Our Mission

Susan Rose & Hannah-Beth Jackson at a Kitchen Cabinet Fundraiser

The Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee is dedicated to furthering gender equality and other feminist values through political and social action, and educational activities.

As a political action committee, we endorse the candidacies of women and men who actively support our goals and promote a feminist agenda. We are also committed to taking social action against discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability.

To promote and fund our goals, we hold Candidate Skills Workshops, Endorsement Meetings, Annual Dinners, Presidents’ Circle Luncheons, Community Outreach Events and Educational Forums.

Our History

Gayle Binion, Co-Founder & First SBWPC President

The SBWPC was organized in October of 1987 by UCSB political science professor Gayle Binion, Antioch College Associate Dean Lois Phillips and Susan Rose, then Executive Director of the L.A. City Commission on the Status of Women.

As the News-Press reported, “They each called people they thought might be interested, those people called other people, and Santa Barbara may never be the same again.”

Starting with a bang, the SBWPC’s first event was a reception for feminist icon and National Organization for Women co-founder, Betty Friedan, held at Zelo’s restaurant on State Street.

The following years have seen equally impressive guests including U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

Naomi Schwartz, Roses Award 2005

who helped celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage at the Santa Barbara Courthouse…Sarah Weddington, the attorney who at age 26 successfully argued Roe v Wade in the Supreme Court… and our very popular U.S. Congresswoman, Lois Capps, who has spoken at several SBWPC events.

Throughout our history, our committee has helped scores of feminist candidates win city council seats, mayoral races, and become members of the state assembly, congress and the senate. We have campaigned against policies aimed at dismantling reproductive rights and welfare. And we’ve promoted issues ranging from Latino and gay rights to child care and equal pay.

Past SBWPC Presidents

Gayle Binion Hannah-Beth Jackson Sharon Hoshida
Barbara Lindemann Margaret Connell Lisa Guravitz
Lois Phillips Helene Schneider Mary O’Gorman
Susan Rose Alissa Hummer Beth Schneider
Carole Piceno Janet Barron  Jane Gray

Previous Speakers at SBWPC Events

Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator, California
Kathleen Brown
California State Treasurer
Delaine Eastin
California State Superintendent of
Public Instruction
Maria Eschaveste
White House Deputy Chief of Staff
for President Clinton
Anna Eshoo
U.S. Congresswoman from San Mateo
Diane Feinstein
U.S. Senator, California
Betty Friedan
Founder, National Organization for Women
Jackie Goldberg
Member of the California State Assembly
Aileen Hernandez
Union Organizer and Civil Rights Activist
Kathryn Joosten
Actress from NBC’s “West Wing”
Sonali Kolhatkar
Co-Director of the Afghan Women’s Mission
Sheila James Kuehl
Member of the California State Assembly
Stephanie Miller
Progressive Talk Radio Show Host
Patt Morrison
Los Angeles Times Columnist
Angela Oh
Attorney and member of the
President’s Initiative on Race
Jackie Speier
U.S. Congresswoman from
San Francisco
Neera Tanden
Health Reform Advisor for the Obama Administration
Sarah Weddington
Attorney who successfully argued
Roe v Wade
 Governor Jennifer Granholm