A Message from the AAUW President and Executive Director
While the election season is over, the wonderful success of the AAUW Action Fund It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign still resonates. We saw branches do some amazing work, including hosting candidate and issue forums, a truly impressive number of voter registration drives in locations ranging from college campuses to grocery stores, and many other great get out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts.
As you know, part of the campaign was the establishment of a paid, part-time organizer in each of the 15 impact grant states. Because of this great success, we’ve decided to keep three of the organizers on staff to continue the momentum and explore the feasibility of continuing such support beyond this fiscal year.
Organizers will work with state presidents and public policy chairs to help tackle AAUW mission-based priorities, policy and otherwise. They will also help to build the number of public policy chairs in branches that don’t have these positions filled. These part-time organizers are not intended to be administrative help, but rather to provide programmatic and technical assistance through the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2013).
Locations were chosen based on:
- organizer’s expertise
- states that are working to build their capacity and membership
- states that have started to build momentum on public policy issues and mission-driven programming
- states where advocacy leverage is needed to advance our policy issues geographic location
The organizers are:
- Julie Rowe: She will cover Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio.
- Becca Rutenberg: She will cover Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut.
- Stacey Taylor: She will cover Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Idaho.
Of course, AAUW’s Public Policy and Government Relations staff will continue to work with all state public policy chairs across the country.
Yours in AAUW,
Carolyn Garfein, President
Linda D. Hallman, CAE, Executive Director
PUBLICATION NOTE: The next It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard Campaign Update will be published on Thursday, January 10.
- Coalitions Were Key in Getting Out the Youth Vote
- Last Congressional Race Called in Louisiana
- D.C. Government Launches 2013 Inauguration Website
- Missouri Lawmakers Look to Pass Photo ID Law This Year
- Florida to Reevaluate Voting Laws
- College Republicans Could Elect First Female National Chair
- NOW AVAILABLE: Evaluation Form for It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard Campaign
- Stay Connected with AAUW through Social Media!
Coalitions Were Key in Getting Out the Youth Vote
About half of all eligible youth voters cast ballots during the November elections, and coalitions between national organizations and college campuses helped make that possible. For example, the Campus Vote Challenge (CVC) helped connect student leaders on 20 campuses with national organizations that educated students about voter ID laws, registration, and polling locations.
The AAUW Action Fund It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign recognized early on the importance of working on college campuses and educating young voters about their rights. AAUW branches in nearly every state held voter registration drives, issue and candidate forums, and other get-out the vote efforts on college campuses and worked with student organizations to disseminate information about the election. AAUW also built coalitions with other organizations at the national, state, and local levels to share resources, create programming, and recruit volunteers.
Last Congressional Race Called in Louisiana
The last congressional race of the 2012 election cycle was called Saturday: Rep. Charles Boustany (R) defeated Rep. Jeff Landry (R) in a runoff election for Louisiana’s 3rd District. The candidates, both incumbents who faced each other due to redistricting, were the top two finishers in the November 6 election, but they ran in a runoff election on December 8 because neither one received a majority of the vote in November. The House of Representatives for the 113th Congress will consist of 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats.
D.C. Government Launches 2013 Inauguration Website
Headed to the District of Columbia in January to see the second swearing-in of President Obama? The D.C. government has launched a website to help visitors navigate this busy time in the nation’s capital. The site covers topics such as how to get inauguration tickets, tips for getting around the city, a map of the National Mall, and a list of prohibited items at the public inauguration on Monday, January 21.
Missouri Lawmakers Look to Pass Photo ID Law This Year
With Republican supermajorities in the state House and Senate, proponents of voter photo ID laws in Missouri believe their chances for success will be higher in the next legislative session. Missouri voters are currently required to provide identification when they go to the polls, but it doesn’t have to be a photo ID. A study from the Missouri secretary of state’s office in 2009 found that around 230,000 registered voters in the state lack photo identification. In 2006, the state’s supreme court ruled that photo ID laws were an unconstitutional undue burden on voters, so lawmakers would need to pass a constitutional amendment to enact a photo ID law; one Republican lawmaker has already come forward to sponsor a constitutional amendment.
Florida to Reevaluate Voting Laws
On Election Day, some Florida voters waited in line for up to six hours, prompting Secretary of State Ken Detzner to visit counties across the state and investigate what went wrong. Detzner has not mentioned any definitive changes, but he has said that state supervisors need to use all spaces available to them for early voting. In 2011, the Republican-controlled state legislature passed a law reducing the number of early voting days from 14 to eight. Democratic lawmakers have already introduced new legislation to increase the days and hours available for early voting and provide more locations for election supervisors to use for early voting.
College Republicans Could Elect First Female National Chair
For the first time in its over 120-year history, the College Republican National Committee could elect its first female national chair. Alex Smith, the current national co-chair, announced her candidacy on Twitter on Tuesday. Elections will likely take place in June during the organization’s national convention.
NOW AVAILABLE: Evaluation Form for It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard Campaign
If your state or branch participated in the It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign, we want your feedback! Tell us about your successes, challenges, and lessons learned, so we can improve future get-out-the-vote efforts. Please email the completed form to VoterEd@aauw.org.
Stay Connected with AAUW through Social Media!
The campaign may be over, but don’t stop following AAUW on social media sites! We will keep you up to date on important issues affecting women, and you can share the information easily with your friends. “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @AAUW, @AAUWActionFund, @AAUWPolicy, say tuned to our YouTube channel, and keep up with our AAUW Dialog blog. You can also relive the highlights of the It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign with this photo album showing AAUW members from across the country in action.