Public Policy/Lobby Corps

AAUW-VA Public Policy Update February 2024

The VA-AAUW policy section has organized a Lobby Day in Richmond on January 31 and is encouraging local branches to have a virtual lobby day with our local delegation on February 28. Susan Senn will work with Denise Murden on this project. Crossover Day is scheduled for February 13. VA-AAUW is focusing on issues related to reproductive rights, economic security and equity, affordable childcare, full funding for public schools, and protecting voting rights. Members are encouraged to contact their local delegations with thoughts on these issues. Use this link to read Denise Murden’s speech at a hearing where the ordinance for creating Grayson County, Virginia, as a “sanctuary for the unborn” was defeated. LINK

Active planning has begun for the AAUW Women Legislators Reception on January 30, 2024, and our Lobby Day on January 31, 2024.  AAUW VA has reserved a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn in Richmond for the night of January 30.  You can make reservations here: You can find advocacy information you need in our AAUW-VA Public Policy drive, which will be frequently updated throughout the General Assembly session:

AAUW-VA Public Policy Update December 2023

Public Policy

AAUW-VA Co-VPs for Public Policy Denise Murden and Janine Greenwood are excited to report that legislation introduced in Congress by Virginia Representative Bobby Scott, the America’s College Promise Act of 2023, would create a joint state-federal partnership to provide free community college tuition. Janine along with AAUW-VA President Lane Stone and Administrator Sarita Gregory sent Representative Scott a letter of support, which is printed in full below and was also printed in the Virginia Pilot.

Now that the election is over, Denise and Janine are encouraging branches to reach out to their newly elected Delegates and Senators.  Remember, they work for us! At our January 10 Arlington branch board meeting, we will be talking about setting up a Zoom on February 28 for our Branch members with them to discuss AAUW, our branch, and our policy agenda.  We will keep you posted! Most of the candidate websites include contact information.  AAUW website has great resources to help you to engage with elected officials :

These are the notes from the last Public Policy meeting:
The League of Women Voters will have its Zoom Legislative Pre-session on December 6.  It is a chance to
hear from Virginia advocacy groups about their priorities. AAUW-VA will be participating.

Our next scheduled Virginia Public Policy meeting is January 4, 2024, at 6PM on Zoom.  We will discuss Legislative Priorities and Lobby Day.  Active planning has begun for the AAUW Women Legislators Reception on January 30, 2024, and our Lobby Day on January 31, 2024.  We have reserved a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn in Richmond for the night of January 30.  You can make reservations here:  In December, we will be asking those of you who plan to attend our Lobby Day to let us know and to tell us the number of both your Virginia House and Senate districts.  If we have that information, we can do our best to assign you to visit your own lawmakers. And there will be a second virtual lobby day on February 28.

On the AAUW National front, November 30 is Native Women’s Equal Pay Day.  National has provided resources for a social media blitz so watch for these and use them on your branch social media.
The pay gap tends to be larger for women of color and in some cases the gap appears to be widening. Compared to white, non-Hispanic men:  Native women make 59 cents on the dollar. The Equal Pay Day Calendar now encompasses a broader cross-section of women, including those who work part time or seasonally, to represent a more accurate picture of how the gender pay gap impacts diverse communities. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many women, especially women of color, into part-time or seasonal work, or out of the workforce all together. Because of this, past methods of calculating the wage gap fell short of accurately capturing the full picture. With the new inclusive methodology, we can advocate on behalf of all women in the eworkforce.

Thank you all for your advocacy in promoting our Public Policy agenda.

Janine Greenwood & Denise M. Murden
Co-VP Public Policy

AAUW of Virginia
Become an AAUW Two-Minute Activist:
The Honorable Bobby Scott
2328 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Scott:

On behalf of AAUW of Virginia and its members, many of whom are your constituents, we would like to thank you for introducing The America’s College Promise Act of 2023. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded to provide access to higher education for women we are always heartened by proposed legislation that increases college access and reduces cost.

The proposed legislation would particularly benefit women, who face a disproportionate burden from the rising cost of education. The price tag of a college education has more than doubled over the past generation while household incomes have barely budged. Women hold almost 2/3 of the country’s $1.54-trillion student debt: $929 billion. Women earning a bachelor’s degree graduate owing an average of $2,700 more than their male peers. Student debt is the second highest source of household debt after housing.

Women take about two years longer than men to repay student loans. From the moment women graduate from college, most face a gender pay gap — which compounds as they age. This makes it even harder to pay off their larger share of student debt. As a result, women often put off saving for retirement, buying a home or starting a business.

For the first time in five years, tuition at Virginia’s 23 community colleges was raised this fall, which will add to these burdens for students in the Commonwealth and could deny access for many. The 3% increase in tuition for the 2023-24 academic year translates into an extra $4.61 per credit hour. Incoming students will pay $2,379 for a typical 15 credit-hour semester. The College Promise Act’s proposals for a state-federal partnership to waive tuition and fees for community college students would be an extraordinary step towards economic equity for all.

Thank you, again, for focusing on this important issue.

Sincerely, AAUW of Virginia Lane Stone, President Sarita Gregory, Administrator Janine Greenwood, Co-
VP Public Policy

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:

The Lobby Corps is a national AAUW activity that several Arlington Branch members participate in.

On Thursday mornings, when Congress is in session, volunteer members and college student interns give the AAUW Action Fund (Public Policy) a voice and face on Capitol Hill. The Corps is briefed on that week’s priority and then proceeds to selected congressional offices to educate policy makers. Because the Corps has worked hand in hand with lobbying staff, AAUW has had a significant political impact on legislation concerning issues such as: education, civil rights, reproductive rights and economic security. There are more than 1,200 AAUW Lobby Corps members who lobby each session and report back to AAUW Action Fund staff with helpful information for follow-up and grassroots activities.