Redistricting Reform aka Gerrymandering
A number of you have joined the Fair Districts band wagon and are sponsoring programs in your community. One of the county leaders for Fair Districts recently said it was great to talk to our branches because we know the names of our legislators. Congratulations to all of you for successfully making the first step in advocacy by knowing your state representative or state senator.
The next step for redistricting is a program that AAUW-PA and Fair Districts is supporting called Draw the Lines. The Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan good government group, will offer a computer software program for citizens to use in mapping their own districts. It will be a statewide contest to map the best voting districts. The program will be available in the spring. The state board is making funds available to branches that wish to offer this program. The application is available at Draw-the-lines.
PA Campaign for Paid Family Leave Insurance
A project of the Women and Girls Foundation and Pathways PA
Unlike the majority of developed countries worldwide, the United States does not guarantee paid annual leave, paid time off for illness or family care, or paid parental leave. AAUW has long supported flexible workplace policies to address the family responsibilities of employees. After receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to study paid family leave, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is releasing a report detailing their findings in November.
Most people in Pennsylvania who have access to unpaid leave never take it. The proposal to have paid leave insurance would have a small portion of an employee’s paycheck go to a fund set up by the state. This insurance would be available at no cost to the employer. Legislation would include language to guarantee that an employee would not lose her job for using paid leave.
What are the differences between Family and Medical Leave and Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance?
• job protection
• only covers businesses with 50 or more employees
• maximum leave is 12 weeks
• covers self, parents, children under
• can offer broader job protection
• applies to businesses of all sizes
• can be up to 26 wks
• covers more family members
What You Can Do: If you know anyone willing to record their story of either benefiting from employer paid leave or to obstacles of not having paid leave send their stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information go to www.PaidLeaveforPA.org
A new film entitled Zero Weeks will be coming out in November. You can watch the trailer at Zero Weeks. It is never too early to think about programs for next year.
AAUW-PA Lobby Corps
When women’s voices are heard it changes the conversation. We want AAUW-PA to be a consistent presence with our state legislators. Help us identify members of your branch who may be willing to commit to visiting at least one of their Harrisburg legislators either from the House or Senate at their local office this year. Your branch members may not all be in the same districts. The first step is to find out who the legislators are who represent members of your branch. Go to the state web site for State Representative or State Senator and enter your address. Ideally we would like to find an AAUW member to become the Lobby Corps liaison for each state House and Senate district represented in your branch. Find more information on the AAUW-PA Lobby Corps at http://aauw-pa.aauw.net/lobby-corp/