"Run, but be prepared first...don't drop out, you can take defeat after defeat... but keep going." - Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator (D-CA)
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is one of history's most iconic women in politics. Born in San Francisco, Feinstein graduated from Stanford University in 1955 with a B.A. in history. In 1970 she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She served as the board's first female president in 1978, during which time the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk drew national attention. She only recently opened up about how those assassinations changed her life and propelled her views on gun control as one of California's first female Senators.
Feinstein was the author of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban which expired in 2004. In 2013 she introduced a new assault weapons bill, which failed to pass. Feinstein is the first and only woman to have chaired the Senate Rules Committee (2007–2009) and the Select Committee on Intelligence from 2009 to 2015, when the Democrats lost control of the Senate. NWPC California is proud to have Senator Feinstein as a member, mentor, and endorsed candidate. We know that she is determined to finish her legacy by making the world a better place. She has never displayed the obsequious arrogance most politicians have. Thank you for your service and the herstory you continue to make.
A Message from the President
Happy March! It’s Women’s History Month and time to really buckle down and make sure we elect more women this year. This is a preview of what is included below.
California will have many women on the ballot for statewide office, Congress, the Legislature, and local government. Many women have already been endorsed by NWPC-CA, starting with our candidate for Governor, Delaine Eastin. We anticipate many more endorsements at the state and local level. As we’ve seen over recent years, the more women run, the more women win! We can make history in California this year if we work hard enough.
There are countervailing forces. While some women did well at the California Democratic Convention last weekend, the “good old boys” syndrome kept some great women from gaining endorsements, or men getting endorsements in races with multiple women candidates. It won’t be another “year of the woman” until we win enough races to actually move the needle more visibly toward parity, and then build on those gains in the future. Women lost ground in the state legislature over the past 10 years—we need to get back to where we were—over 30%--and then build on that toward real equality.
Many NWPC members work hard for our endorsed candidates and deserve kudos. But our aim has to be to get more members directly involved in campaign. All of us have to stretch ourselves as much as possible. Women’s rights are being pushed back at the federal level, and California is the strongest state fighting the profoundly anti-woman Trump administration. The more women in office we have, from U.S. Senate (NWPC has endorsed Senator Dianne Feinstein) to the most obscure local office, the stronger we’ll be in creating true equality and a political system that works for everybody. I look forward to NWPC-CA having a real role in getting us closer this year.
Highlights of the California Democratic Party Convention
San Diego, weekend of Feb. 23-25
Everybody should go to a major political convention at least once—it’s a raucous, chaotic, overblown, frantic, yet joyous celebration of the democratic process (small “d”). Interest –group caucuses, late-night parties, backroom intrigue, general sessions where speakers are ignored as often as not, and a general overall sense that something important is happening, even amidst the chaos, make it an experience well worth having—at least once in your life. And the Dems (“I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat” said Will Rogers)—are usually more fun than anybody else.
The effort to help Delaine in the endorsement contest with “the boys” was really successful—she greatly exceeded expectations coming in a strong third, with 20% of the vote, and she helped deny an endorsement to any other candidate. It proves that when Delaine gets heard, she gets votes! Watch her speech here.
We were delighted by how many women candidates showed up and campaigned actively. Kudos to our endorsed candidates Betty Yee and Fiona Ma for their CDP endorsements, and to endorsed Lt. Gov. candidate Eleni Kounalakis for coming in 2nd – by only one point! – to Ed Hernandez. And to many others who created a strong feminist presence at the convention.
It was disappointing that Senator Dianne Feinstein, endorsed by NWPC, did not win the party endorsement. It must be a wake-up call that her re-election is not a given, and we need to step up for her. And just for the record, DiFi is NOT “soft” on Trump!
We were incensed by the misogyny evident in the crowds who heckled Dianne and Delaine, but none of the male candidates, when their speech time ran out. Almost every speaker spoke too long (they’re politicians, for heaven’s sake!), but calls of “time’s up!” were aimed only at the two women.
All in all, we have a lot of work to do if we want to ensure gender parity among all institutions, including the democratic party. Many of our members are Democrats. But that doesn't give the Party a free pass when they ignore qualified women candidates that have just as good as a chance - if not more - as their male counterparts to win in a heated race against Donald Trump apologists.
In February, the NWPC California Political Action Committee met and conferred over endorsements in several races. We are pleased to announce that after ratification of the NWPC California Board, we have endorsed the following candidates:
* Assembly District 45 Special Election (West San Fernando Valley) — Endorsement of Tricia Kasson Robbins
We hope you'll join us in support of their campaigns!
Women are the Answer
Will you help us get Delaine Eastin through the primary? To build on the momentum of her good showing at the Democratic Convention, NWPC’s endorsed candidate for Governor of California, Delaine Eastin, will hold a “Day of Action” on Saturday, March 10—the middle of Women’s History Month. If you’ve already signed up as a volunteer or contributor on Delaine’s website (www.delaineforgovernor.com), you should be getting information on the plans to canvass and call voters. If you haven’t signed up, please go to the website and do so—you can’t have a successful grassroots campaign without the grassroots workers!
Also, Delaine continues to be doing more with less—but she urgently needs your financial help to keep this campaign momentum building. Please go to her website and donate online or get instructions for sending a check. If you can do a monthly contribution, that’s even better. The next reporting deadline is March 31st—please help her look strong by making a contribution before that date!
And for the record, ALL of the NWPC endorsed candidates—statewide, Congressional, and legislative—need our help and our dollars. Check out the report on endorsed candidates in this newsletter, and find links to their websites on our NWPC website at http://nwpcca.org/candidates-2/2017-2018-endorsed-candidates/.
Mark Your Calendars!
Join NWPC California chapters as we celebrate Women's History Month
NWPC Fresno: Regular monthly dinner meeting Tuesday, March, 5th at 5:30 PM BWOPA state president Dezi Woods-Jones is the guest speaker
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