Louise Adler

  • published Junior Member in Membership 2021-02-26 14:24:42 -0800

  • published Leadership in Membership 2020-05-07 23:08:44 -0700

  • published Sustaining in Membership 2020-05-07 23:08:26 -0700

  • published General Member in Membership 2020-05-07 23:07:52 -0700

  • published Volunteer 2014-07-26 23:41:03 -0700


    WIL is run by volunteers so that nearly every dollar of contributed support goes directly toward electing pro-choice candidates.  If you would like the opportunity to volunteer for WIL, please complete and submit the form below.

    Become a volunteer

  • published Board of Directors 2014-07-16 22:41:04 -0700

    Board of Directors

    Mary Bayer

    Mary Bayer

    Business Owner, Bayer Automotive
    Education: BA Economics, University of California Berkeley

    I believe in protecting reproductive rights for all women, regardless of where they live or their socioeconomic status. In a political climate that is threatening to roll back these rights, electing pro-choice women to public office is our best defense. As the mother of three daughters, I am proud to be a member of WIL and have the opportunity to make a difference.

    Karen Clark

    Karen Clark

    Founding WIL Board Member and past Chair
    Retired Partner, law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
    Education:  BA Stanford; MA in history, University of Washington; JD University of Michigan

    WIL has been a passion of mine for over 20 years. I walked and campaigned for choice even before Roe v. Wade. I genuinely believed that the Roe v. Wade decision would permanently provide women with reproductive freedom. What a hopelessly naïve idea! Now we’re fighting for our rights as women all over again and WIL is more needed and more relevant than ever.

    Pam Gilmour

    Pam Gilmour

    Retired attorney
    WIL Co-chair
    Former Treasurer of Pro-Choice Orange County
    Former Board member of Planned Parenthood

    Forty-four years after Roe v. Wade and women continue to fight for their reproductive rights. I fully embrace WIL's mission. Only when we elect women, who believe in our reproductive freedom, will these rights be promoted and protected.

    Karol Gottfredson

    Karol Gottfredson

    Related Organizations: Girls Inc. of Orange County; Planned Parenthood; Founding member Orange County Women’s Health Project
    Retired: University of California Irvine, School of Education, Program Director
    Education: BA University of California Davis, MA State University of NY, Albany, National Teacher Corps

    One of the strengths of Women in Leadership is its nonpartisan approach to advocating for women’s rights and opportunities. Women in Leadership promotes education, political action and eternal vigilance to safeguard women’s health options and reproductive choices by electing bi-partisan pro-choice women to public office.

    Isabel Irvine

    Isabel Irvine

    Financial Advisor
    Education:  BA Public Administration, California State University Fullerton;
    MBA Chapman University

    I believe reproductive freedom is a fundamental human right our government is obligated to respect and protect. I stand with WIL in their mission to unite our community in support of women candidates who are dedicated to keeping access to full reproductive rights. I'm proud to be part of this great group of intelligent and dedicated women.

    Jill Kanzler

    Jill Kanzler

    Business owner, Kanzler Public Affairs
    Executive Director of Support Our Anaheim Resort (S.O.A.R.)
    Education: B.S. in Political Science and International Relations, University of Southern California

    I fully support the mission to help elect strong women and advocate for women’s reproductive rights and freedom. I love being around like-thinking, smart, talented women who stand up and take action for what they believe.

    LaDonna Kienitz

    LaDonna Kienitz

    Tax Attorney
    Education:  MLS, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois;
    MBA, Northwestern Univ., Kellogg School of Management, Evanston, Illinois;
    JD, Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, California;
    LL.M. in Taxation, University of San Diego, San Diego, California

    I believe that it is imperative that a woman has complete autonomy over her own body. We must all work to ensure that there is no governmental or regulatory intrusion into a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body and medical care available to her.


    Jennifer McDonald

    Communications Consultant
    Education:  UC Santa Barbar

    I believe a woman should have the right to choose and that the best way to protect that right is to get pro-choice women elected. It takes so much courage to run for public office, it's an honor to help the women who do. WIL provides the funding and visibility these candidates need. I’m proud to support them through WIL.

    Tricia Nichols

    Tricia Nichols

    Past Board President, Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties
    Served on the Board of the Nature Conservancy in Colorado
    Advocate for the humane treatment of our prison population, particularly abolishing solitary confinement, especially for juveniles

    I am a dedicated community activist, avid supporter of women’s reproductive rights, and longtime supporter of Planned Parenthood. My admiration of the quality of the WIL board members makes it an honor for me to support the efforts of WIL.

    Eileen Padberg

    Eileen Padberg

    Semi-retired political consultant for over 40 years
    Passionate volunteer for WISEPlace (homeless women’s shelter)
    Spent two years in Iraq during the height of the war implementing a program to help Iraqi women build businesses, get jobs and attend training programs

    Electing more women to public office has long been my personal goal.  The old adage, “If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu,” is true. We are seeing that now in this new administration. Overturning Roe vs. Wade is a longtime goal of the conservative Republicans. Let’s make sure that we elect more pro-choice women at all levels of government who will fight for our reproductive freedoms.

    Jone Pearce

    Jone Pearce

    Dean’s Professor of Leadership, The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine
    AB University of California, Berkeley, MA and PhD Yale University

    Women in Leadership helps to develop and elect women political leaders who support women’s rights to control their own lives. Political leaders who will to support education and health care access for reproductive rights are necessary to women’s full citizenship. Every person, not the government, should be able to control his or her own body. This work begins at the local level where political leaders gain the knowledge and experience to make a difference. I am proud to be able to support an organization that does such important work.


    Lorraine Prinsky

    WIL Member since 2000
    Elected Trustee, Coast Community College District
    Professor Emeritus, Cal State Fullerton 
    Education:  BA UCLA, PH.D. UC Irvine
    Website:  www.lorraineprinsky.com

    At a time of sharp political divisions, it is notable and gratifying that WIL has provided a bipartisan forum that brings together those who work to protect women’s reproductive choice. Since the first time I attended a WIL event I have enjoyed enlightening and thoughtful presentations by women who are leaders in their fields.  I look forward to the opportunities presented by WIL to network with others and meet elected officials as well as women seeking elected office.

    I serve on the WIL Endorsement Committee and am honored to be a WIL-endorsed elected official.

    Phyllis Roberts

    Phyllis Roberts

    Retired VP of Finance and Operations
    Previous owner of specialty manufacturing company
    Education: California State University Northridge
    Volunteer at Merage JCC Irvine, working on social action programs for the needy as well as cultural arts programming

    I have long advocated for a women’s right to choose and WIL recognizes that women still don’t enjoy full equality in regards to control over our personal bodies and health choices.  It is for these reasons that we must continue to elect pro-choice women at all levels of government to protect the gains that have been made and continue to work for the total equality for women.

    Melinda Seely

    Melinda Seely

    Founding WIL board member and current WIL Co-chair
    Educator and business owner (retired)
    Education:  BA California Sate University, Long Beach
    Life diploma – State of California

    I am a woman, mother of a daughter and grandmother of two granddaughters. I care very much about the status of women in this country and around the world. Until women’s voices are heard in equal number to the voices of men, things will not change for the better in the lives of women everywhere. WIL aims to be part of the solution by electing more women to political office. We have much work to do!

    Fascinating facts:
    • Women have not achieved equality with men in any country.
    • Of the world’s 1.3 billion poor people, it is estimated that nearly 70% are women.
    • Between 75 and 80% of the world’s 27 million refugees are women and children.

    Susan Seely

    Susan Seely

    WIL member since 1997 Director, Olive Tree Initiative at UCI
    Former Director of Middle East and Africa, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment
    Former campaign manager and campaign treasurer for local city council member
    Education: M.A. International Studies – Middle East, University of Washington
    B.A. International Relations, UC Santa Barbara

    I am a Sustaining Member of WIL and have served on the WIL board since moving to Orange County in 1997. I believe in a woman’s right to have absolute choice over the decisions she makes regarding her own health and reproductive decisions. One route to ensuring that women’s right to choice is guarded and upheld is by working to make sure that women are increasingly represented in elected positions, both nationally and locally.  I am the mother of two wonderful young women, Clara and Emma, and the daughter of WIL Board member and Founder, Melinda Seely.

    Sandy Wright

    Sandy Wright

    Retired elementary school teacher and medical group administrator
    Education: BA in Economics, MA in Education, Stanford University

    I have long been involved with Planned Parenthood, first as a volunteer educator, then as a member of the Board of Directors (Board Chair - 2000-2001) and now as a member of the Development Committee. I firmly believe that women must have the right to make their own reproductive decisions. I am proud to be a member of WIL, which is a bipartisan organization that supports these rights and seeks to elect women candidates who support reproductive freedom.

  • published News 2014-07-16 22:40:43 -0700



    We have much to be thankful for.  62.5% of the women endorsed in 2018 by WIL won their elections including:

    • 8 city council members including a mayor in Costa Mesa
    • 6 school board members
    • 2 members of the State Assembly
    • 2 members of Congress
    • 2 CA State Constitutional officers

    You can check-out the details at http://womeninleadership.nationbuilder.com/news


    This was only possible because of the dues income from our members.  Please renew your membership now so we can continue this important work helping to elect women who support reproductive rights.   Just click on this link to pay on line with your credit card—please do it NOW.  http://womeninleadership.nationbuilder.com/membership


    Thanks for your continued support—we really do make a difference!!!!


    **STATUS UPDATE: Betty Valencia for Orange City Council**
    Beatriz "Betty" Valencia

    A message from Betty:
    As an endorsed candidate, I wanted to update the organization on the current city council seat in Orange, Ca.
    As you may know, we were third in an 8, candidate race. Unfortunately, we did not win any of the two vacant seats, but as of Dec. 11, 2018, a third seat opened up when Mayor Murphy (a city council member) was sworn into office.
    We contend being third is the ideal situation for the appointment to the city council; however, we have faced resistance. The current four-member council can choose to appoint anyone in the city or hold a special election costing approximately 450k.
    I am asking for your support at our next city council meeting Jan 8th at 5:00 p.m. where we will meet prior to the city council meeting to hold a peaceful public demonstration. We will gather with community and supporters to express our support for fairness and democracy. We will present the city council with our signed petitions during this time.
    I hope I can count on your support. Please join us in telling our city we want democracy and the resident's votes to be respected, and to honor the voices of our community.
    In peace,
    Beatriz "Betty" Valencia

    Congratulations to our 2018 Endorsed Candidates!

    WIL is proud to announce a record 20 endorsed candidates won their elections!

    This great success was achieved in part by the support and generous donations of YOU, our members! Your WIL membership dues have been used to support these women candidates.  

    We would like to say thank you to all of the candidates who ran, and a big thank you to the candidates who did not win but campaigned so passionately to win!


    Election results as of 11/17/18:














    Aliso Viejo City Council



    ELECTED! 5-way race for 2 seats; Tiffany on top






    ELECTED!  5-way race for two seats, Valerie on top







    ELECTED!   5-way race for 3 seats; Diana #2



    HB City Council



    ELECTED! Came in third among 15 candidates for four seats, ahead of 1 incumbent







    ELECTED!  5-way race for 3 seats; Bonnie on top






    ELECTED! Came in second in 15 candidate race for four seats




    Orange USD



    ELECTED!  52.6%-47.4% (Inc. Surridge)



    Mayor, Costa Mesa



    ELECTED!   59.2%- 40.8% (Genis)



    Laguna CC



    ELECTED! #1 of 13 candidates



    Irvine CC


    ELECTED! #1  of 12 candidates for 2 seats



    Fullerton JUHD



    ELECTED! 4-way race, Lauren on top



    CA Treasurer



    ELECTED! 63.5%



    Costa Mesa CC



    ELECTED!  57% -43% (Eckles)



    CA Assembly 74






     Petrie-Norris 52.5 %-47.5% Harper, Inc.



    CA 45



    Porter 51.6% -Walters 48.4%



    AD 65



    ELECTED!  56%-44%



    Costa Mesa City Council


    ELECTED!  56.4% (beat Mansoor and Trahan!)




    CA 38



    ELECTED!  68%



    Saddleback Valley School D


    ELECTED!  4-way race for 2 seats; Barbara on top




    CA Controller


    ELECTED!  64.9%














    Anaheim Mayor

    Nov. Election



    Second place in 8-way race; Sidhu 33.9% Aitken 31.6%



    State Senate 36th



    Inc. Patricia Bates 56.7%- Marggie 43.3%



    CA Assembly 68


    Inc. Steve Choi 53.8%-46.2%


    Johnson- Norris


    Irvine City Council



    12 candidates for 2 seats; Laura came in #4





    15 candidates for 4 seats; Shayna came in 7th




    Tustin CC


    Write-in 5.8%




    Laguna CC


    13 candidates for 3 seats; Judy was #6



    Cypress CC



    6-way race with 3 incumbents for 3 seats; Frances came in 4th




    Newport Mesa Schools



    Inc. Metoyer 52.7% - Murphy 47.3%




    Rancho CCD


    Incumbent Yarbrough 63.3%




    Orange CC


    8 candidates for 2 seats; Betty #3






    Incumbent Dina Nguyen 65.0%


     For those keeping score:  20 elected, 12 not elected


    WIL plans to send out e-blasts from time to time to keep you informed on events affecting women's reproductive rights as well as updates on WIL activities and members. If you have a news article you believe would be informative for our members, please send to Isabel Irvine at [email protected]

    Save the Date:

    Thursday, August 23rd: WIL Luncheon event at Antonello's. Event invite coming soon. 

    Tuesday, September 25th: WIL is turning 25! Please join us for WIL's 25th Anniversary Celebration at Antonello's from 5pm - 7pm. More details to follow. 

    Congratulations to the following WIL Endorsed Candidates who are moving onward to the general election in November: 

    Linda Sanchez 
    38th Congressional District  

    Katie Porter
    45th Congressional District  

    Fiona Ma 
    CA State Treasurer 

    Michelle Duman
    68th Assembly District 

    Sharon Quirk-Silva 
    65th Assembly District 

    Cottie Petrie-Norris
    74th Assembly District
    Marggie Castellano
    36th Senate District
    Katrina Foley
    Mayor of Costa Mesa


    We are proud to report WIL currently has 168 members!!!

    The only way WIL has money to donate to candidates who support reproductive rights is through membership dues. 

    Please continue to renew your membership and continue to introduce your family and friends to WIL. 

    Post Primary Election Results Luncheon June 13th 

    June 13, 2018

    Costa Mesa Mayoral Candidate Katrina Foley, former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, WIL Board members Eileen Padberg, Karen Clark, and Susan Seely, and Belinda De la Libertad 
    Jone Pearce, Republican Eileen Padberg, former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, and Democrat Louise Adler


    The WIL lunch on June 13 was one of our most successful ever, with over 70 in attendance, including many women who are running for office.  Our topic was "NOW WHAT???  THE PRIMARIES ARE OVER; WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?" and featured three political gurus, Republican Eileen Padberg, Democrat Louise Adler and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  After lots of eye-opening facts about the results of the primary, the take-away was that, if we want to flip Congress and also get local candidates elected who support reproductive rights, we will all have to work harder than ever.  This means not only donating to these gutsy women, but making phone calls, walking precincts and giving fundraisers.  It will not be easy, but we can't stand still if we want to stem the tide and start to move our country in the right direction.

    Comment from one of our founders: 

    June 13, 2018

    When we organized Women in Leadership 25 (!) years ago our vision was a group of women who would support and help elect pro choice women of both political parties.  At that time, the idea did not seem at all far-fetched.  We were a group of Dems and Reps ourselves and worked together in harmony.  The unifying factor for us and for our beliefs was that women should be able to have a say in what happens to their physical bodies.  There was no particular litmus test as, even amongst ourselves there were a variety of opinions regarding how that term should be applied and what it might look like.  CHOICE was our only goal.


    At the time we organized there were pro choice women of both political parties for us to support.  As an organization WIL would currently continue to strongly support women of both political parties.  Unfortunately, try as we might to find them, there are scant Republican women seeking our help.  (We have attempted to keep our Board of Directors evenly divided among Rs and Ds but even that has become difficult for us.)


    Some of our members and members of our Board of Directors have, through an excess of zeal placed too much emphasis on the Democratic party.  Although understandable, the Democrats are currently the only party of choice, this has proven to be offensive to some.  It’s hard to tamp down enthusiasm!


    We are still clinging to the hope that we can one day be the bi partisan group that our Founders had in mind and have chosen to limp ahead with the current system.  As the NPP (no party preference) becomes a more prominent option we may have to adopt new By Laws and revamp our identity but for now, this remains who we are and we are here to help any pro choice candidate who approaches us for help and support.

    Ireland Votes to End Abortion Ban

    May 26, 2018

    Ireland voted to repeal one of the world's most restrictive abortion bans. 

    Read full article here. 

    Marggie Castellano for State Senate 36th District

    WIL is proud to endorse Marggie Castellano for State Senate 36th District and we ask that you please consider supporting her campaign.  Please "like" her campaign Facebook page by clicking here and please consider making a contribution to her campaign at www.marggiecastellano.com 

     Thank you! 

    How We Endorse Candidates

    Our mission is to endorse and support women candidates who believe in ensuring access to reproductive education and healthcare for all women. We receive requests for WIL endorsements from candidates throughout California but reserve our endorsements and resources for those for whom some (or all) of our members can vote or in exceptional cases for an office in an adjacent county. We may endorse candidates running for statewide office (for example, US Senate or State Controller) because our members can vote in these elections.

    Visit our website for complete Endorsement Guidelines at www.womeninleadership.com

    Great news - Cottie Petrie-Norris, candidate for CA Assembly 74, is through the primary and on to the November General Election!

    Please join Cottie this Friday, June 15th to celebrate her primary election victory and to kick off the general election campaign.




    Save the Date:

    Wednesday, June 13th:  Join us on June 13th for a special election results luncheon. We will be discussing the results of the June primary election featuring WIL Board Members Eileen Padberg (Repbulican) and Louise Adler (Democrat) as our guest speakers. Lunch will be held at Antonello's. 

    Upcoming Election Dates: 

    June 5, 2018 - CA Primary Election  

    May 7 - Vote-by-mail ballots begin arriving at homes

    May 21 - Last day to register

    May 29 - Last day to request vote-by-mail ballot

    May 31 - Mail-in-ballots should be sent to Registrar 

    ***If you vote by mail, don't forget the June ballot requires postage of 71 cents***


    Dr. Jennefer Russo Lunch Event at Antonello's

    April 13, 2018

    Dr. Jennefer Russo

    Dr. Jennefer Russo, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of WIL members and friends on April 13 at Antonello’s. 

    So many of us came to the lunch believing we know everything important there is to know about Planned Parenthood, but we soon learned we were wrong.  Jennefer provided many new facts, figures and insights about Planned Parenthood and its impact on the lives of women and girls, as well as men.  She also discussed the dark side, namely the increasing threats facing Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights generally.

    Jennefer stressed the fact that pregnancy rates have plummeted with increasing availability of family planning.  The Title X Family Planning Program, enacted under President Nixon in 1970, has provided millions of Americans with affordable planning services.  More than one and five women seek care from Planned Parenthood at some point in their lives. Funding for Planned Parenthood is now threatened. While family planning funding is being cut, the federal government is putting its dollars into abstinence programs and “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” – centers that appear to unknowing women to be either abortion clinics or unbiased counseling services, but which are actually anti-choice centers designed to pressure women into not having abortions.

    Jennefer spoke of the lack of sex education in our community, notwithstanding the state requirement that it be taught in every school district. Planned Parenthood is now the single largest provider of sex education in the U.S. with a comprehensive curriculum covering birth control, STI’s, consent, puberty, communication skills, and decision making to kids, teens, young adults, adults, and parents.

    One alarming trend discussed by Jennefer was the promotion of an alleged “abortion reversal medication” along with recent legislative attempts to require that women be notified of its existence despite no scientific proof that it works.

    The following two websites were provided where we can obtain additional reproductive news:

    Rewire.News – Reproductive and sexual health, rights and justice. http://rewire.news

    Guttmacher Institute -  A leading research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in the US and globally. guttmacher.org


    Teens in Migrant Shelters Have No Abortion Rights 

    February, 28 2018

    The ACLU is suing the government for unlawfully restricting the abortion rights of immigrant minors.  

    Read full article here.




    The “primary” election in June is the ONLY election for the Orange County Board of Education, so this is your only chance to support Mary against her main competition, Lisa Sparks.  Whoever wins in June will be the next member of the Orange County Board of Education.

    Why Mary Navarro?  SO many reasons!

    1. Mary Navarro fervently supports sex education in the public schools. Sparks is opposed.
    2. Mary Navarro fervently supports public schools. Sparks is a Betsy DeVos clone who supports charter schools; she also opposes free lunch programs and before and after school care in public schools.
    3. Mary Navarro needs your support; she is being dramatically outspent by Sparks, who is gathering in big bucks from the charter school lobby and the Lincoln Club.

    If Mary Navarro wins this seat, the Board will be dominated by board members who care about our public schools.  If she loses, the Board will be dominated by the DeVos types who would prefer that public money to go support charter and private school and are hostile to sex education. 

    Donate today even if you don’t live in her district.  Whether or not she wins will impact the public schools in all of Orange County. 

    If you have more time than money, you can help her make phone calls and walk precincts. 

    Please go to Mary’s website, https://votemarynavarro.com/, for more information and to donate to her campaign, either in time or money or both. 

    The time is NOW!  The election is less than six weeks away. 

    And if you vote by mail, don’t forget that the June ballot requires postage of 71 cents!

    2018 Endorsed Candidates

    May 1, 2018

    WIL is proud to support the following candidates:


    Melissa Fazli
    55th Assembly District 
    Michelle Duman
    68th Assembly District 

    Sharon Quirk-Silva 
    65th Assembly District 

    Cottie Petrie-Norris
    74th Assembly District
    Marggie Castellano
    36th Senate District
    Mary Navarro
    OC Board of Education, District 5

    How We Endorse Candidates

    Our mission is to endorse and support women candidates who believe in ensuring access to reproductive education and healthcare for all women. We receive requests for WIL endorsements from candidates throughout California but reserve our endorsements and resources for those for whom some (or all) of our members can vote or in exceptional cases for an office in an adjacent county. We may endorse candidates running for statewide office (for example, US Senate or State Controller) because our members can vote in these elections.

    Visit our website for complete Endorsement Guidelines at www.womeninleadership.com

    Mona Shadia Event at Antonello's

    January 15, 2018.

    Mona Shadia and Ava Forster 

    WIL welcomed Mona Shadia as our luncheon guest on January 15.  Mona is an award-winning Egyptian American journalist and writer.  She worked as a professional journalist for nearly a decade for several newspapers, including the San Bernardino Sun, LA Times Community News and the OC Register.

    Mona wrote an award winner column about life as a Middle Eastern and as a Muslim women in America where she addressed issues from religion and women’s rights to gender relations and cultures.  She talked about how it was growing up as a Muslim in Southern California. 

    Mona talked about the political and cultural differences with her parents who are quite conservative.  She is not a Trump supporter but her parents are conservative Republicans. Mona moved to the United States when she was 15 years old.  

    Mona continues to write a column for The Blog at the Huffington Post and at Cairoscene.com, an online lifestyle magazine based in Cairo, Egypt. She is also an adjunct community college political science instructor

    Save the Date:

    Friday, April 13th:  We are pleased to announce that our next lunch speaker is Dr. Jennefer Russo, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, and fearless fighter for women's reproductive rights.  The lunch will be held at Antonello's Restaurant in Santa Ana. Invitation coming soon. 

    Delaine Eastin Lunch Event at Antonello's

    February 16, 2018

    Thank you to Delaine Eastin for being our guest speaker. Delaine is a longtime WIL friend, former CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and currently the only woman running to become our next California Governor. Delaine spoke to a room packed with WIL fans on the importance of budgets being statements of our values. The lunch crowd loved her talk and engaged  with her in a spirited discussion on the current state of California.  

    Delaine Eastin 
    Frieda Caplan, Delaine Eastin, and Eileen Padberg

    Women Win Big in Texas Primaries

    March 7, 2018

    Did you see the exciting news out of Texas last week? There were a record number of women running for office in Texas, and there were a record number of women who won their primary! Close to 50 women were on the ballot for a seat in Congress and more than half won their primary outright or advanced to a run off. 

    Read full article here.

    Mississippi Lawmakers Pass Nation's Strictest Abortion Ban

    March 8, 2018

    On International Women's Day, the Mississippi legislature passed a law that would prevent women from having abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Obtaining an abortion in the state of Mississippi is already challenging with only one remaining clinic in the state, and now women must face these further limiting restrictions. Governor Phil Bryant has said he would sign the bill into law. 

    Read full article here.

    Spotlight on New Member Sarah Nowels 


    Welcome Sarah Nowels, our newest member of WIL. Sarah graduated from Chapman Law as a JD/MBA and is currently a partner at Amezcua-Moll & Associates.  Her practice consists primarily of employment civil rights litigation on behalf of employees. Sarah was named one of Super Lawyers Southern California Rising Stars in 2016, 2017, and 2018.  Sarah is also very active in the legal community. A small sample of her involvement includes serving as the 2017 Chair of the OC Bar Association's Legislative Resolutions Committee,  currently serving as the Vice President of the Orange County Women Lawyers Association Board of Directors , and serving on the 2018 Orange County Trial Lawyers Board of Directors.

    2018 Endorsed Candidates

    February 2, 2018

    WIL is proud to support the following candidates:


    Sharon Quirk-Silva 
    65th Assembly District 
    Cottie Petrie-Norris
    74th Assembly District
    Marggie Castellano
    36th Senate District
    Mary Navarro
    OC Board of Education, District 5

    How We Endorse Candidates

    Our mission is to endorse and support women candidates who believe in ensuring access to reproductive education and healthcare for all women. We receive requests for WIL endorsements from candidates throughout California but reserve our endorsements and resources for those for whom some (or all) of our members can vote or in exceptional cases for an office in an adjacent county. We may endorse candidates running for statewide office (for example, US Senate or State Controller) because our members can vote in these elections.

    Visit our website for complete Endorsement Guidelines at www.womeninleadership.com

    OC Women's March - January 20th 2018

    Thank you to all those who came out to participate in the OC Women's March on January 20th in Santa Ana. Now that the march is over, we must keep the momentum going for women's rights.

    Sue Michelson, Karen Clark, Linda Oeth
    Sue Michelson, Karen Clark, Linda Oeth
    Karol Gottfredson and Eileen Padberg
    Karol Gottfredson and Eileen Padberg
    Lynne Riddle and Lorraine Prinsky
    Lynne Riddle and Lorraine Prinsky
    One column caption
    Lorraine Prinsky & Greg Louganis 

    It's time for us to march again!  Join WIL this Saturday, January 20th for the 2nd Annual Women's March!

    WIL participants will be meeting at 8:30 am in front of the Santa Ana Police Department (Boyd Way). The start of the march is at Flower and Civic Center. Look for WIL signs! 

    Address for Santa Ana Police Department is 60 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, CA 92701. 


    For information on the Orange County march, go to: http://www.ocwomensmarch.org/

    For information on the Los Angeles march, go to: https://womensmarchla.org/ 



    Please keep in mind we are a 100% volunteer run organization,  pre-paid reservations are essential to the success of our lunch events.

    Beginning in 2018, we've made some changes to our lunch policies:

    • Sustaining Members lunch cost will be $20 instead of the Regular Member price of $30.
    • If you attend without prior payment, whether or not you have made a reservation, the cost at the door will be an additional $10.00
    • If you make your reservation past the event invite RSVP deadline, there will be an additional $10.00 cost. 
    • In order to raise more money for our endorsed candidates, we are no longer able to offer a free lunch for new members who pay their first time membership at our lunch events. 
    • We are unable to guarantee space for you if you have not reserved and paid in advance.


    It's time for us to march again!  Mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Women's March on January 20, 2018!  

    For information on the Orange County march, go to: http://www.ocwomensmarch.org/

    For information on the Los Angeles march, go to: https://womensmarchla.org/ 



    Oklahoma judge again overturns medical abortion restriction

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma judge has again overturned a state law restricting women’s access to drug-induced abortions, according to attorneys for the state and for the groups challenging the law.

    Read full article here. 



    Republican Majoriaty for Choice Applauds Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner



    Contact: Kellie Ferguson

    WASHINGTON, DC (September 29, 2017) – The leaders of the Republican Majority for Choice applaud Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner for his move to restore funding for abortion services for low income women.
    Rauner, a pro-choice Republican, spent considerable time and attention on this decision.  After months working to find common ground with both sides of the abortion debate, he ultimately concluded that a woman must have the right to decide what goes on in her own body.
    In speaking with low-income women and families across the state who are struggling to make ends meet, Governor Rauner saw that they did not have access to their constitutionally protected right to abortion because they could not afford it.
    “We understand that the right to choose has become the most contentious issue within the Republican Party,” said Candy Straight, RMC National Co-Chair.  “However, like Governor Rauner recognized, when you talk to low income women, you can’t ignore the daily struggle they face to simply put food on the table for their existing families. We collectively need to do better for those less fortunate here in our own country.  Governor Rauner put families first and politics second with this decision.”
    Funding for birth control, preventive care, family planning and even sex education have been on the budgetary chopping block in Congress and in many states across the nation.
    “More Republican leaders need to realize that moves to cut basic social services are creating a scenario where access to prevention is more difficult for lower income families,” said Susan Bevan, RMC National Co-Chair. “It’s easy for well-paid, anti-choice, political strategists to cast stones and decry that this move to help low income women is akin to “declaring war on the pro-family movement. However, in doing so they demonstrate that the “pro-family” movement is more pro-fetus than pro-life or pro-family. They fail to understand the struggles and difficult decisions of existing American families.  We cannot as a people, or as a Government, care only about expanding families; we have to give a fighting chance to those children already born.”

    Republican Majority for Choice

    FALL 2017 Edition

    Women in Leadership provides a quarterly report to WIL members and friends containing important news concerning women’s and reproductive issues as well as news about WIL and its members.  If you come across news you think appropriate for our newsletter, please forward it to Isabel Irvine at [email protected].  We hope you will find The WIL Reporter interesting and educational.









    Please join

    Governor Jerry Brown

    For a reception supporting the re-election of





    Sharon Quirk-Silva

    Tuesday October 17, 2017

    5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.


    132 W. Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton

    $4,400 Host  (2 VIP reception tickets and 10 reception tickets)

    $2,500 Sponsor  (1 VIP reception ticket and 5 reception tickets)

    $1,000 Co-Host  (1 VIP Reception ticket and 1 reception ticket)

    100 Dollar Individual Ticket 

    For tickets click HERE

    For more information, or to RSVP, contact Nicole Ward (213) 605-5471 or [email protected]

    Please make checks payable to:

    Sharon Quirk-Silva for Assembly 2018


    Contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.   The California Political Reform Act limits contributions to candidates for State Assembly.  An individual, union, political action committee, association, committee, partnership, business or corporation may contribute a maximum of $4400 to Sharon Quirk-Silva for Assembly 2018 per election.  A Small Contributor Committee may contribute a maximum of $8800 per election.  Lobbyists registered to lobby the California State Legislature may not contribute.  

    Paid for by Sharon Quirk-Silva for Assembly 2018, FPPC ID# 1392962 

    For more information please contact Nicole Ward (213) 605-5471 or [email protected]


    For those who heard Michele Goodwin speak and wish to contribute to her Reproductive Justice Initiative:


    To make a contribution to Michele Goodwin’s Reproductive Justice Initiative project, send your check to:

    Gift Administration
    100 Theory, Suite 250
    Irvine, CA 92617

    Provide your name, address and email and any different name you may wish to have acknowledged as donor.

    State on the check (or cover letter if sent) that the contribution is to go to: “Reproductive Justice Fund #3799 (Goodwin, M.)” 

    Dutch initiative to support the women's clinics recently defunded by the US President

    As many of you may know the US President recently blocked funding to overseas women’s health clinics if they even mention abortion options (already no US tax money can be provided for abortion counseling or services). Women and girls have a fundamental right to decide freely and for themselves whether, when and how many children they have. She Decides is a new global initiative on sexual health and family planning, that aims to support this fundamental right. She Decides is seeking financial and political support to ensure full access to sexual health and family planning worldwide.

    A recent New York Times interview with the founder can be found here

    To donate visit their web page:

    Poll: Voters favor Roe, oppose cutting Planned Parenthood funds

    01/27/17 12:47 PM EST

    A large majority of voters support the 44-year-old Supreme Court decision that established women’s abortion rights — and oppose efforts to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood — according to a new poll released Friday.

    Article from POLITICO and can be found here

  • published Endorsements 2014-07-16 22:37:29 -0700

    Endorsement Guidelines


    To be considered for endorsement, a candidate must be a candidate for an office for which some or all Orange County voters are able to vote (local OC offices, statewide elections, U.S. Congress or U.S. Senate) or, in in exceptional cases, for an office for which voters in counties adjacent to Orange County can vote.  WIL endorses only those candidates who request an endorsement and complete our questionnaire.  The following is a list of our criteria for endorsement:

    1.   Support Women’s Reproductive Rights

    • Support the legal implications of Roe v. Wade.
    • Support the right of a woman to make her own medical decisions, including the right to choose and have an abortion
    • Support access for women to abortion services regardless of age or financial need.

    2.  Be considered a viable candidate according to WIL guidelines:

    • Provide a link to your campaign website
    • Demonstrate the ability to fundraise.
    • Have name recognition.
    • Have a campaign organization – i.e., a campaign consultant or campaign manager, solid volunteer base and/or staff, and a draft budget
    • A candidate’s viability will also depend on a review of her opponent(s).

    3.  Additional endorsement considerations:

    • Membership in WIL:  endorsed candidates must be WIL members in good standing. 
    • Leadership and loyalty:  support for our issues (e.g. voting record, efforts in community, etc.)
    • Non-partisan balance: WIL recognizes that supporters of women’s reproductive freedom may come from different political parties.  It will strive to maintain a non-partisan balance in its endorsements.
    • WIL contact list :  may be shared with endorsed candidates for use during the election period for which they are being endorsed.

    WIL's policy if more than one candidate for a single office requests endorsement:

    After reviewing a candidate’s position on reproductive choice, viability and political assessment, WIL will choose one of the following endorsement options:

    1. Endorse one or more candidates per office.
    2. Remain neutral in the race and not endorse any candidate, but list candidates who support women’s reproductive rights.

    Withdrawing Endorsement:

    WIL reserves the right to withdraw endorsement at any time for any of the following reasons:

    • The endorsed candidate, through words or actions, demonstrates ideals which are inconsistent with WIL’s mission.
    • The endorsed candidate, through words or actions, demonstrates unethical behavior which is inconsistent with the ethical standards of WIL.
    • The endorsed candidate drops out of the race.

    WIL endorsements are only good for one election cycle.  

    WIL reserves the right to make candidate's application public if and when WIL determines disclosure is appropriate (for example, when a candidate provides a different group with responses inconsistent with those provided to WIL).

    Request access to the Endorsement Application here.


  • published Membership 2021-10-20 22:55:57 -0700

    Your WIL Membership Matters

    Your annual WIL membership goes directly to supporting the election of women candidates who will fight to protect women’s reproductive rights.

    PLEASE JOIN TODAY at one of the following levels to ensure that we can continue to elect candidates at every level of government.

    Click on the selected level of membership below to pay by credit card, or mail a check to: Women in Leadership, 25392 Coach Springs Lane, Laguna Hills, CA 92653.

    *Join at the Leader level and bring a guest to any in-person WIL event at no charge.  You will also receive an invitation to a special annual event.

    Your contribution at any level enables the WIL PAC to donate funds to our endorsed candidates. 
    WIL provides support for endorsed women candidates beyond its PAC through its members directly contributing to candidates.  We request that WIL members support one or more WIL endorsed candidates each election cycle with financial and/or volunteer contributions.


    WIL Women Win, when we all chip in!