Public Policy Principles and Priorities

Port Townsend branch members 2019 Lobby Day

AAUW-WA’s public policy program underscores AAUW’s mission of advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research, speaking to women’s needs, aspirations, and concerns across the life span.  The work of AAUW WA builds upon over a century of responsible public participation at the local, state, national, and international levels.


As reported by Karen Anderson, Public Policy Director, in the November 2020 Evergreen newsletter (use link on right side to open whole newsletter).

“Our advocacy efforts last year had mixed results as some measures passed and others did not.  One was vetoed by Governor Inslee for budget reasons.  Now, we face the challenge of lobbying in a virtual environment and expressing our views on the budget process as well as on new and continuing bills. .. Fortunately, we will be aided in this effort by our new lobbyist, Nancy Sapiro.” [click here for Lobby Day update and signups…]

“Nancy brings years of experience and expertise to her work on our behalf.  As a lawyer and contract lobbyist Nancy has represented clients in Olympia since 2012. Her lobbying portfolio includes health care, including reproductive health, civil rights, economic and social justice issues, domestic violence, and civic engagement. Prior to this, she worked as a staff attorney for a women’s legal rights organization that worked to advance the law through litigation, legislative advocacy, and legal rights education strategies. Nancy also worked for over seven years as a public defender representing individuals charged with crimes as well as indigent parents and children involved in the juvenile justice/child welfare system. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 2008 she was honored by the King County Washington Women Lawyers and given the Friend of the Judiciary Award for her work championing women’s rights to comprehensive health information and care.  Welcome, Nancy!”

“Thanks to all of you for your work on behalf of R90, which passed easily in the November election.  As you may remember, we also lobbied for this bill on our last Lobby Day.  So, take a victory lap!  You have earned it!  The girls and boys of Washington are the beneficiaries of your efforts.  For some, the education they receive will create lifetime benefits.”

Oct. 2020 – AAUW National Speaks Out About a Supreme Court Judge Nomination
“When the time is right, it is AAUW’s fervent hope that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg be replaced with a justice who, like her, can be an independent voice and fierce, fair-minded advocate for American women and their families… [read more]

Sept. 2020 – APPROVE R-90!
Referendum 90 asks voters to approve or reject Washington Senate Bill 5395, which was approved by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor last year. Designed to require comprehensive sexual health education in public schools, SB 5395 was actively supported by AAUW. A vote to approve Referendum 90 would allow SB 5395 to go into effect. A vote to reject this referendum would repeal Senate Bill 5395, which is currently on hold pending the outcome of this election.
We heartily endorsed the comprehensive sexual health education bill that was enacted and encourage you to cast a yes vote to support it now. Read more…

Sept. 2019 News — Referendum 88

Read details here…

Read more about our annual Lobby Day in Olympia…

Washington State’s Legislative Changes – Respond to the #Me-Too Movement
Washington State remains on the forefront of history by adopting a series of bills designed to expand equal pay protections and enhance protections for employees’ subject to workplace discrimination or harassment. In Olympia spring 2018, 170 women working in the State Legislature signed a letter calling for a shift in workplace culture. The letter was addressed to Democratic and Republican leaders and was signed by a bipartisan group of current or former lawmakers, lobbyists and legislative staffers. A letter prepared by the Northwest Women’s Law Center that is worth reading. Use this link:

[read full text of this analysis in our newsletter, Evergreen Leader…]

View/print the approved 2016-2018 public policy principles and priorities here.