AAUW- Montana Public Policy Program, 2014–2016
This AAUW-Montana public policy program was approved in June of 2014 by the membership of the organization in an every-member-vote process. It forms the basis for all AAUW public policy advocacy activities in Montana through June 30, 2016.
To support a strong system of PUBLIC EDUCATION that promotes gender fairness, equity, and diversity, AAUW-Montana advocates:
- Adequate and equitable funding for quality public education for all students with full funding of mandated programs.
- Increased support for and access to higher education.
- Promotion and protection of academic freedom.
- Vigorous enforcement of Title IX.
- Public school programs that focus on the educational needs of all women and girls for career preparation, the full participation of girls in science, math and technology programs, and training in diversity for all students.
- Community and school programs that ensure that schools are safe for all students, regardless of race, creed, disability, and, especially, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
- Utilization and acceptance of federal funds for special programs and needs.
- Funding for the education of gifted and talented students.
- Funding for educational and scientific research.
- Funding for and access to arts, reading and writing programs for both boys and girls in all levels of public education.
- Censorship or the release of personally identifiable information of the reading or research activities of users of school libraries and classrooms with the standards of the Office of Public Instruction.
- Vigorous implementation and full funding of Montana’s constitutionally mandated (American) “Indian Education for All” educational requirements.
- Continued state reimbursement of full day kindergarten.
- Establishment of and support for a state-level college loan forgiveness program.
- The use of public monies to fund private educational alternatives.
- Censorship or the release of personally identifiable information of the reading or research activities of users of school libraries and classrooms.
To guarantee EQUALITY AND INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS for a diverse society, AAUW-Montana advocates:
- Affirmative action, elimination of all forms of discrimination, and inclusion of protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in the Montana Human Rights Act and in institutional, municipal, and county policies.
- Gender balance, racial parity, and representation of low income levels in appointments to state boards and committees.
- Accessible health care services and affordable insurance coverage for all Montanans
- Self-determination in one’s reproductive life, access to full reproductive health care services, and protection of privacy in one’s health and reproductive choices.
- Reforming hate crime statutes to include coverage of gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
- Freedom from violence, harassment, and intimidation in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.
- Programs that address the underlying causes of crime, violence, and abuse.
- Eradication of sexual harassment and bullying through training programs, policy development, and enforcement policies in the community, workplace, and educational institutions.
- Strong support for access to affordable legal services at local, state, and national levels.
- Vigorous defense of civil and constitutional rights.
- Protection of victims of sex trafficking and increased investigation of and reporting on sex trafficking in Montana.
- Efforts to limit civil rights for gays and lesbians.
- Unwarranted governmental surveillance on individual citizens.
- Legislation, referenda, initiatives, and constitutional amendments that establish “personhood” at any time prior to birth.
- Legislation, referenda, initiatives, and constitutional amendments that limit or restrict access to voting.
- Legislation, referenda, initiatives, and constitutional amendments addressing immigration that create unreasonable requirements for proof of citizenship or limit access to public education and basic health and safety programs.
To achieve ECONOMIC SELF-SUFFICIENCY FOR ALL WOMEN, AAUW-Montana advocates:
- Prohibition of employment discrimination to ensure equitable access to, equal pay for, and advancement in employment.
- Vigorous enforcement of anti-discrimination and equal pay statutes, including Montana’s 1983 Comparable Worth Legislation.
- Access to high quality, affordable dependent care.
- Programs that provide women with education, training, and support for success in the workforce.
- Programs that improve access to post-secondary education, career development, child care, and increased earning potential for persons making the transition from public assistance to self- sufficiency.
- State funding for welfare and unemployment programs.
- Measures to ensure legal recognition and financial benefits for unpaid work.
- State support of small and micro businesses.
- Affordable housing.
- Protection of environmental quality.
- Development and maintenance of adequate infrastructure in MT.
- Tax policy that provides for funding of essential state services.
- Protection from predatory lending practices.
- Weakening or eliminating the state’s non-gender insurance laws.
- Any laws, referenda, or initiatives that, in the name of tax relief, result in the reduction or elimination of government programs and services for women, children, and the poor.
D. To promote the ARTS and HUMANITIES, AAUW-Montana advocates:
- Adequate funding of cultural and aesthetic projects, public radio, public television, and public organizations which support the arts and humanities, including but not limited to the Montana Arts Council, the Montana Committee for the Humanities, and the Montana Historical Society.
- Adequate funding for basic research in the arts and humanities.
All forms of censorship of the arts.