In Celebration of Women Leaders

Written by Quinn Delaney, CDT Board Member & Co-Founder

March is Women’s History Month and March 21 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racism. The combination of these two recognitions pretty much sums up what the California Donor Table has been up to.

Since its inception, CDT has always focused on the leadership of people of color, but within that mandate, the leadership of women of color is critically important. Don’t get me wrong, we have stood behind and championed some very fierce, male leaders, such as Michael Tubbs, Tony Thurmond and George Gascon, to name just a few. But you have to admit, CDT-endorsed women are rocking it!

  • Dr. Shirley Weber appointed to California Secretary of State
  • Holly Mitchell elected to LA County Board of Supervisors
  • Diana Becton elected as Contra Costa District Attorney
  • Sydney Kamlager just elected as State Senator
  • Susan Talamantes-Eggman elected as State Senator
  • Nora Vargas and Terra Lawson Remer elected as San Diego Board of Supervisors

And what is the point of electing these women? Look at the remarkable policy changes their leadership has brought about:

  • Removal of phone charges on phone calls from jails and juvenile facilities
  • Policies for equitable responses to Covid-19
  • The Abortion Accessibility Act
  • Elimination of cash bail
  • Requiring health care plans to cover reproductive health provisions

As you know, CDT is not solely about the leadership of individual elected progressives. We are committed to developing the ecosystem of progressive leaders and organizations that lifts the voice and power of communities, particularly communities long impacted by disinvestment and systemic racism. That is why, when we endorse a candidate we also support the local, on-the-ground organizations and community leaders who can ensure that the elected official is working for the people. Women leaders shine here, too:

  • Sky Allen at IE United
  • Andrea Guerrero at Alliance San Diego
  • Kyra Greene at Engage San Diego (Board Chair)
  • Irene Kao at Courage CA
  • Emily Lee at SF Rising
  • Kimi Lee at Bay Rising
  • Gladys Limon at CEJA
  • Tina McKinnor at LA Voice
  • Kate O’Hara at Lift Up Contra Costa (Board Chair)

The high level of leadership all of these women have undertaken requires commitment, long hours and hard choices. I am sure they have all experienced some amount of discrimination, trauma and hardship. I want to thank them all for their perseverance in the fight for justice in light of all the difficulties, and praise them for all of their successes and their tireless commitment to our communities. We are so grateful that these women and many others have stepped up in this work. We all benefit from their leadership and should be proud of CDT’s commitment to women’s leadership, especially the leadership of women of color.

The California Donor Table is a statewide community of donors who pool their funds to make investments in communities of color so they have the power they need.

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