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Posts Tagged ‘legislation’

With the 2012 elections over, it’s time to hold legislators’ feet to the fire. AAUW now has a high-tech legislative tracking tool to help us take effective and timely action on policy issues not just at the national level but also in your state.

CQ StateTrack allows AAUW staff in Washington, D.C., to work with state leaders to track local bills that affect our priority issues. We will use CQ StateTrack to create a profile for each state, which will include a set of key words and pertinent committees and legislators. This information will allow us to find relevant state bills by searching certain terms. The system will e-mail you when state legislation containing one of the key words is introduced, being heard in committee, or ready for a floor vote. You can also generate web reports that give us a snapshot of what bills state legislatures are considering at any given time.

CQ StateTrack is a game changer for advocacy on AAUW priority issues. Through our policy experts in Washington, D.C., AAUW already has the capability to track federal legislation down to this specific, instantaneous level, and CQ StateTrack will extend that capability to state legislation.

AAUW can embed the CQ StateTrack legislative report on AAUW state or branch websites so that they become a go-to resource for up-to-date information on legislation affecting women and families. CQ StateTrack will help you make quick decisions about taking positions on new bills and leading the charge for or against particular legislation.

Throughout December and January, AAUW is holding conference calls with state public policy chairs to walk through the CQ StateTrack system. If you would like to be involved or have questions, please e-mail advocacy@aauw.org.

This post was written by AAUW State Grassroots Advocacy Manager Kimberly Fountain.

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The Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3220) is a commonsense bill that would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes in current law. The bill takes meaningful steps to create incentives for employers to follow the law, empower women to negotiate for equal pay, and strengthen federal outreach and enforcement efforts. It would also bar retaliation against employees who disclose their own wages. Without this bill, employers can penalize and even fire workers for talking about their salaries. This egregious practice leaves employees in the dark and prevents them from finding out about pay discrimination in the workplace.

AAUW and fair-pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter, the author of Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, have been working hard to get the word out on Capitol Hill. Ledbetter even gave AAUW and Lisa Maatz, our director of public policy and government relations, a shout-out during her appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show on Monday night.

Watch the clip below, read about last week’s House vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, and stay tuned to find out more about how the Senate vote turns out.

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TAKE ACTION!

Time is running out.  Congress’ August recess is almost upon us, and the elections will dominate much of their time in the fall.  It’s been a year and a half since the House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, but the Senate has yet to act on this critical piece of legislation.  The hard truth is that the time remaining to get this bill passed in this Congress is running short — but we’re not giving up!  Your senator’s support is needed to move this legislation to the floor, and he or she needs to hear from you today to make this happen.

The number of legislative days left on the calendar is dwindling.  If the Senate doesn’t pass the Paycheck Fairness Act before the end of the year, we’ll have to start all over again in both chambers of Congress next year.  Women can’t afford to wait for that to happen.

Even if you’ve done so before, please contact your senator now and urge him or her to cosponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act. Decisions about the remaining July floor schedule are being made now, so it’s imperative that he or she hear from you today.  Your senator’s actions now could be a key factor in the success or failure of this critical pay equity legislation.

Pass the Paycheck Fairness ActTake Action!

Contact your senator now and urge him or her to cosponsor and support the Paycheck Fairness Act now.  Simply click on the “Take Action” link in the upper right corner or copy and paste the following URL into your Internet browser.  Then follow the instructions to compose and send your message.

http://www.capwiz.com/aauw/issues/alert/?alertid=15242026

Spread the word and get others involved by forwarding this email to friends and family in your state.  Thank you for helping us make pay equity a reality!

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As you know, Tuesday, April 22, is Equal Pay Day, the annual symbolic day on which women’s average wages catch up to men’s from the previous year. For the average woman’s salary to equal that of a man’s in 2007, she would have had to work from Jan. 1, 2007, until April 22, 2008. See what the pay gap for college-educated women is in your state.

AAUW events across the country will mark Equal Pay Day to educate others about pay discrimination:

  • AAUW members in Escabana, Michigan, will sell cookies with a bite out of them representing the 23 percent women are underpaid.
  • The AAUW Vero Beach (FL) Branch will hold a bake sale where men will pay full price and women will receive a 23 percent discount.
  • The AAUW Murfreesboro (TN) Branch will hand out Pay Day candy bars at Middle Tennessee State University.
  • AAUW members in Salem, Oregon, will hold an “unhappy hour” where women will receive a 23 percent discount.
  • AAUW members across the country will wear red to represent the way the pay gap puts women “in the red.”
  • Workshops held on college campuses will teach women to better negotiate for quality jobs and pay.
  • Rallies will be held at city halls and state houses across the country, including in Brevard, North Carolina, where legislators will proclaim April 22, 2008, Equal Pay Day, and supporters will advocate for effective pay equity legislation.

The U.S. Senate will recognize Equal Pay Day by voting Wednesday on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831). The legislation was introduced in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in the Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company case, which severely limits the ability of victims of pay discrimination to have their day in court.

Call your senators today to urge them to vote in support of the bill and send a strong signal to your senators that, in honor of Equal Pay Day, pay discrimination will not be tolerated. Then set up and send an e-card to your friends and family with the call information as well.

AAUW and our coalition partners will hold a national press conference this Wednesday on Capitol Hill, where we will urge our senators to take action to reverse the Ledbetter v. Goodyear decision and to realize the decades-old promise of equal pay for equal work. Several members of Congress are scheduled to attend, as are Lilly Ledbetter and members of the AAUW staff.

Pay equity is a simple matter of justice. Equal pay for equal work — makes sense, right? We know that women deserve a level playing field. Equal Pay Day and pay equity legislation aim to ensure that they also receive a level paying field.

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