“Scouts Honor—It’s Wrong To Discriminate Against Girls”

Statement of NOW President Toni Van Pelt

October 12, 2017

Washington, DC – That old glass ceiling continues to break, but the cracks don’t run deep enough.

NOW welcomes the news that the Boy Scouts of America have once again admitted to their long history of discrimination, this time against girls, and are taking steps to correct it.

For more than a century, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts have been an integral part of our society. But girls have been left to wonder, why were they left on the sidelines when boys got to earn badges, participate in scouting activities and be Eagle Scouts?

But there’s an even bigger question that remains unanswered. Why are Girl Scouts not afforded the same level of financial support on the federal, state and local levels and recognition for their fine work in supporting and providing opportunity? The fact the Eagle Scouts award is considered by some as more prestigious that the Girl Scout Gold Award speaks to this financial discrimination.

Are the Boy Scouts of America truly going co-ed, or are they setting up a parallel scouting experience that defined as​​ “separate but equal?” ​even as​ we know the practice usually plays out as separate and unequal in quality and opportunity.​

If this decision means that the Boy Scouts will be offering segregated activities and providing girls with fewer opportunities, or activities of lesser quality, there’s much more trailblazing needed from the Boy Scouts of America. We’d rather see​ a cultural shift of​ more respect and ​funding for the Girl Scouts as is their due.​

Knock on Every Door for Medicare-for-All October Weekend of Action!

Join Us Oct 14th & 15th

Medicare for All

Volunteers are hosting events in all 80 assembly districts across California to build support for SB 562 — a bill that would establish a Medicare-for-All system in our state. We’ll talk to thousands of California residents about what Medicare-for-All could do for their lives and ask for their support.

We need to build as much grassroots pressure as possible over the next few months to ensure that our elected officials return in January ready to hit the ground running to pass SB 562, and that starts this weekend.

Join us to to talk to your neighbors and ask them to take action to get their Assembly Member to support  SB 562 and move the bill forward!

Wear your walking shoes and bring water. We’re going to have a lot of fun, get to know each other and our community, and start to do the work in order to expand healthcare to all.

Please use hashtags #MedicareForAll #SB562 in ALL 80 Assembly Districts in California! FIND an EVENT near you here: http://bit.ly/2hMMgLv

Save the Date Contra Costa NOW Annual Holiday Party

Save the Date

Contra Costa NOW Annual Holiday Party

Saturday, December 9th

4:00 PM to ?

Home of Paul and Mary Davis

Call for Directions.  925-283-3541

 

Delicious Holiday Food and Drink will be provided.

Special invited guests include:

Planned Parenthood

STAND!  For Families Free of Violence

Indivisible

As part of our community outreach we are collecting donations of items for women’s shelters in our county through STAND! For Families Free of Violence.

 

The following items are desperately needed by the women’s shelters.  Please bring to the party or call Mary Davis (925) 283-3541 to arrange for a pick-up.

  • Women’s underclothes
  • Women’s socks
  • Children’s underclothes
  • Children’s socks
  • Adult pajamas
  • Child pajamas
  • Diapers
  • Hygiene supplies (deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, tampons, hairbrushes, bath soap-liquid, hand soap-liquid)
  • Bed sheets
  • Towels
  • Pillows
  • Back packs w/school supplies
  • Journals and pens

Hope to see you at the party.

 

Visit the CCNOW website www.contracostanow.org for the latest news and views.

Chapter Elections Will Be Held On December 9, 2017

Contra Costa NOW December Chapter Meeting and Officer Elections

 

WHEN: Saturday, December, 9th, 2017

WHERE: Lafayette Library Oak Room

3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette

Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Pursuant to CCNOW’s by-laws and operating rules, Contra Costa NOW chapter’s Nominating Committee is accepting nominations for officers for the 2018 calendar year.  All members who have been a member for at least 30 days may be nominated, or may self‑nominate, for any position.  The following list indicates the officer positions as well as those individuals who are currently running.

President:  Erika Maslan

VP:  Katia Senff

VP Action: Nancy Bocanegra

VP Membership:  Karen Severud

VP Public Relations:  Open

Treasurer:  Kathy DeFabio

Secretary:  Jeanette Cole

State Board Representative:  Open

If you are interested in running for an office please notify the Nominating Committee, ideally in advance of the meeting.  Nominations will be accepted from the floor during the Elections Meeting.

Nominating Committee contacts:

Phyllis Bratt: Pobratt@aol.com

Mary Davis:  Mary.davisconsultant@comcast.net

Please refer to the Chapter By-Laws on our chapter website for descriptions of the officer responsibilities.

 

Photos From Our Paint Nite Event: Contra Costa NOW Stands with Planned Parenthood

 

PaintNiteKB13 Katia and 1515 PaintNiteKB12 PaintNiteKB11 PaintNiteKB10 PaintNiteKB9 PaintNiteKB8 PaintNiteKB7 PaintNiteKB6 PaintNiteKB5 PaintNiteKB4 PaintNiteKB3 PaintNiteKB2 PaintNiteKB1 PaintNiteKB_ButtonsPaintNiteKB_Artists

 

Photos from the Garden Party 8/19/2017

Photos from our garden party

What a wonderful turnout!  We had raffle prizes, a feminist quiz, suffragette video, delicious food, and good company.

Nancy and Joe

Nancy B and Joe

 Mary, state board rep and past president with our newest member Olin.  Olin adores Mary! and vice versa!

Mary and Olin

Laura and Jim

Laura and Jim

Chapter members enjoying conversation

Karen S and chapter members

 Kathy and Dorothy

Kathy and Dorothy

Erika, president; Katia, action committee chairperson and Olin’s mom; and Adel from Planned Parenthood

Erika_Katia_Adel

Darnelle and Lesley, longtime members

Darnelle_Erika_Leslie

 Current Board Members:  Kathy, treasurer; Erika, President; Nancy, VP Action; Phyllis, VP Public Relations; Karen VP Membership

Board Members

Unacceptable, Betsy DeVos: Stand with survivors of sexual assault

Unacceptable

Under Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education (DOE), campus sexual assault survivors are on their own.

DeVos recently met with misogynistic “men’s rights groups” and rape deniers about weakening Title IX protections for campus sexual assault survivors.1 And that’s not all. DeVos has also appointed Candice Jackson – an anti-feminist activist who publicly doubts women who report sexual assault – as acting head of the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights. This is beyond appalling.2

We cannot remain silent while DeVos undermines policies that protect students from discrimination and violence, empowers rape deniers and appoints anti-feminist activists to run the DOE’s investigations of schools that fail to properly handle reports of sexual assault. We must raise a massive public outcry to demand that DeVos do her job, immediately fire Candice Jackson and publicly commit to protecting all students from hate.

Tell Betsy DeVos: Fire Candice Jackson and publicly commit to protecting all students from discrimination, hate and violence.

DeVos has already refused to say whether she will stand up for LGBTQ students. Now it seems she is turning her back on sexual assault survivors as well. DeVos devoted one third of her summit on Title IX to “men’s rights groups.” These groups elevate a false narrative that most sexual assault charges are false, promote victim-blaming, and attempt to harass and intimidate assault survivors to get them to drop their cases.3

At around the same time of DeVos’ summit with “men’s rights groups,” Jackson, the acting head of the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights, told reporters from the New York Times that:

“90 percent of sexual assault accusations fall into the category of, ‘We were both drunk’, ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right.’”4

This is not the first time Jackson has made such appalling statements. She is a long-time anti-feminist activist who has almost no experience with civil rights law. She once claimed she faced discrimination because she was white.5 She has also made many victim-blaming statements over the years and has shown a deeply troubling skepticism of women who report sexual violence.6

Jackson is completely unqualified to run the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights. A top DOE official in charge of enforcing policies to protect students from discrimination and violence should never trivialize sexual assault or discourage students from reporting it.

Tell Betsy DeVos: Fire Candice Jackson and publicly commit to protecting all students from discrimination, hate and violence.

One in five women are sexually assaulted in college.7 Schools are responsible for responding to student reports of sexual violence, but many universities have a terrible record of sweeping sexual assault cases under the rug to protect their bottom lines.8 When schools do not do their jobs, many survivors end up suing educational institutions and must endure drawn out and sometimes humiliating investigations just to get basic accommodations like class schedule changes and mental health coverage.9

In the face of this epidemic, the Obama administration issued a 2011 Dear Colleague Letter to clarify how Title IX, which mandates gender equality in education, should be used to fight campus sexual assault.10 The guidance makes it easier for students to report sexual violence to their institution. It also requires schools and universities to handle reports quickly and fairly and provide accommodations for survivors so they do not face their assailants daily in their dorms and classrooms.11,12

According to a recent Title IX DOE report, there are 344 open sexual violence investigations at 242 postsecondary schools on the books right now.13 Title IX will only protect students from hate and violence if DeVos makes sure that schools enforce it. Speak out now to demand that she stand up for sexual assault survivors.

Thank you for your activism.

References:

  1. Casey Quinlan, “Betsy DeVos echoes ‘men’s rights’ activists on campus rape,” ThinkProgress, July 14, 2017.
  2. Laura Bassett, “Betsy DeVos Is Under Fire For Scaling Back Campus Rape Investigations,” HuffPost, July 6, 2017.
  3. Kaitlin Menza, “Betsy DeVos’ Campus Rape Talks with Men’s Rights Groups Are a Travesty,” SELF, July 14, 2017.
  4. Kellman and Feldman, “Education Department Official Apologizes for ‘Flippant’ Sexual Assault Remarks – Again,” TIME, July 13, 2017.
  5. Annie Waldman, “DeVos Pick to Head Civil Rights Office Once Said She Faced Discrimination for Being White,” ProPublica, April 14, 2017.
  6. Bassett, “Betsy DeVos Is Under Fire For Scaling Back Campus Rape Investigations.”
  7. Michelle J. Anderson, “I’m a college president. Betsy DeVos should help me deal with campus sexual assault.” The Washington Post, July 13, 2017.
  8. Laurie Kellman and Carole Feldman, “Education Department Official Apologizes for ‘Flippant’ Sexual Assault Remarks – Again.”
  9. Teen Vogue, “Betsy DeVos, This is What Sexual Assault Survivors Want to Know: ‘Who are you here to serve?’” July 12, 2017.
  10. Jeannie Suk Gersen, “The Trump Administration’s Fraught Attempt To Address Campus Sexual Assault,” The New Yorker, July 15, 2017.
  11. Teen Vogue, “Betsy DeVos, This is What Sexual Assault Survivors Want to Know: ‘Who are you here to serve?’”
  12. Andrew Kreighbaum, “DeVos Hints at Changes in Title IX Enforcement,” Inside Higher Ed, July 14, 2017.
  13. Kellman and Feldman, “Education Department Official Apologizes for ‘Flippant’ Sexual Assault Remarks – Again.”

 

Planned Parenthood Capitol Day

Contra Costa NOW members, behind the desk of Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governer, in support of Planned Parenthood Capitol Day, #CAStandsWithPP.

gaven newsoms desk

Planned Parenthood Capitol Day

#ContraCostaNOW at Planned Parenthood Capitol Day, #CAStandsWith PP.  Left to right:  Jo-Anne, Kathy, Diane, Erika, with the Golden Bear

Golden Bear

National Organization for Women Press Release

For Immediate Release
Press Inquiries Contact: 951-547-1241
press[at]now.org

“The Verdict on Trump’s First 100 Days Is In—He’s Guilty of Turning Back The Clock On Women”
Statement by NOW President Terry O’Neill

April 29, 2017

Washington, DC – Donald Trump’s first 100 days have taken a terrible toll on women.

Perhaps his most dangerous move was the illegitimate installation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, a jurist who has a record of hostility to reproductive rights and prioritizing corporate interests over access to basic health care. And Donald Trump, who campaigned on the promise to appoint Supreme Court Justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, would surely not have made this choice if Gorsuch’s views on Roe were in any doubt.

The Trump Cabinet is a who’s who of sexism and disregard for women. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made millions on the fraudulent reverse mortgage scheme known as “widow foreclosures,” which capitalized on a loophole that forced the elderly out of their homes upon the death of a spouse.

Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary, the ethically challenged Tom Price, has launched a crusade to eviscerate Obamacare and remove essential health benefits such as prenatal and maternity care. Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos lacks even the most basic understanding of Title IX, the landmark legislation that outlaws sex discrimination in educational institutions and programs that receive federal aid, and addresses sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and sexual violence.

The list goes on—Ben Carson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is a neurosurgeon who knows little about housing policy and opposes the existing rule that requires local communities to assess segregation and try to address it. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions is an appalling throwback to the bad old days when white men did a they could to stop African Americans from exercising their right to vote. Sessions has also referred to Roe v. Wade as “one of the worst, colossally erroneous Supreme Court decisions of all time,” voted three times against the Violence Against Women Act, and opposed the 2009 Hate Crimes Bill, denouncing the inclusion of rape as a hate crime.

Trump’s Muslim ban victimizes women and children seeking refuge from persecution and violent regimes, and his draconian policies on immigration hurt immigrant women, split families apart and keep domestic violence victims from asking for help.

One of Trump’s first actions as president was to expand the “global gag rule,” which prohibits international health care providers from giving women truthful information about their reproductive choices. Trump has also slashed funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which provides lifesaving resources to millions of women and girls around the world.

From rolling back EPA regulations that limit environmental damage affecting women and children to reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines that disproportionately affect Native women and low-income women of color, and so much more, Donald Trump has been busy these past 100 days turning back the clock on women’s rights, safety and health.

The good news is that, together with our allies, NOW’s leaders and activists throughout the country have stopped Trump from doing even more damage. We will keep marching, protesting, lobbying and pushing back on Donald Trump and his destructive, anti-woman agenda. He won’t like what he hears, but he can’t silence our voices.

For Press Inquiries Contact

M.E. Ficarra, press@now.org, (951) 547-1241

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