The Commission's goals for the year focused on education and outreach with
the emphasis on youth and women's history.
CA Commission on the Status of Women
We maintain a connection with the CA Commission on the Status of Women and
receive newsletters for statewide information and resources as well as the most
current legislative updates.
Child Support Legal Advocates Guide
This reference manual, provided by the National Center for Youth Law, makes
current legal information easily available to parents. The original was placed
in the County Main Library Law Section, and copies were provided to the Redwood
Community Action Agency and the Women's Resource Center. Updates are provided on
a regular basis and members of the Commission are responsible for the periodic
updates to maintain each manual.
Through the Eyes of Women, KHSU Radio
In September, 1996, Commissioner Cooper and League of Woman Voters
representative Dottie Riffenburg discussed "Why Women Should Vote."
A four-part television series produced in collaboration with the Commission,
Humboldt State University's (HSU) Political Science Department and HSU's public
access television station, ACAT, Ch.12. The call-in shows were moderated by
Commission and community members and on the following topics: (Women's History
Month) Honoring Yurok Women - Dorothy Haberman, Vera Ryerson and Elsie
"Aussie" McCovey. Participants were Rich Haberman, Scottie Bacon,
Yvonne Jolley and host Gary Markusson. For the Status of Child Care and Youth
Services in Humboldt County participants were Sue Ayer, Cathy Montaigne, and
Phyllis Lammers, Peter LaValle and host Commissioner Cooper. Health Issues
For Women Over 40 was hosted by Commissioner Cransdon. Participants were Dr.
Gena Pennington, Kate Mott, Rozanne Miller, Maggie Kraft, Carie Slack, Ann
Lindsay, Bonnie MacGregor and Janet Pecorella. Gay and Lesbian Services in
Humboldt County was moderated by Commissioner Murphy, with participation
from Kate McCay, Ruth Mountaingrove, Alex Reid and Serenity Bowen. The responses
from both the public and University were very positive.
A series of shows
are being planned for the coming year featuring women in business and other
relevant subjects. All shows will be rebroadcast on ACAT and copies of the
programs will be available on videotape at the Main Library.
Women's History Month Celebrations
The National theme for 1997 was "A Fine And Long Tradition Of Community
Leadership." Various aspects of local and national Women's History were
presented to the community in window displays created by Commissioner Nieboer at
Redwood Region Redevelopment Corporation, two locations at the Bayshore Mall and
the Main County Library. The Board of Supervisors proclaimed March as Women's
History Month. Commissioner Taylor spoke on KHSU's "Home Page"
concerning the history, goals and activities of the Commission. Noted American
women were featured in Public Service Announcements on a number of local radio
stations. Betty Burton, KINS radio, honored women of historical note from
Humboldt County during March. Commissioners Cooper and Taylor were guests on
KHSU's "Tuesday Night Talk" celebrating the community leadership.
Representatives from the several women's groups in Humboldt County discussed
their organizations, their plans, accomplishments and scheduled events. Included
were: Women and Timber, Humboldt Women for Shelter, Eureka Women's Club,
American Association of University Women, American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees, League of Women Voters Federal and The Commission
sponsored a free mini film festival at the Main Library's Audiovisual Preview
Room. The films shown were "Still Killing Us Softly," a documentary on
the role of advertising in fostering an obsession with thinness in girls and
women, and "There's No Such Thing As Women's Work," a portrayal of
American women's role in the work of the nation.
Woman of Achievement Award
Nominations were requested for women who have made a significant contribution
in community leadership either through volunteer activities or through
work-related efforts far exceeding the normal expectations. Gabrielle Parkinson
was chosen for her fine and long tradition of advocacy and support for women and
business in Humboldt County and recognition of her leadership role as a
facilitator, teacher administrator/manager, business owner and volunteer. The
presentation of this award was made at the Board of Supervisors meeting March
The Times Standard, the Humboldt Beacon and the Senior News
published articles on the Commission and National Women's History Month and the
local events planned. The Senior News also featured an article honoring
Gabrielle Parkinson as "Mother of the Community."
Display at the Main Library
In conjunction with the visiting exhibit from the Huntington Library,
"Votes for Women: Unfinished Business," a special display was placed
in the Main Library during May and June honoring Carrie Chapman Catt and other
Suffrage leaders, both local and national.
In order to receive the most current information about matters concerning
women and children, the Commission invites guest speakers. In the past year the
speakers have included: Lee Barnes, Director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society,
reported on the Women's Opportunity Week events in Northern San Diego County.
Sheriff Dennis Lewis and Lt. Melinda Ciarabellini provided blueprints and
information about the new correctional facility and the current and future
programs and conditions for women. One positive outcome was a project
coordinated with the Friends of the Library to provide books to the Jail
library. Commission members propose to tour the correctional facilities in the
near future. Supervisor John Woolley and Student Intern Natasha Hutson talked
with the Commission about current needs and concerns and the possible
availability of an Intern to do research on Women's Issues. Nancy Dye, Institute
of the North Coast, described a Quality of Life Survey soon to be mailed to a
randomly selected sample of county residents. Gabrielle Parkinson of the Women
Entrepreneur's Institute spoke with the Commission about networking and the
importance of economic development opportunities for women. Commission members
received the Women Entrepreneurs Directory, a valuable resource.
Commissioners Schramm, Adragna and Murphy were appointed to the subcommittee
to monitor and report on the legislation affecting the girls and women of
Humboldt County. Several topics were targeted for review including healthcare
and civil rights. The CA Civil Rights Initiative was reviewed and the Commission
joined the League of Woman Voters in opposing the poorly-crafted measure,
foreseeing that it would lead to a lengthy court battle. Specific bills gaining
Commission support were AB101, the student nondiscrimination for sexual
preference, SB70 allowing 48 hour minimum hospital stay for mastectomies and
lymph node dissections at the direction of the doctor, AB38 allows for a 48 hour
stay after vaginal childbirth, or 96 hour stay after Caesarean Section
birth under a doctor's direction and would guarantee one follow up visit for
infant and mother. Other bills supported in concept pending additional
information include AB34, Health Preventive and Reproductive Services and AB157
concerning breast feeding in public locations.
In December, 1996, the Human Rights Commission proposed an Ordinance to
establish recognition for Domestic Partnerships. The Status of Women Commission
studied the draft, solicited views from throughout the County and in February,
1997 provided a three page summary report to the Board of Supervisors. The
report concluded that the Ordinance as drafted would create a Domestic Partner's
Registry for couples who wished to register. It would not commit the County to
pay benefits of any kind. The Commission expressed reservations with some of the
wording but supported the concept of the creation of the Registry
Recommendations to the Board of Supervisors
Women play a crucial role in our society. In addition to their other
vocational, professional and/or civic responsibilities, they are the primary
caregivers for both children and elders. Women's needs must be given careful
consideration as governmental programs are redefined and reshaped.
the Board to be attentive to the consequences of the implementation of
Proposition of 209, the CA Civil Rights Initiative, with a view to ensuring that
County employment remains equally accessible to all qualified applicants.
For 1997-98, the Commissioners elected Nancy Nieboer as Chair, Simone Taylor
as Vice Chair, Diana Cooper as Secretary and Mary Ann Murphy as Treasurer.
activities for 1997-98 include television programs and educational forums
addressing such concerns as: economic self-sufficiency; fair employment and pay
equity; access to health care and coverage; sexual harassment, assault and
domestic violence (including child abuse); and, the conditions for women inmates
in county Jail.
The Commission appreciates the assistance offered by
members of the Board, the Clerk of the Board and the Board staff throughout the
year. We look forward to working together this year and appreciate the
continuing opportunity to advise the Board about matters affecting women and
girls in the county.