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2014 Meeting Minutes


Walnut Creek Main Library

Saturday Dec 6th 2014


Attending – Board Members – Kathy, Ericka, Rebecca, Nancy, Phyliis, Karen, Mary

Non Board Members – Karen Severud, Darnelle Shaw, Lindsay Parker, Joe Flores

1)    Chapter Elections – Proposed Board Members names were posted on the website by Nominations Committee last month. These were as follows:

  1. President – Mary Davis
  2. Vice President Erika Maslan
  3. VP Public Relations – Kathy DeFabio
  4. VP Membership- Phyllis Bratt
  5. Treasurer – Nancy Bocanegra
  6. State Board Representative – Rebecca Talley
  7. Secretary – open

Nominations were accepted as is with no objections.

2)    Reviewed last meeting’s minutes – Karen should try to get in contact with Melissa Donald from Community Violence Solutions to see if she can come and present at our Jan or Feb Meeting. Membership update – loosing members over the past few years. Stands at 167. Accepted minutes as is

3)    2015 Schedule 1st Board and 1st General Membership Meetings for January.

  1. Board Mtg – Sat 10th Jan 2014. Review 2015 Calendar. Tea Party Event, reconstituting a PAC?, Funding a College Scholarship, Coloring books Distribution
  2. General Membership Mtg – Sat Jan 31st. Showing the documentary “Speaking Truth to Power “ (Anita Hill) or bringing in Community Violence Solutions Speaker

4)    Question raised by one of the members regarding whether we can update the Coloring Book – Member has a niece who might be interested in updating it in the future.

5)    Melissa Jacobsen – DVC , Professor of History, contacted Mary via e-mail – she is bringing in an author, Linda Gordon, who has written a biography on Dorothea Lange (photographer during the depression). Would like some sponsorship. Mary will contact her and gather more information.

6)    Women’s display during Women’s History month (March) at WC Library and San Ramon Library. Phyllis will pull together the materials for these displays.


Meeting Minutes – Chapter Meeting
Walnut Creek Main Library
Saturday, Nov 8, 2014

Attending – Board Members – Kathy, Ericka, Rebecca, Nancy, Phyliis, Karen

Non Board Members – Linda Kilday, Karen Severud, Joe Flores

1)    Elections Committee – Phyllis decided to stay on for another year as Membership Committee Chair (yeh!). Karen is stepping down as Secretary but agreed to take minutes if she attends Chapter Meetings. Board members will rotate taking meeting minutes when she isn’t attending the mtg. Nominations for 2015 positions are as follows:

  1. President – Mary Davis
  2. Vice President Erika Maslan
  3. VP Public Relations – Kathy DeFabio
  4. VP Membership- Phyllis Bratt
  5. Treasurer – Nancy Bocanegra
  6. State Board Representative – Rebecca Talley
  7. Secretary – not being posted for 2015. Board Members will rotate.

2)    Rebecca gave update on the Texas elections for Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte – although neither of these ladies got elected to Governor and Lt Governor they both put up a good fight and sent a strong message to the rest of the country that women’s issues are front and center

3)    Karen reported out on the STAND luncheon (summary already posted on website) She mentioned that she met a lady from Community Violence Solutions (Rape Crisis) who would be happy to attend one of our NOW Meetings early next year and give us advice on how to engage the membership. She has a lot of experience giving presentations about women’s issues and seems really enthusiastic about working with CCNOW.

4)    Membership – Phyllis does not have the latest membership list as she had difficulty accessing this through the national website. She commented that National NOW Website seems too focused on fundraising.

5)    Kathy – Website/Facebook, We are now “following” other women’s groups on our Facebook Page e.g. National NOW, STAND, etc. A few of the non board members commented on how much they like the CCNOW Webpage – its much more up to date than most other NOW websites. Great job Kathy!

6)    No State Board news from Rebecca

7)    We had to postpone viewing the movie (Speaking Truth to Power) as we could only get the large room until 3pm (we were bumped from the small room due to our numbers >6)


Meeting Minutes – Chapter Meeting
Walnut Creek Main Library
Saturday, Aug 23, 2014

Board Members in Attendance:
Mary Davis, President; Erika Maslan, Vice President; Phyllis Bratt, VP-Membership; Kathy DeFabio, VP-Public Relations; Nancy Bocanegra, Treasurer; Rebecca Talley, State Board Representative

President’s Report:
Mary has been contacted by Priscilla Mensah of National NOW regarding our IRS nonprofit tax status. Mary has been trying for some time to find out if National is doing anything to help chapters that find themselves in this situation, since many chapters have been affected. She is hoping Priscilla may have some information regarding this issue.

NOW National Conference:
Erika Maslan described the events at the National NOW Conference in Albuquerque, NM. Although she found the conference enjoyable and worthwhile overall, she was frustrated by the politics of the event, and the difficulty and length of time it took to discuss, modify, and vote on bylaws and other operational rules of the organization. Erika thinks, and stated others at the conference felt the same way, that the conference should be webcast so that members who could not afford the cost and travel time would be able to participate in the conference.

NOW State PAC:
Rebecca Talley reported there was a second vote requested regarding NOW endorsing David Campos for State Assembly. Some members remained firm in their belief that he should not be endorsed because as a member of the SF Board of Supervisors he voted to reinstate Sheriff Mirkarimi after domestic violence charge, however the majority voted to endorse him.

George Miller Event:
The George Miller event is proceeding well. We have a new electronic invitation which allows people to register for the event online. A video in tribute to George Miller has been made and will be played during the event.

Library Display:
Rebecca Talley reported that the Walnut Creek Historical Society would let us use the glass display case at the Walnut Creek Library for the month of March 2015 for our women’s suffrage display.

DVC Professor:
Kathy will try to contact DVC professor, Melissa Jacobson regarding attending our October meeting and getting her insights on what would attract younger members.

A motion was proposed by Lynda Kilday and approved to form a committee to look into the chapter’s social media presence. Members of the committee are Mary Davis, Kathy DeFabio, and Nancy Bocanegra.


Meeting Minutes – Board Meeting

Walnut Creek Main Library

Saturday, Aug 16, 2014


Board Members in Attendance:

 Mary Davis, President; Erika Maslan, Vice President; Phyllis Bratt, VP-Membership; Kathy DeFabio, VP-Public Relations; Nancy Bocanegra, Treasurer

NOW National Conference:

 Erika Maslan gave a brief report on the NOW National Conference in Albuquerque, NM. She will give a more detailed update at the Chapter Meeting on 8/23/14.

George Miller Event:

There have been some issues with the hotel changing some of the pricing plus adding charges for additional items such as audiovisual equipment. Progress is being made on resolving the issues. When we stated the room was not acceptable, they gave us a better room, but wanted to charge us more. So far, we have 86 people who are attending the event. The goal is 200 attendees.

Library Display:

The library display will be postponed until March 2015.

Coloring Book:

There has been a general lack of interest by schools for our coloring book. Phyllis will contact the superintendent of schools (public instruction) or head of the unified school district in her area (Walnut Creek) to see if there is some interest. If there is interest from the top, perhaps it will get passed down to local schools.

Bag the Tea Party Fundraiser:

This will be discussed after the George Miller Event
Chapter Elections:

We need an election committee no later than the October meeting. Mary Davis has agreed to run for President, but says she will be away for portions of a time and will need the VP to substitute for her. Erika, Kathy and Nancy have agreed to run for reelection also. Phyllis will be stepping down so we will need a new VP Membership. Karen was not present we don’t yet know if she will also run for reelection.

DVC Professor:

 Kathy will try to contact DVC professor, Melissa Jacobson regarding attending our October meeting and getting her insights on what would attract younger members.


Erika and Kathy will work on getting Contra Costa NOW set up on Twitter.


Chapter Meeting Minutes
Walnut Creek Library
Saturday, June 21, 2014


In Attendance:

Board Members:

  • Mary Davis – President                                                                         Absent – Phyllis, Nancy, Dawn
  • Erika Maslin, Vice President
  • Kathy DeFabio, VP Public Relations & Web
  • Rebecca Talley, State Board Rep.& PAC
  • Karen Brockwell, Secretary
  • Other Members: Darnelle

Chapter Meetings Issue

  • We need to understand why very few members are coming to the chapter Meetings. We have a 200 member chapter but there are rarely more than 6 members (outside of the Board) coming to the meetings. Set aside a discussion for the August 16th Board Meeting to address this issue.

Upcoming Board and Chapter Meetings – 2014

  • Jul 19th – Garden Party at Mary’s house
  • Aug 16th – Board Meeting
  • Aug 23rd – Chapter Meeting, Viewing of Anita and report out from National Meeting (Erika)
  • Oct 25th – Chapter Meeting – Professor from DVC. Kathy will follow up to see if she can get in touch with the History Professor via e-mail (since phone calls have not been returned)
  • Dec 6th – Elections and Holiday Party in the evening

IRS Update – nothing new to report.

Treasurers Report – Nancy was not present. Only 1 check paid for $250 to CA NOW National Conference,

Membership Update – Phyllis was not present.

George Miller Event Sept 13th – NOW, AAUW and Planned Parenthood are actively involved in organizing this event. NOW will need at least 1 table of 8 people and possibly 2 tables. Phyllis will confirm table(s) for NOW. Post meeting note – each attendee will pay $45.

Library Displays – Mary checked with Moraga Library – they are interested but didn’t have their availability so they will call Mary back. No to Richmond. Still need to pursue Lafayette as this library is much bigger (and therefore gets more exposure) than Moraga. We will also recheck with Walnut Creek through “Friends of the Walnut Creek Library” Group.

Business Meeting was adjourned and group viewed the documentary “Miss Representation”


Meeting Minutes – BOARD MEETING

Walnut Creek Main Library

Saturday, May 15, 2014


Board Members in Attendance: Mary Davis, President; Erika Maslan, Vice President; Phyllis Bratt, VP-Membership; Kathy DeFabio, VP-Public Relations; Rebecca Talley, State Board Rep.


1. June Meeting: Kathy will try to contact Melissa Jacobson, DVC Professor, currently teaching “History of Women in the United states after 1865 (Hist 171)” to invite her as a guest speaker to get her input on what would appeal to young women and men regarding NOW and women’s rights issues and to possibly form future networking with her and her students.

In relation to this, we may try to have Melissa with her students speak at our October meeting, or an alternative would be to have a member of the Ca congress or senate speak at our meeting regarding election issues.

2. Erika will try to contact St Marys for networking with professors regarding young people’s concerns regarding women’s rights.

3. A motion was passed to give a $150.00 stipend to Erika Maslan to attend the NOW national conference in June. A motion was passed to give CA NOW $250.00 to help with transportation costs for NOW members to the NOW National Conference in June.

4. Month of August is Women’s History month. We want to put on a library display of the suffrage movement. Kathy will contact the Richmond library to discuss the possibility of putting on a display there. Mary will contact the Moraga library regarding putting on a display there. Erika will contact the Lafayette library.

5. “Bag the Tea Party” event was discussed. The wording for the event was discussed as were technical logistics of how to present it to members and receive donations. It was decided to have this event go out after the George Miller event.

6. “George Miller” event, 9/13/14: Support for the event is high. It is expected to sell out immediately after announcement. Discussion took place to perhaps have a table for Contra Costa NOW members.

7. Coloring books: We would like to distribute coloring books to local schools in October. Need to contact school, etc.

8. It was decided to not stage any type of demonstration/information rally for the opening of Hobby Lobby in Concord.

9. Website and Facebook: Discussion took place whether to set up administrative rights on Facebook for board members. Also, currently, anyone can post on our facebook page, and it was decided to leave it this way until it becomes a problem. If it becomes a problem, we can always change the page to have a review before a post can become public. Various other additions and changes to the website and facebook were also discussed.


Walnut Creek Main Library
Saturday, April 26, 2014

Board Members in Attendance:

Mary Davis, President;  Erika Maslan, Vice President;  Phyllis Bratt, VP-Membership;  Kathy DeFabio, VP-Public Relations;  Nancy Bocanegra, Treasurer;  Rebecca Talley, State Board Rep.

Guest Speaker:

Dr. Kate Karpilow, Executive Director of the California Center for Research on Women and Families (CCRWF)

President’s Report:

Mary Davis reported on the chapter’s IRS tax status.  We have notification that the IRS has received our submission/forms/applications to retain the chapter’s tax exempt status.  She has contacted a tax attorney to inquire about filing taxes for back years since we have, at present, lost our tax exempt status.  More to follow.

Upcoming Conferences:

Southwest Regional – Phoenix, AZ, May 3
National Conference – Albuquerque, NM, June 27 – 29

Contra Costa NOW has limited stipends available for any member wishing to attend a conference.  Any member of NOW is invited to attend the NOW’s Southwest Regional Conference and/or the National Conference.  For the National Conference, we can credential seven voting delegates.  Anyone wishing to represent the chapter as a voting delegate to the National Conference should contact us through our email address.  At present, Erika Maslin, Vice President, and possibly Rebecca Talley, State Board Rep. will be attending the National Conference.

Membership Update:

Phyllis Bratt reported we have 192 members, 150 for which we have email addresses.

State PAC Update:

Rebecca Talley reported on the California NOW PAC meeting.  California NOW PAC political endorsements are:  Erin Carlstrom, Connie Leyva, Kamala Harris, Tom Torlakson, Gavin Newsom, John Chiang, Dave Jones, Alex Padilla, Elizabeth Echols, Roger Dickenson, Sandra Fluke, Kerri Condley, Mark DeSaulnier, Ellen Corbett, and Wendy Gueuel.

Personal Interviews were held with:  David Chiu, Newell Arnerich, Erin Calstrom, Tim Sbranti, Diane Conti, David Campos.

Rebecca expressed her concerns about David Campos:  The fact that Campos voted to reinstate Sheriff Mirkarimi, after domestic violence charges, is not acceptable and NOW should not endorse him… to ignore it is to condone it.

After interviewing both Chiu and Campos, the PAC determined not to endorse either San Francisco candidates for the Assembly race.

PR/Website Update:

With our regular method of advertising our events on our website and through traditional routes such as newspapers (which are difficult to make contact with), we are having trouble getting our message out, especially for guest speakers and programs.

Natalie Jacovic of UN Women, one of the guests in attendance at the meeting, suggested that we start a Facebook page.  She believes that if we want to get the message to and attract younger people, we have to use social media such as facebook.  A motion was approved to set up a facebook page for our chapter.

George Miller Event:

Phyllis informed us that the George Miller event (co-sponsored by AAUW and possibly Planned Parenthood) on 9/13/14 is very well received.  Tickets will sell out fast.  She needs three volunteers to assist with registration on the day of the event.  Rebecca and Erika volunteered to assist.

Bag the Tea Party Event:

Erika presented an interesting idea regarding this event.  Rather than actually sending out tea bags and letters to members, which would take a lot of time and effort plus the cost of postage, we could do an e-vite.  In the e-vite we would describe how the funds received from those who participate would be used.

Hobby Lobby Opening:

Discussion took place as to what we should do about the Hobby Lobby Opening in Concord.  A motion was passed to “protest”/give out info to inform the community about Hobby Lobby’s objection to providing birth control through medical insurance to its employees on 5/24/14 beginning at 10:00 am.

Guest Speaker, Dr. Kate Karpilow:

Dr. Karpilow, executive director of the California Center for Research on Women and Families, gave an excellent presentation on “Ten Steps to Build a Stronger Women’s Movement in California”.

Problems with the women’s movement included, balkanization, funding, political leadership, generational shift, and “after thought effect”.

Solutions included communications structure , needing an agenda, pushing foundations to use a “gender lens”, “refresh button” (learning to adapt to new ways which includes honoring the wisdom of our “seasoned” women, but at the same time adapting to new approaches), hold leadership (elected officials) accountable, mentor and honor, focus on implementation of public policy, workplace policy, involve men at every step of every project (war of sexes is dead), and replace the “after thought effect”.



Walnut Creek Main Library

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014

In Attendance:

Board Members:

  • Mary Davis, President;
  • Erika Maslin, Vice President;
  • Phyllis Bratt, VP-Membership;
  • Kathy DeFabio, VP-Public Relations;
  • Nancy Bocanegra, Treasurer;
  • Rebecca Talley, State Board Representative;

Other Attendees

  • Patty Bellasalma, President CA NOW & Guest Speaker;
  • Representative from SF NOW;
  • President of Sacramento NOW;
  • 2 Representatives from ACT NOW;

This meeting was a joint chapter meeting of Contra Costa NOW, Sacramento NOW, San Francisco NOW, and ACT NOW.

Patty Bellasalma, President of California NOW, spoke on the topic of “Putting Gender Equality and Justice at the Center of California’s Implementation of Health in all Policies”.  Her presentation was engaging and she encouraged audience participation.  Patty stressed the need for gender equity.  By gender equity she meant that the “traditional” roles women have played and continue to play in society (mother, caregiver, “jobs that are needed for the survival of the human race”) need to be given the same status as “traditional” male jobs (although women have become a part of these professions (engineer, tradespersons (eg plumbers), etc).  And that women shouldn’t be encouraged to give up these roles, but should insist on having these roles given the status they deserve.

After Patty gave her presentation, a representative from San Francisco NOW, Sacramento NOW, and ACT NOW gave a brief description of their chapter’s activities and goals


Walnut Creek Main Library
Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Board members attending:

  • Mary Davis, President
  • Erika Maslan, Vice President
  • Kathy DeFabio, VP Public Relations
  • Nancy Bocanegra, Treasurer
  • Karen Brockwell, Secretary
  • Phyllis Bratt, and Rebecca Talley – absent
  • Dawn Lopshire – absent


  • Reviewed schedule for board meetings and Chapter Meetings:
    • Board Meetings –Mar 15th, May 17th, Aug 16th, schedule additional meetings later.
    • Chapter Meetings – March 29th,  April 26th, June 21st , July 19th (garden party) Aug  23rd, Cancel Sept 27th  (Miller event is Sept 28th), Oct 25th, No November Mtg, Dec 6th elections (2pm) AND holiday party (evening)
    • Motion to suspend bylaws so elections can happen at December Meeting, rather than November – Passed
    • Program ideas/speakers for next few mtgs. Mary will e-mail Phyllis regarding April 26th,

Thoughts – maybe a meeting to discuss NOW’s focus over the next year (see discussion below)

  • Regional and National Conferences:
    • Regional – May 3rd Phoenix– election of national board representatives. Mary will attend
    • National – June 27-29 Albuquerque, NM. Bylaws issues:
      • Bylaws change proposals from California and Oregon NOW. Rotating locations of National Conference to “hubs” around the region. Proxy Voting.
      • Bylaws change proposals from National Board. Change from 9-6 regions, based on population, not membership. Will impact National Board Structure. Rebate Program and electronic voting
      • Erika, Phyllis and Nancy are thinking of attending


  • George Mller Event on for Sept 28th (Sponsors – Concord AAUW & Planned parenthood and NOW). Phyllis and Linda Kilday are working on this
  • Library Display – Suffrage Movement – not Walnut Creek Library, maybe Lafayette. Need someone to take responsibility. Is Phyllis chair?. Maybe minimal expense.
  • Coloring Books – to local schools? Missed deadline for Womens History month so consider next year
  • Hobby Lobby – Tower Records –  case before Supreme Court regarding birth control for employees. Nancy will chair a group to evaluate some type of action. Contact Planned Parenthood to see if they want to partner.


  1. Political Action Task Force – do we want to do this? Influencing legislation. Mary will ask Rebecca or Phyllis to see if interested.

Philosophy and Strategy for moving chapter forward (what do we want to focus on for next year – PAC, other?)  Postpone discussion to next Chapter Meeting, April 26th. Also get feedback on March 29th Chapter Meeting from Patty and others during informal breaks/socializing.


National Organization for Women
Contra Costa County Chapter
P.O. Box 4794
Walnut Creek, CA 94596


Walnut Creek Main Library

Saturday, Feb 22nd, 2014

In Attendance:

Board Members:

  • Erika Maslin, Vice President
  • Phyllis Bratt, VP Membership
  • Kathy DeFabio, VP Public Relations & Web
  • Rebecca Talley, State Board Rep.& PAC
  • Karen Brockwell, Secretary

Absent – Mary, Dawn and Nancy

Other Attendees

  • Linda Kilday – member
  • Melody – Planned Parenthood
  • Rosemary ??
  • Jeanette ??
  • Hannah ??
  • Katie Ricklefs (Presenter – Planned Parenthood)
  • Bea ??
  • Carlyn

Introductions were made around the table. Three new members and one visitor came to the meeting as a result of the at large letter.

President’s Report

  • IRS Status update – Nancy and Mary (who were both absent) are still working on this. They will provide an update at next meeting.
  • March Meeting Agenda –  this will be a joint meeting with ACT (Alameda County/Tri Valley) and SF NOW and Patty Bellasalma scheduled for March 29th at WC Library

Upcoming Conferences

  • Conference Dates
    • Southwest Regional – Phoenix,  AZ, May 3
    • National Conference – Albuquerque NM, June 27 – 29
    • Any member of NOW is invited to attend the NOW’s Southwest Regional Conference and/or the National Conference.
    • For the National Conference, we can credential six voting delegates.  Anyone wishing to represent the chapter as a voting delegate to the National Conference should contact us through our email address or by contacting Phyllis Bratt (VP of Membership) or Mary Davis (President)

Membership Update – Phyllis.  A number of new members have joined due to the mailing. There are a total of ~200 members in our local chapter to date

Website Update – Kathy. installed the “donate” button. It does work.  However there are no donations to date. Kathy will look into including the option to purchase the Coloring Book on the website. Post Meeting note – Kathy has installed the provision to purchase the coloring book.

General Topics

  • Report on Event to recognize George Miller – Phyllis and Lynda K will co-chair this for NOW. We need to partner with other organizations. Planned Parenthood are also interested. Date is set for Sat Sept 28th.
  • Fundraising & Bag the Tea Party event – Erika. Erika explained the background behind the Bag the Tea Party Event and there followed some discussion on fund raising in general and what we are fund raising for? We, the Board, need to focus on 1-2 big issues (from our Mission) and communicate a clear link between these big issues and the fund raising (e.g. reproductive rights, voting, abortion job opportunities, etc). Add discussion item to agenda for next Board Mtg.
  • PAC – touched on this subject primarily to inform the group that we are not a member of PAC but we can get involved with influencing candidates who may be running for office (school board, city council, etc)
  • Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage – target August 2014 Library displays. Post meeting note – WC Library not available so Phyllis will look at other venues.
  • Family Justice Center in Concord – Carlyn updated the group on a proposal to provide one stop shopping for women who are victims of family violence to get all legal services that they need under one roof e.g. restraining order. Many of the current non profits would be relocated as part of this initiative. All women’s groups should be involved with providing input to this initiative. Evening March 3rd – stakeholder meet and greet. Workshops on March 4th and 5th open to public. Post Meeting note – Phyllis received an e-mail and distributed to the board. Mary has asked for volunteers.

Presentation – Katie Ricklefs of Planned Parenthood gave a presentation  on “The War on Women: What we can do to stop it”. It was well received with lots of dialogue


Saturday, January 18, 2014

In Attendance:

  • Mary Davis, President                                                            Toby Hopstone
  • Erika Maslin, Vice President                                                 Darnelle Shaw
  • Phyllis Bratt, VP Membership                                               Karen Severud
  • Kathy DeFabio, VP Public Relations                                  Jose (Joe) Flores
  • Nancy Bocanegra, Treasurer                                               Lynda Kilday
  • Rebecca Talley, State Board Rep.
  • Dawn Lopshire, Board Advisor
  • Mary Davis gave a “State of the Chapter Address” in which she discussed some ideas for a plan of action for the chapter.  We need to schedule all chapter meetings (done) and post them on website, we need to discuss fundraising ideas and proceed (we already have one planned, “Bag the Tea Party…TeaParty”).
  • Mary gave a report of our IRS problem with our tax exempt status.  It was decided to resubmit our application and to consult an attorney and have the attorney file the application.
  • Treasurers Report:
    • The budget was discussed and revised as follows:
      • Income:
        • Paypal                                           0
        • Membership Rebates               1,800
        • Donations                                     325
        • Interest                                          0
        • Other                                              0____
        • Total                                               2,125
        • Expenses
          • Membership (which includes, but is not limited to, printing, mailing, brochures):                                                                     200
          • Post Office Box Fee                     100
          • Stipends (conferences, etc)       500
          • Actions/Events                              600
          • Bank Fees                                      25
          • IRS Filing                                       400___
          • Total                                              2,125
          • A motion was put forth and passed to accept the revised budget.
          • It was agreed that before money could be spent for stipends and actions/events, a motion would have to be put forth and voted on by the members in attendance.
          • Nancy Bocanegra needs authorization to present to Mechanics Bank to have her and Mary’s name added to the checking account.
  • Discussion took place as to how to draw more members.  Perhaps coordinating activities/fundraising events with other chapters, such as Act NOW (Tri-Valley: Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon) and San Francisco NOW.  We could find out what other chapters are doing and we could inform other chapters about our ideas.
    • Karen from Act NOW expressed interest in our two chapters sharing ideas.  (The president of Act NOW is Maureen Hamm).
    • Discussion took place about trying to arrange a joint meeting with Act NOW and San Francisco NOW with Patty Bellasalma, CA NOW president.
  • For the February 22 chapter meeting, Phyllis and Nancy would like someone from Planned Parenthood to speak.  Carlyn Obringer had a contact for a speaker from Planned Parenthood, and Nancy had a contact, Susannah Delano, also with Planned Parenthood. Arrangements will try to be made to have Susannah Delano speak at the Feb. 22 meeting if she’s available or perhaps reschedule.
  • Discussion took place about some activities we could do, such as if the buffer zone for facilities providing safe/legal abortions is taken away, we could do “counter counseling”.
  • Lynda Kilday suggested we have a Thank you to or Goodbye Party for George Miller.  This could provide contacts with or support from unions, young democrats, etc..
  • Dawn Lopshire gave a detailed explanation of NOW Political Action Committees (PAC):  there are 3 tiers:  National, State, and Local Chapter.  Rather than forming a chapter PAC, we decided to form a Political Action Task Force (not a PAC), which would submit recommendations for candidates to National and California NOW.
    • A motion was submitted and approved to form a Political Action Task Force.  This Political Action Task Force is not a PAC and cannot endorse candidates.  The task force only provides recommendations to the National and CA PACS.  The task force will also provide recommendations for endorsements for local elections (those affecting Contra Costa County or cities within its boundaries) to the CA NOW PAC.
    • Possible candidates are Susan Bonilla, CA State Assembly (re-election); replacement for US Representative George Miller’s seat, Mark DeSaulnier; and Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (re-election).
    • Dawn Lopshire, Lynda Kilday, Phyllis Bratt, and Rebecca Tally expressed interest on being on the Political Action Task Force.
    • A questionnaire was passed around to see what types of questions will be given to candidates we’d consider recommending for endorsement to Nat’l and CA State NOW.
  • Dawn presented information on Close the Gap run by Mary Hughes:  Quote from Close the Gap website “close the gap CA is a statewide campaign to increase the number of women in the CA legislature by recruiting talented, community-based, policy-focused women to run for open seats in 2014 and 2016. By partnering with progressive advocacy organizations focused on reducing poverty, improving education and increasing access to affordable healthcare, we will identify women whose skills and records of accomplishment will make them effective leaders in Sacramento. Changes to California’s term limit law in 2012 mean we will not have an opportunity like this again until 2022.”
    • A motion was submitted and approved for our chapter to endorse Close the Gap.
  • Discussion took place regarding the distribution of rebates from National NOW to the local chapters.  We would prefer not to lose our rebates or have the rebate amount reduced for the substitute of grants which would be difficult and time consuming to write.  Also, Lynda expressed concern that there may be “east coast bias” for the awarding of grants.

We are considering sending delegates from our chapter (we can have 6 for a chapter our size) to the National NOW meeting in Albuquerque, NM to vote against eliminating or reducing chapter rebates.



National Organization for Women
Contra Costa County Chapter
P.O. Box 4794
Walnut Creek, CA 94596


Walnut Creek Main Library

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Board members attending:

  • Mary Davis, President
  • Erika Maslan, Vice President
  • Phyllis Bratt, VP Membership
  • Kathy DeFabio, VP Public Relations
  • Nancy Bocanegra, Treasurer
  • Karen Brockwell, Secretary
  • Rebecca Talley, State Board Representative

Dawn Lopshire (Board Advisor) not in attendance


  • Appointed representative to State NOW PAC – Rebecca
  • Finalized budget proposal for 2014, to be presented at next membership meeting
    • Income –primarily membership dues
    • Expenses – primarily Mailings, Stipends, Events, Outreach
    • Nancy will look into moving funds into interest bearing checking or savings account
    • Fund raising – need to target a number, for now just use nominal amount to balance budget
    • National is considering not giving chapters their membership rebates (all our income) Needs to be voted on. Next conference maybe Denver in summer. Mary will put together a letter inquiring about this.
    • Motion to pass budget as is – passed. Budget will be presented at next general membership meeting for final approval.
    • Update on IRS status – Dawn received a letter from IRS – IRS closed file, not approved as non profit for tax exempt status. Phyllis will lead a committee to do follow up.


  • Established schedule for all membership meetings for the coming year (all Saturdays):
    • Jan 18th Feb 22nd March 22nd April 26th June 21st July 19th (garden party) Aug  23rd Sept 27th Oct 25th Dec 6th (holiday party) Motion passed to approve membership meeting schedule
    • Assign responsibility for booking rooms at the WC library for chapter meetings –  Kathy will do this
    • Establish schedule for board meetings for at least the first half of the year:
      • Jan 11th, Feb 15th, May 17th, Aug 16th, schedule additional meetings later. Kathy will book meeting room one week in advance
  • Sign up for Website’s “Board Member’s” corner contributions
    • ~ monthly
    • Feb – Dawn, March – Women’s History Month, Phyllis, April/May –  State Board Meeting – tbd, June/July National Meeting – report (tbd), Sept – Voting, Rebecca, Oct -summary of elections, Dec – end of year summary, Mary
    • Map out program ideas and/or speakers (as best as we are able) for at least the first half of the year
      • Feb 22nd – Monica Wilson Subject? – Phyllis
      • March 22nd – Contact Patty Bellasalma CA NOW President –  Phyllis
      • Contact Carlyn Obringer for program ideas – Phyllis
      • Speaker June – Planned Parenthood
      • August – Organizing for Action – ??
      • League of Women Voters later in the year
  • Develop plan/project for contacting members who do not have email addresses and/or who have joined the national NOW but not indicated a  local chapter
    • Send out mailing to ~70 members to request e-mail addresses
    • Send out mailing to ~ 200 members inviting them to join the local chapter
    • We decided to best way to do this was to have a mailing party at Phyllis’s house – Jan 29th at 7pm


  • PAC project  – decided to defer until Dawn can attend
  • State Board Meeting – Rebecca reported on the recent State Board Meeting held 12/14/13
    • CA NOW focus is on 2014 and 2016 Elections
    • National is considering taking away membership rebates to local chapters. Will be voted on later this year (2014 National Convention).
    • California NOW PAC – Rebecca distributed two e-mails:
      • #1 – PAC needs to develop a list of races and candidates for 2014. CA NOW Mtg in LA scheduled for February targeted for any races that need PAC interviews
      • #2 – San Diego Mayor’s Race  – CA NOW PAC needs to get out targeted mailing for this race
      • Discuss potential fundraising ideas to present at a chapter meeting
        • General fundraising ideas
          • “Bag the tea party” Erika will take the lead. Need to include reasons for donating
          • Website “Donate” button – set up to go (Kathy) –  Motion passed to authorize the “donate” button
          • Remaining Coloring Books – Give them away to schools before women’s history month – Phyllis, Mary, Nancy will work on distribution
          • Discuss potential projects/joint ventures/outreach
            • Library Display – Women’s History Month (March) or Suffrage Movement (August). Phyllis has a suffrage collection – Courtesy of CCNOW. Set up committee to pull together – Phyllis, Mary, Karen + volunteers.

Jan 18th Chapter Meeting:

  • “State of the Union” – Mary
  • Update on Jan 11th Board Meeting – Mary
  • Fundraising Proposals – request for ideas
  • 2014 Chapter Meeting Schedule
  • Mailing Party
  • Treasurers Report – vote to adopt 2014 budget
  • Presentation on 2014 Political Season