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South Hills NOW Newsletter, July 2003

  10- NOW Gala & National Board Meeting
  11-13 - NOW National Conference, DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City, Arlington, VA
  17- South Hills NOW chapter monthly meeting 7:30pm Unitarian-Univ. Church, 1240 Washington Rd. Mt. Lebanon

Support the Chapter at No Cost to You
   Our chapter has an on-going fundraiser which allows you to buy cards for your own use or for gifts. You get 100% of the value you pay for. The merchants who provide the cards give our chapter a cut for helping to sell them. For more information or an updated list of the card values and merchants available, contact Jean Weaver (724-941-9571 or ) or Jerry Blum (412-882-3965 or ).

July South Hills NOW Chapter Meeting
   We will meet at 7:30pm at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of the South Hills at 1240 Washington Rd. (corner of Sunnyhill) on Thursday July 17th to hear reports from 2 of our chapter members who are going to the NOW national conference the 11th-13th.

NOW Intrepid Awards Gala
   Don't miss one of the summer's really great events in Washington, D.C.: NOW's first-ever Intrepid Awards Gala at on Thursday, July 10, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (whose own Web site is ). Reserve your very own tickets for the Intrepid Awards Gala at

NOW 2003 National Conference
   Read about the 2003 National NOW Conference, which will take place from July 11-13, at Read more at . Better yet, come to the DoubleTree Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Drive in Arlington and enjoy a great conference. NOW is bringing its annual conference back to the nation's capital for the first time in 20 years - and will host some of the country's leading political figures as we discuss women's involvement in the 2004 elections You can register for the Conference at The National Board meeting during the day Thursday July 10th will help set plans for Love Your Body Day in October & discuss the possibilities of virtual chapters; it is open to all interested NOW members.

Split Decision Favors Affirmative Action
   The US Supreme Court handed down a pair of decisions relating to the University of Michigan's affirmative action policies & methods. The University of Michigan policies have helped to overcome past discrimination and opened avenues for learning and cultural exchange that benefit students of all races. At issue in Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger were affirmative action policies at the U of MI and the U of MI Law School, respectively, each of which considered race as one of many factors in determining admission. The "point system" in Gratz was rejected, but the 5-to-4 Grutter decision upheld the law school's effort to ensure a critical mass of racial minorities. Read more at

Labor Dep't Rule Cuts Overtime Pay Protections
   June 30 was the deadline to register comments at on the Department of Labor's proposals at to undermine overtime protections for workers. Thanks to those of you who registered your objections!

Air Force Panel Improved
   Thanks to NOW activists, an expert victim advocate has been named to the panel reviewing sexual misconduct allegations at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Read more at .

We Still Have a Dream, Even After 40 Years!
   Civil rights advocates are planning a massive Aug. 23 march on Washington to protest attacks on women's rights, civil liberties and affirmative action & to mark the 40th anniversary of King's 1963 'I Have a Dream' march. Read more about this action opportunity at

Texas' Sodomy Law Loses, Privacy Wins
   The Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas has affirmed that the Constitutional right to privacy is off limits to the morality police. Read more at

'Wanted' Posters Are Unlawful Threats of Violence
   "Wanted" posters bearing photos of abortion doctors are not free speech - they are unlawful threats of violence for which the American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA) must pay damages under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. That decision in favor of Planned Parenthood was upheld today when the Supreme Court refused to hear ACLA's appeal of a lower court's decision. Read more at

Plan Ahead - March Next April
   The largest pro-choice majority in history will march on Washington on April 25, 2004 to demonstrate overwhelming support for a woman's right to choose safe, legal abortion and birth control. Read more at | Job Opening: National March Coordinator at

Improve the State of Our State
   The PA NOW 2003 State Conference will take place October 3-5 at the Best Western near the Philadelphia Art Museum. Plan now to come to an exciting conference. The last PA NOW State Board Meeting for 2003 will be Saturday November 8th in Wilkinsburg, a very short drive for all of us in the South Hills.

Protect After-School Programs
   PA NOW has signed on as an endorsing organization of the "Afterschool is Key" campaign in Pennsylvania. Citizens for Consumer Justice is coordinating this new campaign in conjunction with the After-School Alliance in Washington DC to fight budget cuts that many after school programs are facing at the local, state and federal levels. If you can: send postcards to your U.S. Senators and House members; make phone calls to your congressional representatives; take part in publicity events to promote after-school programs; or help do outreach to get other groups onboard, contact Barbara Burgos DiTullio, Program & Political Director, Citizens for Consumer Justice, 117 S. 17th Street, Suite 311, Philadelphia, PA 19103, voice: 215-569-8220 Fax: 215-569-8229; email:

Women with Disabilities and Allies Forum
   The NOW Foundation and the American Association of People with Disabilities are jointly sponsoring a "Women with Disabilities and Allies Forum" to foster the discussion among and to bring together women living with disabilities, disability rights activists, abortion rights activists, other feminists, and supportive allies from across the country to discuss ableism, feminism, and other issues of mutual concern. "Linking Arms for Equality and Justice for All" will be held Friday - Sunday, October 17 -19, 2003 at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency Hotel on Wisconsin Ave at One Bethesda Metro Center, Bethesda, MD 20814

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
   May 21 the Senate took a critical step forward in helping patients take advantage of America's advancing medical technologies when the HELP Committee passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2003. The bipartisan agreement ratified by the Committee yesterday represents an important victory. Strong protections against genetic discrimination are critical to every man, woman and child in this country. Genetic testing holds enormous promise to prevent health problems and help people cope more effectively with conditions that are unavoidable. But technologies that predict disease through genetic testing and family history open the door to discrimination. This bill moves us toward the day when no Americans have to fear that genetic information will be misused to prevent them from getting the jobs or coverage they need. For more see

Vote on Wash DC Voucher Program Week of July 7
   During the week of July 7th, the House Government Reform Committee will mark up HR 2556, the "D.C. Parental Choice Incentive Act of 2003." This bill would establish a voucher program in Wash DC, diverting approximately $75 million in federal funds over five years, to fund tuition, fees, and transportation at private and religious schools, while doing nothing to improve public schools, in DC or across the country. This bill would impose vouchers on a city that has indicated overwhelmingly that it doesn't want them. In a November 2002 poll, three-quarters of voters in DC opposed vouchers. Tell your US Rep to vote NO.
Head Off Damage to Head Start
   During the week of July 7th, the House of Representatives will likely vote on HR 2210, the bill reauthorizing the Head Start Program. A coalition of national organizations oppose HR 2210 in its current form because it repeals the federally-funded program's current non-discrimination language that protects people from religious employment discrimination. Since 1981, the Head Start program has included this non-discrimination provision, an important civil rights protection against employment discrimination for Head Start teachers and volunteers, allowing religious organizations to participate in programs while maintaining Constitutional and civil rights standards. However, if the repeal of the existing civil rights protection were to become law, teachers or parent volunteers working in any Head Start program run by a religious organization could immediately lose their jobs because of their religion. Urge your Rep to include this vital civil rights protection in HR 2210.

South Hills NOW Newsletter is compiled and distributed by Gerald Blum, and Carl Howe, Chapter co-President & Newsletter Editor