January 2023

Following a tumultuous year that saw the dismantling of women’s reproductive rights in June with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the midterm elections brought a renewed sense of hope as to what the American people, particularly American women, value and are committed to holding on to.

Not only did the midterm elections fail to produce the “red wave” predicted by many pundits, they saw the rejection of extremist candidates bent on stripping away some of our most fundamental and sacred rights. In response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade in the Dobbs case, our state, along with two others passed amendments to their constitutions, guaranteeing a person’s fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.

We did this because we showed up and we voted. The midterm elections demonstrated just what can happen when women are galvanized to protect these rights we hold dear, rights that are constantly being threatened or stripped away.

In the new year, we should remain vigilant and active in our efforts to protect these values. Our feminist goals for 2023 remain the right to affordable healthcare, reproductive freedom, voting rights, affordable childcare, LGBTQ+ rights, economic justice, workplace equality, and the passage of the ERA. They remain much the same as they have for decades, but let our resolve to keep and increase these rights be strengthened.

I look forward to leading the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee as your President along with a strong feminist group of directors into 2023.

Paula Lopez