May, 1996 - Volume 10, Issue 11

Santa Cruz County Chapter of the National Organization for Women Newsletter


  • Co-Coordinator's Report
  • Education Task Force Report
  • Connecting The Issues
  • Fight The Radical "Right"
  • The March in April
  • Violence against women task force report
  • Newsletter Policy
  • Chapter & Community Calendars
  • Sponsors

  • Co-Coordinator's Report

    by Julie Skilton

    The March to Fight the Right was a blast! Not only did we send a full busload of feminists to the event, we also had 2 local events occur almost on the eve of it. On Thursday, the UCSC campus hosted Rosemary Dempsey, Vice-President of NOW. The chapter and other local groups helped sponsor this event, but the actual organizing credit goes to the Affirmative Action Coalition. (Photo)
    Then on Friday, Patricia Ireland, president of NOW, debated the Reverend Rankin on affirmative action in Santa Cruz. Perhaps you heard it simulcast on KSCO 1080. Then Sunday, the march...not as big as I had hoped, but it was very well organized. I hope that if you couldn't attend you saw it on CNN the following day. There is still time to wade in to the rest of the '96 elections campaign for which this was a kick-off. As I've said before - the Year of the Woman was a nice warm-up, but now I'm ready for the Millennium of the Woman. WAKE UP! CALL FOLKS! WOMEN LOST GROUND IN THE 1994 ELECTIONS! YOU ARE THE ONLY THING THAT CAN KEEP IT FROM HAPPENING AGAIN! (Editors Note: The Fundamentalist "Christian" Coalition ALWAYS votes! Hitler was voted in with a low voter turnout, much like the "right"-wing radicals in Congress. Your vote and your voice DO COUNT & are VERY IMPORTANT!) We need your help, as much of it as you can give. We will be working on campaigns, tabling at events, writing letters, visiting representatives and doing actions throughout the summer and fall. If you can give a few hours for any one of these activities, I guarantee you your work will make a difference.

    I know it is uncomfortable to dive right in. That's why we always try to work in pairs at a minimum. And that's why this month's meeting is an orientation to new members and an action "work party." We will:

  • 1) Write letters to editors and representatives
  • 2) Plan Gay Pride participation, June 02
  • 3) Organize those attending the CA NOW State Conference in North Hollywood, May 17-19.
  • I expect that action will be accompanied by great feminist discussion on all sorts of issues as well. Please be there at 141 Harvey West Park at Kids Klub, May 02, 7-9pm. A reminder to parents: We do have child care available without cost to you.

    One last bit of business. Our chapter elections fall on 06/06/96. The nominations for the '96/'97 SCCNOW Board are as follows:

  • Coordinator ~ Shannon Sullivan
  • Membership ~ Julie Skilton
  • Recorder ~ Diane Lamotte
  • Treasurer ~ Tatiana
  • Legislative Action ~ Christian Selling
  • Webmaster ~ Christian Selling
  • Newsletter ~ Jennifer Pitino
  • Nominations stay open until the actual election, We still need nominations for the other Coordinator position, for Fundraising, for Program, and for Consciousness Raising Chairs. The commitment is one year, one evening meeting per month, (General meetings are optional except for Program Chair.) plus the time you choose to give to the office, As an outgoing Co-coordinator, I am really proud of this year. I hope you all understand and appreciate the work and spirit of those who make up our board. It is often the thing that keeps me going! Return to top


    by Shannon Sullivan

    As you may know, CA NOW registered a Title IX complaint against the Pajaro Valley Unified School district with the Office of Civil Rights. Since that time, members of the task force have met with a representative from the OCR, who gave us some disappointing news. First of all, there is a six month statute of limitations on events that one can make a complaint on. This means that while people who were concerned about violations were attempting to work their way through the administrative system to address their concerns and try to create positive changes, their time to complain to the OCR was running out. The other disappointment, and possibly the biggest as far was we are concerned, is that the OCR will provide the district with a list of areas where the district is out of compliance before the OCR writes up its findings. This means that the district has a chance to fix the problem before the final report goes out to the public. On the one hand, this is great, because the district will have to change things to get itself a good report. On the other hand, its lousy in that it makes the complainant (us) look like our complaint was unfounded. Although the OCR made visits in December, the report is not yet complete. Stay tuned...

    In addition to following up on the complaint, members of the task force visited Aptos High School's principal, David Hare on April 1. The purpose of the visit was to bring him up to speed on the problems he has inherited. (He is a first-year principal at Aptos HS.) The main topics discussed were the 2:1 ratio of boy to girl opportunities in athletics, the effects that has on the opportunities for girls to take 6th period athletic P.E., whether 6th period athletic P.E. is good for the student body as a whole, written policies and procedures for athletic directors to follow to ensure their program is in compliance, the representation of women teachers in nontraditional subject areas (at Aptos, they have had one woman science teacher and no women teaching shop, etc.), and the lack of representation of people of color on the faculty and staff.

    Mr. Hare seemed to agree with us in some areas of concern, but had difficulties in others. He felt that statistics were not the problem with athletics, but that they represented some underlying problem. The problem of 6th period athletic P.E. was for him a problem affecting girls and boys equally, in that most of the college prep classes are offered 6th period. There are currently no written policies and procedures which can provide an athletic director with guidance for compliance with Title IX. We agreed that such policies and procedures should perhaps come from the district. Finally, in the area of representation, Mr. Hare informed the task force that "he would not hire a lesser qualified woman or minority to simply meet proportional representation" desires. ( Mr. Hare needs some education regarding equal representation and affirmative action...any volunteers?). We had a discussion about the availability of highly qualified women and people of color, although one may need to publicize the opening more broadly or for a longer period of time. Mr. Hare indicated that he expects help from community groups like ourselves to help him find these qualified women and people of color. We agreed to do whatever was necessary to accomplish the goal of balanced representation. All in all, it was a good first meeting, and we expect to meet with Mr. Hare again soon.

    Our next meeting will be scheduled with Clem Donaldson, the Title IX officer at the district level. We will be raising many of the same issues.

    The task force is open to anyone interested in equality of treatment of female and male students, and between students of color and anglos. If you would like to participate, please contact Shannon. We would especially appreciate any contacts with staff and students at other schools and other levels in this district or in other districts. If we have no contact with a school, we have nothing to speak with a principal or the district about, so please help us stay informed.
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    Connecting The Issues

    by Ruth Hunter

    Women thronged the streets claiming April 14th their day as they shouted to preserve women's rights. Shoulder to shoulder, they marched with caring men and children down to Crissey Field. Thousands who joined the walk on this sunny day in San Francisco waved slogans, chanted, inspired a spirit of sisterhood that touched each of us. Fortunately, many probably will vote against the California Civil Rights Initiative, (CCRI). Unfortunately, too many will in the next few months shop at Macy's, Walmarts, J.C. Penney, Sears, K Mart-a partial list of bargain retailers. Although the thread connecting these two issues, affirmative action and consumer shopping, may seem very remote, there is a deep connection-the bond of sisterhood. As we keep the spotlight on the affirmative action cause, let it also shine and expose the subhuman conditions under which women work in the garment industry.

    In the last decade, shocking stories have surfaced publicizing the exploitation and physical abuse heaped on women whose labors provide retail giants with inventory. The harsh treatment of women and children finally hit the front pages in 1995. Two Thai women escaped by scaling the wall surrounding the compound in El Monte, CA. They blew the whistle on the captivity of 72 workers producing garments for Macy's, Mervyn's, Montgomery Ward, Nieman Marcus, Victoria's Secret and other retailers who contracted with sweatshop owners.

    The Sweatshop Watch reported on the pre-dawn raid on an apartment complex enclosed in barbed wire: "For up to seven years, 67 women and 5 men, forbidden to leave the guarded compound, had been forced to sew garments for U.S. brand-name mfrs. and retailers for $1.60/hour. They were forced to work from 7:00 a.m. to midnight, six days a week to pay off the smugglers for their cost of passage. Even after they had paid back their captors, the workers were unable to leave and were forced to continue working...with threats of rape and retribution against family members in Thailand."

    As the stench of exploitation began to spread in the '80's, organizations sprang up in response, demanding codes of conduct from both manufacturers and retailers. In addition to the Sweatshop Watch, the Guatemala Labor Education Project (GLEP), and the National Labor Committee (NLC) have entered the fray. The NLC sponsored two young women, workers from El Salvador garment maquiladora, a factory sewing for GAP. These workers spoke for half a million garment workers, many as young as 13 who are employed in the Central American Free Trade Zones. Claudia and Judith described the humiliation and abuse. "Workers were allowed only two 5 minute bathroom breaks during their 14 hour days. To force them to work faster, supervisors hit them. To retain their jobs, the girls must take birth control pills. Those who get pregnant are given pills to induce miscarriages." GAP was petitioned at its headquarters in S.F. to demand contractors provide decent working conditions. When managers failed to conform, GAP withdrew contracts throwing hundreds out of work. Hardly a solution! In December, 1995, GAP agreed to renew the contract, becoming the first retailer to do independent monitoring for compliance with codes of conduct.

    This is one success story among many failures especially in Guatemala where Wal-Mart is one of the giant retailers contracting with Korean managers of the maquilladoras. When I traveled to Guatemala on a Habitat for Humanity dedication in December, I met my friend and union organizer. Flor looked awful, recently recovering from a hysterectomy operation. It was painful to hear her story. A few months ago, when she had began organizing maquilladora women, intimidating phone calls began. One day, while riding a bus, she was forced off by two gunmen, and savagely raped. Her work continues in spite of threats and her own fears. Support from the Chicago-based organization, GLEP, has stiffened her resolve to fight.

    However, we can put our inspiration from the march into consumer awareness. Public pressure is a stunning message to retailers that profits and greed need to be balanced against human needs.
    For Information, Updates, and Action, contact:
    *Sweatshop Watch
    468 Bush St, 3rd Floor, San Francisco 94108 415/391-1655
    *National Labor Committee
    15 Union Square West, New York NY 10003 212/242-0700
    *Guatemala Labor Education Project
    333 S Ashland Ave, Chicago IL 60607

    Ruth Hunter is a monthly contributor to LaGazette and is a freelance writer for Santa Cruz SCAN and other publications. She is also on the Steering Committees for WILPF and RCNV.
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    Fight the Radical "Right"

    by Sally Wing

    The "Fight the Right" weekend had an appropriate and thought provoking kickoff on Thursday and Friday nights right here in Santa Cruz.

    On Thursday, April 11, Rosemary Dempsey, Action Vice-President for NOW spoke at Oakes College at UCSC about "Fighting the Politics of Hate." She stressed the importance of joining the fight against impending encroachments on rights which we now take for granted and which other people have died for. She said, "Often we don't appreciate how quickly we can lose our civil rights."

    Dempsey defined Affirmative Action as "a very gentle implementation of federal law," specifically the 1964 Civil Rights Act. She sees it as a compromise which sets goals and time tables, but is not really law in itself.

    She cited the findings of the Glass Ceiling Commission as evidence of the need for such policies. This commission, which was mandated by President Bush, found that 97% of upper level jobs in Fortune 500 companies were held by white men. When men holding these jobs were asked their theories about why these statistics are true, many suggested very negative explanations such as the laziness of Latinos and the fact that women "won't work full time."

    Dempsey also addressed the upcoming vote on the California Civil Rights Initiative which she said would change California's sex discrimination law from the strongest in the nation to the weakest. She noted the frustrating use of "doublespeak" by the writers of the proposal who use the same language as the words used in the Civil Rights Law. The proposal says that "race and sex" can not be used to correct inequalities of race and sex.

    Dempsey views California as a "trial state." She feels that if CCRI can be passed in California, it will then be "rolled across the entire country."

    One of the major effects of this proposal would be felt on college campuses where the last hired would be the first to let go. Generally speaking, these people tend to be women and people of color.

    Dempsey's speech was particularly effective and heartfelt because it was punctuated with personal anecdotes about her own experiences with discrimination. In 1979 her ex-husband challenged the custody of her children by using her sexual orientation. In fact, however, she says that the issue turned out to be money and not the well-being of their children.

    She also battled discrimination when she moved to Florida with her partner to start a business. They were harassed, and the business was actually burned down. That issue, too, turned out to be economic as the people who owned the land her business was on wanted to sell it to the Hilton and make a lot more money.

    Dempsey's impassioned plea for action ended with a memorable reminder that, "Whenever we divide ourselves by issue, we do the work of the fundamentalist right for them."

    The Santa Cruz preliminary events continued on Friday night at the Light and Life Community Church on Brommer Street where Ted Jefferson hosted his nightly radio show for KSCO AM as an open public forum.

    At this forum Patricia Ireland, the President of NOW, debated Rev. John Rankin from the Theological Education Institute in Hartford, Connecticut on the topic of Affirmative Action.

    Ireland began with an 18 minute statement of her views. She said that she likes to define feminism as she saw it defined on a tee shirt as, "the radical notion that women are people." She also said that she herself has been the "proud beneficiary of Affirmative Action."

    She argued that the economic disparities in this country can not be ignored and quoted the depressing statistic that 1% of the country controls 40% of the wealth.

    Rev. Rankin then was given the same amount of time to explain his views. He noted that his Christian world view demands that any policies he supports be "consistently affirmative" for everyone involved. He explained that because some people are denigrated by Affirmative Action policies, he is opposed to them.

    Following the presentation of both sides of the issue, audience members were invited to participate by asking questions on air.

    The atmosphere was charged with tension during the question/answer period as both sides grappled with understanding and listening to the opposing views.

    People stayed on to talk to both participants in the debate even after the two hour time period was over. The evening ended was many, many "mini-debates."
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    The March in April by Julie Skilton

    The March was great! The weather was perfect. The speakers were diverse and inspiring and the entertainment was no less. Even the food was fabulous. We had paid tickets and/or sponsorships to fill 2 busses 2/3 full. The biggest thanks for that effort goes to Ms Hines and other board members who assisted in selling tickets. Several individual NOW members also helped in getting the word out to the various media and various parts of the county. Not everyone showed for the busses, though, so we all packed into the "BINGO" bus. In our group were more men and more children than I have seen at a NOW event. Our "BINGO" fund-raiser had some very nice prizes donated by Herland Book Cafe, Eco Goods, and some individuals. We arrived in San Francisco in time to hear the opening speakers. We marched immediately behind the CA NOW banner - pretty close to the front of the parade. As we walked onto Crissey Field, 1.7 miles away, we heard that the end of the march had not yet left the starting point. Park officials estimated the crowd at 13,000 but NOW officials estimated 50,000 to 60,000. That's a good turnout for an organizing effort in a new location but not nearly as many as attend these events in DC. Chances are this was your big chance to attend a national NOW event in your own backyard. Sorry so many missed it. Hope to see you on the campaign trail instead!
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    by Shannon Sullivan

    Along with maintaining the clothesline project (which will be at Caņada College and Foothill College next month,) the task force is investigating rumors that the sheriffs office is using children to translate on domestic violence calls and that officers are treating women and their advocates insensitively. If you or someone you know has had a domestic violence interaction with law enforcement that you felt was handled inappropriately, or if there are any other issues you think the task force should be aware of, please contact Shannon at 408/728-3988.
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    02      7-9pm. Thurs. SCCNOW General Meeting. Kid's Klub, Harvey West Blvd.
    17      CA NOW State Conference. North Hollywood.
    Gay Pride Month
    02      Gay Pride Parade
    06      7-9pm. Thurs. SCCNOW General Meeting/Elections. Kid's Klub, Harvey
            West Blvd. 335-7704.

    (not sponsored or endorsed by NOW)


    Asian-American Awareness Month

    01      International Workers' Day
    2-3     Thurs/Fri. 8:30-5:30. Building Bridges Across Differences.
            Watsonville Community Center. Call YWCA for info. 724-6078.
    05      Cinco de Mayo
    12      Mothers' Day
    15      International Conscientious Objectors Day
    15      Wed. 8:00-3:00. 1st Annual Teen Women's Conference. Veteran's Hall,
            Watsonville. For info: 408-763-2310 or 477-4244.
    17      World Communications Day
    19      Muharram (Islamic New Year)
    20      Victoria Day (Canada)
    24      Women's International Disarmament Day
    25      African Freedom Day
    27      Memorial Day Observed
    31      The March for Social & Economic Justice begins with Rally at CA
            State Capitol. For info, call 619/583-7347 or 619/594-6541
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    Complete Mailing Service Direct mail service for advertising, promotion and fund raising Santa Cruz 425-5556 Watsonville 724-5559 Martha Macambridge, General Manager
    Visit their WEB page!

    Joyce Nordquist, Attorney-at-Law Wills, Living Agreements, Trusts & Durable Powers of Attorney especially for Lesbians/Gays & Unmarried Couples Scotts Valley 408.439.8663

    Karen Sommerfeld has joined Real Options Realty Karen is a member of the prestigious "Champion Producers Circle" with 20 years experience as a successful Realtor. She views this move as a great opportunity which will benefit both her clients and her career. For an exciting adventure in buying or selling your home, call Karen. Karen donates a portion of her commission to the non-profit organization of her client's choice. Karen Sommerfeld (408) 464-4014

    Lori Streim, CMP Soothing Swedish Massage (408) 458-3453 Gift Certificates Available

    Alison Harlow Independent Mannatech Associate Promoting physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial wellness. P.O. Box 67273 Scotts Valley, CA 95067-7273 Phone: (408) 335-2609 E-mail Alison

    Elisabeth Tatum Licensed Bilingual Marriage, Family, & Child Counselor Hypnotherapy * Stress Management 408/688-8789 * 408/728-1915

    Pacific Publishing

    * Full-Color Business, Event & Trade Publications

    * Graphic Design & Layout Services

    * Complete On-Line & E-Mail Services

    Jennifer Pitino, Marketing & Sales Director

    (408) 462-5700 ext. 22 FAX: (408) 462-2616

    EMAIL Jennifer

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    General membership meetings are held the first Thursday of each month from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. The first half hour often includes some social time and announcements/business with presentations and action components beginning at 7:30. You do not have to be a member of the Chapter or of NOW to be welcome.

    Meetings are held at Kid's Klub, Harvey West Blvd, Santa Cruz. The chapter provides free coffee and tea. The meeting place is bus and wheelchair accessible. SCCNOW provides vouchers for childcare at Kid's Klub. Call chapter phone for information: 335-7704. Return to top


    This newsletter is put out with volunteer labor for members & friends of Santa Cruz County NOW. (Special thanks go to Mandy T & Sally W.) The editor reserves the right to print and/or edit articles based on either style, size or content. Deadline for submission is the 2nd Friday of the month. Please submit to SCCNOW Editor, 2571 Main St, Ste A, Soquel, CA 95073.

    Advertising space is available. Ad rates are as follows~ Business Card Ad: Member/3 month: $30, Member/6 month: $50; Non-member/3 month: $45, Non-member/6 month: $75. 1/4-Page Ad: Member/3 month: $60, Member/6 month: $100; Non-member/3 month: $90, Non-member/6 month: $150. Call 462.5700, ext 22, for more info. Send material on disk in Mac format or via e-mail to All material submitted should have one's name and phone number on it. All items passed along from other printed sources or organizations must have the source clearly indicated. More complete explanation of newsletter policy is available upon request from chapter address. Return to top


    Co-Coordinator Mary M 423.6683

    Co-Coordinator Julie S 728.3988

    Recorder Diane L 662.9562

    Treasurer Joyce N 439.8663

    Newsletter Jennifer P 462.5700

    Membership Christian 335.7221

    State Board Rep Christian 335.7221

    Chapter Phone 335.7704


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    US Senators:

    * Senator Barbara Boxer, 112 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510-0501

    * Senator Dianne Feinstein, Hart Senate Office Building, Room 331, Washington DC 20510 Congressmembers:

    * Representative Sam Farr, 1117 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC 20515-0510. E-mail WWW page

    State Senator:

    * State Senator Henry Mello, State Capitol, Sacramento CA 95814 E-mail


    * 27th District: Bruce McPherson, 701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz CA 95060. E-mail

    * 28th District: Peter Frusetta, 321 First St, Ste A, Hollister CA 95023

    Santa Cruz County Supervisors

    * First District: Jan Beautz

    * Second District: Walt Symons

    * Third District: Mardi Wormhoudt

    * Fourth District: Ray Belgard

    * Fifth District: Fred Keeley

    County Governmental Center, 701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz CA 95060


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