As the SBWPC reaches the quarter century mark, I am proud to say that our venerable organization has not only stood the test of time, but has broadened its mission, strengthened the communities we live in and cultivated its vision. In the next 25 years, we stand poised to make an even larger and more positive impact in local and regional politics by continuing to stay true to our nascent philosophies, ethics and non-partisan politics.
Our underlying tenets do not bend to the capricious and temporal wills of the political times, nor do our members. We are here to stay and we stand by the mission of our organization, “The Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee is dedicated to furthering gender equality and other feminist values through political and social action, and educational activities. As a political action committee, we endorse the candidacies of women and men who actively support our goals and promote a feminist agenda. We are also committed to taking social action against discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability.” We hold true to the letter and the spirit of those fundamental goals.
You see, the SBWPC Board and membership are made up of a far-reaching and diverse group of women and men throughout the County. Our membership and Board represent various ethnicities, gender identities, socio-economic groups, age groups and stations in life. We reflect the totality of the community, and as such, we cannot strive to be myopic, we do not exist to be predictable nor do we desire to be pigeon-holed so that others may feel more comfortable about who we are. Our work is to empower one another, strive for equality and demand excellence of ourselves and the people we elect to represent us.
We are a Non-Partisan, Progressive Political Action Committee and we live our values of gender balance, reproductive rights, immigration reform, economic and environmental justice educational equality and affordable housing – to name but a few. SBWPC has had success for 25 years precisely with this unique formula of self and organization reflection, robust standards and reformist ideals that we put into action. And, with that action, there will always be those who agree and cheer us on and those who are displeased.
While we do have our detractors, the SBWPC is an organization that is relevant, it is compelling and perseveres because we are not deterred or daunted. Over the past two years, our membership has increased by 15%, we have held two successful receptions for elected and appointment women; one in the South County and one in the North County for the 1st female mayors of Guadalupe and Santa Maria and we have record numbers of our member on City and Countywide appointed Boards and Commissions. We welcomed Sandra Fluke to UCSB in a joint effort with the Women’s Center, we held a Budget Workshop – The Bottom Line – with Next 10, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assembly member Das Williams, we had a fun an informative event with Dolores Huerta, and we are gearing up for what promises to be an amazing culmination of 2013 with a Legends Dinner in November. We have supported the campaigns of over 12 candidates who are now serving on elected Boards, Commissions, State and Federally elected seats and are active in developing candidates for the next cycle of elections throughout the cities, county, state and nation.
I am proud to be a part of an organization that wears its mission on its sleeve and that is methodical and thoughtful in its actions. Our mission and membership is engaged and will continue to be highly effective in bringing progressive feminist voices to the table and yielding results that move our community forward.