Archive for the ‘Platform Issues’ Category
We’re especially pleased to announce that SFWPC Secretary Susan McIntyre has just been named to the Mental Health Commission as an appointment by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd. Benj Jurcisin, of the SFWPC Advisory Council, was instrumental in getting this appointment and this is the first official SFWPC commission appointment since we started the program this year.
Looks like SFWPC has a presence in the Democratic Party. SFWPC Advisory Council Member and Former Board Member Debra Walker (you may know her from the DCCC and the DBI Commission) was just elected Northern California Vice Chair of the Women’s Caucus of the Democratic Party. And Stephanie Ong Stillman won a seat on the API Caucus of the California Democratic Party as the new Northern California Outreach Chair.
Tina Lee got accepted and will be enrolling at SUSE (Stanford University School of Education) program for fall 2009. Way to go!
Ellen Hong won her election for student representative at Presidio School of Management. She was the only person with minority ethnic background nominated for this term. Presidio is the one of the few programs in the world, specializing in progressive sustainable management. www.presidiomba.org
Effective July 13, SFWPC Advisory Council Member Melissa Swanson will make the shift from Corporate Communications to Director of Environmental Affairs & Brand Engagement for Gap Inc. We love to see women advancing, congrats Melissa!
The SFWPC Board just met with Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and wow, ladies, he’s good on our issues. From domestic violence to economic independence to affordable housing to public education, he gets it. We look forward to working with him.
Former President and Advisory Council Member Saskia Traill was seen at the SF County Clerk’s office getting deputized to perform a wedding ceremony at the Log Cabin in the Presidio. She’s now Director of Policy at The After-School Corporation in New York City, desperately trying to start up SFWPC-East.
Also spotted: Margaret Brodkin at the National Afterschool Association conference in New Orleans, learning all about extended day learning for her new role as Director of SF’s New Day for Learning initiative, combining the best of after-school programs with school-day programs to ensure girls (and boys) do well in SF public schools.
And, did you all see the Most Connected Women in Washington? SF’s very own Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is of course, a central connector. http://www.wufpac.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/elle_article_september-2008.pdf
WOMEN’S POLICY INSITUTE 2009-2010 PROGRAM Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) is now accepting applications for its seventh class of fellows. The only program of its kind in the nation, the vision for the Institute is to increase the number of community-based women leaders in California who are actively involved in shaping and implementing policies that affect the health and well-being of women and girls. The program provides intensive advocacy and leadership training each year for a diverse group of up to 30 California women who are leading non-profit organizations and seek to act as a bridge between the needs of communities and policymakers. In just its first five years, Institute fellows helped to pass 10 new laws that positively impact the lives of women throughout California. Areas of focus for the 2009-2010 Program are: economic justice, criminal justice, elder women’s issues and a cross-issue focus on environmental and reproductive justice. The Women’s Policy Institute is a program of the Women’s Foundation of California. For more information on the Women’s Policy Institute and to download an application, please click here. The deadline for applications is June 8, 2009.
AND LOOKING FOR A JOB?
Position: Communications Strategist
PR & Company is seeking a dynamic, intelligent and creative communications strategist to join our team.
If you are highly motivated, a gifted writer and strategic thinker, and determined to build a career working with social changemakers, we’d like to hear from you.
Qualifications & Qualities:
* Three to five years of experience in marketing, public relations, traditional media or new media
* Background in advocacy, non-profit PR or politics a plus
* High energy, dynamic, quick-study, motivated by ideas
* Strong attention to detail
* Proven track-record of collaboration with other team members and clients
* Professional demeanor (and sense of humor) with capacity to interact with a wide range of clients and partners in diverse fields
Manage day-to-day client programs with support from senior manager, including:
* Principal liaison, coordinator and manager of integrated programs for select clients (40 percent)
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* Writing (25 percent)
* Strategy and brainstorming (10 percent)
Salary for this full-time position is commensurate with experience.
Please send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please.
Got info for Girl Talk? Send it to: email@example.com
Feminist Daily News Wire
April 29, 2009
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is the final member of President Obama’s Cabinet to be confirmed in a close Senate roll call vote yesterday. The vote was largely along party lines, with Senators Kit Bond (R-MO), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Richard Lugar (R-NH), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Arlen Specter (R-PA) breaking away from the Republican party in support of Sebelius’ confirmation. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) announced yesterday that he is switching to the Democratic party, according to the New York Times.
Last week, Sebelius’ nomination was approved by the Senate Finance Committee in a split 15 to 8 vote. Only two of the ten Republicans on the committee, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), voted in favor of her nomination.
By John Blake
Heather Ferreira works in the slums of Mumbai, India, where she has watched thousands of women live under a “curse.”
The women she meets in the squalid streets where “Slumdog Millionaire” was filmed are often treated with contempt, she says. They’re considered ugly if their skin and hair are too dark. They are deemed “cursed” if they only have daughters. Many would-be mothers even abort their children if they learn they’re female.
Yet lately she says Indian women are getting another message from the emergence of another woman thousands of miles away. This woman has dark skin and hair. She walks next to her husband in public, not behind. And she has two daughters. But no one calls her cursed. They call her Michelle Obama, the first lady.
“She could be a new face for India,” says Ferreira, program officer for an HIV-prevention program run by World Vision, an international humanitarian group. “She shows women that it’s OK to have dark skin and to not have a son. She’s quite real to us.”
Those who focus on Michelle Obama’s impact on America are underestimating her reach. The first lady is inspiring women of color around the globe to look at themselves, and America, in fresh ways.
“She might be the first woman of color that females in male-dominated countries have seen as confident, bright, educated, articulate and persuasive,” says Barbara Perry, author of “Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier.”
A symbol for women around the globe
The notion of a woman being a first in anything is alien in many parts of the world. Millions of women struggle against sexual violence, discrimination and poverty, several women activists say.
But Michelle Obama offers a personal rebuke to that message. Her personal story — born into a blue-collar family; overcoming racism and once even making more money than her husband — makes her a mesmerizing figure to women across the globe, says Susan M. Reverby, a professor of women’s studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
“This is someone who appeals across the usual divides,” Reverby says. “She is a celebrity you can imagine being, not a celebrity you have to watch from afar.”
A hint of Michelle Obama’s global appeal came recently when she spoke at an all-girls school in London, England. The students came from various backgrounds: Muslim, Christian, black and white. Yet they all surged forward, shrieking and even crying, as they hugged the first lady.
Thu Nguyen, a native of Vietnam, wasn’t at the London school, but she experienced a similar sense of elation when Obama became first lady.
In her native country, she says women “are not human beings.” But when Obama became the first lady, Nguyen called her niece and told her that any hard-working woman could become the first.
Vietnamese women can identify with Michelle Obama, Nguyen says.
“We have a yellow color because we’re Asian, so we felt a bond with [Michelle] Obama when she became the first black first lady,” says Nguyen, who works at a nail salon in South Pasadena, California.
Some women’s identification with the first lady, however, goes deeper than skin color.
Sue Mbaya of Nairobi, Kenya, says the first lady inspires African woman to assert themselves in their personal and professional lives.
Many African women are conditioned to be subservient, she says. They’re prevented from rising to management positions in the workplace, and their families often relegate them to taking care of household tasks while sending their brothers off to school.
But Obama is a high achiever who didn’t intimidate her husband, says Mbaya, a native of Zimbabwe who is the advocacy director for World Vision’s Africa’s region.
“I’ve always liked knowing that she was Barack Obama’s supervisor when they first met,” Mbaya says. “He once said that he wouldn’t be where he is without his wife. That really appeals to me.”
Women in the West also find inspiration in Obama.
Christine Louise Hohlbaum, who lives near Munich, Germany, says the first lady impresses German women because she is a powerful public figure who doesn’t seem threatening. German history is marked by charismatic leaders who wielded personal power for malevolent ends, she says.
“She’s the perfect blend of power and civility. That’s important in German culture,” says Hohlbaum, author of “The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World.”
How does Michelle Obama define herself?
While other women have defined Obama’s appeal, the first lady is refining her role.
She has talked publicly about the pressures military families face. She has encouraged healthy eating by planting a White House garden. She’s opened the White House to ordinary people and children. Service to community and family seems to be her theme.
She recently drew the most attention for what she did, not said, during a visit to London. She briefly embraced Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, breaking royal protocol. The Queen, however, according to press accounts, responded warmly to the first lady’s embrace.
Obama has often been compared to another regal woman: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. But Autumn Stephens, author of “Feisty First Ladies,” says that Obama reminds her more of former first lady Hillary Clinton.
“But Hillary really downplayed the mom part whereas Michelle has really played it up,” Stephens says. “She is straddling both worlds.”
In a poll of first ladies, certain women are invariably cited by historians as the most noteworthy: Abigail Adams, Lady Bird Johnson and Eleanor Roosevelt, who is widely considered to be the most influential first lady, Stephens says.
Where would Stephens rank Michelle Obama?
“She’s got the whole package,” Stephens says. “She’s in a class by herself.”
Contact: Brendan Daly/Nadeam Elshami/Drew Hammill, 202-226-7616
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Washington, D.C. — Speaker Pelosi and Congresswomen Jan Schakowsky, Rosa DeLauro, and Gwen Moore held a press stakeout following a Democratic Women’s Working Group Roundtable to discuss the impact on women and children of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Click here for a report on it. Below are the Speaker’s opening remarks:
“Good afternoon. We’re in the midst of a very productive and energizing women’s roundtable on the economic recovery package. It is exciting to hear the enthusiasm that is springing from across the country for the initiatives in here that stimulate the economy, create good-paying jobs, and are good for women and children.
“It is under the leadership of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who is the Democratic Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues. Right now, as we are out here, the meeting is being presided over by Gwen Moore, who is the Vice Chair. If you look at our recovery package — I want you to look at the report that we put out there, for how the recovery package affects women and children. There is health, education, economic security through jobs, higher education for women to be able to get Pell Grants. See this report: ‘Investing in Women and Children: Key Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.’
“At the table, we had representatives for women in fields from construction to academics who teach nursing and who are grateful for what is in the legislation to promote the education of more nurses in our country. It’s about job training, it’s about helping small businesses — including millions of women-owned businesses — it’s about unemployment assistance, education, nutrition assistance and health care.
“A very important architect of this component was the Democratic Congressional Caucus of Women’s Issues, led by Jan Schakowsky and by a Member of our Democratic Leadership, Rosa DeLauro. Some people have said, ‘Well a recovery package usually looks like infrastructure, food stamps, unemployment insurance and an element we have discussed lately — energy.’ And that is the proposal we kept putting forth last year without success. President Bush would just not sign such a bill. When we had the opportunity to do more, I think that we have demonstrated very clearly that initiatives for women and children, again as I said at the start, are job creating, stimulate the economy, and take our country in a new direction.
“Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro has been a relentless advocate for women and children and many provisions that she has fought for for a long time are contained in this legislative.
“I am first going to yield to Congresswoman Schakowsky. I want to thank her for her leadership. It is very exciting — maybe because I just had another granddaughter on Sunday night; she’s not even two days old — and she is already benefiting from the work of these women in that room from the outside and as well as the leadership of women in the Congress of the United States.”
SOURCE: The Women’s Conference
California First Lady Maria Shriver addresses the audience at The Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California last year.
Maria Shriver, who leads the California Women’s Conference—the pre-eminent forum for, by, and about American women—is launching a multifaceted project in partnership with the Center for American Progress and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. TIME magazine will also be involved in research and reporting, as well as co-presenting discussions and roundtables around the country.
The project, A Woman’s Nation, will take a new, empirical look at American women who for the first time in our nation’s history make up fully half of all workers and are becoming the primary breadwinners in more families than ever before.
The project will include the Shriver Report, which will combine the work of economists and academics to address the consequences of women’s more prominent economic status in the institutions that matter most in American life, including government, business, faith, education, and health. The report will also include data from research and on-the-ground reporting around the country, looking especially at the interplay between women and men in our society today.
“We will take a hard look at how women are doing in the United States today and consider the central question of the role government, business, and faith organizations, as well as individual women and men should play in supporting women’s role now in the workforce and the U.S. economy,“ said John Podesta, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress. “We look forward to teaming up with Maria Shriver on this important work.”
The last expansive government project centered on women was conducted under the presidency of John F. Kennedy, who appointed Eleanor Roosevelt in 1961 to chair a commission to report on the status of women. A Woman’s Nation will report its findings to the nation, Congress, and President Obama, who recently signed an executive order to establish a council to coordinate the federal government’s efforts to address the needs of women and girls.
“Examining ways to improve the lives of women in this country is a noble cause, and I congratulate Maria Shriver and CAP on launching this new venture,” said White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. “As a true leader in this area, Maria brings the perspective of a professional journalist, a working mother, and a caretaking daughter. Maria’s contributions to better understanding American women today are invaluable, and we look forward to the results of this work.”
“As a reporter by trade, I look forward to working with CAP and our other partners to take a factual look at the consequences of today’s economic realties,” said Maria Shriver. “The world has changed dramatically since my uncle launched his commission in 1961, and the fact is we need a new portrait of the American woman so we can better understand what she needs to be successful in this complicated world. The truth is, we are now what I like to call, ‘A Woman’s Nation’.”
The report will be co-edited by CAP Senior Economist Heather Boushey, a widely respected expert on women and the economy, and Ann O’Leary, CAP senior fellow and executive director of the Berkeley Center for Health, Economic and Family Security at the University of California Berkeley School of Law.
“Over the past generation, a seismic change has occurred in the family role and work life of American women,” explained Heather Boushey. “Most married-couple families now have two earners, and, compared to a generation ago, many more families today are headed by a single working parent. But our institutions and culture have not fully adapted to this reality. A Woman’s Nation will take a hard look at this.”
A Woman’s Nation will include roundtables, a national poll, and interviews with icons of the women’s movement and other prominent leaders. The preliminary report will be released in the fall, to be followed by a book.
Monday, March 30, 2009
via SF Chronicle Editorials
For too long, sex trafficking in San Francisco had an unwitting ally: the city’s tangled bureaucracy, which failed to crack down on phony massage parlors operating behind neighborhood storefronts.
The confusion could end if a package of reforms gets the attention and political support it needs from the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Carmen Chu and Mayor Gavin Newsom are backing a series of changes to get several agencies working together to shut down prostitution operations masquerading as massage services or health clubs.
At issue are the shady business operators who recruit women, many from Asia, and force them into the sex trade. Of some 150 massage businesses, police estimate 50 are brothels.
The suggested changes won’t shutter all these illicit businesses overnight. There’s more the city could do if it had more money for inspectors beside the single Public Health Department employee now delegated to enforcing regulations.
But in a budget-crunch year, the proposed reforms will have to do. The overall intent is to put police, planning and public health on the same page instead letting each follow a confusing game of buck-passing that now passes for enforcement.
Fines for repeat offenses would rise from $1,000 to $2,500. Businesses and landlords would be mailed notices of infractions such as operating without a permit, employing an unlicensed masseuse, remaining open past a midnight deadline, or allowing scantily clad employees to greet customers.
Until now, one problem area was the Public Health Department hearing process. The department oversees basic health and safety issues, meaning it did little about vice complaints from police who made arrests for solicited sex. Under the new rules, police reports could be used by health officials as grounds to suspend or revoke a massage license.
The planning department would join in by requiring a wide-ranging conditional use hearing and giving neighborhood notice if an existing business such as a nail salon or health club seeks to add massage work. One possible rule: clear-glass store fronts in place of the walled-off facades used to shield the sex trade inside.
The overhaul is restrained in one respect. The changes aren’t intended to crack down on the masseuses themselves. The aim is fixed squarely on the operators, not women obliged to enter the sex trade under threats of violence or financial duress.
This exploitation draws easy and frequent condemnation from political leaders, but a genuine crackdown hasn’t followed. City finances, legal delays and a confused bureaucracy have taken a toll in San Francisco.
The proposed changes are a modest step toward solving the hidden-away but real problem of sex exploitation. The board should approve new rules for massage parlors.
The intent of new legislation proposed by Supervisor Carmen Chu and Mayor Gavin Newsom is to put San Francisco police, planning and public health on the same page in stopping sex trafficking in the city’s massage parlors. A genuine crackdown is long overdue.
This article appeared on page A – 14 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Other articles on the topic:
We are excited to announce the birth of Heidi Linnea Blomberg, the newest addition to the Blomberg/von Krogh family. She was born February 22, 2009 at 6:33 PM. She weighed in at a healthy 9 pounds and a respectable 21 inches long. Mommy Bonnie Jean von Krogh has a long history of serving SFWPC and currently serves on the SFWPC Advisory Council. Send her a congrats at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recap of the Holiday Party…
A New Year. A little reflection back … a lot of action forward. What’s a girl to do? Why send shout-outs to the women’s community for the 4th Annual SF Women’s Holiday Party blast! It was great to see all our sister organizations (NWPC-SF, Emerge CA, NARAL Pro-Choice California, Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, Black Women Organized for Political Action-SF, The League of Women Voters San Francisco, National Organization for Women-SF, Good Ol’ Girls, and the Filipina Women’s Network) to put on yet another successful event.
Oh and GirlTalk is not forgetting to be thankful … to Board of Equalization Vice Chairwoman Betty Yee, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Janet Reilly, District Attorney Kamala Harris, Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Sean Elsbernd for generously supporting the cause and Supervisor Carmen Chu, School Board members Sandra Fewer and Jane Kim, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and our endorsed candidate Denise McCarthy for also cocktailing with us. …. and you just gotta love State Senator Leland Yee for sending three (!!!) staffers: Leah Rowell, Melissa Apuya, and Xiao Lei. Kudos for that show of girl-power!
A special thank you to Suede SF and Asqew Grill for cutting costs and making everything happen. And check out the political consulting firms that contributed to putting on the party here: (we work with all of them and they’re all our favorites.)
And while she was socializing at the party, GirlTalk was listening and sends huge congratulations to Frances Hsieh who will be giving wise counsel to a supervisor (Avalos) and surely mentoring a new group of electeds and staff. And to Giselle Barry communicating in a new direction at the Alliance for Climate Protection (think Al Gore).
But the real accomplishment of this holiday merriment was consensus that we must – together – begin building the foundation for the 2010 supervisorial campaigns … which feed assembly and state campaigns … which feed statewide office campaigns… which feed ever upward. The Agreement: find qualified women to run for supervisor in each district in 2010. And find them now … and support them early.
And so we continue. SFWPC, NWPC-SF, Emerge and others are working, right now, to identify potential candidates. We are working, right now, with the Board of Supervisors to find qualified women for appointments to boards and commissions. We are serious and we are committed.
This fall’s Women’s Policy Summit reinforced what, as women, we know instinctively: the power of cooperative work. So we got this policy recommendation for equity on boards and commissions. So there is much to be done and guess what: we have to be the ones to do it. So get involved. We need you. Check it out: http://sfgov.org/site/bdsupvrs_index.asp?id=-4386
And we have a new pro-choice prez…
What a great day January 20th was… We salute the twins: hope and change. And a little shout out to our girl Debbie Mesloh who worked for Obama since the VERY beginning and is now going to stay in Washington to do more good work—we’ll miss you Deb but we couldn’t be prouder. Giselle Barry, Mera Granberg and our new SFWPC Prez Sueanne McNeil Biotti went out to Washington to be there for the big day. We hear it was super cold…brrrr…They ran into one of our favorite politicos, Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Western States Ball and got to rock out to Mark Anthony (J. Lo even made an appearance—we’re trying to get her for next year’s holiday party.) Much partying and fun times we hear…
And if you haven’t heard, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s PAC One Voice is looking for a new Executive Director. Check out details on the website. Ladies, it’s a bad economy so if you know of any other job openings, send them our way and we’ll get them out—the sisterhood has to support.
This is going to be an adventurous and happy new year. GirlPower with GirlTalk. Let’s keep moving.
You can email GirlTalk at email@example.com.