Lobby Day in Washington D.C. during 2017 AAUW National Convention
On Thursday, June 15, 2017, the Pennsylvania delegation of twenty-three members from across the state met with legislative aides of Senators Toomey and Casey. In the afternoon, every member met with her Congressman. We visited nine–Boyle, Cartwright, Dent, Fitzpatrick, Meehan, Perry, Rothfus, Smucker,Thompson.
On Wednesday afternoon we attended a briefing to learn about the lobbying topics and plan our strategy for the next day.
Dressed in our AAUW Lobby Day t-shirts and Liberty Bell pins (so everyone would know we were from Pennsylvania) we boarded buses Thursday morning for a long day of talking about the issues, laughing with each other, and walking.
Best stories from the day. 1) At the (almost) conclusion of our meeting with an aide in a conference room, Senator Toomey walked in from a connecting office and was surprised to see the room occupied.
2) While talking a photo of the plaque outside Congressman Rothfus’ office, 40 minutes prior to the scheduled meeting,he walked out of the office on his way to the floor for a vote, recognized Janine was from AAUW (t-shirt said it all) and asked what she wanted to speak with him about–so she told him. 3) Seeing so many people in AAUW white t-shirts everywhere you went.
4) Being stopped by passersby to talk about AAUW. A young woman stopped Betty and Ann in front of the Cannon building–she is a student member from Minnesota in D.C. for a summer internship and was thrilled to see all the AAUW members on the Hill.
The issues we discussed:
- Title IX is turning 45 on June 23rd, yet more work remains. We asked for the Senator’s support for increased funding for the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to continue their vital work to ensure schools comply with our civil rights statues, including Title IX and its current regulations and guidance.
- AAUW is known for groundbreaking research and our just released research, Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans is no exception. We asked for support protecting and strengthening federal financial aid programs such as Pell Grants, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and Income-Driven Repayment. These programs are critical to the success of women in higher education and can help to curb the student debt burden they experience.
The first AAUW Lobby Day was in 1989 at the 35th AAUW National Convention, where the theme that yearwas “Choices, Changes, and Connections.” Read more.