Legislation and Public Policy Advancement

Mock Legislative Summit

The GFWC Juniorette Diamonds of Picayune (MS) conducted a daylong “Mock Legislative Summit.” Participants included members and students who engaged in club HOBY workshops. The keynote speaker and facilitator was a State Senator. Using GFWC Resolutions Committee materials, students learned how to write resolutions and how a bill travels from proposal to passage. Students broke into groups and drafted two potential bills for the legislature: one providing harsher penalties for those convicted of animal abuse and another providing education funding directly to classroom teachers.

Lobby for Transitional Housing

The GFWC IFC Progress Club (IN) successfully lobbied the legislature to assist with funding for Dismas House of Indiana, a non-profit that provides transitional housing and other support services to recently released inmates. Those who completed the program have a recidivism rate of only 15%.

Sixth Grade Students Lobby the Legislators

The GFWC Civic Woman’s Club of Picayune (MS) sponsored a sixth grade class trip to Jackson, MS, where the students met with legislators and lobbied for education funding. The students were also able to tour the State Capitol and watch the legislature in session.

Club Legislation and Public Policy Committee

The GFWC Woman’s Club of Cypress (CA) formed its own Legislation and Public Policy Committee. The committee met regularly to discuss both pending state legislation and local legislative issues, and it made recommendations on whether the club should support, oppose, or remain neutral on specific legislative initiatives. This information was shared at club meetings and in the club newsletter, so club members could write their legislators to support or oppose certain pieces of legislation.

Road to Change Rally

The GFWC Gainesville Woman’s Club (FL), collaborating with a local “Get Out the Vote” movement, helped sponsor a “Road to Change Rally” that focused on the need for gun safety legislation. This was a student-focused rally, and featured survivors of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, local high school students, and students from the University of Florida. Following the rally, members helped with registering new voters.

Legislative Call to Action

The GFWC Suburban Woman’s Club of Pompton Plains (NJ) had a “Legislative Call to Action,” advocating for a ban on single-use plastics (e.g., plastic grocery bags and plastic straws). The club lobbied the state legislature to either ban or taxes such items. The club lobbied local restaurants and national chain fast-food restaurants to eliminate straws or switch to paper straws. They also lobbied grocery stores seeking to reward shoppers for bringing their reusable grocery bags and/or to charge for plastic bags. Well-researched statistics were used.

Equal Means Equal

Both the GFWC Ojai Valley Woman’s Club (CA) and GFWC Olympia Woman’s Club (WA) hosted a screening of the film “Equal Means Equal,” a documentary demonstrating the need for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The movie showed that, despite some court victories, women still do not have equal protection under the law. Following the film, each club hosted a discussion about the ERA.

Memorial Reception

The GFWC Ossoli Circle (TN), in preparation for the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment, participated in honoring Harry Burn, the Tennessee legislator who provided the single vote necessary for the adoption of the amendment. The club worked with the Suffrage Coalition to host a memorial reception for Harry Burn at the East Tennessee Historical Society.

Historic Home Saved

The GFWC Boise Columbian Woman’s Club (ID) worked with the Boise City Council to save a Boise historic home that was the home of the club’s founding president (1892-1894). The club learned that if a historic district was designated in the area of Boise where the home was located, the home would be safe from demolition. The club attended the Planning and Zoning Meeting and several city council meetings, and successfully lobbied for the creation of the Warm Springs Historic District.

Letter Templates

The GFWC Woman’s Club of Matawan (NJ) created templates for members to use when writing their legislators, either individually or on behalf of their club. These templates, together with contact information for the legislators representing the two districts where the club is located, were included in the club’s yearbook.

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Success For Survivors Scholarship

Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.

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