Board to Board-Summer 2017

Summer is in full swing, which means that, at all levels of our organization, we are closing out last year and planning for next year, plus hopefully enjoying some vacation time. Due to all of this transitioning, this is a small issue. The AAUW California Leadership team, including the Board of Directors and all the state committee members, will be meeting later this month. Look for next month’s issue to reflect the high energy generated at this meeting.


Donna Mertens, President, AAUW CA,

It is the beginning of a new AAUW year. Do you remember the feeling you had on the first day of school after a summer off? For me, it was a day of wonder. Who would my teacher be, would all my friends be there, what would I find new and exciting? I was passionate about school. It was exciting to see what was waiting for me. That is how I feel now about AAUW. A new year is dawning with all the possibilities in the world.

I attended the National convention in Washington last month. I met our new CEO, Kim Churches. She is full of ideas to make AAUW better than before. It was refreshing to hear her speak. The workshops were great because we shared so many new ideas and ways to make things work. The speakers were energizing. Over 800 women and men from across the United States (even Puerto Rico) were in DC. Many of them stormed the halls of Congress to give AAUW a face. It is so important for our legislators to know who we are and what we stand for. Keep up the good work. Let’s build on what we started last year with the branch participation in Public Policy and local legislator visits.

Tech Trek is going strong this summer and the state board is gearing up for the transition of management back to California before next summer. We worked with the camp directors this year to make sure that local legislators in the camp districts could visit the camps and realize how important our work is. In the coming year, when you invite your campers to meet with the branch, don’t forget to invite your local legislator to come and speak to the girls. It helps them see what AAUW stands for and how we work in their districts.

This is also the time that many of you are planning your programs for the year. Be sure to consider the mission when you are planning those programs. For the past several years we have had new research released in the spring, so leave a space to address that in your plan. This year’s research was about student loan debt and how it affects women more than men. You might consider a panel of local college students and college personnel to discuss the topic. Our programs help us reach out into our community and bring attention to the plight of women and girls. Help AAUW become visible in your community.

PUBLIC POLICY                   

Nancy Mahr, Director,, and Charmen Goehring, Director,, AAUW Public Policy Co-Chairs

Summer is a good time to begin your planning for the November election. These are local elections – city councils, school boards, etc. Although there are no ballot issues, it’s still important to register voters, hold candidate forums if appropriate, and get out the vote. You have an opportunity to partner with other community organizations on one or more activities.

The new Public Policy Priorities brochure is being printed. It will be available by mid-July. You will be able to download a copy from the state website and print it for your boards and members.

Sue Miller, who has headed up Public Policy for several years, will be leaving the Public Policy Committee this year. Many of you have worked with Sue. We all thank her for her dedicated service. The new Public Policy co-chair for AAUW California is Charmen Goehring from the Sacramento area. Charmen is also a member of the state board.


Sharon Westafer, Director, AAUW Fund Committee Chair,

The AAUW California Fund committee wishes you all a wonderful summer.  Your branches have been working hard to fund Tech Trek and all the other AAUW programs and you deserve some rest and relaxation, at least for a month or so. Be sure to check out the AAUW Fund page on the AAUW California website for updated forms and other information including unfinished endowments, fundraising tips and ideas. You can search for a topic, or type the subject of your search in the search box in the upper right-hand corner, and then press enter on your keyboard.

PROGRAM –   Financial Literacy

            Jan Cook, Financial Literacy Committee Chair,

“Financial Literacy” as a program for your branch?

Invite the community!

Invite the college/university, schools

Every financial institution by law has an education division that presents programs for the public.  Some programs are online with short videos or a financial educator can come to your meeting and present.

Some ideas:  Fraud, Credit and/or Debit Cards, Investment, Home and Auto Loans, Education Loans, Budget.

Find out what your members are interested in.  How about retirement questions? Or widows who now find they have questions on money matters?  The branch could offer a program with schools, targeted to younger women on “Budget”.  There is a wealth of financial information in your community.  You can receive financial information online, by presentations, by using the financial institutions videos and also on TV.

Let me know if you need any assistance.  AAUW California has the following programs online:  Financial Literacy is Personal (FLIP) and Money Trek.   AAUW National has Start Smart and Work Smart.  Click HERE for frequently asked questions about these programs.


Kathy Andreini, Membership Committee Chair,

Membership Matters – Give a Grad a Gift

As we transition into our new year, please remember to help everyone renew their membership. Also, Give a Grad a Gift is a great way to introduce any recent college graduate, male or female, to AAUW. Members may give as many free gifts as they like. Please let your members know that if they would like the recipient to also receive a free State membership, they should forward the confirmation from National to Branches wishing to also include the graduate as a branch member should forward the confirmation from National This is a good method of recruitment and may help you recruit members of traditional college age to AAUW.