer represent you – be sure to become informed soon on the candidates for Congress in your district. As you sort through all this, please reflect on priority issues affecting us, our daughters, and granddaughters, and evaluate candidates’ positions on these issues.
If you are a leader in your branch, make your October program a focus on the election. You may want to consider a Candidates Night. Before a partisan election, AAUW branches may host candidate forums to which all major-party candidates in that election are invited. AAUW branches with 501(c)(4) status must make a thorough and good faith effort to ensure the participation of at least two candidates for a specific office but may proceed with a forum if only one candidate accepts. AAUW branches with 501(c)(3) status may only proceed with a candidate forum event if at least two candidates have accepted the invitation.
Here are resources to get helpful, non-partisan information:
- AAUW CA website: AAUW California Public Policy section will soon have more detail on priority issues and questions to ask of candidates.
- AAUW website: AAUW National Advocacy Tool Kit. Ideas for branch activities, C/U partners, and specifics for 501 c 3 and 501 c 4 branches.
- CA Secretary of State website: Qualified Statewide Ballot Initiatives. Voter info on Ballot Initiatives.
- State and County Voter guides – mailed to all registered voters in October.
- We Draw the Lines California – maps of newly re-drawn congressional districts
Register to vote, if you haven’t already! And if you have recently moved you need to update your information with your County Registrar of Voters! Voting is a powerful tool to bring about change!