August-September 2023 Newsletter

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Volume 80, Issue 1

August President’s Message


Dear Arlington AAUW members,

I know that everyone will be welcoming cooler temperatures this fall after the hot summer we have had!

In mid-June your board members met to plan our programs for 2023-2024 after receiving many interesting ideas from our branch members. We send our thanks to everyone for sharing such great ideas. Our Co-Vice-President for Programs, Barbara Smith and Barbara Gallagher have worked up a preliminary calendar for our programs, and are busy arranging for speakers. Topics include AI, Genealogy, Arlington History, and an author talk. I know that you will find these programs both informative and interesting. We have also had several suggestions for field trips to museums like Planet Word and attending a theater matinee at a local community theater like The Cauldron in Falls Church. Get in touch with them if you’d like to help organize any of our events.  Their phone numbers and email are in our member directory.

Our book discussion group, Let’s Talk about Books kicks off the year with the best seller, Lessons in Chemistry. More information about this book and the other book selections we will be reading can be found later on in this newsletter.  And for those of you looking for another volunteer activity, think about joining our Lunch Bunch volunteers as they meet monthly to mentor our student group at Arlington Community High School.

With the pandemic waning, more of us are getting to travel more. When you read this newsletter, I will be flying to Reykjavik in mid-August to take a cruise around Iceland and then on to Greenland and Nova Scotia before returning to New York City in early September.  If you would like to get together with other AAUW branch members during the next few months to talk about our travels and share travel tips, call or email me and we can arrange to meet for coffee. We could also share ideas about places to visit in the area. My phone number and personal e-mail are also in the membership directory that you can access via our branch website.

Enjoy the remaining days of summer. I can’t wait to see everyone at our first branch meeting of the year on September 18 at Lubber Run Community Center. We have a great year ahead!


Terry Bratt, Arlington Branch President

Join us September 18th for our first Program Meeting

Jennifer Swann is the Director of Information Security at Bloomberg Industry Group.  She will discuss AI and ChatGBT and how they can be used for both good and nefarious purposes.  She will also provide examples of how she uses AI and ChatGBT and suggest some ways we can use them in our personal lives.

Jennifer Swann brings over 11 years of experience in Information Security, specializing in Incident Response. A graduate of Morgan State University, she further enriched her leadership skills with a professional certification from Yale University. Her technical skills have earned recognition at MIT hackathons. Currently, Jennifer is diving into the world of AI and Machine Learning, coupling this exploration with her passion for cybersecurity and emerging technologies.”

Information on upcoming programs:

In October, our speaker will be Katherine Spivey of the General Services Administration. Since 2013 she has served as co-chair of the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN), one of’s communities of practice. Plain Language is an international effort and is used by the governments of many countries and by leading businesses and organizations.

In November, we will have a book talk with Kathy Kleiman, author of “Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World’s First Modern Computer.

Barbara Gallagher and Barbara Smith, Co VPs Program

Mark Your Calendars for 2023-24!

CalendarUsing feedback from members, board members took a slightly different approach to our calendar planning this year.  Dates selected for our branch meeting and Let’s Talk about Books discussions now avoid weeks with holidays.

Branch meetings on Monday evenings are September 18, October 16, April 15, and May 20.

Branch meetings on Saturday mornings are November 18, January 20, February 24, and March 16.

Our holiday luncheon will take place on Saturday, December 2.

Let’s Talk about Books meet on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm on September 26, October 24, December 12, January 23, February 27, March 19, April 16, May 21, and June 25

Let’s Talk About Books

The September meeting for Let’s Talk About Books is Tuesday, September 26, 2 pm at your regular Zoom location, unless someone would like to host it.  If you would like to host, please let me know and I’ll get word out to all members.  Our book selection is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Terry Bratt will send an invitation with the Zoom information. So, watch your email and come join the fun!

Our October meeting will be Tuesday, October 24 , 2 pm at the home of Terry Bratt.  Our book selection is The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams.

See our book list for the coming year and the meeting dates. All meetings except October and July 2024 have hosting opportunities.

Happy reading!

Barbara Gallagher, Let’s Talk About Books Chair

Now more than ever AAUW Membership matters

Events and news items reflect our ever changing environment. AAUW is the voice of women who are engaged. We are aware of the ramifications of changes in leadership, law, and the symbiotic connections of the landscape.

We come together to support one another to amplify our voices. 2023-2024 will be filled with action, learning, and growth. Please take time to renew your membership today.

AAUW-Arlington Branch is continuing our outreach to new potential members. Please let us know if you would like to promote membership and need some support. Or you may want to sponsor a new AAUW member for the year?

Let us know if you have questions.

Candace Lilyquist, VP Membership

Important Dates for the November 7, 2023, Election

      • Register to vote by October 16
      • Check and update registration information by October 16
      • Apply to vote absentee by mail by October 27
      • September 22 – Early in-person voting begins
      • October 16, 5 pm  – Deadline to register/update registration (in person or receipt by mail) to vote by regular ballot. Voters may register at local registrar’s office through November 7 to vote with a provisional ballot.
      • October 16, 11:59pm -Deadline to register to vote or update registration (online)
      • October 27, 5pm – Deadline to apply to vote absentee by mail
      • November 4, 2pm – Deadline to request emergency absentee ballot
      • November 4, 5pm – Deadline to request replacement absentee ballot or vote early in- person at your local registrar
      • November 7 – Deadline for postmark on absentee ballot submitted by mail
      • November 7 – 6am – 7pmElection Day Voting at assigned polling places. Non-registered voters may register and submit a provisional ballot.
      • November 7, 7 pm – Deadline for receipt of absentee ballot delivered in person
      • November 10, 12pm – Deadline for receipt of absentee ballot mailed to registrar
      • November 13, 2pm – Deadline for provisional No ID voter to provide acceptable photo ID via fax, email, mail, or in person to local registrar.

AAUW-VA Public Policy Update July 2023

Public Policy

The AAUW-VA Public Policy group met in July to discuss a number of issues.  The summary of the meeting is the following items:

  • Alex Blocker, leader of the Virginia Fund Our Schools (FOS) coalition, which AAUW-VA recently joined, provided an overview of the coalition’s work to achieve “full and fair funding” of Virginia’s K-12 public schools. Alex also described the work of FOS’s subcommittees and invited AAUW members to become involved with those committees. (See his presentation here.) Members interested in volunteering for the committees can get more information by emailing Alex at His presentation is attached. Alex and other members of FOS are also available for speaking engagements upon request.
  • We are asking our members to assist us in researching candidates for the Virginia General Assembly to prepare voter guides for distribution to our members and communities. Detailed instructions and suggested references are available (see attached template). We plan to have the guides available in September. Members who can volunteer to research one or more sets of candidates are asked to send an email to
  • We have already distributed 4,000 postcards for the Reclaim Our Vote postcard writing campaign, but more are available upon request. AAUW-VA will reimburse branches for postage. Postcards must be mailed between September 8 and October 25, so there’s plenty of time to get the cards written. Full instructions were sent out on June 30 and will be reissued. Send your requests for postcards to
  • Please save the dates that we have set for Public Policy Zoom meetings and advocacy efforts. Use Equal Pay Dates to plan your Branch’s advocacy efforts and programs.  Members are encouraged to attend Senator Warner’s Virginia Women’s Conference in Norfolk on September 30. AAUW-VA will have a table there and is looking for volunteers to staff the table throughout the day. If you can assist, please contact VP for Membership, Laura Greenfield at All of these dates are shown in the attachment.
  • Getting out the vote and being informed about candidates’ stand on our issues is critical in the upcoming Virginia elections. Redistricting and incumbent retirements along with the entire General Assembly being up for reelection makes this an especially important time to inform ourselves and others of the importance of voting. Use the attached voting calendar to inform yourself and others.

Send your questions and comments to: Janine Greenwood & Denise M. Murden, Co-VPs for Public Policy AAUW of Virginia

Become a Two-Minute Activist:

See the Pubic Policy page for important dates and other information

Scholarship Winner Graduates

Here is a photo of our Lunch Bunch scholarship winner from the August 3 Gazette Leader. Photo was taken by Deb Kolt.

AAUW Calendar

Our AAUW Calendar has moved to google which means you can check it online from the website or subscribe and see it directly on your phone or laptop! Additional information

about the events is available by clicking the item.  Contact Joy at if you have any questions.

Arlington AAUW Executive Committee 2023-24

Term begins July 1, 2023

  • Presidents: Terry Bratt (2023-2025)
  • Co-First VP for Programs: Barbara Smith and Barbara Gallagher (2023-2025)
  • Second VPs for Membership:  Candace L. Lilyquist (2022-2024)
  • Third VP for Communications: Joy Gatewood (2023-2025)
  • Secretary: Denise M. Hassanein (2022-2024)
  • Treasurer: Mary Spatz (2022-2024)
  • Public Policy: Sara Anderson

Note from the Editor – October/November 2023 Newsletter

Any articles for publication should be emailed to with the SUBJECT line: Newsletter by September 15, 2023


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