Describe any previous Branch positions and years you served.
Big Bear Branch: President (2 yrs), VP Legal Advocacy (2 yrs), Public Policy Chair (10 yrs), Scholarship Chair (2 yrs) (Member from 2005 – 2014, cannot recall dates of offices)
COV Branch: Public Policy Chair 2014 – June 2017; President July 2017 to Present
Describe any AAUW California positions and years you served.
Member, Public Policy Committee – 2015 to present
Talk about any AAUW California conventions you attended in the last five years.
I have attended every CA convention in the last 5 years, focusing primarily on workshops pertaining to leadership and public policy issues
Talk about any pertinent community activities or connections and their corresponding dates.
As Public Policy Chair, I have emphasized community involvement. Our committee worked with a local domestic violence (D.V.) program last year (2016-17) by helping at a fund-raiser, collecting gifts and food for the holidays, and educating our members about D.V. This year we are working with Planned Parenthood, so far we have participated in a neighborhood survey project. I am also spearheading an IBC project to develop a community forum on the issue of free speech on campus, specifically the challenges that arise when one campus group wants to present a speaker with views offensive to other groups. We are working with 3 of our area colleges on developing this project. Our committee has also participated in Equal Pay Day events on 2 campuses, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and in “Get Out the Vote” events on 2 campuses last year (2016) with another planned for 2018. We also initiated a “Start Smart” workshop on a local campus in 2016 and have secured a 3-yr commitment from the school to continue. In 2016 we worked with our local high schools in doing an assessment of Title IX compliance. Finally, I do a series of presentations called “Lunch & Learns” in which I present educational public-policy related lectures (or sometimes bring in outside speakers) for members but to which the public is invited as well.
Talk about any AAUW National conventions you have attended.
I have attended 2 national conventions, one in San Diego in 2015, and more recently in Washington D.C. in June 2017. I enjoyed the San Diego convention but honestly cannot remember a lot of specifics. It was my first national and I recall that it was very exciting to be part of it at this level. But I remember everything about the Washington D.C. convention – it was fabulous! First and foremost was Lobby Day! I was designated as leader of the 6-member delegation from our district, CA-49. It was such a thrill to participate in this “democracy in action” event and to have the privilege of advocating on behalf of AAUW’s national priorities, Title IX endangerment and the Impact of Student Debt on Women. We were not able to meet with our representatives, but their aides were welcoming and interested in our issues. The other highlight for me, especially as a retired attorney, was meeting and hearing from the keynote speaker, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor – what a thrill! I was also moved by the presentation of our EF Alumni speaker and will be talking about her and her story at our EU Program in January. It was also exciting to hear from our new CEO Kimberley Churches, she is going to be dynamite, and I really enjoyed touring our new national headquarters. All of the workshops were excellent, but as a newly elected President I got so much out of the one on Governance, I learned so much and gained new confidence in my new role. I also gained some excellent tips in the “Branding” workshop, which I have already implemented in my branch.
Describe any AAUW National positions and years you served.
I have not served at the National level,
Describe your employment/professional experience, including current employment.
I am currently retired – YAY! I was employed as an attorney, specifically as a prosecutor in Orange County for 23 years, from 1991 to 2004. During that time, I specialized in prosecuting crimes against women and children and started the first Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit in the county. I served at the management level for 6 years, and argued twice before the California Supreme Court. After retiring in 2004, I took a career turn and became the CEO of a domestic violence shelter program in Big Bear CA, a position I held until my (2nd) retirement in 2014. During that time, I was very involved with our statewide organization, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, serving as the Public Policy Chair for the six southern counties. I also served on the San Bernardino County Commission on the Status of Women.
Are you available to visit branches statewide?
Describe any other special skills or experience.
I believe I have strong leadership skills. I am very organized, great at multi-tasking, and a dedicated long-term planner and big-picture thinker. My legal background has helped me develop effective skill in analysis and problem-solving, as well as the gift of persuasion. I also have lots of energy!
Give your reasons for running for this office.
I am extremely passionate about AAUW, its Mission, and its Public Policy priorities. As can be seen from my professional experience, I have dedicated my entire working life to obtaining social and economic justice for women and girls. I want AAUW-CA to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe I have something of value to contribute to that goal – proven leadership skills, experience, progressive ideas, and lots and lots of enthusiasm! I would consider it a privilege to participate in the decision-making process that leads this great organization forward.
75-word Goal Statement
My passion for AAUW and its mission impels me to seek a role in shaping its future. These are challenging times for women and girls and I want to be in a position to do everything possible to prevent losing our hard-won gains. My goal is to empower branches to keep public policy at the forefront of branch discussions and programs and to find ways AAUW-CA can help them do so.