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August Newsletter (Wednesday, August 5, 2020)

A Message from the Co-Presidents

First, we hope all of our members and their families have been able to stay well and stay connected to each other. This is an unprecedented time in our nation when we are all trying to find the right answers to questions that have never been asked – at least not in our lifetime. However, We are encouraged when attending Zoom meetings or reading about what AAUW is doing, not only nationally, but in our state and in our community. We have very dedicated members who continue to work in spite of a pandemic to fulfill our mission of leveling the playing field for women and girls in education and in the workplace.

On the national level, AAUW is working to 1) remove inequalities in education and not allowing the weakening of Title IX which protects from sexual harassment and assault; 2) fighting for fair pay and economic equity; 3) standing united against racism; 4) protecting reproductive rights; 5) offering webinars to keep members informed on all of these issues; and 6) providing access to Work Smart/Start Smart to teach how to negotiate for a new job, raise, or promotion.

On the state level, our leaders and nine branches are working together to provide opportunities for us to stay informed and active to support our mission. The state has set up an account so all branches have the opportunity to schedule Zoom meetings and will be providing guidance documents to assist. The state website will provide a new officer’s directory and interactive branch events calendar. They will be sending email alerts so members can receive time sensitive information on public policy as quickly as possible. AAUW Tennessee will be collaborating with other state women organizations to support and advance women’s economic security in Tennessee. In the upcoming months, the state will be supporting Get Out to Vote events and providing information to our members about options on how to vote during a pandemic. No better way to pay homage to those women who fought so hard 100 years ago to pass the 19th Amendment than to make sure we exercise that privilege!

This brings us to the local level and how our members are supporting the mission and heritage of AAUW. Please read the information below concerning opportunities to participate with your colleagues and friends of the community. We hope you are reading The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss. Look forward to discussing the book with you and others on Aug. 11 and speaking with our members via Zoom on Wednesday, Aug. 26 as we stay connected and informed, so we can advance the rights of women and girls in our community.

Equity for All,

Nancy James and Barbara Scales, AAUW Murfreesboro Branch Co-Presidents

Get Out the Vote

The Aug. 6 election includes state and federal primaries and general elections for the City of Murfreesboro and various Rutherford County offices.

Registration is now closed for the Aug. 6 election, but there's still plenty of time to get your name on the rolls (or correct your address) for the November Presidential Election.

Are you registered to vote? Check your status at tnmap.tn.gov/voterlookup or on the GoVoteTN app.

Early voting runs through Aug. 1. Find more info about early voting here.

Find the voting center closest to you here.

For more information, you can go to the Election Commission's website.

Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Absentee ballots may be requested for those who do not want to vote in person due to Covid-19. A written request for absentee ballots by mail, fax or email must be received no later than July 30. To be counted, the ballot must be received BY MAIL no later than Aug. 6. You cannot hand deliver it to the Election Commission.

Learn more here.

Remember, in Tennessee you must vote in person the first time. If you have voted before, you can request an absentee ballot.

If you have received and mailed your absentee ballot, there is now a confidential way to know when the ballot was mailed out to the voter and when it was received in the election office.

1. Type in your browser Voter Registration Information Lookup Tennessee

2. See picture of TN Secretary of State Tre Hargett in top left-hand corner; Complete the four fields and then hit continue

3. It will show voter registration date current as of (month, day and year)

4. It will note the date ballot was issued and date received by the county.

There is also a place to change address information if needed.

League of Women Voters Election 2020 Guide

The Rutherford County League of Women Voters has published a Voter Guide for the Aug. 6 Election. It was designed to help voters learn more about the contested Rutherford County general elections.

The guide presents all candidates in each contested election and zone, where applicable, in a side-by-side format. All information was provided by the candidates.

The complete guide, in PDF format, includes links to election resources and candidate websites and social media pages can be found at bit.ly/rucovotesaug6.

The only contested City of Murfreesboro election is for City Council, where 4 candidates are vying for 3 seats. Watch the League’s candidate forum for that election here on Murfreesboro’s CityTV YouTube channel.

AAUW National Lauds Supreme Court Move in Salary History Case

On July 2, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the 9th Circuit Court decision that prohibited employers from relying on a person’s salary history to justify pay disparities. As such the Ninth Circuit’s February opinion stands; it holds that using prior salary alone, as a “factor other than sex,” or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential between employees. Only job-related factors may serve as affirmative defenses to Equal Pay Act claims.

In response to this development, for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), issued this statement:

“AAUW is encouraged that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to a Ninth Circuit Court decision that prohibited reliance on employee’s salary history to justify pay disparities. We are honored to have worked with Aileen Rizo, who challenged the practice under the federal Equal Pay Act, and proud to have helped establish important precedent that brings us a step closer to gender pay equity. It’s outrageous that a woman’s prior pay could play a role in determining her salary in a new job. That’s simply a way of carrying past inequities forward and perpetuating a cycle of inequity. We are thrilled that those living within the Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction no longer have to contend with this insidious practice, and celebrate the 18 states, Puerto Rico, and numerous localities that have also passed similar bans. We look forward to continuing the work of ensuring no one is subject to discriminatory pay.”

Kate Nielson, AAUW Director of State Policy and Legal Advocacy

AUG. 4

Community Action Committee Workshop on Race and Racism

The Community Action Committee will be hosting an educational workshop about race for families and young adults. The workshop will be five sessions which will include: Who is the Community Action Committee; Defining Racism; How Did We Get Here; Genetic Oneness of Humanity; and Where Do We Want to Go?

The objective is to leave these sessions empowered with knowledge and action items to do in your community.

Register through Eventbrite

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote

The Rutherford Art Alliance will be celebrating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage with a cup of tea and a lively, virtual discussion of Elaine Weiss’s The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, which chronicles the critical last six weeks of the battle for women’s right to vote in the Tennessee State Legislature. A Zoom link will be shared as the date approaches.

Check RAA's Facebook page for more information. Buy the book. Get the readers guide.

AUG. 11

Aug. 26

Cocktails & Conversation

Join AAUW Murfreesboro at our virtual Cocktails and Conversation as we celebrate Equality Day. This event is the perfect opportunity to get to know who we are and what we do in AAUW. 

A Zoom link will be sent out before the event.

Rutherford ATHENA and Young Professional Awards

The ATHENA committee is tentatively planning to host the event Sept. 16 at Embassy Suites with social distancing. It will make a final decision in mid-August if it is safe to have the event in person or virtually on Facebook Live.

Sept. 16

In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership and leadership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.
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PO Box 330323 | Murfreesboro, TN 37133

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