Public Policy

                                     AAUW Public Policy

AAUW’s public policy mission is focused on three areas: economic security, education and Title IX, and civil rights.

For more information about these positions and the specific issues listed below, consult AAUW’s policy center at

Atascadero AAUW promotes our mission of equity for women through programming, the Branch Breeze and other written materials, and community outreach activities.

Economic Security: AAUW advocates for all women to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

    • equal pay
    • paycheck fairness
    • retirement security
    • paid leave
    • health care

Education and Title IX: AAUW supports a strong system of public education that promotes gender fairness, equity, and diversity, including vigorous enforcement of Title IX.

    • higher education
    • elementary and secondary education act
    • school vouchers
    • STEM education
    • Sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools
    • Title IX

Civil Rights: AAUW advocates for equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse society.

    • ERA
    • human trafficking
    • reproductive rights
    • LGBTQ rights

In addition to the issues listed above, AAUW CEO Kimberly Churches issues the following statement about racism in June 2020.

Systemic racism is firmly rooted in the U.S. and today’s injustices mirror our shameful history — from police brutality to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. There can be no justice or equality when Black and Brown communities are seen as less deserving of basic human and civil rights.

On behalf of our 170,000 members and supporters, we commit to fighting for justice, long-term and lasting change, and we stand in solidarity against racism. We also acknowledge that as an organization we have our own work to do.

And, as a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we will work to advance the policies and systemic changes identified in the New Era of Public Safety: A Guide to Fair, Safe, and Effective Community Policing and Vision for Justice platform.                                                              


AAUW CA Public Policy Action Priorities, 2019 – 2021

JULY 22, 2019

Public Policy Priorities guide all AAUW CA actions that relate to public policy issues, including action on legislation.  Our priorities are reviewed and revised every two years.  In 2018, we began the review and revision for 2019-2021.

In November 2018, we sent out an every-member electronic survey.  This survey listed the priorities and asked members to agree with the current statements or to offer suggestions for changes.  526 members completed the survey.  The majority of the participants indicated agreement with the current priorities.  A number of members provided comments and made suggestions for specific changes.

The Public Policy Committee reviewed the survey results discussed suggested changes.  Based on the total survey response, the Committee made revisions to the current priorities as reflected below. 

To achieve economic security for all women, AAUW CA advocates:

  • Pay equity, fairness in compensation and benefits, and economic justice.
  • Equitable access and advancement in employment, through vigorous enforcement of employment anti-discrimination statutes, including age discrimination.
  • Strengthening retirement benefits and programs, including public pension viability, and protecting Social Security from privatization or reduction in benefits.
  • Programs that provide all women with education, including financial literacy, training, and support for success in the work force.
  • Strengthening programs that encourage career development and earning potential, including career and technical education, access to post-secondary education, job training for welfare recipients and training for incarcerated women.
  • Policies that support work-life balance, including medical leave, family leave, quality and affordable child and dependent care.

 To support a strong system of high quality public education, AAUW CA advocates:

  • Vigorous enforcement of federal Title IX (Education Amendments of 1972) and all other federal and California civil rights laws pertaining to education.
  • Adequate and equitable funding for high quality public education for all students, including preschoolers.
  • Increased support for programs that break through barriers for women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
  • Protection of programs that meet the needs of girls and women in all levels of education and fields of study, including sexual health education and athletics.
  • Opposition to the use of public funds for nonpublic elementary and secondary education, and for charter schools that do not adhere to the same civil rights and accountability standards as required of other public schools.
  • Support for and adequate funding that gives women and other disadvantaged populations access to higher education, including two-year degree programs and vocational training.

To guarantee equality, individual rights and social justice for a diverse and inclusive society, AAUW CA advocates:

  • Self- determination of one’s reproductive health decisions.
  • Increased access to quality, affordable health care, and comprehensive family planning services.
  • Freedom from violence and fear of violence, including bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, human trafficking, hate crimes and gun violence, in homes, schools, workplaces and communities.
  • Strengthening California programs, including affordable housing, that improve the lives of women, children and families living at or below the poverty level.
  • Support for United Nations programs that address human rights and women’s and girls’ concerns.
  • Freedom in definition of self-identity and family and guarantee of civil rights for all forms of self-identity and all family structures.
  • Vigorous protection of and full access to civil and constitutional rights for all.  Continued support for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Contact Information for Senators and 24th District Representative

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Local office for SLO County:                                       D.C. office:

2500 Tulare St                                                United States Senate                                                                 Suite 4290                                                  331 Hart Senate Office Bldg.                                                Fresno, CA  93721                                          Washington, D.C.  20510                                                      559-485-7430                                                  202-224-3841


Senator Kamala Harris

Local office for SLO County:                                       D.C. office:

2500 Tulare St                                                United States Senate                                                                 Suite 5290                                                  112 Hart Senate Office Bldg.                                                Fresno, CA  93721                                          Washington, D.C.  20510                                                      559-497-5109                                                  202-224-3553


Representative Salud Carbajal

Local office for SLO County:                                       D.C. office:

1411 Marsh St                                                                                                                                                      Suite 205                                                  212 Cannon House Office Bldg.                                              San Luis Obispo, CA  93401                      Washington, D.C.  20515                                                          805-546-8348                                              202-225-3601

To send an email or to find out more about legislation they are sponsoring or supporting, log onto their websites.

Research indicates that in-person visits are the most effective means of contact; phone calls to local offices are the next most effective approach.

Information current on 8/15//2019