Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pre-Calendar Event Reception: September 2011

See all photos (click here)!

(Pictured above) Our 2012 Remarkable Women Calendar Honoree's gather at
Robyn Ritter Simon's home on September 22, 2011 for a reception. 

JOIN US on Thursday, October 20, 2011 to celebrate these women and the unveiling of our 2012 calendar.  Purchase tickets to event at:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Campaign Alert: Look who's running- why not you?

The 2012 Project: Educate. Inspire. Connect.

Look who's running for office2012 drive

The 2012 Project identifies, inspires and connects women so they can be successful candidates for state legislatures and Congress in 2012. As a non-partisan organization, we don't endorse individual candidates, but here are profiles of a few of the extraordinary women who are finding their way to public service and elected office with our help -- and yours.

  1. Running for an open seat in her state's House of Representatives: CEO of a healthcare technology company with extensive experience in policymaking. A published author, expert on corporate wellness programs and supporter of women's leadership, she had never seriously considered running for office - until she attended a 2012 Project presentation this summer.     
  2. From the South and running for Congress: First female president and CEO of a large nonprofit focused on improving economic opportunities and eliminating poverty. An award-winning, Top 40 under 40 business leader with strong ties to her education and business communities and an avid social media guru, she found The 2012 Project via Twitter!     
  3. From the West and running for State Assembly: An optometrist and longtime community leader on women's rights, racial equality and healthcare, she attended a 2012 Project presentation. This multi-lingual, grassroots volunteer is invited frequently to appear on regional TV news programs to discuss health and environmental issues.    
  4. Former state legislator running for Congress: A rock star fundraiser and leader in business, this Northwesterner worked in high tech and heard about us via word of mouth. She has more than 20 years of community leadership in economic development, helping families to be self-sufficient, training women to succeed and increasing opportunities for youth in poverty.      
  5. Running for an open seat in her state's House of Representatives: Executive director of an environmental nonprofit, with a passion for grassroots organizing and mobilizing her community to create positive change. This Midwesterner also leads a statewide coalition to promote sustainability as a successful business practice. She heard about us via our partner Rachel's Network.  
Why not you? Why not now? Head to and click on "Thinking of running for office?"  

Support The 2012 Project!  
Give now!   
All gifts made to The 2012 Project are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. The 2012 Project is a nonpartisan, national campaign of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, a 501(c)(3) organization.
Visit them on the web:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NWPC CA Endorses Betsy Butler for Assembly District 50

September 20, 2011
Contact: Lindsay Bubar 
Phone: 818-516-4697

The National Women's Political Caucus of California Supports Assemblymember Betsy Butler 
for re-election to Assembly District 50

The National Women's Political Caucus of California (NWPC) has announced its endorsement of Assemblymember Betsy Butler, who is running for re-election in California State Assembly District 50.

"We are proud to support Assemblymember Betsy Butler," said Teray Stephens, President of NWPC California.  "Not only has Betsy been a long-time active member and leader of NWPC, but she embodies the goals of our organization."

Stephens continued, "Betsy has advocated for women her entire career, encouraged women to become involved in the political process and helped them succeed. Now, as an elected woman herself, she is fighting for equality, reproductive freedom and an end to violence and discrimination against women.  Betsy is one of us."

Demonstrating her commitment to these values, Assemblymember Butler authored legislation to ban the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups which has been approved by both houses of the Legislature and was recently sent to the Governor for signature.

"We commend Assemblymember Butler for her work to protect infants and children and her continuing fight for stronger consumer protection laws," said Stephens.  "In the Assembly, Betsy has fought for legislation to expand health care coverage for women, promote mammography screening information and ensure that law enforcement agencies who collect rape kit evidence share that information with the Department of Justice."

Assemblymember Butler is a former President of the NWPC-LA Westside Chapter. During her tenure, she helped grow her chapter's membership to one of the largest in the state and worked with chapters throughout California to support candidate and campaign training programs targeted toward women seeking to become more involved in the political process.

"I am honored to have the support of NWPC," said Assemblymember Butler.  "Not only am I a long time member of the organization, I am extremely proud of the work NWPC does to involve women in the political process, support women candidates and promote policies for equality, reproductive freedom and the eradication of violence and discrimination in our society."

Assemblymember Butler has served as a mentor to women seeking election to political offices at all levels of government.  She has raised tens of thousands of dollars for NWPC and women candidates and has promoted career options for women in the political, non-profit and public service sectors.

"Betsy Butler is a dedicated advocate who is committed to do the work to help elect and promote women, in politics and in life.  She is a leader and a fighter for public policies that help women, families and all Californians," concluded Stephens.


NWPC CA is a multi-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to increasing women's participation in the political process and creating a political power base designed to achieve equality for all women. NWPC CA identifies, recruits, trains and supports feminist women for elected and appointed office. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Women encouraged to run for public office

By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
September 18, 2011

As the number of elected females falls, a boot camp in West Hollywood provides information and moral support for would-be candidates.

At 8:30 a.m. Saturday, in an event hall filled with women, one stranger turned to another and asked: "What made you get out of bed to be here?"

 Vallerie Wagner took a deep breath.

"Well," she said. "I've often toyed around with the idea of running for office."

Many of the women around her had done the same.

The purpose of Saturday's seminar was to persuade them to take the next step.

For years, women's groups have hosted boot camps across the country to instruct women in the art of campaigning and the realities of public office. Such efforts have increased in Los Angeles recently, partly because of the dearth of elected female officials in city government.

 One woman sits on the 15-member Los Angeles City Council, a statistic that one of Saturday's speakers, Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey), called "so depressing."

The picture at the national level is also distressing, she and others say. This year, the number of women sworn in to Congress fell slightly for the first time in 30 years. And the number of female lawmakers in state capitals nationwide decreased by the largest percentage in decades.

"We are not making the gains we should be making,"

Serena Josel, center, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood LA, and Rachel Michelin, right, of California Women Lead, listen to Lindsay Bubar, president, NWPC-Westside, speak at a seminar for women considering running for office. (Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times / September 18, 2011
 West Hollywood City Councilwoman Abbe Land told the audience, gathered at an event center in Plummer Park. The city of West Hollywood co-sponsored Saturday's event, along with several women's political groups and the California Commission on the Status of Women. Outside, children ran through the park and elderly Russian immigrants played cards. Inside, the tone was serious.

"You're not going to change the number of women elected to office until you change the number of people who run," said Rachel Michelin of California Women Lead.

Speakers offered practical tips on how to organize campaign volunteers and ways to spend donations effectively. (One hint: Don't waste campaign funds on business cards; instead, hand out envelopes printed with your name and information to make it easy for people to contribute.)

 They also stressed the importance of getting women appointed to government commissions and state and local redistricting committees, helping to ensure that there are women well positioned to run for office in the future.

Event speakers included Jan Perry, the lone woman on the Los Angeles City Council, and City Controller Wendy Greuel. Both are seriously considering runs for mayor in 2013.

And both said that while campaigning for office, they faced naysayers who told them they would never win.

 But women are resilient, Greuel said: "We give birth." 

In the end, Wagner said she was "inching a little closer" to a run for office, perhaps the Westside seat currently held by L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

A longtime community activist who works at AIDS Project Los Angeles, Wagner said she planned to accept the offer from one of the day's speakers of a free political consultation and had taken notes on building an effective social media profile. 

But she said that before she makes any announcement, "I've got a lot of homework to do."

View Piece on

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Board Member Spotlight: Karriann Farrell Hinds

Karriann Farrell Hinds is an attorney and social justice advocate.  A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (B.A., English), Karriann worked on Capital Hill as a legislative assistant for the American Civil Liberties Union before pursuing her juris doctorate at Loyola Law School. She spent several years practicing in general business litigation, family law and public interest agencies before making the switch to political and policy related work. Karriann serves on several boards committed to increasing equality, including the ACLU of Southern California affiliate (rooting out injustice across the land), the NWPC LA Westside chapter (pursuing gender equality in politics), as the Vice President of Political Action for NWPC California, the Women’s Political Committee and Close the Gap California. Additionally, Karriann is a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission for Women and a gubernatorial appointee to the California Board of Accountancy.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Did You Just Call Me?!?

By Karriann Farrell Hinds, NWPC LA Westside Board Member

A couple of years ago, I attended a fundraiser and, at the registration table, I filled out the requisite form to accompany my contribution.  It requested common information, name, address, etc., but at the bottom it contained this statement,
“To comply with California law, contributors are required to provide their employment information. If you are retired, please enter N/A under Employer and Retired under Occupation; if a homemaker, please enter N/A - Homemaker; if self-employed, please enter "Self-Employed" under Employer and describe your line of work under Occupation.”
I paused for a moment to consider the request. How should I label myself for the elections commission?  What was a seemingly innocuous request for information to aid the elections commission in tracking illicit contributions became an interesting conversation about labels and, eventually, empowerment.

At the time of the event, I was considering how to present myself in the professional world.  Several years before, I decided to stop earning a paycheck after I gave birth to my second child.  Since then, I had taken to presenting myself as a “stay-at-home-mom” when asked my occupation, which never really sat well with me.  My son was in elementary school, my daughter attended preschool full-time, and I was rarely at home, so I was neither staying in any one place nor was I “mom-ming” my children full-time.  The moniker failed to capture all the aspects of my life – the volunteer work that I did with a civil liberties organization, the time that I spent managing our household and its finances, my responsibilities as the spouse of a partner in a law firm, my position on the school’s parent organization board, and on and on and on.  Also, the label “stay-at-home-mom” is incredibly contentious in both professional and non-professional circles.  Everyone has an opinion about what it means to be a mother and every time I referred to myself as a “stay-at-home-mom” it seemed to invoke judgment from women and men, stay at home and working alike, about mothering, parenting, working, status, privilege, race and all sorts of other uncomfortable, messy social issues that cannot be reconciled in a 10 minute conversation over a glass of wine at a cocktail party.

Now, on the contribution form, “stay-at-home mom” was not even an option, which raised socio-political issues in and of itself.  I had to move on to considering the other options available.  I could just as easily have listed my occupation as “attorney” and my employer as “unemployed,” but that did not feel very good either, or accurate for that matter.  To me, unemployed suggested that I did not have a job, but would accept one if presented with an opportunity and that was not my circumstance.  More accurately, I was not earning a paycheck, by choice, which is a much harder state of being to explain than it sounds.  I began to think that “umeployed,” also not really an option, but a possibility, did not fit well, either.

In actuality, my best bet on the form was “homemaker,” but there was no explanation of the term “homemaker.”  According to the preeminent arbiter of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, a homemaker is defined as, “a person, especially a woman, who manages a household.”  I am a woman and I manage a household.  Done, end of story, right?  Not so fast.  The term homemaker, just like stay at home mom, is fraught with it’s own socio-political baggage.  On television, homemakers were presented as women like June Cleaver characters, who did not work outside the home and cooked, baked and cleaned all day (in pearls), to serve a hot meal to their children afterschool and a martini to their husbands when they returned home from a hard day at work.  In reality, my own mom presented a more representative picture of a homemaker – a woman who focused her efforts on raising children and taking care of the house to the exclusion of pursuing her own personal growth and ambitions.  While today we have the luxury of discussing and dissecting why women like my mother chose, or were forced to choose, between self and family, rather than being encouraged and supported in finding a way to pursue both, the reality is that, traditionally, homemakers did not focus their attentions outside their home.  That label did not seem to fit either because, while I did manage my household, again, it was not large enough to describe me.

The contribution form had all the makings of a mid-life identity crisis – who am I?  What am I?  What is my place in the world?  Fortunately, I avoided the potential crisis presented by the form because I had resolved these issues many years before.  As a woman of color, I have spent a significant amount of my life reconciling labels.  In college, I navigated the experience of exploring my cultural identity at a time when African Americans struggled with the appropriateness of racial monikers (Which one:  Black American?  American of African Descent?  Negro?  Black?).   My personal aspirations (a lawyer) forced me to struggle with many other aspects of my developing professional identity, including the political (Liberal?  Democrat?  Progressive?  Radical?), gender (Feminist?  Womanist?), and professional realms (Civil rights activist?  Environmentalist?  Social Justice activist?), among others.  Just when I would figure out what to call myself, I would have some experience that would show how the label just did not work.

The process was incredibly frustrating, but extremely important because eventually I learned to stop stressing over the labels and to focus on defining myself through my works.  Over time, I have become less affected by what I am called and more focused on fulfilling my goals to effectuate change in the world, a habit gained through a combination of maturity and experience.  I try to seek out opportunities to align myself with others with whom I share intrinsic values, i.e., a commitment to justice, humanity, fairness, support, and honor, rather than just people that fit into my categorical labels.  An added benefit of this process of self-empowerment is that I have found myself developing experientially rich relationships with people who on the outside may not appear to share anything in common with me, but in fact share community with me and one another by choice, rather than due to outside influences.  The resulting bonds are fiercely strong and incredibly effective at accomplishing goals.  They make me richer and help define me in ways that mere labels and categories could never achieve.

I cannot remember what I put on the form that day and I switch up depending on my mood.  What I most take away from these experiences is a confidence in being able to define who I am and what I stand for as opposed for succumbing to pressures to be a certain thing.  When people ask me what I do, often I decide what to call myself depending upon the environment and the cues I receive talking with others.  Not everyone needs to know that I am an attorney, just as not everyone deserves to know just how wonderful my kids are.  And sometimes, just for fun, I try on the least descriptive label available just to see what kind of reception I get from the other person.  I do not feel pressure to be something that I am not, even during those times when I don’t know exactly what to label myself.  Ultimately, I know who I am, even when I don’t know exactly where I am going, and I am comfortable with owning that label.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Press Release RE Sept. 17


City of West Hollywood to Co-Host “It Is YOUR Time: Women Taking Action” on
Saturday, September 17, 2011 at Plummer Park 

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood, California Women Lead, California Commission on the Status of Women and NWPC LA-Westside to co-host “It Is YOUR Time: Women Taking Action” on Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Fiesta Hall at Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.
“We are pleased to co-host a program of powerful women leaders who will inspire and motivate women to seek public office and serve their communities,” said West Hollywood Councilmember Abbe Land.  “It is incumbent upon both female and male elected officials who believe in equal rights to actively support the development of future women leaders,” continued Councilmember Land.
The one-day workshop will include panels that will help provide participants with the tools they need to run for office. Panel discussions will include:

Breakfast Discussion: Do women really matter in elected office? Wendy Greuel and Jan Perry, both candidates for Mayor of the City of Los Angeles will discuss this question. Moderated by West Hollywood City Councilwoman Abbe Land. 

Session 1: You already have what it takes to run for elected office – and this session show you how! Walk through a personal assessment of the skills you already have with Teri Burns, Vice President of California Women Lead and Trustee at the Natomas School District and Rachel Michelin, Executive Director/CEO of California Women Lead.  

Luncheon Panel: A discussion on the future of Los Angeles under redistricted seats and how it affects women. Where are the opportunities, what will be the challenges? How can women get involved? Join a lively discussion with Mary Hughes, The 2012 Project; Rachel Michelin, CEO of California Women Lead; Serena Josel, Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood LA; and Lindsay Bubar, President of NWPC LA-Westside.

Session 2: Social Media – Find out how to utilize your established social media outlets to help get elected. Social Media Strategist and Manager Rebecca Simon will provide you with tips on how to use social networking to fundraise, develop coalitions and help put together a successful campaign.

Session 3: Women need to be asked to run for office. Learn about resources available to you from women leaders around the state. Find out why IT IS YOUR TIME TO TAKE ACTION!

Additional guest speakers at “It Is YOUR Time: Women Taking Action” will include Wendy Greuel, Los Angeles City Controller; Holly Mitchell, California District 47 Assemblywoman; Jan Perry, Los Angeles City Councilmember; and Mary Wiberg, California Commission on the Status of Women, Executive Director.

To register, please contact California Women Lead at (916) 551-1920 or visit

Suggested donation for those who register before Thursday, September 15, 2011 is $20. 
Suggested donation at the door is $35. Attendees will be provided a light breakfast and boxed lunch. 

For more information, please contact the Office of 
West Hollywood City Councilmember Abbe Land at (323) 848-6460.

# # # #

Monday, September 5, 2011

"The Lord says be submissive"

By Gina Goodhill, NWPC LA Westside Board Member

Several weeks ago, I hosted the first meeting of a monthly book club.  The meeting was embarrassingly small (four people), but the conversation was lively, as it’s guaranteed to be when the book is The Handmaid’s Tale.  Written in 1985 by Margaret Atwood, the The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel set in the future, in which a totalitarian theocracy has overthrown the United States.  Under this new government women are stripped of their rights and considered subservient to men.  Women are no longer allowed to read or have access to money, and are re-educated to believe that their sole purpose is to have babies and serve their husbands.  Furthermore, women are broken into various “classes”; Offred, the book’s narrator, is in a class of women kept as concubines for reproductive purposes by infertile members of the ruling class.

What’s especially interesting about the story is that all of these extreme changes are supposed to take course over just a few decades.  While Offred tells most of the story from her position as a handmaid, she can remember just 10 years ago when she was married with a child, a job, and a bank account.  In addition, although women are subservient in the new society, it was partially a group of religious women who called for the creation of this societal structure.  Even after the new society is created, it relies on women to train and monitor each other.  Through this power structure, women are taught to hate and fear each other and are prevented from forming any true bonds that could lead to an uprising.

Clearly, the book requires you to suspend your belief, as do many political science fiction books like 1984 or Brave New World.  Yet the level at which you are required to suspend your belief is exactly what caused the lively and somewhat combative discussion at our book club meeting.  Specifically the group was broken into two camps: this is ridiculous because it could never happen; verses, this is horrible yet not completely inconceivable. Group one argued that something like this could never happen so quickly.  People just wouldn’t allow it.  Sure, we still have religious fundamentalists that want to take women out of the workplace and ban contraceptives and abortion, but this is a very small group that would never be in power!

Group two (full disclosure, my group) argued that while this book was clearly a stretch, some of the themes and even specific scenes were eerily similar to modern day.  Abortion clinics being closed throughout the country and doctors who perform abortions being outlawed and killed? Check.  A new class of outspoken, educated women advocating that a women’s place is in the home and their duty is to listen to their husband? Check. A country in which financial instability and radical religious fundamentalists have so scared citizens that they were willing to listen to anyone claiming to have an answer? Not quite yet, but unless the economy gets better, not inconceivable.

In fact what continuously ran through my head while reading this book was a 2006 quotes from Presidential hopeful Michelle Bachman. “The Lord says be submissive.  Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”  It would be difficult for a man running for President to say something like this without intense, well-deserved backlash.  Yet because Ms. Bachman is a woman, it is somehow seen as less offensive, less sexist, and less crazy. As Atwood herself said:
This is a book about what happens when certain casually held attitudes about women are taken to their logical conclusions. 
Do I think Michelle Bachman will be the start of a new society like the one in The Handmaid’s Tale? Not at all.  But I do think it’s a sign that we are in a dangerous time in our history when a legitimate Presidential hopeful can make such a statement. As a feminist, I’m exited to see more women in political office. And as a feminist, I am determined to make sure that those women who do get elected never make women’s rights a secondary issue. 

Join NWPC to make sure we have a strong voice in politics!

Friday, September 2, 2011

NWPC & She Should Run

As President of The National Women's Political Caucus (LA Westside), I am happy to announce a new strategic partnership that will significantly enhance our ability to increase representation of women in public service in California. Through a partnership with She Should Run, our prospective candidates, friends and supporters will be able to access critical resources and a network that supports women in their political endeavors. She Should Run is a national organization whose mission to increase representation of women in elected office closely matches ours, and we are proud to partner with them on this program.

In addition to the programs and support available through NWPC, you are now able to become a member of the She Should Run program. She Should Run asks women to think of running for office someday, and as of right now I am asking you to consider a run. The more women who run for office, the stronger our country will be.

As a member of She Should Run you will receive the following benefits:

•    A monthly e-newsletter with tips for running, spotlights on training opportunities, and interviews with She Should Run members at different stages of their political careers
•    Access to the She Should Run Online Resource Center at
•    Information on organizations that provide candidate resources
...and more.

I hope you will take advantage of this program and seriously consider a run for office someday. Click here to complete your She Should Run profile and receive access to the She Should Run Companion Notebook, an original publication with everything you need to know to get started.

Complete your She Should Run ProfileAsk a woman to consider running for office

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Julie Daniels, Political Programs Manager, at

All the best,
Lindsay Bubar
National Women’s Political Caucus (LA Westside) President

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 17 - Exciting Event!

It Is YOUR Time: Women Taking Action
Hosted by California Women Lead (with NWPC LA-Westside)
Saturday, September 17, 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Fiesta Hall at Plummer Park: 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
Breakfast Discussion: Do women really matter in elected office? We'll tell you the importance of why we need women! Join Wendy Greuel and Jan Perry, both candidates for Mayor of LA in a discussion moderated by West Hollywood City Councilwoman Abbe Land.

Session 1: We know that you already have what it takes to run for elected office - we will show you how! Walk through a personal assessment of the skills you already have with CA Women Lead State Board of Director Vice President Teri Burns and CA Women Lead CEO Rachel Michelin.

Luncheon Panel: A discussion on the future of Los Angeles under redistricted seats and how it affects women. Where are the opportunities, what will be the challenges? How can women get involved? Join a lively discussion with Mary Hughes, The 2012 Project (invited); Rachel Michelin, CA Women Lead CEO; Serena Josel, Planned Parenthood LA Director of Public Affairs; Lindsay Bubar, NWPC-Westside President, and Moderator Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell (invited).

Session 2: Social Media - how you can utilize your established social media outlets to help get elected. Social Media Stragestist & Manager Rebecca Simon will provide you with tips on how to use social networking to fundraise, develop coalitions and help put together a successful campaign.

Session 3: Women need to be asked to run for office. Because we know that, we are asking you to take the leap to run! Learn about resources available to you from women leaders around the state. Find out why IT IS YOUR TIME TO TAKE ACTION!

Don't miss out – register early!! Event includes light breakfast and boxed lunch -- $20 if you reserve your spot before September 15 and $35 if you reserve at the door. REGISTER

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