Public Policy & Lobby Corps

Since AAUW’s founding, our members and supporters have spoken out about policies important to women and girls. Without their voices, invaluable legislation would have never been passed. In recent years, such legislation includes the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

AAUW’s policy work connects and rallies advocates at the local, state, national, and global levels to advance our work to empower women and girls. With the member-endorsed Public Policy Program as our guide, AAUW uses lobbying and grassroots efforts to push forward policies that break through educational and economic barriers for women.

The AAUW Public Policy and Government Relations Department, with input from the member leaders of the AAUW Public Policy Committee, leads AAUW’s lobbying and grassroots efforts. However, it is the AAUW member advocates in our branch who are active at the grassroots level that help to enact policies (i.e., Human Trafficking) that empower women. The energy and efforts of these members make these policies happen.

Lobby Corps

What is Lobby Corps? The AAUW Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps promotes AAUW’s Public Policy Program by serving as volunteer advocates on Capitol Hill.  Volunteers represent (only) the views and positions outlined in the AAUW member-voted Public Policy Program. The Lobby Corps Working Group supports the Lobby Corps by recruiting, mentoring, and assigning lobbying pairs. They lobby members of Congress every Thursday when they are in session. Some examples of the issues that members advocate are: Title IX, Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools, Paid Sick Days, Gender Pay Gap, and Pell Grants.

All Branch members may participate in Lobby Corps. In our Branch, you are encouraged to accompany our team members to Capitol Hill to experience first-hand the excitement of advocating for something you believe in that will make a difference for women and girls.

Join AAUW Action Fund Lobby Corps:  An Exciting Opportunity to Represent AAUW on Capitol Hill!!

Lobby Corps meets every Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. when Congress is in session* in either the Senate or House office buildings, as determined by AAUW staff each week. Lobbying visits are usually completed by noon. Lobby Corps volunteers come from Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. branches and most members are able to use Metro to reach Capitol Hill

*Congress is in session about 30 weeks each year, taking breaks for holidays, summer, and campaigning.

Lobby Corps volunteers must:

  1. Be active members of AAUW;
  2. Commit to AAUW issues and convey AAUW’s position on strategic policy issues;
  3. Commit to regular participation, with consistent weekly attendance; and
  4. Attend an annual Lobby Corps Open House/ Training session at the new AAUW Headquarters, 1310 L St, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC. The next training session will be posted on this website, in our newsletter and in a separate branch email blast.

Background – Here’s how the Lobbying process works:
By Monday of each lobbying week, the AAUW Government Relations staff liaison notifies members regarding the upcoming week’s topic and provides background information. At this time, lobbying partners are assigned by the Chair. By Wednesday evening, members receive detailed information on the issue and its current status by email. On Thursday morning, Lobby Corps meets in the House or Senate cafeteria to review information and receive AAUW letters and fact sheets, as well as specific lobbying targets. After the group briefing, lobbying pairs head off to their visits, usually finishing by noon. Members then report the results of their visits to the AAUW staff liaison for additional analysis. Don’t worry: You’ll be well prepared before every Congressional visit and will always have an experienced partner.

Add your AAUW voice to ongoing national conversations in person. Lobby Corps membership is a rewarding way to get in-depth knowledge on current issues for Washington area members, plus it’s a fun activity.

The AAUW Action Fund website is: https://www.aauwaction.org/.  Check the site for information about the program, procedures and recent issues. Lobby Corps needs you!  Please consider joining us this year.

Reston-Herndon Area Branch Contacts:
Judi Polizzotti  judipoli86@gmail.com
Mary Zane      mpz_06@verizon.net