Washtenaw NOW News #6

Washtenaw NOW News

Edition Six, 5/2/2015

Dear Feminist Friends and Allies,

Who knew that re-scheduling our talk with Dr. Laura Lein on “Why poverty has a female face” would subject us to a tornado warning?  We assembled in the most beautiful WCC room yet, featuring a  floor-to-ceiling picture-window view of the pond and trees, only to have the sirens go off promptly at 7PM saying to take shelter IMMEDIATELY!  Thank goodness Dr. Lein had hand-outs instead of a power point presentation,  because our determined group was able to meet for the next hour in the relative safety of the hallway.  It was a powerful talk, despite being punctuated by periodic overhead speaker blasts reminding all to take shelter.

Minutes were approved and the treasurer’s report given.

Since last month, there have been a number of developments on the Eden Foods issue.  We sent a letter to their President, Mr. Potter, and received a response.  In his response he says Eden Foods provides all employees with every coverage required by the ACA. If this is true, we are thrilled and hope that it will continue to be true.  However, a final ruling in the Eden Foods case issued in February, based on the Hobby Lobby decision, opens the door to the company cutting all contraception coverage for employees and their families and, of course, sets a dangerous precedent for women’s reproductive care. More on Eden’s policies:Eden Foods Preventive Care and Eden Foods Covered Contraceptives

We will continue to discuss the Eden Foods issue, and to then respond appropriately.  NOW members who are also co-op members are participating in discussions at both the Ypsi and Ann Arbor food co-ops.  Eden Foods will also be the topic of a workshop at the annual State NOW meeting.  Thanks go to Georgina Hickey for doing the petition to the Ypsi co-op board and for setting up the workshop.  Thanks also to Anna Vockel for taking the lead at the People’s Co-op in Ann Arbor.  Come to the next Feminist Thursday and share your ideas for next steps!

A three student team in Dr. Vecchiola’s  “Women, Leadership and Social Change” course at U of M Dearborn chose “Best Practices for a NOW Chapter” as their class project.  We appreciate the work that Rachel McDonough, Cierra Jonik and Christine Sheppard did in putting together guidelines to help assure our success.  The snacks that followed Dr. Lein’s talk were one of their recommendations, so be sure to say thanks if you see them. I have their full report as a PDF.  Let me know if you wish to have a copy.

Thank you’s also go to member Lauren Bacans, who has volunteered to help us set up a website.  That work begins in May.

Our chapter was well represented at the Pay Equity Day rally at the Capitol on April 14th.  You will receive information shortly on how to contact your state legislators to encourage support of bills that have been introduced to help level the playing field.

The next Feminist Thursday, a monthly informal happy hour where like minded feminists and allies get together for a friendly  discussion of the burning issues of the day, will reconvene at Bona Sera, 200 West Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti on Thursday May 14th from 7-9PM.  This café sits at the NW corner of West Michigan and North Washington.  There is ample parking on Michigan Ave. and in the lot behind Dalat on North Huron.  The bus stop is a block away at North Washington and Pearl.

Save the date:  Saturday May 30, 9:30AM – 4PM, annual State NOW meeting on U of M Dearborn campus.  The topic will be “Ending the war on women and children NOW.”  It will be held at the Fairlane Center North building, 19000 Hubbard Drive, Dearborn.  Click here to register.

I want to wrap up with a link to the site where you can VOTE on which woman you would like to see replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill!   www.womenon20s.org/vote2 

Cheryl Farmer MD, President

Washtenaw NOW