June 19, 1865 is a historic day in American history

with little recognition…until now.

Juneteenth celebrates the freedom and achievements of Black Americans and serves as an opportunity to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of Black American history & culture. On this day, June 19, 1865, enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas were read the Emancipation Proclamation by Union soldiers, 2 months after the end of the Civil War, and two and a half years after the executive order was signed. The Emancipation Proclamation — which changed the status of enslaved Africans in confederate states from slave to free — was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862 and became effective January 1, 1863. Early celebrations of Juneteenth can be traced back to 1866.

Why the delay? Slaveholders throughout the South and as far west as Texas ignored the Emancipation Proclamation throughout the war, and resisted the Union forces and new law even after the Confederate surrender.

Even with the Emancipation Proclamation and the surrender of all of the Confederate armies, freedom was far from guaranteed to freed slaves and their descendants. The gap between the law of the land and reality was wide. The 13th Amendment, which eliminated slavery in the United States, was ratified on December 6, 1865. Still, emancipation was followed by the turbulent and violent Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras which continued to marginalize and challenge the freedom of Black Americans. The insidious legacies of these eras for Black Americans persist today in systemic social, financial, health, and educational inequities across our Nation.

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Though, as we celebrate Juneteenth this year and every year, we celebrate the freedom and achievements of Black Americans and we also acknowledge the millions of people around the world advocating for the eradication of racism. So how can you participate in celebrating Juneteenth?

  • Take part in some of the many local activities throughout the Bay Area
  • Educate yourself on the history of Juneteenth (reading suggestions below)
  • Share Black literature, art, and stories
  • Buy from Black-owned establishments and restaurants
  • Register to vote, and get your friends to register too. We need everyone voting in 2020. We’ll have lots of guides and FAQs for you as the election gets closer, but you can always reach out to us at info@sfwpc.org

Thank you to SFWPC Member Danisha Lomax who helped craft this post, and shared how she celebrates Juneteenth:

Spending time with family and loved ones over a barbeque spread, with a few newer vegan options for me, shout-out to Soulfully Vegan. After cooking and eating together, we share our stories of progress, past and present day, and reflect on where we want to be as a family unit and in society. We make pledges to each other to hold ourselves accountable when the new year rolls around. This year, my goal is to find more ways to rest. I am mover and doer, I love to be busy, but I am learning that there is so much resistance in resting. Rest was not something that was afforded to my ancestors, so by actively resting, I am paying homage to them and the foundational work they laid in this country, in our DNA and our hearts. After our pledge this year, I think we’ll watch Harriet, directed by a Black woman, Kasi Lemmons, or Da 5 Bloods by Spike Lee.

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Pre-pandemic, we would visit MOADSF or the Oakland Museum of California. This year, we cannot do that, so what I have done is order many new books for myself and my children that highlight and celebrate our culture as Black Americans. My most recent order for myself was Kwame Brathwaite’s Black is Beautiful. My daughter has Little Leaders, Bold Women in Black History, so I ordered the alternative for my son, Little Leaders, Bold Men in Black History, and Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti. I am excited to read with my children and continue to grow their knowledge of the beauty in what it means to be black. 

Danisha Lomax is Vice President, Group Director, National Paid Social Lead, at Digitas, where she leads go-to-market strategy, planning, and execution for a wide range of clients. She is thought leader on authentic engagement, culture driven content, and organizational impact. She also develops programming to empower women of color through advocacy and professional development. SFWPC is thrilled to have Danisha as a member of our Policy Committee.

For further reading on Juneteenth, Emancipation, and the struggle against racism:

  • Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery by Leon Litwack
  • Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery by Deborah Willis
  • Stony the Road by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  • Essay “Juneteenth: Emancipation and Memory” by Elizabeth Hayes Turner

Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a state holiday on January 1, 1980. Currently, 47 out of the 50 U.S. states recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday. In response to the #BlackLivesMatter protests sweeping the nation, companies large and small have started to offer employees Juneteenth off as a paid holiday, and there have been nationwide calls to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

Sources:

What is Juneteenth?, PBS.org, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 2013 (This article was originally published on The Root but the source was unavailable)
Juneteenth website
Reconstruction, History.com, History.com editors, February 10, 2020
African American Odyssey, Library of Congress, 2008

 

 

#BlackLivesMatter, PERIOD.

The Board of San Francisco Women’s Political Committee stands with those who are protesting here at home and across the nation. We affirm that #BlackLivesMatter and raise our voices in support of the demonstrations in response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, as well as the institutionalized racism and discrimination baked into our collective history, culture, society, and policies. 

Rest in Power, Beautiful #blacklivesmatter from BLM Global Network on Vimeo.

 

In the wake of the viral videos from last week, as well as the overwhelmingly disproportionate impact that COVID has had on communities of color, it is more important than ever for white allies to speak out and be anti-racist. It is also essential that white allies listen and are prepared to do the work necessary for allyship now – but also when the news and cameras have moved on.  

The SFWPC Board has worked together to collect a number of resources to support impacted communities, and for all allies to enable better self education, understanding, and action. We’ve also collected a number of resources exclusively for communities of color to enable and better create safe spaces.  

SFWPC is committed to working against injustice and towards an anti-racist future.

Safe Spaces and Resources for POC Folks

Anti-Racist Literature (we encourage you to get these from the library or buy these from your local bookstore or independent bookseller)

  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, By Robin DiAngelo
  • How to Be an Antiracist, By Ibram X. Kendi
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, By Michelle Alexander
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, By Layla Saad
  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, By Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
  • Citizen: An American Lyric, By Claudia Rankine
  • Other Collections of Anti-Racist Works: SURJ Bay Area, Trident Bookstores, The Bookshop


Opportunities to Support the BLM Movement with your Money


Learning Opportunities through Film 

  • Selma, Ava DuVerynay
  • 13th, Ava DuVernay
  • When They See Us, Ava DuVernay
  • Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
  • The Powerbroker

Help with a clean-up effort


Better Allyship & Confronting Racism

How to talk to kids about race 

In solidarity and action,

San Francisco Women’s Political Committee

Board of Directors

SFWPC PAC Recommendations for November 2018 Election

The San Francisco Women’s Political Committee’s Political Action Committee (PAC) recommendations for the November 2018 elections are as follows:

Governor
Gavin Newsom

Attorney General
Xavier Becerra

District 2 Supervisor 
Dual Recommendation – Schuyler Hudak and Catherine Stefani

District 4 Supervisor *
Gordon Mar

District 6 Supervisor **
#1 Matt Haney
#2 Christine Johnson

District 8 Supervisor
Rafael Mandelman

District 10 Supervisor 
Shamann Walton

Board of Education***
Alison Collins
Monica Chinchilla
Li Miao Lovett

Community College Board of Trustees
Thea Selby (Early endorsed)
Brigitte Davila
Dr. Victor Olivieri

Public Defender
Jeff Adachi

Assessor-Recorder
Carmen Chu

BART Board of Directors, District 8
Dual Recommendation – Melanie Nutter and Janice Li

Local Ballot Measures

Prop A – Yes

Prop B – Yes

Prop C – Yes

Prop D – Yes

Prop E – Yes

State Ballot Measures

Prop 1 – Yes

Prop 2 – Yes

Prop 3 – Yes 

Prop 4 – Yes 

Prop 5 – No

Prop 6 – No

Prop 7 – Yes 

Prop 8 – Yes 

Prop 9 – Yes 

Prop 10 – Yes 

Prop 11 – No 

Prop 12 – Yes 

Continue reading “SFWPC PAC Recommendations for November 2018 Election”

SFWPC June 2018 Endorsements

SFWPC is proud to announce our official endorsed candidates and measures for the June 2018 Primary Election!
Thank you to all of the candidates, campaign representatives and members who were involved in this process.

Mayor
London Breed

District 8 Supervisor
Rafael Mandelman

State Assembly, District 17
David Chiu

State Assembly, District 19
Phil Ting

San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 4
Andrew Cheng

San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 7
Maria Evangelista

San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 9
Cynthia Lee

San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 11
Niki Solis

Local Ballot Measures

Prop A, PUC Revenue Bonds – Yes

Prop B, Appointed Board Members and Commissioners Seeking Elective Office – Yes

Prop C, Universal Childcare and Commercial Rent Tax – Yes

Prop E, Repeal of Ordinance Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products – Yes

Prop F, City-Funded Legal Representation For All Residential Tenants in Eviction Lawsuits – Yes

Prop G, Parcel Tax to Fund Teacher Salaries – Yes

Prop H, Use of Tasers by San Francisco Police Officers – No

Prop I, Relocation of Professional Sports Teams – No recommendation

Regional Ballot Measures

Regional Measure 3 – Transportation Funding Through Increased Tolls – Yes

Statewide Candidates

Board of Equalization, District 2
Malia Cohen

State Ballot Measures

Prop 68, Parks, Environment, and Water Bond – Yes

Prop 69, Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox and Appropriations Limit Exemption Amendment – Yes

Prop 70, Vote Requirement to Use Cap-and-Trade Revenue Amendment – No

Prop 71, Effective Date of Ballot Measures Amendment – Yes

Prop 72, Rainwater Capture Systems Excluded from Property Tax Assessments Amendment – Yes

*Prop D, Additional Gross Receipts Tax on Commercial Rents – No result reached 50%+1 so it will not appear on our materials.

 

SFWPC PAC Recommendations for June 2018 Election

The San Francisco Women’s Political Committee’s Political Action Committee (PAC) recommendations for the June 2018 elections are as follows:

Mayor*
#1 London Breed
#2 Jane Kim
#3 Mark Leno

District 8 Supervisor
Rafael Mandelman

State Assembly, District 17
David Chiu

State Assembly, District 19
Phil Ting

San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 4
Andrew Cheng

San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 7
Maria Evangelista

San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 9
Cynthia Lee

San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Seat 11
Niki Solis

Local Ballot Measures

Prop A, PUC Revenue Bonds – Yes

Prop B, Appointed Board Members and Commissioners Seeking Elective Office – Yes

Prop C, Universal Childcare and Commercial Rent Tax – Yes

Prop D, Additional Gross Receipts Tax on Commercial Rents – No recommendation*

Prop E, Repeal of Ordinance Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products – Yes

Prop F, City-Funded Legal Representation For All Residential Tenants in Eviction Lawsuits – Yes***

Prop G, Parcel Tax to Fund Teacher Salaries – Yes

Prop H, Use of Tasers by San Francisco Police Officers – No

Prop I, Relocation of Professional Sports Teams – No recommendation

Regional Ballot Measures

Regional Measure 3 – Transportation Funding Through Increased Tolls – Yes

Statewide Candidates

Board of Equalization, District 2
Malia Cohen

State Ballot Measures

Prop 68, Parks, Environment, and Water Bond – Yes

Prop 69, Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox and Appropriations Limit Exemption Amendment – Yes

Prop 70, Vote Requirement to Use Cap-and-Trade Revenue Amendment – No

Prop 71, Effective Date of Ballot Measures Amendment – Yes

Prop 72, Rainwater Capture Systems Excluded from Property Tax Assessments Amendment – Yes

Continue reading “SFWPC PAC Recommendations for June 2018 Election”

SFWPC Urges BOS to Appoint Female Interim Mayor

To: San Francisco Board of Supervisors
From: San Francisco Women’s Political Committee Board of Directors
Date: January 23, 2018

SFWPC Support for Female Interim Mayor

2017 was a momentous year for women in San Francisco and across the country.

In the women’s community, we witnessed tremendous victories in the historic Women’s March, the #MeToo movement and the record-breaking elections of women of color and LGBTQ candidates last November.

We also faced losses, including the tragic and sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee, our city’s first Asian American mayor and a fearless advocate for women in San Francisco.

In this critical moment, the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee (SFWPC) strongly urges the Board of Supervisors to uphold its democratic process and appoint an experienced woman leader as interim mayor.

While we understand the important political implications of this appointment, we believe gender parity should be a key goal of your nomination.

We know that female perspectives are essential to good public policy and we urge you

to ensure that women’s voices are represented citywide—particularly in executive leadership.

With the appointment of interim mayor, the Board has an opportunity to shift the gender balance in our city’s leadership. While San Francisco has a rich history of promoting women who go on to lead our country, we are disappointed that still, our city has only had one woman mayor — Dianne Feinstein — who took office after the assassination of Mayor George Moscone.

Our organization is deeply concerned that the names being floated for interim mayor have overwhelmingly been men. This is emblematic of a larger problem of women being overlooked as credible candidates when positions of leadership become available, particularly in the public arena. We believe this must change.

Whether the Board considers a woman currently in elected office, such as a member of the Board of Supervisors or Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu, or women administrators such as City Administrator Naomi Kelly, County Clerk Catherine Stefani, or former elected officials like Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, there is a wealth of strong, experienced women leaders to choose from. The San Francisco Women’s Political Committee urges the Board of Supervisors to appoint a female leader as interim mayor.

Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Kelly Akemi Groth, President
Jen Longley, Vice President
Sharon Chung, PAC Co-Chair
Lia Azul Salaverry, PAC Co-Chair
Iris Wong, Communications Chair
Christine Randolph, Membership Chair
Diane Le, Events Chair
Frances Hsieh, Advisory Board Co-Chair
Jaynry Mak, Advisory Board Co-Chair

Fighting for Reproductive Rights – Suggested Readings and Action Steps

The surprise outcome of the U.S. election has driven advocates to refocus their 2017 agendas and strategize how to defend against the expected onslaught of attacks on reproductive rights. Recently, SFWPC co-hosted a panel of healthcare and legal experts from Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and Women’s Health Specialists to discuss the anticipated challenges from national and local administrations, covering such topics as: limiting access to affordable contraception, expanding abortion restrictions, defunding services providers, and much more. They also discussed the various strategies for fighting back and advancing rights in this environment, ending with concrete ways for attendees to get involved in local and national advocacy.

Here are some suggested readings to empower you on your rights, and actions you can take to support reproductive justice.

 

Resource & Reading List

Next Steps

June 2016 Ballot

A message from the Board: 

This past weekend, our Political Action Committee met with candidates on the June ballot. Below are our recommendations to you, our general membership, and we invite you to cast your vote at our event this Thursday.

But before you review our recommendations below, we want to call your attention to something we think is really important:

We are recommending more female candidates on one ballot than ever before – including all 24 seats for the DCCC.

Wait. It’s 2016 – how is that possible? But it’s true. One of SFWPC’s core values is to support and elevate women to positions of power and leadership, but we don’t rubber-stamp endorse every single female candidate on the ballot – we take many factors into account, including qualification for the office sought, past commitment to issues that impact women and families, and demonstrated record of mentoring and elevating women to positions of leadership.

We are lucky that in San Francisco, we have no shortage of male candidates and elected officials who demonstrate strong commitments to supporting and empowering women and the causes important to us. We have supported many such male candidates in the past and will do so again in the future.

But for this June’s primary, we saw something very different on the ballot and in our PAC endorsement interviews this past weekend.

This June, voters will elect 24 members to the Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC).  The talk of the town in recent weeks has been the sheer number of candidates running – 60 total, running for 24 seats.

But we saw something else unprecedented.

In that field of 60 candidates, half are women.

Not only is this an unprecedented number women running and more women running than seats available, it is an amazing field of smart, talented, respected, and hard working women that represent the diversity of San Francisco. It is perhaps the most impressive group of women, from well-seasoned current DCCC members to first-time yet well-qualified candidates, that we’ve seen run for DCCC since SFWPC was founded nearly 15 years ago.

Our Political Action Committee sat down to talk with these candidates over the weekend and were universally impressed by each and every woman we met. We are inspired and excited that so many of these women have a demonstrated ability to roll up their sleeves and serve, organize, and empower their communities. We also see a promising, growing group of women currently serving on the DCCC who we’d love to see run for other positions in this city someday.

That is why the PAC made a conscious decision to recommend to our membership an all-female slate of DCCC candidates.

Every endorsement process is political. But when presented with such a deserving group of candidates — some progressive, some moderate, all hard working and well qualified – we must stay true to our values and our purpose as an organization. These women are already doing amazing community building work, and the San Francisco Democratic Party would be lucky to have any or all of them leading the party.  Our membership doesn’t always agree with our recommendations — that’s certainly part of the democratic process, but we hope that, no matter whether you lean progressive or moderate, you can agree each of these women is the kind of candidate this club was created to help empower and elect. We hope you agree and will support our PAC committee’s recommended candidates. They are each certainly deserving.

Please reach out to the SFWPC Board members if you have any questions or feedback. We love hearing from you. 

 Join us THIS Thursday for SFWPC’s

ENDORSEMENT VOTE EVENT

from 5:30pm – 7:30pm 

at Redford (673 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102)

 Come out this Thursday 3/31 to vote for SFWPC’s endorsements for the June 2016 election with special guest: SF Board of Supervisors President London Breed! 

WHAT: Membership Endorsement Vote – June 2016 Ballot 

WHEN: Thursday, March 31 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm 

WHERE: Redford Bar|Eat, 673 Geary Street

 All members who are current on their dues and have attended at least 3 events in the past year – prior to the mixer – are eligible to vote.  

For questions about your qualifications to vote, please email kelly@sfwpc.org

RSVP here 

SFWPC PAC RECOMMENDATIONS

State Senate, District 11 

Jane Kim 

State Assembly, District 17

David Chiu

State Assembly, District 19

Phil Ting  

SF DCCC, District 17

Alysabeth Alexander

London Breed

Malia Cohen

Petra De Jesus

Zoe Dunning

Pratima Gupta

Frances Hsieh

Jane Kim

Sophie Maxwell

Leah Pimentel

Rebecca Prozan

Alix Rosenthal

Melissa San Miguel

Cindy Wu

SF DCCC, District 19 

Kat Anderson

Brigitte Davila

Sandra Fewer

Mary Jung

Hene Kelly

Leah LaCroix

Myrna Melgar

Emily Murase

Rachel Norton

Marjan Philhour

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 7

(Dual Recommendation) Sigrid Irias & Victor Hwang

 

Ballot Measures 

District Measure

Measure AA: Yes 

San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program 

Local Measures

Prop A: Yes

Bond: Public Health and Safety Bond

Prop B: Yes

Charter Amendment: Park, Recreation and Open Space Fund

Prop C: Yes

Charter Amendment: Affordable Housing Requirements

Prop D: Yes

Initiative Ordinance: Office of Citizen Complaints Investigations

Prop E: Yes 

Initiative Ordinance: Paid Sick Leave

Action Alert: San Francisco clinics need your help!

Stand up with Planned Parenthood for a woman’s right to access reproductive healthcare without harassment or intimidation at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors hearing on Thursday, October 23 at 1:00pm. RSVP today.

As you know, patients who approach our health center on Valencia Street in the Mission must regularly face protesters who shout insults, take pictures as they enter the building, and make wildly inaccurate claims about abortion and birth control.

On October 23, a Board Committee will vote on new patient protections sponsored by San Francisco Supervisor David Campos. We need to show our support so that the harassment stops NOW in San Francisco.

Join us! Let’s fill the chamber with as many supporters as possible.

 

ACTION ALERT! Support Angela Chan For Reappontment to the Police Commission

The San Francisco Women’s Political Committee is concerned about the effort to block the reappointment of Angela Chan to a second term on the Police Commission. We urge you to read our letter of support below and contact your supervisor to support Angela.

Dear Members of the Board of Supervisors,

On behalf of the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee, I am writing to extend our highest recommendation for the reappointment of Angela Chan to the Police Commission. Angela was unanimously nominated by the Rules Committee for a second term to this important commission. Her nomination is scheduled to come before the full Board of Supervisors for a vote tomorrow, April 29th. We are writing to urge you to vote “yes” on her reappointment.

SFWPC is the largest and most active women’s political organization in San Francisco. We are committed to elevating women into positions of leadership including elected office, boards, commissions and management positions. Women make up over half of society and thus, women must be equal partners in all areas of the political process.

As a police commissioner for the past four years, Angela has been a role model for other women, particularly women of color, to take leadership roles. Although other good candidates may have been introduced in the Rules Committee, there was nothing presented as to why Angela should not be reappointed. In cases like this, it’s critical for our City’s leadership to put their votes where their rhetoric is in terms of gender parity and make sure that women that have the interest, ability, and track record to be reappointed are not cast aside for men with the same credentials.
Angela plays a key role on the commission in giving voice to the concerns and needs of underrepresented communities, including women, immigrants, and people of color. She has worked hard to represent the interests of San Francisco residents in having a fair and transparent police department that prioritizes community policing.

Currently, there are three women (including Angela), and three men on the Police Commission (and one seat that has not been filled). Angela has an excellent attendance record, has worked hard to engage community members on improving community policing, and has been accessible and supportive to diverse members in the police department including African American, Asian, and female police officers. Her record on the commission strongly qualifies her for a reappointment and will help maintain gender balance on the commission.

For these reasons, we urge you to reappoint Angela Chan to the police commission. Thank you for your consideration.

Laura Hahn
President, SFWPC

Please contact the members of the Board of Supervisors to urge them to reappoint Commissioner Chan before today’s hearing.

John Avalos, District 11
Phone: (415) 554-6975
Fax: (415) 554-6979
John.Avalos@sfgov.org

London Breed, District 5
Phone: (415) 554-7630
Fax: (415) 554-7634
London.Breed@sfgov.org

David Chiu. District 3
Phone: (415) 554-7450
Fax: (415) 554-7454
David.Chiu@sfgov.org

Malia Cohen, District 10
Phone: (415) 554-7670
Fax: (415) 554-7674
Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org

Mark Farrell, District 2
Phone: (415) 554-7752
Fax: (415) 554-7843
Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org

Jane Kim, District 6
Phone: (415) 554-7970
Fax: (415) 554-7974
Jane.Kim@sfgov.org

Katy Tang, District 4
Phone: (415) 554-7460
Fax: (415) 554-7432
Katy.Tang@sfgov.org

Scott Wiener, District 8
Phone: (415) 554-6968
Fax: (415) 554-6909
Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org

David Campos, District 9
Phone: (415) 554-5144
Fax: (415) 554-6255
David.Campos@sfgov.org

Eric Mar, District 1
Phone: (415) 554-7410
Fax: (415) 554-7415
Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org

Norman Yee, District 7
Phone: (415) 554-6516
Fax: (415) 554-6546
Norman.Yee@sfgov.org