Stay tuned for more details. Check our calendar too.
New Members Welcomed
We hosted a New Members Welcome party at Gotts in the Bon Air shopping center on May 18. Strictly casual, everyone helped themselves to tasty snacks and mingled — the oldsters with the newbies.
Annual Elected Women’s Luncheon – a Big Success
Good vibes, dynamic speakers, great food, and fun — our annual luncheon honoring elected women public officials and female student leaders was held on Friday, March 24 marking Women’s History Month. Some 100 people filled the banquet room chatting and catching up before the program began. Office holders including Assemblyman Damon Connolly and the students were introduced before our first speaker, Dr. Nicole Pitchford, president of Dominican University, spoke on the importance of equality and opportunity. She was followed by Shannon Hovis, director of NARAL Pro Choice–California, who emphasized the dire need for people to have access to the full range of reproductive health options. We also honored Dora Knell, who passed away recently. She was a longtime supporter of women’s issues and active in MWPAC. We contributed the planting of several trees in a National forest in her honor, and presented her son Greg Knell and granddaughter Jahmila Knell with a certificate from The Gifted Tree.
Who knew that when we picked the date Nov. 17 for our Election Wrap-up dinner at San Rafael Joe’s that not all the results would be final! It turns out that with mail-in ballots, some people (tsk-tsk) waited until the last minute to turn in their ballots, swamping Marin’s Registrar’s office, and resulting in a delay as the ballots were carefully examined to make sure every ballot was legitimate.
However, we persevered with a rousing evening of good food, wine, wit and analysis of the local and national races and the state propositions. Richard Rubin, political analyst and frequent contributor to the Marin IJ, spoke on the national scene; Greg Brockbank, attorney, former San Rafael City Council member and actor, spoke on the local races, and Carole Mills, former aide to State Senator Mike McGuire, spoke on the propositions.
Most candidates Endorsed (or Recommended, if male) by MWPAC at its Endorsement Meetings were elected or re-elected to public offices. See below:
City and Town Councils
Rachel Farac, Novato, Dist. 2
Eli Beckman (Recommended) and Pat Ravasio, Corte Madera
Kevin Carroll (Recommended) and Catherine Way, Larkspur
Steve Burdo (Recommended) and Tarrell Kullaway, San Anselmo
Eli Hill (Recommended), San Rafael, Dist. 2
Maribeth Bushey, San Rafael Dist. 3
Joan Cox and Jill Hoffman, Sausalito
Lisel Blash, Fairfax
Natalie Katz, Sharon Nakatani and Yunhee Yoo, Mill Valley
Abbey Picus, Novato
Chris Landles-Cobb, Ross Valley
Lucia Martel Dow, San Rafael, Dist. 2
Carolina Martin, San Rafael, Dist. 4
Afsaneh Zolfaghari, Shelby Pasarell Tsai, and Sherry Wangenheim, Reed Union
Emily Uhlhorn, Tamalpais Union High School
Marin Water Municipal
Matthew Samson, Div. 1
So. Marin Fire Protection Dist.
Christine Soto DeBerry
Videos From Endorsement Nights
On Sept. 21 Members of the Marin Women’s Political Action Committee voted to endorse and recommend the following political candidates at an Endorsement Meeting.
Mill Valley: Natalie Katz, Sharon Nakatani, Yunhee Yoo
Novato: Abbey Picus
Ross Valley: Chris Landles-Cobb
San Rafael: Lucia Martel Dow (Dist. 2) and Carolina Martin (Dist. 4)
Reed: Afsaneh Zolfaghari, Shelby Pasarell Tsai, and Sherry Wagenheim
Tamalpais Union High School: Emily Uhlhorn
So. Marin Fire Protection District
Christine Soto DeBerry and Sandra Bushmaker
Marin Water Municipal District
Matthew Samson (Div. 1)
Larry Bragman (Div. 3)
We endorse qualified women and recommend men in races where they are not running directly against a qualified woman. To be endorsed or recommended candidates must receive over half the votes in their race. To participate in our Endorsement Night, candidates must fill out a four-page questionnaire indicating they support our bottom line issues
Members of the Marin Women’s Political Action Committee voted Sept. 14 on who they wanted to endorse for City Council races. The list of endorsed candidates includes:
Rachel Farac–Novato City Council District 2
Nicole Gardner–Novato City Council District 4
Pat Ravasio–Corte Madera City Council
Catherine Way–Larkspur City Council
Tarrell Kullaway–San Anselmo City Council
Maribeth Bushey–San Rafael City Council District 3
Joan Cox and Jill Hoffman–Sausalito City Council
Lisell Blash and Cindy Swift–Fairfax Town Council
Male candidates who were recommended by the members include:
Eli Beckman–Corte Madera City Council
Kevin Carroll–Larkspur City Council
Steve Burdo–San Anselmo City Council
Eli Hill–San Rafael City Council District 2
MWPAC celebrates its 12th birthday
The weather cooperated, offering a warm, sunny and pleasant early evening atmosphere for MWPAC’s annual birthday celebration, held this year at the Falkirk Cultural Center, out on its roomy and gracious deck overlooking a woodsy yard. There were competing political events so some attendees came when they could and then left, leaving those who knew where the food and interesting company would be found. There were new faces to our group, young people, even (!), and everyone seemed to be having a grand time seeing familiar and unfamiliar faces at this casual and low-key event.
President Cathryn Hilliard welcomed the group and asked everyone to introduce themselves. Some were candidates in the upcoming election and others were simply interested in chatting with everyone and enjoying the sumptuous buffet put together by hostess with the mostes’ (sorry!) Barbara Matas. Gina Brewer read Lynn Bornstein’s clear account of the history of our group, which started out in 1972 as part of the National Women’s Political Caucus, but morphed into our current group in 2010 after NWPC changed their bylaws to specifically ban men from being part of the endorsement process. (Our group, like NWPC, endorses only women, but we can “recommend” male candidates if they are not running directly against a qualified woman or if there are more open seats than qualified women in a race.) Lynn’s history report can be found on our web site.
MWPAC Reaction to June 24th Supreme Court Decision to overturn Roe v. Wade
Oh no, we’re not going backwards! Our mission includes this statement,. “to strive to win equality for all women: ensure reproductive freedom—–.” Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is clearly contrary to what we stand for and means that young women, from today forward, will have fewer rights than we’ve had since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision we fought so hard to achieve. The Court’s deleterious action failed to follow it’s own precedent and has created the deprivation of access to health care that will affect the health of not only women, but of the nation.
MWPAC says “this is unacceptable! We need to answer back, here in Marin County and in California by passing legislation and enacting laws that will counteract the Court’s abrogation of justice for women and many other groups that will be affected. Quoting The Collective PAC, “Our only option is to codify abortion rights and to expand the majority.” The National Women’s Law Center writes, “Make no mistake. The coordinated national strategy to eliminate abortion access has already disproportionately harmed Black and brown people, LGBTQ people, young people, lower income people who can face insurmountable barriers to accessing the abortion care they need.”
What Can MWPAC do Next?
We can join with other organizations to demonstrate our strength and resistance.
We can support local ordinances, countywide measures and State legislation to ensure women’s health and safety.
We can continue to endorse and support candidates who are aligned with our goals.
Some good news.
The Governor vowed to make California a sanctuary state for women who will be able to make their own choices. At our last MWPAC meeting, we heard from Sara Goodman legislative aide to Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan about AB 1666, supported by Senator Mike McGuire. The bill prevents any lawyer, person or organization from coming into California to sue people seeking medical abortions and also protects medical abortion providers. Today, that bill has passed both houses of the Legislature and is on the Governor’s desk for signing and Chaptering.
Join MWPAC as we push back against all actions that marginalize women. We are strong, resilient, tenacious and bright!
Cathryn Hilliard, president
The board members of the Marin Women’s Political Action Committee
New Member Social
Our New Member Social scheduled for Thursday, June 23 has been postponed to Thursday, Sept. 1. It will still be at the Falkirk Cultural Center starting at 5:30 pm and cost $25. Prospective members are free! We look forward to seeing you at that time. If you sent in money for the event, you may request reimbursement or it will be held until the new event. If you have questions please contact Barbara Matas at Bmatas8139@aol.com.
MWPAC General Meeting and AB1666 and AB1287
Presentation by Sarah Goodman, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s Legislative Assistant on AB 1666 – “Legal Protections for Abortion Care” that will protect patients & Providers in California and AB 1287 eliminating gender-based price differences known as “The Pink Tax” Q&A to follow.
Fun in the Sun at Bon Air
MWPAC had a table at the Kentfield-Greenbrae Historical Society’s Community Heritage and History Day held at Bon Air shopping center on May 7, commemorating the center’s 70th birthday! Along with many other community organizations, we met people who stopped by to say hello and find out a bit about our group. We handed out brochures and Barbara Matas had devised a tricky (not really, but challenging) trivia game and winners got healthy KIND bars, yum! Yes, they were tasty. Adorable children came up to us with a “passport” that we stamped. With enough stamps they got ice cream! The place was very busy, lots of foot traffic and paw traffic. It was warm, and windy, which challenged our stand-ups signs, but we persevered. So, we got the word out about MWPAC and raised our visibility! Fun time!
MWPAC Announces Endorsement for Supervisor District 1
MWPAC held a very successful Endorsement Night Wednesday, April 13. Members voted to endorse Mary Sackett for Supervisor of District 1 and to recommend Eric Lucan for Supervisor of District 5. They also recommended Nick Skewes-Cox for the Ross Town Council. There was no endorsement for the Assembly race as the three candidates present, Sara Aminzadeh, Damon Connelly and Ida Times-Green, were tied in the number of votes they each received. There was no endorsement/recommendation for the candidates John Carroll and Michele Crncich Hodge, running for the office of Marin County Superintendent of Schools.
Current members of the Women’s PAC are eligible to vote for endorsements if they have paid dues 30 days in advance. Endorsed women receive a campaign contribution from the group. Male candidates can receive a recommendation if they are not running against a qualified woman or no qualified woman seeks endorsement. All candidates must fill out a detailed questionnaire and support the group’s bottom-line issues.
Annual Elected Women’s Luncheon Sold Out!
Some 75 elected women and upcoming political candidates attended our annual luncheon marking Women’s History Month, which we were unable to hold for two years. Fifteen young women student leaders from County high schools and colleges were special guests. The luncheon was held at The Club at McInnis Park on Friday, March 25. It was a high energy event because everyone was so happy to see each other in person! Keynote speaker was Cristine Soto DeBerry, former Chief of Staff to S.F. District Attorneys George Gascon and Chesa Boudin. She is currently the Executive Director of Prosecutors Alliance of California, and she gave an inspirational talk about how spending two days in jail for demonstrating back in college gave her the impetus to work for causes she believed in, and become an attorney! Special guest speaker was Supervisor Judy Arnold, who spoke about how she was able to build a fulfilling career in public service. She will be retiring this year. MWPAC President Cathryn Hilliard welcomed everyone and introduced all the current and former office holders and those running for election or re-election.
MWPAC Student Leaders-2022
Solena Oenelas, President, Dominican Political Science Student Association
Christina Pathoumthong, Vice President, Dominican Political Science Student Association
Julia Reinhard, Secretary, Dominican Political Science Student Association
College of Marin
Emma Mitteregger, Vice President, Associated Students of College of Marin
Fernada Davila, Senator of Activities and Services,
Associated Students of College of Marin
Libby Denny, Senator of Activities and Services,
Associated Students of College of Marin
Terra Linda High School
Payton Juarez, ASB President
Jenna Miller, ASB President
Natalie Tar, Outstanding School and Community Service
Faith Coleman, Outstanding School and Community Service
Tamalpais Union High School District
Shyla Lensing, Redwood High School, Jr. Class Vice President, Founder/President Women of Color Club
Ruby Rose Amezcua, Tamalpais High School, President of Students Organized Against Racism
Jasmin Pena, San Andreas High School, Student Trustee, TUHSD Board of Trustees
Iris Canavan, Tamiscal High School, Co-President of Students Taking Action Against Racism
Raphaela Farahani, Tamiscal High School, Co-President of Students Taking action Against Racism
MWPAC General Meeting February 28 2022
MWPAC held its annual holiday party at The Club at McInnis on December 8.
Many candidates preparing for upcoming elections, attended the festivities, knowing they were among friends and also potential endorsers! The food was plentiful and delicious, the wine flowing, and the conversations lively. Outgoing president of our group, Stephanie O’Brien, greeted everyone and introduced the office holders. Then Vicki Nichols, head of our Nominating Committee, conducted a vote on officers for next year. No one jumped up to throw their hat in the ring, so the voting among MWPAC members was quickly accomplished. No ballots required. Elected President is Cathryn Hilliard; Vice President Stephanie O’Brien; Treasurer Tammi Hull; and Secretary Vicki Nichols, graciously taking on the job since no one else stepped forward. A good time was had by all, and we’re looking forward to a robust 2022, fingers crossed.