February 2024

Happy New Year! We’re two months into 2024 now and this year promises to be the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to impact the elections that are up for grabs, with our feminist agenda in mind. See the list of California seats that are being contested in the RESOURCES section. Please consider how much or how little you want to be involved in local, statewide, and national campaigns.

Given the degree of cynicism that research reveals, the SBWPC sees the need to bring in young women and have them realize that their vote can make a difference. Research tells us that younger voters will play an important part in determining who is elected. And they need to understand the power of elected officials to determine the status of children, families, and women. The policies, regulations, and laws that are passed will affect their lives, as many realized when the Dobbs decision was rendered.

Young women need to learn more about the political process and realize that there ARE opportunities for each person to be appointed to commissions and boards, work on a favorite candidate’s campaign, or prepare to run for elected office. They must feel empowered rather than cynical about politics and understand how they can participate.

On a personal note, mentoring has been so important to me growing up in Santa Barbara. From discussions with the SBWPC board members and committee chairpersons, I’ve learned that they each want to become positive role models for younger women. Keep in mind the opportunity to invite a young friend, family member, or colleague to attend future SBWPC events.

Our Fund for a Feminist Future provides an opportunity to engage high school and college students and allow them to attend our educational programs and meet dynamic role models. Stay tuned for more announcements about the outreach efforts and programs being planned to reach out to young women more proactively, whether in high school, college, or the workforce.

We have a dynamic board pledged to work hard to achieve our vision and mission. New members elected to the SBWPC Board are Angie Swanson-Kyriaco and Diana Villanueva. Renewing board members are ej Borah and Lisa Guravitz.

Vice President Kamala Harris said that “When you lift up women, you lift up families, you lift up communities, you lift up economies – and you lift up America.”

I welcome your ideas for how the SBWPC can make a difference in 2024. Paula