Public Policy and Advocacy

McLean Area Branch members led the AAUW delegation at the 2017 Women’s March on Washington.

Members of the McLean Area Branch have a long history of giving their time, energy, and voices to advocate for issues at the local, state, and national levels.

Our efforts are consistent with the public policy priorities established by the national and state AAUW organizations every two years.

Click here to review the 2022-2024 AAUW-VA Public Policy Priorities.

Our efforts include the following:

Education and Awareness: Through our Branch communications channels we promote awareness of issues important to women. One of the most important issues to women, the right to make decisions about their reproductive lives, has been addressed by AAUW National in a statement strongly condemning the U. S. Supreme Court’s opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Read the statement here.

Lobby Day in Richmond. Continuing a long tradition, Branch members joined AAUW members from across Virginia at the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond for Lobby Day, which in the 2024 legislation session will be held on January 31, 2024. Local AAUW branches from across the Commonwealth were represented. There will also be a Women Lawmaker’s Reception at St Paul’s Episcopal Church on January 30, 2024.

Two-Minute Activist: You provide the voice. We’ll provide the megaphone. The Two-Minute Activist” program is now working to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Read here on how to take action! The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would require employers to make reasonable accommodations to protect the health of pregnant workers, such as letting them carry bottles of water or take restroom breaks. This critical legislation passed the House of Representatives more than a year ago, but it continues to stall in the Senate. Tell our leaders that pregnant workers cannot wait another day.

Lobby Corps: This program involves our members in dialog with federal legislators on subjects of interest to the American Association of University Women. For more information, please contact Janet Taylor at or Carol Mournighan at

Public Policy Committee: This committee meets monthly on the first Monday of the month  at 2:00 p.m. All are welcome. Contact the co-chairs, Janet Taylor at or Carol Mournighan at, if you’d like to join the group.

Public Policy Matters: The Public Policy Committee provides regular updates on local, state, and national news pertaining to public policy in the Branch’s monthly newsletter, on the website, and in occasional email blasts. The communication benefits members by providing concise briefings on elections, legislative developments, and other policy matters of interest.

To learn more about AAUW of Virginia Public Policy priorities please click  on

The Republican Primary was cancelled.
Democratic Primary

Gerald “Gerry” Connolly
Congressman Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly is serving his eighth term in the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 11th District, which includes Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax in Northern Virginia. Prior to his election to Congress, he served 14 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, including five years as Chairman. Congressman Connolly is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation. In this role, he is responsible for shaping government-wide policy on issues related to information security, including cybersecurity and privacy; government-wide federal information technology management and innovation; and procurement.

Congressman Connolly also serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Using his extensive background in foreign policy, including as a senior staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has become a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, embassy security, and democracy promotion abroad.

For his efforts, he has twice been recognized as a Federal Computer Week Fed 100 winner, was named the 2013 FedScoop Tech Champion of the Year, the 2015 FCW Eagle Award recipient, and received the AFFIRM Award for Leadership in the IT community.

He has also introduced important legislation to streamline and improve our election system, find savings in federal IT procurement and data center consolidation, and reform U.S. Foreign Aid.

Congressman Gerry Connolly currently serves as President Emeritus of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA), having served as President from 2020-2022. The NATO PA is an affiliate organization of NATO and is comprised of more than two hundred and fifty delegates from the parliaments and legislative bodies of the Alliance’s 30 member states. As president, Mr. Connolly sets the Assembly’s broader agenda and represents the Assembly on all key international issues. He works in a bipartisan manner to support the values of the Transatlantic Alliance and strengthen Congressional commitment to NATO.

Congressman Connolly was ranked the Most Effective Lawmaker of the 117th Congress by the Center for Effective Lawmaking.

Ahsan Nasar
Ahsan Nasar was born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He began serving in the U.S. Army Reserve in 2001. Nasar earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin in 2005 and a law degree from St. Mary’s University in 2008. His career experience includes working as an attorney and lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Nasar has been affiliated with the American Legion.[1]

His father emigrated from Pakistan in 1974 and retired as Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army.  Ahsan is a father of 7 children, one of whom he and his wife lost to a miscarriage seven years ago. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and serves as a Judge Advocate (military lawyer). Ahsan is an Assistant Scoutmaster to a local Scout Troop within the 11th District.

Ahsan previously worked as a federal prosecutor before joining the National Institute of Standards and Technology as a legal specialist in cybersecurity. Until recently, Ahsan was a Senior Attorney working across the government on cybersecurity issues at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). He resigned his position at GAO to challenge Gerry Connolly in the Fairfax County Democratic Primary on June 18th, 2024.

If elected, he hopes to develop multi-pronged solutions to rising crime and improve first responder recruiting & retention,  champion federal funding for affordable housing for teachers, first responders and other blue-collar occupations, prioritize Medicare and Medicaid funding before foreign aid and defense spending, and call for an Immediate, permanent ceasefire; More accountability in U.S. foreign policy.