Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee
Member Newsletter - February 2020

From the President's Desk

Celebrating Black History Month and Feminist Black Political Leaders
SBWPC Members,

February is Black History Month - an important time to celebrate and educate ourselves on the continuing contributions of Black Americans. I invite you to read the following post from the founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Lonnie Bunch, about the continuing importance of Black History Month. 

 
In his writing, Bunch says “African American history month, with a bit of tweaking, is still a beacon of change and hope that is still surely needed in this world. The chains of slavery are gone—but we are all not yet free. The great diversity within the black community needs the glue of the African American past to remind us of not just how far we have traveled but lo, how far there is to go.”
 
I ask us, in our SBWPC community, to consider how we can continue to educate ourselves about Black and African American history and culture. And how we can act on that better understanding in our own communities. One way we can do this is to know and support feminist Black political leaders - past and present. 
 
In my own dedication to being a feminist advocate, I look to leaders who have been most influential in my worldview and continue to be sources of inspiration. One that I wish to share with you is Fannie Lou Hamer. Hamer was an American voting and women's rights activist, community organizer, and a leader in the civil rights movement. 
 
Fannie Lou Hamer was born the daughter of sharecroppers in Mississippi. She was not wealthy, she did not have access to wealth, she did not have access to power or influence. Nonetheless, she was fiercely determined to fight for voting rights and women’s rights. She brought that fight directly to the most powerful political forces in America. Her powerful testimony at the 1964 Democratic National Convention laid bare the realities and the violence preventing Black citizens from voting. She suffered violence and discrimination for her activism - but she courageously persisted. Fannie’s words echo into today. Her fearlessness and powerful advocacy continue to be an inspiration for many. 
 
Fannie Lou Hamer was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. If you don’t know much about Fannie Lou Hamer or her incredible service in the fight for racial justice, women’s rights and voting rights - below is a video with a more detailed snapshot of her activism.

We have many exciting events coming up - including our Annual Member Meeting on Sunday, February 9. We hope to see many of you at our events and at some of the local community events shared below.

Adelante/Forward,

Luz Reyes-Martin
Annual Member Meeting
Join us on Sunday, February 9!
Presidents' Circle Luncheon
A Conversation with Katie Hill
Friday March 6, 2020
Our SBWPC Endorsed Candidates
Vote March 3 or mail in your ballot today!

Visit their webpages to learn more about them and how you can help. Stay tuned to email and our facebook page for opportunities to join us in supporting them.

Do you know how we conduct endorsements? SBWPC has a rigorous endorsement process that includes a comprehensive questionnaire and an interview with a panel. The panel, Candidate Assessment Team, prepares a report that is presented to the Elections and Appointments Committee and to the full SBWPC Board. A candidate must obtain at least 2/3 vote of the board members present to receive an endorsement - a very high bar.

How do we assess candidates? Candidates are scrutinized based on our SBWPC position papers, their responses to the questionnaire, and responses to the interview questions. Our positions are rooted in our shared beliefs that feminism permeates all aspects of life. Candidates, no matter what seat they are seeking, are asked to support our positions. If you haven't reviewed our positions lately, you can do so on our website at https://sbwpc.org/positions/

We are a dedicated Board of feminist women who take our role in the endorsement process very seriously. We welcome continued input and suggestions. We are grateful to all those members who participated in the endorsement process. We know that the Fall 2020 elections are coming up right after the Primary. Please watch out for opportunities to provide input and participate as we gear up for that election.

Here are some of the reasons for our strong support for these feminist candidates!

Elizabeth Warren - Senator Warren is a formidable and qualified candidate for President. She is a feminist leader and is running a campaign that is rooted in justice, morale courage, and the fundamental belief that Government should work for the people. She is the perfect antidote to Trump's cynical, racist, sexist, chaotic governance. Her optimism and limitless energy are infectious and bring people together. We are proud to be part of Team Warren.

Salud Carbajal (re-endorsement) - Congressman Carbajal continues to represent the Central Coast well as a feminist champion in Washington. He has been a strong supporter of reproductive choice, immigrant rights, and undocumented students. We are proud to send Salud back to Washington!

Elsa Granados - Elsa Granados has been a community advocate for decades. She is an accomplished nonprofit executive and has been on the front lines of advocating for policy as it relates to sexual violence prevention. She will bring her thoughtful, steady leadership to Sacramento on behalf of the people of the 37th Assembly District.

Monique Limón - Assemblymember Limón has been an effective leader in the State Assembly. We are confident that as our State Senator she will continue to be a strong advocate for the Central Coast on a variety of policy issues directly affecting women and families.

Joan Hartmann (re-endorsement) - As a strong environmental champion, Supervisor Hartmann is a steady, determined leader. The third district is diverse, with many different issues facing the Supervisor. Hartmann has been able to meet challenges and develop collaborative solutions. She has been an active supporter of women running for local elected office and a champion for Planned Parenthood and reproductive choice. Supervisor Hartmann is in a strongly contested election. She has the support of her progressive Supervisor colleagues and many leaders in her district - we are proud to lend our support as well!

Das Williams (re-endorsement) - Supervisor Williams has been on the front lines of many of the issues SBWPC supports. In his many years of public service, he has been a proactive leader on issues such as gun violence prevention, homelessness, and education. As a County Supervisor he provided compassionate and effective support for communities affected by the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flow. When addressing policy issues, he takes an intersectional approach that recognizes the social, racial, economic and gender justice issues that are central to effective governance. Supervisor Williams is a feminist leader that has demonstrated his commitment to supporting and mentoring women in the workplace, in community service, and in elected office. We believe he will continue to serve the community and work in partnership with SBWPC.
Community Events of Interest
Black History Month - Community Events
The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
12 PM – 2 PM


It must be acknowledged that the suffrage movement did not include all women, excluding women—and men--of color. Today, the League of Women Voters fights for the opportunity of everyone to make their voices heard and their votes count. The League celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the national League by looking back—and ahead.

The speaker for the Feb. 19 Civic Forum—Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins-- will help lead the way forward. She was the first black President of the League of Women Voters of the United States and the author of a new book, The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters.

Her talk, which will include a multimedia presentation and break-out groups, will be followed by an Equali-Tea in the side Faulkner Gallery.
A Tribute to Toni Morrison
Reflections on a Life
Sunday, February 16
For more information check out the event page here