Who We Are

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, 1988-1989

Barbara Lindemann, 1990

Lois Phillips, 1991

Susan Rose, 1992-1993

Carol Piceno, 1994

Hannah-Beth Jackson, 1995-1996

Margaret Connell, 1997-1998

Helene Schneider, 1999-2000[/one_second][one_second]Alissa Hummer, 2001

Janet Barron, 2002-2003

Sharon Hoshida, 2004-2005

Lisa Guravitz, 2006-2007

Mary O’Gorman, 2008

Beth Schneider, 2009-2011

Jane Gray, 2012-2013

Carol Keator, 2014-2015

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

Dolores Huerta
Labor leader and Civil Rights activist

[/one_second][one_second]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