A Long History of Legislative Activism
Our legislative involvement began in 1898 with the establishment of the Committee on Education Legislation. AAUW-California members first lobbied for the right to vote on education issues in 1892.
Today, the public policy focus is on education and equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change. The California state policy goals complement the national Association policy. Biennial priorities for action are selected according to the criteria of viability, critical need, strong member support and potential for distinctive AAUW contribution.
Each member of AAUW has input into the program through a survey sent out every other year. Based on the results, the Public Policy Committee, working with our Legislative Advocate, draws up the Biennial Program. The Public Policy Committee reads all bills submitted to the Legislature and selects to support those bills that reflect the organization’s policies.
Federal Guidelines for Branch Involvement
According to federal law, the following lobbying and electoral activities are permissible by AAUW branches
- Hold or participate in public education/candidate forums on issues
- Distribute legislators’ voting records
- Participate in nonpartisan Get Out the Vote drives
- Run issue ads
- Poll candidates and publicize results
The following activities in the name of the branch are forbidden:
- Contributions to candidates
- Candidate fundraising
- Paid political announcements in branch publications
- Candidate endorsement for any office in a partisan election
Legislative Information Through the Web
- Find the text of a bill by typing in either the number of the bill or a key word describing the legislation, then press search
- Track specific legislation and automatically receive free e-mail updates on bill changes on the California State Assembly web page by
o Clicking Legislation
o Typing in bill author, number, and subject
o Clicking Search
o Clicking Subscribe when bill information is displayed
o Entering your e-mail address
o Clicking O.K.
- Link to member directories, committee directories, legislative calendars and deadlines, caucus information, biographies, and voting records of individual members for and against particular bills
- Hear live floor sessions
- All senators: www.senate.gov
- Capitol switchboard: 222-224-3121
- Sen. Barbara Boxer: 222-224-3553; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Diane Feinstein: 222-224-3841; email@example.com
- U.S. Rep. Scott H. Peters, 52d District: 222-224-3121; http://peters.house.gov/
- U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, 50th District; 619-448-5201; http://www.hunter.house.gov/