Branch Public Policy Activity

November 6 Mid-Term Election

GOTV Activities

Branches across Pennsylvania were busy leading up to the elections with GOTV (Get Out The Vote) events and activities such as voter registration and voter education.  Below are those shared for this special feature page.

Bethlehem Branch

AAUW-Bethlehem staffed a voter registration table five Tuesdays in September and October. Located outside the city’s busy public library volunteers connected with approximately 600 adults- more than 50 an hour. A surprisingly large number reported they were already registered and they intended to vote in the Nov. 6 election. Among those we registered were persons who had moved from other states, persons who had never registered, college students at local institutions and several homeless people who are able to use the address of local social service agencies as home base. We also handed out blank forms to those who preferred to complete at home or who did not have identification. Our AAUW banner was displayed at all times.

Carlisle Branch

Full coverage of the following events, including more photos, can be seen on branch website.

In our continued collaboration with Hope Station, several members joined their Back to School Bash to assist in voter registration activities on Saturday, August 18th.

Voter Registration event at Harvest of the Arts on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 10-4. Twenty eight volunteers, including Mayor Tim Scott and nine volunteers from Cumberland Valley Rising staffed the event from our table on the corner of High and West Streets. Thank you Dickinson College for your civic engagement!

On Friday evening, October 5th, approximately 40 community members of the 199th District arrived at the YWCA Carlisle to hear from their General Assembly Candidates.  The event was organized and presented in collaboration between AAUW Carlisle and YWCA Carlisle.

AAUW Carlisle’s activities cumulated with a 10th U.S. Congressional debate, televised live on WGAL (the NBC affiliate) and watched by over 40,000 viewers.  Full coverage, more photos and interview with Ann Pehle, President are on the branch website.

When Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court changed congressional district boundaries earlier this year, the new 10th District was born and included Dauphin and parts of Cumberland and York Counties.  It became apparent that both candidates would be unknown to most voters of this new district and we felt strongly that AAUW needed to help voters learn about their candidates prior to the General Election on November 6th.

So AAUW Carlisle Branch went to work.  We invited our sister branches in Harrisburg and York to participate.  We had several plan revisions along the way.  In the end, we walked where we had never tread before!  In partnership with the local NBC affiliate, WGAL, we were able to bring to members of our community a live televised debate between the incumbent Scott Perry (Republican) and challenger George Scott (Democrat).

WGAL News Anchor Janelle Stelson and Political Reporter Mike Straub moderated, providing viewers a very professional and lively debate that focused on issues important to the 10th Congressional District, the state and our country.   Several of the selected questions reflected issues specific to the mission of AAUW and featured AAUW’s research and advocacy for women and girls.  The debate spotlighted several distinct differences between the candidates giving voters clear choices for November 6th.

Dickinson College Student Organization

Thursday, November 1 from 12-1pm, we set up a table on Britton Plaza on campus where people could write on a poster any reason why they think voting is important. We handed out flyers with the names of candidates running for our districts as well as AAUW swag like flyers and pens. To spice up the event we served hot pizza rolls to passersby!

Doylestown Branch

Worked with the League of Women Voters by volunteering for voter registration drives and supporting candidate forums. The Branch publicized an effort they called “Who is Your + One?” that encouraged members invite a friend to go to the polls with them and then spend some social time together.

Lebanon Valley Branch

Volunteered over three days at Harrisburg Area Community College’s Lebanon Campus to register new voters or assist voters with changes to their information.  Lehigh Countyand League of Women Voters hosted a Candidates’ Forum for the 7th Congressional District race on October 25 in Nazareth.

Lower Bucks Branch

Lower Bucks AAUW did voter registration at the Epstein Campus Bucks County Community College in September. We also worked with the Bucks County League of Women Voters to encourage people to vote on Nov 6 during the first congressional district debate between Scott Wallace and Brian Fitzpatrick. Martha Radditz of ABC News was there to interview candidates and audience members since ABC considers the first congressional district ground zero for this election.

Moravian College Student Organization

The Moravian AAUW group was determined to support the midterm elections by ensuring that students on campus had the opportunity to exercise their civic duty and vote. In partnership with the WGSS pro-gram and the DEI House as well as other faculty and organiza-tions around campus, we walked students to Moravian College’s polling station. We distributed “I Voted” stickers and had a prize wheel–each student that voted got a small prize. We provided hot chocolate, coffee and cookies all day long.

North Hills Pittsburgh Branch

Cora Dietrich Koller, Public Policy Chair, AAUW North Hills Pittsburgh Branch

Politically speaking, 2018-2019 is described as the “Year of Women.”  More women across the country are running for elected office than ever before.  Common campaign threads include empowering women and advocating effectively for their causes while restoring civility to legislative debates and building collaborative approaches to solving social problems.  On October 10, 2018, AAUW North Hills Pittsburgh Branch heard from three impressive women candidates who are seeking election to Pennsylvania’s General Assembly.  Summer Lee seeks to represent the 34th District. Sara Innamorato seeks to represent the 21st District. Emily Skopov seeks to represent the 28th District.  Program Vice President, Kelly Clouser, worked with the candidates to plan the event. Branch Finance Officer, Betty Kroniser, moderated the lively, interesting and informative panel discussion.  Click here for more detailed account of the event and candidates.

State College Branch

Gerrymandering and AAUW: Sorting Out the Pieces was The October program for the State College Branch. Debbie Trudeau, our speaker, related the goals of Fair Districts PA the public policy goals of AAUW-PA. An important takeaway was the importance of knowing the position of the candidates on gerrymandering and then voting.

Towanda Branch

Held a candidate meet and greet.

July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 Activities/Events

AAUW Pennsylvania branches were busy July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 doing what AAUW is meant to do — grassroots advocacy.  112 Public Policy activities or events were held across Pennsylvania.  22 of 36 (61%) branches held at least one activity or event.  A summary report and detail of all the activities or events reported are available for review.  Use the detail report to get ideas for your branch.