University Woman Texas

Volume 74 l Issue 5 l April 2023

Message from the President




Here we are a year away from electing our new state officers and I am asking you to look around you and suggest those members in your branch that are potential nominees for the 10 elected offices at the state level.

Think about those members in your branch:

  • that are interested in participating in your branch affairs,
  • that come to branch meetings,
  • that are perhaps active in the community,
  • that contribute ideas,
  • and that are not afraid to try something different. 

Encourage them to run for state office. The future of our organization depends on finding good people to fill these positions. 

The Nominating Committee consists of Gloria Long as Chair and Ann Berasley as Alternate. They will work together to provide you with the forms and assistance you may need. The nominating forms are online at our website: The committee members are the four district reps, Betsy Calabro, Cheryl Fuller, Cheri Butler, and Stephanie Jones. They will keep you informed of important dates and deadlines.

As I have read the newsletters from your branches, I have a good idea who the doers and shakers are in your branches. However, there are also others who are hard workers who make the magic work behind the scenes. Those members might be excellent state officers. Think about it. Be on the LOOKOUT for the good ones. 

Several IMPORTANT things beyond the nomination process!

1. The 2024 Membership FY24 National Dues Year Kicks Off April 1

AAUW’s new dues rates go into effect April 1, the start of the 2024 Fiscal Year (FY24) for membership dues. Because the Community Hub system operates in real time, please wait for THE DIRECTIONS FROM NATIONAL BEFORE initiating the membership renewal process for your branch. FY24 National membership dues are $72, of which $69 is tax-deductible. Student dues are $18.81, of which $16.81 is tax-deductible. AAUW national life membership is $1,440 and is fully tax deductible.


2. Get Ready! National Election Opens April 6

Check your email because the National Election voting opened on Thursday, April 6! This year, AAUW is using a third-party vendor to administer voting. You’ll receive a ballot with your unique voting credentials from Please add this address to your safe sender list now to ensure your ballot reaches you. Voting closes Monday, May 16, at 5 p.m. ET.

Find information about the candidates HERE.

Find information about the bylaws changes HERE.

Find information about the public policy priorities HERE.


3. NCCWSL 2023: Engage, Learn and Lead

The 2023 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) is back—live and in person—from May 31-June 3, 2023, at the University of Maryland, College Park. For more information about how to register students as a group, visit the NCCWSL Branch and Institution page.


4. Don’t miss AAUW Emails

Help us help members who report not receiving AAUW emails! Please direct them to so they can get back on the AAUW email list!  

Texas AAUW also uses the national AAUW list for its email through Constant Contact, so it is important that branch member emails be correctly maintained in the Membership Hub.


5. STATE LEGISLATURE: April and May are the busiest months of passing bills in the Texas legislature. Please contact your representatives and let them know how you would like them to vote. The Public Policy Committee is posting and sending out by Constant Contact email information about the issues that you identified as the MOST IMPORTANT to you. Watch for them, read them, and act on the information in them.



Now if it will just suit Mother Nature.

AAUW Texas President

Mary Smith


AAUW BOARD MEETING – Friday, May 12 – 6:30 p.m.


JOINT MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCE - Tuesday, June 13 – 6:30 p.m.

FUNDS – Thursday, June 15 – 6:30 p.m.

PUBLIC POLICY – Tuesday, June 20 – 6:30 p.m.

PROGRAMS – Thursday, June 22 – 6:30 p.m.

AAUW Texas Spring Legislative Update


After the filing period for bills ended on March 10, legislative actions noticeably increased, allowing interested persons to follow the progress of specific bills. Our Legislative Advisory Committee consists of Mary Smith, Pat Sanford, Georgia Kimmel, Gloria Long, and Pat Rehm. Our Lobbyist, Kate Kuhlmann has given them a selected list of recommended bills related to our AAUW priorities, from which to work. At the same time, her staff at the HillCo Partners Firm has continued to provide timely information about legislative schedules and procedures. They intend to proceed in a non-partisan manner as they propose the support or opposition to specific bills.

AAUW Texas currently has five priority issues, which were selected in a statewide member survey early last fall. They include Women's Health and Reproductive Choice, Gun safety and Reduction in Gun Violence, Voting Rights and Election Law, Public Education, and Equal Pay.

Last month the Legislative Advisory Committee shared legislative alerts and updates with state AAUW members through periodic CONSTANT CONTACT emails from the Legislative Advisory Committee. The following topics were featured: Working with the LWV & Spring School Board Elections (March 3); International Women's Day (March 8); Equal Pay Day, the 2-Minute Activist & Paycheck Fairness Act (March 10); Opposition to the Governor's AntiVoucher/Educational Savings Account (March 23); and Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) & supplemental $$ to Retired Teachers (March 26).

As bills continue to progress through committees and hearings, AAUW members will be notified of the status of noteworthy bills to either support or oppose. Lawmakers have until May 29 to pass any bills during the regular legislative session and send them to Gov. Greg Abbott to sign into law. Specific bills can be tracked on the Texas Legislature Online website (TLO).

The League of Women Voters of Texas shares the first four of our priorities, and its members has been promoting HB 12 by Toni Rose, which extends post-partum Medicaid coverage from the current two months to 12 months, and has passed favorably out of committee. Pending in committee, but favored, is HB 2351, which would allow volunteer deputy registrars to renew their certificates by mail or email.

Also viewed favorably is HB 300 by Donna Howard, which promotes a sales and use tax exemption for certain family care items, along with her HB 70, which supports a sales and use tax exemption for certain feminine hygiene products. As of April 1, HB 300 was heading to the Senate, according to the Texas Tribune's 'The Brief on Texas Politics and Policy' for April 4. This is a bill that AAUW Texas also supports.

Both the LWV and we are opposing SB 8, the Governor's bill creating educational savings accounts, and HB 636, which would permit election judges with a license to carry their firearm in a polling location.

Lt. Governor Ken Patrick supports SB 10 by Joan Huffman to provide supplemental funding for retired teachers. All Senators signed this bill as co-authors! According to Kate Kuhlmann of HillCo Partners, “Huffman’s bill is one of the top priorities of this Senate. It provides $7.5k stipend for those eligible, 75 and older, a 2% COLA to eligible retirees between those who retired between September 2013 and January 1, 2022, and a 4% COLA for those who retired before September 2013. CS does not impact pension funds/unfunded liability; legislature will invest $4.7b to pay for these benefit enhancements to keep the actuarial soundness of the pension plan. The bill does not preclude legislators from giving additional funds in the future.

House Speaker Dale Phelan is currently favoring three bills: HB15, to create the Mental Health & Brain Research Institute of Texas; HB 16, to improve services for children in the juvenile justice system; and HB 900, regarding regulation of books sold to or included in public school libraries. He also says that recent House Rules changes now allow services for Autism to be implemented (since March 8).

Tim Lee, Executive Director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), announced on March 29 that in addition to the passage of SB 10, “the House Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services (PIFS) Committee passed its own TRS retiree benefit enhancement bill, HB 600. The bill will move to the House floor in the coming days. It includes a tiered COLA based on the number of years a TRS retiree has been retired, ranging from 6% down to 2%. The bill also includes an ongoing gain share COLA which would range between 1 and 2%, plus a $5,000 supplemental payment for TRS retirees aged 70 or older. It also proposes increases in active member and state contributions to the fund, raising them to 9%. The constitutional maximum is 10%."

At the Public Policy Zoom on March 28, several attendees named resources for legislative information that have been helpful to them in addition to the LWV, such as the Texas PTA, Every Texan, Texas Impact, Texas Freedom Network, and Texas Retired Teachers. Attendees agreed that including personal experiences is most effective in letters and other contacts with legislators. AAUW members are encouraged to get involved.

Submitted by Pat Rehm, AAUW Texas Public Policy Chair (New email address:

Voting on Changes to AAUW Bylaws

I chair the AAUW national Governance Committee which is made up of members like you. The committee did a complete review of the bylaws to create a better document. The proposed changes organize the many amendments made over the years and recommend provisions that are better practices for our organization.

Please vote in favor of the bylaws changes.

Malinda Gaul

AAUW National

Governance Committee Chair

April 2024 Conference


The planning has started!


The 2024 Conference Committee defined in the Job Descriptions document has started meeting. As planning progresses, others will be invited to join. We are planning a half day virtual conference with at least two speakers and our biannual business meeting.


We need your input! Please communicate any program ideas, speaker suggestions, and workshop/leader topics you would like to see included.

*Has your branch had an interesting meeting or speaker that would work for the conference? 

*Is there a skill that branch members or leaders need training on? 

*Did your branch have a unique fund-raising activity that others could try?

*Would you like to be part of the planning committee?


Please contact Terry Whaley, VP Programs, if you have ideas to share. While we are just a year away from the conference date, planning for a successful event starts now. (




If you’re on Facebook,

we need your help!

When you see news articles, memes, or other items of interest and relevance to AAUW members on Facebook, please tag Jerrilyn Woodard-Entrekin so she can re-post and share on our AAUW-Texas Facebook page.

Feel free to send a Facebook friend request to

Jerrilyn to enable tagging. 

Elected Officers  

Mary Smith

Terry Whaley

Sara Wood

Margie Poole

Margaret Carlson

Lucy Barrington

Elected District Representatives

Betsy Calabro

Cheryl Fuller

Cheri Butler

Stephanie Jones

Standing Committees

Pat Rehm

Appointed Positions

Shirley Selz

Margo Johnson

Chasity Crawford

Communications Team

Malinda Gaul

Janani Janakiraman

Jerrilyn Woodard-Entrekin

Contact at:


Program VP

Membership VP


Finance Officer


South District

Central District

North District

West District


Public Policy

SHARE Grants

Branch Services

Inclusion and Equity

UWT Editor/Email Communications