NOW Launches New National Action Program

With women’s rights facing more severe threats than we have seen in decades, NOW is fighting back. We are standing up for the rights and well being of all women, in all our diversity and in all communities. We are showing up for our allies in Muslim communities, in immigrant communities, in LGBTQIA communities. We have a message for Donald Trump and every politician enabling his white male supremacist agenda: We are leading societal change and promoting feminist ideals — and you need to get out of our way.

I am thrilled to let you know that today we are launching NOW’s expanded National Action Program. This program encompasses five action campaigns that not only defend the gains we have made, but also work pro-actively to achieve real equality for women and girls.

  • Our campaign to Mobilize for Reproductive Justice will work to defeat Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and we will fight to defeat Trump’s Alternative Health Care Act (Trumpcare), which would defund Planned Parenthood, drastically cut maternity care coverage, and imperil access to birth control. We will also promote pro-active bills like the EACH Woman Act to guarantee full coverage of abortion care in all plans including Medicaid–thus permanently repealing the Hyde Amendment–and the Women’s Health Protection Act to stop states from using deceptive legislation to shutter abortion clinics.
  • Through our campaign to End the Sex Abuse to Prison Pipeline, we will urge the Title IX coordinators in middle and high schools around the country to ensure that students who are survivors of sexual assault receive the wraparound services they need in order to stay in school, recover from their trauma, and thrive. Survivors in far too many public schools, especially girls of color and LGBTQIA students, face penalties, punishment, and school pushout instead of the trauma-informed services they need.
  • Our campaign to Advance Voting Rights recognizes and responds to the impacts on women in communities targeted by right-wing voter suppression schemes. We will work with our allies in the civil and human rights communities to overturn measures like racial gerrymandering, voter ID laws, and voter purges. And we will work with our civic engagement allies to encourage women of color not only to vote, but also to run for public office and for leadership roles in their political parties.
  • Our renewed campaign to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment includes working for ratification of the 1972 ERA by three more states (to meet the constitutional requirement that three-fourths of the states ratify a proposed amendment), as well as supporting a start-over strategy for a new ERA, and engaging younger women and girls in the struggle for women’s constitutional equality. In this effort, NOW is committed to an inclusive and intersectional ERA interpretation that includes equitable access to all aspects of reproductive health care, and centers marginalized people including LGBTQIA individuals, immigrants, women of color, and women with disabilities.
  • Finally, our campaign to Protect Immigrant Rights will work with our allies in the immigrant rights community to oppose Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban and to stop the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s abusive raids, detentions, and deportations that tear families apart. We will in particular work to keep restaurant workers safe from abusive enforcement tactics, knowing that the restaurant industry employs over one million undocumented workers, second only to the construction industry.

NOW’s national action program will propose concrete actions our local chapters, state organizations, members and activists can take, as well as anyone in the general public interested in addressing such issues, along with resources and platforms for engagement. The program will also grow and evolve as we respond in very real-time to the harmful and discriminatory actions of Donald Trump’s administration.

As NOW members and leaders, your role is central to our success. The tools created by the NA Program are intended to be helpful for you as you engage your communities, and your representatives, both locally and nationally. We want to hear from you: your successes, your challenges. How can we better support and equip you to do this important work? This program will strive to increase engagement at all levels of NOW–from the local to the national–and to build unity among our thousands of dedicated grassroots activists across the country.

This is undeniably a challenging time for all of us. But we have been so inspired by the millions of people who have already stood up and committed themselves to resistance just in the last few months. Let’s build on this momentum and make sure this current administration knows we are here, we are watching them, and we are prepared to take the necessary action to defend our rights–and especially the rights of the most marginalized across this country.

Many thanks for everything you already do, everyday.


In solidarity,

Terry, Bonnie, and the rest of the team at NOW


“Brazen Women” Event at Rossmoor

Mary Davis and Phyllis Bratt representing Contra Costa NOW at the Brazen Women Event at Rossmoor


From NARAL, CA License Plates with the Message: California Trusts Women

Donald Trump and his anti-choice allies are obsessed with defunding Planned Parenthood and making abortion and contraception all but impossible to access. If they cut off federal funding to reproductive health-care centers, it could jeopardize care for many Californians.

We aren’t going to sit back while our fundamental rights are threatened. So we’re launching a campaign to create a license plate with a simple message: “California Trusts Women.”

Join us to kick off this campaign by pledging to buy a “California Trusts Women” license plate when they become available. The funds go toward making sure Californians can access quality reproductive health-care.

We need at least 7,500 people to sign this pledge to get our bill, sponsored by State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, moving!

Now more than ever, we need to stand up for reproductive freedom and protect the right to health care for all. We need to take the momentum from our amazing women’s marches around the state and the country and drive real change in our communities.

With a “California Trusts Women” license plate, you can show your commitment to reproductive freedom and raise money to provide family planning services to low-income Californians and allow abortion clinics to keep their doors open.

The first step to making this license plate program a reality is to get the state legislature to vote in favor of the bill. We need to show them there is overwhelming demand for a pro-choice license plate.

Sign the pledge to get a “California Trusts Women” license plate when they become available.

We have lots in store for this campaign, starting with mobilizing people around the state to support this bill. Then, we’re commissioning work from three California-based women artists to design the plate and you’ll get a chance to weigh in on the design you like best.

It’s a long road between now and getting these license plates on our cars, but we know we’ll get there with your support.

Thank you for all you do for reproductive freedom.
Amy Everitt
State Director, NARAL Pro-Choice California


This is what victory looks like. Thank you #SCOTUS for a win for women everywhere! #MyDecision


Photos from “Celebrating Sisterhood”


Terry,Mary, Selma, PhyllisPhyllis receiving award

State Resolution Honoring Contra Costa NOWMark


Certificates of Recognition

Certs of recognitionContra Costa NOW has recently begun working with the Women’s Empowerment (WE) club at Diablo Valley College (DVC). As part of that collaboration we are excited to announce that we have awarded Certificates of Recognition to eight members of WE for their outstanding contribution in the areas of education, activism, empowerment efforts, leadership and personal growth.

Recipients must be a rostered member of WE DVC during the current semester. They must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in order to qualify and show proof of 40 hours minimum club participation or activist work. These awards are open to all genders and sexes.

NOW member Karen Brockwell presented the certificates to the recipients at the December 9th WE meeting at DVC. The recipients were Addison Flannery, Jenna Forslin, Scarlett Arreola-Reyes, Lauren Wardle, Emma Phillips, Nikole Rodriguez, Andrea Corrigan, Sabrina Larez.

We want to thank these young women for their hard work and commitment to bettering themselves and the world around them. They represent the hope of a more egalitarian future. And we wish them well in their further educational and activist efforts.

In Partnership Contra Costa NOW and Women’s Empowerment (Diablo Valley College)

In Partnership
Contra Costa NOW and Women’s Empowerment (Diablo Valley College)

In March, 2015, Mary Davis, President of Contra Costa NOW spoke about women’s history, NOW and the current status of women at a Brown Bag meeting at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill CA. She was joined by Erika Maslan (chapter vice president) and Phyllis Bratt (Chapter VP of Membership) with around a hundred students attending. At that meeting we met some students from the campus’ Women’s Empowerment club (WE DVC).

Since then we have held several meetings with the WE DVC group and have formed a loose partnership. We are very excited about the enthusiasm and commitment these young people have to social justice and equality. They are the hope of the future and there is great cause for optimism.

During the coming year NOW and WE will be working together on Voter Registration drives at DVC, local high schools, and potentially other locations. Please contact us if you would like to participate in our Voter Registration drives.

We have also started planning for a symposium to be held March 18 and 19, 2016 at DVC. The symposium will bring together a number of groups covering a broad range of social justice issues. We will keep you posted on the symposium as more information is available. Make sure you put the symposium on your calendar.

Women’s Lives Matter!

Demonstration (3)On September 22nd, 2015,  Mary Davis and Phyllis Bratt (President and VP Membership of Contra Costa County NOW) joined a large gathering of 30 to 40 students at Diablo Valley College (DVC) in Pleasant Hill CA.  The students were counter-protesting a group of anti-choice folks who had shown up on campus with their misleading posters and inflammatory speech.

The DVC counter-protest was organized by the Women’s Empowerment (WE) Club on campus.  What articulate, thoughtful, and well educated responses those young women and men made to the overblown rhetoric of the other side.  One anti-choice older man actually said in response to “What about women?” “We are not here to talk about women.”  And they didn’t.   WE was delighted to have representatives from NOW there with our signs and support.

Women’s Lives Matter!

Paying respects to Emmaline Pankhurst

Emmaline PankhurstPhyllis Bratt (VP-Membership CCNOW) and Mary Davis (President CCNOW) paying their respects to Emmaline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union, the militant suffragettes. She is at rest in the Brompton cemetery in London.

From East Bay Women’s Political Caucus (EBWPC)

Even though women have only been officially serving in the United States military since the establishment of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901, we know that they unofficially have served and died in our Country’s wars as far back as its first. Women served as cooks, laundry workers, nurses, and even disguised themselves as men to go to battle during the Revolutionary War. In December 1775, Jemima Warner, who had accompanied her husband to his battalion to care for him during its campaign and was working as a cook after his death, was killed by an enemy bullet during the siege of Quebec. It was in World War I that Army Nurses Edith Ayres and Helen Wood became the first women military members killed in the line of duty.

On this Memorial Day we remember them, all women soldiers and military affiliates, and all soldiers who have given their lives in service to the United States. Although in modern times we may not always agree on the policies and decisions that take our Country to war, we can agree that this supreme sacrifice is always painful and worthy of recognition.

In gratitude,

East Bay Women’s Political Caucus

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