August 2023

The month of August brings Women’s Equality Day and the 35th Anniversary of the founding of Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee. These are two significant opportunities to recognize the accomplishments and advancements of women locally in this country while taking  a hard look at where we need to go and what we need to do to achieve true equality.

While we honor the women’s suffrage movement that led to the 19th Amendment on Women’s Equality Day, we also sadly note that many women of color who helped lead the universal suffrage movement were effectively denied those rights until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 which gave African Americans the right to vote. Former SBWPC President Dr. Lois Phillip’s essay published in this week’s Pacific Coast Business Times acknowledges the advancement of women locally into public office while noting women are still vastly underrepresented in Congress. Philips further notes “For women to achieve equality, leadership must be collaborative and work across sectors to ensure 3 emerging critical issues that affect women’s lives (public education, housing and healthcare) are addressed.”

On the 35th anniversary of the founding of SBWPC we celebrate the organization’s role in electing numerous women into public office, advocating for laws which protect our rights and organizing marches, rallies and workshops which advance our feminist ideals. As one of our founding mothers, Phillips’ article this month does a marvelous job in highlighting those achievements. There is more work to be done. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times uncovers a movement by conservatives to seek power in our state’s schools with the goal of undermining LGBTQ rights in the name of parental rights. Conservatives are finding traction by winning seats on school boards in pockets of California as a part of education-based culture wars.

SBWPC is working hard to combat these ultra-reactionary efforts by providing candidate workshops for those women considering a run for boards and commissions. We need you to get involved by either considering a run for office or by joining one of our many committees. If you are considering running for office, please mark your calendars for October 4 with more details to come on the latest workshop Finally, as we head into 2024, an election year, please look for a new SBWPC logo to be unveiled soon to empower us to better relay our feminist message and achieve our ambitious goals.