As the title of our program promised, we were truly Advocacy in Action at our January branch meeting. Our lobbyist, Pam Crone, shared her perspective on the short 60-day legislative session just getting underway in Olympia, from the excitement of having Laurie Jinkins sworn in as the first woman to serve as WA Speaker of the House, to the uncertainty surrounding the legal status of voter initiative I-976 ($30 car tabs). The environment of the session is also clouded by the investigation that found Representative Matt Shea planned and participated in domestic terrorism. With his refusal to resign his seat, expulsion from the House may be considered, something that has only happened once before in the 1930’s.
Our Public Policy Chair, Katherine Cleland reported on the State of Virginia becoming the 38th and final state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and the need for the US Congress to support a resolution to extend the deadline for ERA ratification.
She then led the meeting participants through a postcard-writing exercise to Senator Maria Cantwell and to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking them to support that deadline extension. A postcard campaign was also addressed to state legislators for their support of three issues of
special interest to AAUW:
- A comprehensive sex education mandate to the schools
- A bill to ensure that menstrual hygiene products are provided at schools
- Inclusion of funding of Title X family planning clinics in the state budget
It wasn’t all business. As an ice breaker to start the meeting, members and guests were asked to recommend a favorite book. With approximately 35 avid readers in attendance, our reading lists were greatly expanded to help us get through these dark, dreary winter months