Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Idaho Town Hall Meetings

AAUW Action Network

Hold Congress Accountable: Attend a Town Hall Meeting!
NOTE: This is an update and reminder! We'll be sending this once a week for the next couple of weeks, or until recess ends!
What would you say to your elected officials if you could meet them in person?Would you express frustration with the divisive and drawn-out battle over the debt limit, or would you thank them for fighting back the several attempts to balance the budget on the backs of America’s neediest? Or would you remind them to stop bickering about the deficit when Congress has yet to enact any meaningful job creating legislation, or hasn’t acted on a host of bills vital to equity for women and girls?
The next few weeks, you may have the chance to send a message or ask a question of your members of Congress in person. With Monday’s debt-ceiling vote out of the way, both the Senate and the House have returned to their districts for a five week recess. Your representatives won’t be vacationing, however; they’ll be doing speaking engagements and town hall meetings with their constituents. You have the opportunity to show up and ask questions that will hold them accountable to the people they represent.
Here's the information about your elected officials' town hall meetings (and a feedback form):
Topic: General
Official: Sen. Michael Crapo (R-ID)
When: 08/29/2011
Starts: 05:15 PM
Where: Idaho State University
Meridian Campus Auditorium
1311 East Central Drive
Meridian, ID 83642

Topic: General
Official: Sen. Michael Crapo (R-ID)
When: 09/01/2011
Starts: 05:00 PM
Where: North Idaho College
Boswell Hall, Shuler Auditorium
1000 West Garden Avenue
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Here are the three steps to asking important questions at a town hall meeting (or “bird-dogging”):
  1. Call the in-district office to confirm when and where the town hall meeting will be (contact information can be found here).
  2. Write out your question ahead of time! Even if you’re not reading off the card, it helps to be prepared.
  3. Be confident and assertive in taking a place at the microphone for questions. Remember: your question is important and deserves an answer!
So, what are you going to ask about? That’s up to you, but here are three ideas we’ve drafted up for you:
  • Social Security, which is funded off-budget and does not contribute to the deficit, might be called one of America’s most effective anti-poverty programs. It is estimated that without it, more than half of elderly women, who often outlive partners and have lower retirement savings, would live in poverty. Do you, today, commit to protecting Social Security from attempts to raise the retirement age or cut benefits?
  • Although the gender wage gap still stands at 77 cents on the dollar, with Congress’ failure to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2010, our nation’s fair pay laws remain weak and outdated. What is your position on the Paycheck Fairness Act, and what do you intend to do when you return to Washington in September to work to close the wage gap?
  • Access to quality, affordable higher education for Americans is critical for the long term health of our economy. It is estimated that by 2018 we will have added over 16 million jobs that require at least some postsecondary education. Students have already made substantial sacrifices this year, forgoing year-round Pell grants and bearing the burden of changes to the graduate student loan program.What will you do going forward to protect and strengthen Pell Grants and other programs that help provide access to higher education?
So Take Action! Find out when there’s a town hall meeting in your neck of the words, arm yourself with a good, incisive question, and go hold your elected officials accountable!
Remember: You can always help strengthen AAUW’s efforts to break through barriers for women and girls by making a tax-deductible donation to AAUW’s Public Policy Fund!
Double your impact! Tweet, Facebook, and forward this action alert to friends and family.
Follow AAUW on Twitter, and read our award-winning AAUW Dialog Blog for discussion, information, and advocacy for women and girls! 
General AAUW questions? Please contact or call 800/326-2289 between 10 am and 5 pm Eastern, Monday through Friday.

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