Sexism in California politics: Has it always been this bad? Will it ever get better? May 27, 2021
A discussion of sexism in California politics with very special guests Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris and Supervisor Katrina Foley!
WIL Zoom with The Mayors, March 10, 2021
What a year it's been!
Lunch with UCI Professor Michelle Goodwin, March 12, 2020
We always love having Michele speak to WIL. She is the Chancellor’s Professor of Law at UCI where she is the founding director of the UCI Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, on the faculty in the Stem Cell Research Center, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department, the Program in Public Health, and the Department of Criminology, Law, & Society.
Michele has been featured in Politico, Salon.com, Forbes, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, NPR and Ms. Magazine among others. She is a nationally recognized scholar in the field of reproductive justice.
Michele brought along copies of her just-released book, Policing the Womb, a chilling study of how states are using criminal laws as a tool to incarcerate, punish and humiliate poor pregnant women, and she signed them for WIL members and guests. Her talk was inspiring, disconcerting, stimulating and spoke to our most pressing and disturbing issues. The crowd was large and enthusiastic, notwithstanding the rising concern over coronavirus. The table were set to allow more social distance than normal.
WIL Reception at Playa Mesa, January 20, 2020
WIL Members and friends joined with many WIL endorsed candidates at Playa Mesa.
WIL sponsored a rare evening reception at Playa Mesa in Costa Mesa where WIL Members and friends joined many WIL endorsed candidates for delicious appetizers and drinks, plus a fun silent auction to raise money to enable WIL to contribute more funds to the campaigns of our endorsed candidates.
Speaker Fiona Ma, California State Treasurer – October 17, 2019
Fiona was a big hit with the many WIL members and friends who attended lunch with Fiona. She was smart and funny, plus informative. As it turns out, the office of State Treasurer has a big impact on our lives. Fiona is our State’s chief investment officer, banker and financier of the state government. She’s in charge of our State bonds and responsible for managing the State's investment accounts. She’s is in control of YOUR tax money. She is one of only three women to hold one of California’s state-wide executive offices. Look for her to run for Governor one of these days. Fiona was elected State Treasurer in 2018, with WIL’s endorsement.
Lunch with Rep. Linda Sanchez – Aug 19, 2019
Congresswoman Linda Sanchez with WIL Board members
Jennifer McDonald and Phyllis Roberts.
Linda has been a friend of WIL since she was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2003, representing the 38th Congressional District. As usual, her talk to a large WIL lunch audience was insightful, blunt and fun. She gave us insight into the dastardly going-on in Congress and provided juicy insight information. We all know and love Linda as a staunch supporter of women’s reproductive rights.
LUNCH WITH CALIFORNIA STATE SENATOR CONNIE LEYVA - JUNE 7, 2019
Speaker Connie Leyva with WIL Board Members Isabel Irvine, Jennifer McDonald, Karen Clark and Susan Seely and Past WIL Chair and current Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley.
State Senator Connie Levya, Chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, was our speaker in June 2019. She is all about helping women. Not only is she Chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, but she also serves on both the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and the Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality. She was the perfect person to help us understand how women in California are faring both in the State Legislature and in the State as a whole. She told us about how she ended up becoming a labor activist which eventually propelled her, due to a series of serendipitous opportunities and helpful mentors, to her current powerful position.
Post Primary Election Results Luncheon June 13th
June 13, 2018
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.
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
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.
January 20, 2018 - Women's March OC
Now that the march is over, we must keep the momentum going for women's rights. Join WIL today and get connected in our community to help women candidates who are dedicated to keeping access to full reproductive rights elected to local, regional, and state-wide office.
Lynne Riddle & Lorraine Prinsky
Linda Oeth & Nancy Skinner
Sue Michelson, Karen Clark, & Linda Oeth
Karol Gottfredson & Eileen Padberg
Lorraine Prinsky with Greg Louganis
Lunch with Jon Dunn
November 10, 2017
Jon Dunn has been the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood, Orange County and San Bernardino for 24 years! In fact, our Board member Tricia Nichols was on the Board of PP when Jon was hired.
PPAC’s mission is to create a personally and politically safe climate in which individuals have universal and unfettered access to sexual and reproductive health service and are free to follow their own beliefs, values and moral code when making decisions about these services.
The political arm of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC), known as the Community Action Fund, is a 501(c)(4) organization and is a force to be reckoned with.
Planned Parenthood believes in an informed electorate. The Community Action Fund distributes its voter guides, and builds strategies to defeat candidates or incumbents who do not support reproductive freedom. Planned Parenthood was the sponsor of the huge women’s march on March 21.
The Community Action Fund is totally focused on the 2018 elections. It is doing some exciting things aimed at making significant legislative changes. Planned Parenthood is also planning another march!
Planned Parenthood CEO Jon Dunn.
WIL Members and Friends enjoy lunch at Antonello's.
Lunch with L. Song Richardson
October 18, 2017
L. Song Richardson succeeded Erwin Chemerinsky to become Interim Dean of the UCI School of Law in July 2017. She is a multi-dimensional scholar with expertise involving the areas of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure; Law and Social Science; and Law, Equality and Race. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, Song gave a compelling talk about unconscious biases and how they impact women striving to be successful leaders to a sold-out crowd of WIL members and guests at Antonello’s Restaurant. For more information on this topic, please view the report on the Perception Institute’s website.
June 28, 2017
Women in Leadership kicked off summer with a reception to “Meet the Women of WIL” at Ecco Pizzeria in Costa Mesa. Hosted by WIL board members Mary Bayer and Jill Kanzler, members and guests were treated to wine and pizza as they learned more about WIL and met several of our candidates and elected officials.
Lunch with Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva
June 9, 2017
Sharon is one of WIL’s success stories, having won two out of her last three assembly races with WIL’s support. She is the only woman among Orange County’s seven state assembly members, and one of only two pro-choice members from Orange County. At our June lunch, Sharon shared with us how governing is working in Sacramento in 2017 and what our state government can do to fight back against the Trump assault on the basic rights of women.
Lunch with Joan Biskupic
May 11, 2017
Lunch with Mark Petracca
April 11, 2017
Mark Petracca is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of the School of Social Sciences at UCI. He was a quick-witted and entertaining speaker, taking nearly 70 WIL members and guests through the fascinating history of Orange County politics. He also provided a glimmer of hope about the changing landscape of party politics in Orange County, reminding us that Hillary Clinton did win Orange County – the first Democrat to do so in many, many
Lunch with Michelle Goodwin
March 15, 2017
Michele Goodwin is the Chancellor’s Professor of Law at UCI and holds appointments in the UCI Departments of Public Health and Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is a nationally recognized scholar in the field of reproductive justice. Her most recent book, Policing the Womb, is a chilling study of how states are using criminal laws as a tool to incarcerate, punish and humiliate poor pregnant women. Michele gave a dynamic, rousing talk about the way women’s rights are eroding under the reign of Trump.