Faces of feminism - Page 3

As the War on Women rages, Bay Area feminism comes to the fore

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My organization Mujeres Unidas y Activas (www.mujeresunidas.net) is based on a double mission: personal transformation and community power for social justice. MUA is a place where women arrive through different challenges in their lives. We try to provide emotional support and references so that they don't feel like they're alone, so that they have strength to begin the process of healing and making changes. Those can include issues of domestic violence, problems with teenage children, labor or housing issues — when they arrive at MUA they begin the process of developing their self esteem and becoming stronger. They also begin to participate in trainings and making changes in their community and to the system through civic and political participation. At MUA, women find a home. They feel comfortable because they're always welcome. We're developing strong leadership, leadership that is at the table when it comes to making decisions about our campaigns, like our letter of labor rights and the help we give to victims of domestic violence through our crisis line. Every day our members are developing their ability to be involved in the organization and community, and making changes in their personal and familial lives.

ALIX ROSENTHAL

Attorney and elected member of the SF Democratic County Central Committee

As an elected member of the SF DCCC (www.sfdemocrats.org), the governing body of the SF Democratic Party, I am working to involve the party in recruiting more women to run for political office locally. In the June 2012 election, I assembled a slate of the female candidates for DCCC — we called ourselves "Elect Women 2012." It was a controversial effort, because it included both progressives and moderates. In the wake of a highly contentious and factional term on the DCCC, we hoped to prove that moderates and progressives can work together to re-energize Democrats in this important presidential election cycle. Running for office in San Francisco is a high stakes game; it is costly and requires an extensive political network. And so the DCCC is where many future candidates get their start — it is where they build the connections necessary to run for higher office, and where they hone their fundraising abilities. By recruiting and supporting women candidates for the DCCC, I am hoping to build a "farm team" of female candidates within the party. This year, I am proud that the seven women incumbents on the DCCC retained our seats in the June election, and that we achieved parity by electing four new women to the party's governing board. I look forward to seeing what these women can accomplish together.

LAURA THOMAS

Deputy state director of Drug Policy Alliance

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