Empowering, Educating and Inspiring
By Preserving, Protecting and Providing
Women In California Politics was born at a Legislative Women’s alumni dinner back in 2013. As one of the alumni talked about her time in office, I pulled out my iPhone and started video-recording her. It occurred to me then that there was a richness in the story that video tells that is second only to being there in person. And this video was the best kind because it was candid, unrehearsed, and spontaneous. This is our living history! Few had heard the stories and comments. They were effectively the personal political story behind the public political history. They were rich with the personal anecdotes of these women who had had immense effects on the people of California.
I knew these stories were interesting and important and had to be told, and the best way for them to be told was in person directly from the women themselves. Video is the only way to capture the passion and personality and the nuances and details that a regular written history misses.
I sought the guidance and opinions of historians, archivists, and museum directors. Through all the different contacts and interactions, the theme crystallized. And through the enormous positive feedback, my resolve grew. Before I knew it, Women In California Politics had a Mission Statement and Vision Statement. Then came the Board of Directors and non-profit filing. And like a child, it took on a life of its own. We’ve gotten the attention of many prominent California politicians, such as the Honorable Willie Brown:
The Women In California Politics Foundation educates people about the critical role women have played in shaping the political landscape of California. “Her Words”, the women’s oral history project of Women In California Politics has been conducting intimate video-interviews with each of California’s alumni women of the State Legislature. By seeing how real women overcame obstacles in order to become involved in legislation and politics, viewers will be inspired to become involved themselves. See how they chose which areas they would focus on during their career, what most influenced their decision to run for office, what types of previous experiences helped or hindered them and see their successes, failures and their greatest triumphs. Raising the funds to produce videotapes of each of our women legislators continues.
By using creative, innovative and interactive programs we will make it real and participatory for the visitor in a future museum. The plan is to create exhibits featuring interactive media and present a living history and/or re-creation of the first 100 years of women elected to serve in the California Legislature.
Their experiences have already opened doors for you! Wouldn’t you like to know how? Women In California Politics will continually strive to provide educational opportunity and awareness of doors that are available to you because of the actions of these amazing women:
The first four women elected to serve in the California Legislature were elected in 1918 to the State Assembly. Grace Doris, Esto Broughton, Anna Saylor, and Elizabeth Hughes were each re-elected, but lost their seats to men by 1924. Over the next 50 years only 10 other women served in the state legislature.
Women In California Politics’ Vision for a Brighter Future
THE FUTURE IS NOW!
In 2013, WICP began developing our vision for the future, and we celebrated 100 years of Women In California Politics with a Centennial event in June of 2018, to raise funds for eventually opening a museum to house our many individual collections of political and campaign memorabilia from our elected women.
Our main mission will always remain the collection of the history of our elected women and development of a digital library that will be dedicated to the Women In California Politics. The legacy will endure at The Women In California Politics Museum & Digital Library and will provide individuals from our generation and those to follow with the vital resources they will need to create the great moments of the future.
*As this project progresses WICP expects there to be improvements, additions and corrections to this very aggressive plan. Fundraising for a permanent location continues throughout this project.