President’s Desk – Catherine Swysen

December 29, 2018

Thirty Years, The Mid-Term Election and Beyond

Dear Members: 2018 was a landmark year for SBWPC as we celebrated “30 Years of Feminism: From Marching in the Street to a Seat at the Table.”  Thirty years ago, our founding members organized to bring feminist consciousness into the political discourse. They understood that feminist, progressive women needed to take a seat at the table, or as Sheila Kuehl would say, a place in the room, to shape policies and enact legislation consistent with our values. SBWPC changed the political landscape in Santa Barbara. In 1988, for the first time ever, two women, Gloria Ochoa and Diane Owens, were elected to the Board of Supervisors. Ten years later, Barney Brantingham proclaimed in his November 7, 1998 Santa Barbara News Press column […]
January 19, 2018

Year Two of the Resistance: Let’s Keep our Eyes on the Prize – A Seat at the Table

Last year was a year of profound disappointment but also of tremendous activism. Together, we rose, we resisted and we persisted! The Board and the various committees worked hard to protect and promote our feminist values. Our engagement took several forms. We marched, we protested and made our voices heard loud and clear in the streets. The Women’s March on January 20, 2017, energized us all. From there, SBWPC organized the ERA March for Equality. It was a great success and received a lot of press coverage including a mention in the Ms. Magazine Blog! We joined our sister organizations in rallies, marches and protests including the People’s Climate March, March for Science, International Women’s Day Celebration and the rally […]
April 10, 2017

Let’s Be Bold for Change

On January 21, we started the year by participating in the historic Women’s March in Los Angeles, 600 strong, marching in unity and solidarity with hundreds of thousands of women and men of all ages and background.   Many of you who could not join us marched here in Santa Barbara.  Our voices joined the voices of thousands of women across America, Europe, Australia, and Africa.    We stood tall to show that we will not tolerate the regressive politics of fear and hatred.   So began the Activist Year. It is easy to be distracted by the non-sense happening in Washington but we must not lose our focus on the issues that matter.  It is more important than ever to commit to […]
November 16, 2016

A Call to Action

Like you, I was hoping to wake up on November 9 with the first woman President -Elect ever.  It was not to be.   Instead, the unimaginable happened:  our nation elected someone whose vision of America runs counter to ours in every respect.   The presidential campaign has also exposed that racism, sexism, and misogyny are still alive and well in America. But this does not represent who we are and must not overshadow our enormous accomplishments.    Almost all the candidates we endorsed in the November 2016 election have been elected.  These are women and men who support our feminist values and will stand up for them in Congress, the State Capitol, the Board of Supervisors, the City Councils, and the District […]