Color Logo 
April 2015

California Women Lead Newsletter

Cal Flag



Follow Our Blog   


Contact us 



Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn 



Upcoming Events


Appointments Training
April 16, 2015

Appointments Training
April 22, 2015
Santa Clarita 

USC's Young Women's Political & Civic Leadership Conference
April 25, 2015 

Women's Empowerment Day
May 8, 2015

18th Annual Networking Lunch
June 19, 2015 
San Diego 

The CA Latino Leadership Institute, (CLLI) women's empowerment summit
June 27, 2015

50/50 Project Campaign Boot Camp
Monday, August 17, 2015

Women's Empowerment Conference
Tuesday, August 18
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim  

Women's Empowerment Day
Friday, September 18

Women's Empowerment Day
Monday, October 26

Click here to view our calendar of events.









State Board of Equalization


Vice - President

Cassandra Pye 

Appointee (ret.) 

State of California 





University of California





Natomas USD


Member at Large



State of California






Fullerton Joint UHSD



Assembly Minority Leader (ret.) 

State of California



Senator (ret.)

State of California




Modesto City Schools



Mayor Pro Tem (ret.) 

City of Lake Forest




State of California



Assembly Minority Leader 

State of California



Appointments Secretary

State of California




City of Los Angeles



Appointee (ret.)

State of California




State of California



City Auditor (ret.) 

City of Oakland




State of California


Executive Director/CEO





It has been a great start to 2015 for California Women Lead and we are very pleased with the events we have held so far- our Annual Legislative Welcome, Appointments Training in Walnut Creek and the 5th Annual Women's Empowerment Day at the Capitol. All three events were huge successes- and we are looking forward to many more to come! There is also much to be thankful for and congratulations in order.

I'd like to congratulate Former CA Women Lead State Board Member Senator Jean Fuller who is now the Senate Minority Leader-Elect, joining CA Women Lead State Board Member Kristin Olsen in leadership. This is notably the first time we have had women serving in both of these leadership positions at the same time. We also would like to congratulate CA Women lead State Board Member Sharon Runner on her election to the State Senate!

We are grateful for Assemblymember Susan Bonilla for making our Walnut Creek Appointmetts Training possible (and free) as well as Senator Sharon Runner, Assemblyman Scott Wilk and Board of Equalization Vice Chairman George Runner for making our upcoming Appointments Training in Santa Clarita possible (and free)! Partnerships like these from across the state make it possible for CA Women Lead to reach more women and strive towards the goal of increasing parity with leadership in all levels of government.

Additionally, we would like to take a moment and thank you for responding to our member survey we distributed earlier in the year- your feedback is extremely helpful in ensuring we continue to meet our members' needs.

We are pleased to partner again with the League of California Cities as well as the California School Board Association (CSBA) for two upcoming reports we will be distributing to provide an update on the status of women serving in City Councils (since our last report released prior to the General Election in 2014) and the status of women serving on local school boards.

Finally (and most importantly) we'd like to send a BIG thank you to our members and statewide partners who financially support our mission to ENGAGE*EMPOWER*ELECT. We could not do what we do without you. Thank you for your continued support.

If you are not a member of California Women Lead or your membership has lapsed, we hope you will consider joining us as we look forward to many great events, trainings and workshops across the state including a Women's Conference and intensive 50/50 campaign boot camp at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and Women's Empowerment Day's in Fresno, Bakersfield and Temecula. For a full list of our upcoming events, visit our website at or click here.


Rachel Michelin photo                  
Rachel Michelin,
Executive Director/CEO


Women's Empowerment Day - Fresno  

This one-day conference will give women from throughout the state the skills and tools to be empowered leaders.

Friday, May 8 | 8:30 AM - 4:15 PM
Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation Business Hub (Downtown Business Hub)
1444 Fulton Street | Fresno, CA 93721 map

Interested in gaining the skills and tools needed to be an empowered leader in your community? Join us for California Women Lead's first Women's Empowerment Day in Fresno, a one-day event designed to empower women, co-hosted by the Fresno Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Speakers include:
  • Mona Pasquil, Secretary for Appointments, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
  • Kirstin Olsen, Assembly Minority Leader, California State Legislator
  • Fiona Ma, Member, State Board of Equalization; President, CA Women Lead State Board of Directors
  • Andy Vidak, Senator, California State Legislature
  • Connie Conway, former Assembly Minority Lead, CA Women Lead State Board of Directors
  • Cassandra Pye, President, 3.14 Communications
  • Esmeralda Soria, Councilmember, City of Fresno, District 1
  • Jann Taber, Communications Director, Office of Senator Andy Vidak
  • Rachel Michelin, CEO, California Women Lead
  • Dora Westerlund, CEO, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation
  • Margaret Mims, Sheriff, County of Fresno
  • Henry T. Perea, Assemblymember, California State Legislature (invited)
  • Ashley Swearengin, Mayor, City of Fresno (invited)
Tickets and sponsorships available. Click here for more information and to register and/or sponsor.


Appointments Training in Redlands and Santa Clarita

Ever considered getting involved in your local community as an appointee to a board or commission? Want to know more about how the process works? How do you access the application? Where to find vacancies? How do you navigate the process? Who can help?

Please join California Women Lead and the East Valley Association of REALTORS® for an appointments training in Redlands and Senator Sharon Runner, Assemblyman Scott Wilk and Board of Equalization Vice Chairman George Runner in Santa Clarita to learn the process that one should take to be appointed to a board/commission/committee at the local and state level. With the number of women in local government decreasing, we want to empower women to apply for appointments to reach gender equality on boards and commissions. Women and men are both welcome to join us and be part of the movement.

Also joining the Redlands training is Assemblymember Marc Steinorth and Mona Pasquil, Secretary of Appointments with the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. Pasquil will also be at the Santa Clarita training as is California Women Lead and Board of
Equalization Member Fiona Ma.

Click here for more information on the Redlands Appointments Training and to register.

Click here for more information on the Santa Clarita Appointments Training and to register. 


CA Women Lead is pleased to announce our first statewide Women's Empowerment Conference at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim scheduled for August 16-18, 2015. This conference will bring together women leaders from every corner of the state to ENGAGE * EMPOWER * ELECT more women at every level of government, both in appointed and elected positions. The conference will also include an intensive 50/50 campaign boot camp series with top campaign professionals from across the state. Be sure to check our website for the latest information and updates for this exciting event!


Women's Empowerment Day at the Capitol in the News
In Case You Missed It....

Women's Empowerment Day at the capitol on Fox40 and CBS online.

The event was a huge success. Below is the feedback we received from our attendees. We look forward to the Women's Empowerment Days that are coming to Fresno, Bakersfield and Temecula this year!

"The training got me thinking about potentially running for office."

"Empowering Your Future with speaker, Secretary Anna Caballero, was the best- she was very inspirational and spoke from the heart."

"Great to hear from women leaders about their thoughts, ideas, lessons learned, experience, etc. and how to get to their positions."

"I loved this event. It made such an impact on my courage."


Recognizing Eureka City Council and Oakland USD
CA Women Lead would like to recognize the City of Eureka (Humboldt County) for achieving a woman majority on the City Council. This is an important step in the ongoing need to reach gender parity at the city government level in California. Our report on the status of women serving in city councils, released last year in partnership with the Women's Caucus of the League of California Cities, showed that only 28% women in the state serve on city councils. This figure does not reflect California's female population.

Additionally, the Oakland Unified School District (as of January) now consists of six women and one man. The three seats that were open in the November 2014 election were all won by women.

We hope the City of Eureka and Oakland USD are shining lights for other cities to follow as we continue to hold trainings and workshops that educate and empower more women to run for office.

CA Women Lead will be releasing an updated report on the status of women serving on city councils next month followed by a report detailing number of women serving on local school boards, in partnership with the California School Boards Association.

If you would like to recognize a local board in your area, please send us an email to



California Women Lead appreciates our members' support of our mission! Thank you for joining us as we ENGAGE *EMPOWER*
women throughout California. We'd like to thank our members for taking the time to fill out our survey. 

Below are highlighted responses we received. If you have any questions with membership, our  upcoming events and programs offered, please email us at We look forward to continuing to serve you!

Why did you join CA Women Lead?

"To meet women in the state active in politics and government, and to learn how we can help each other succeed in public life. Women have the ability to tap the needs of its citizens and to focus on strategies to give our youth the same opportunities that they had."

"To network with other women in leadership and enhance my leadership skills, as well as see how I might be able to serve in my community."

"To associate with, network with and support other women in politics and government. It seemed like the most all-encompassing, nonpartisan organization for that in California."

"Opportunity to network with other women like me. Also I wanted to apart of an organization that is positive, engaging and active in our communities."



Young Women's Political & Civic Leadership Program
Saturday, April 25, 8:45AM-­-3:30PM



Thank you to our California Women Lead supporters who support our mission and make it possible to engage, empower and elect women throughout the state.
BP America, Inc    Lilly, USA     Walmart



California Women Lead is a nonpartisan 501c3 non-profit organization. As such we do not endorse or contribute to political candidates. Our goal is to empower women to seek their full leadership potential through education, training and network development.

California Women Lead

1017 L Street #418
Sacramento, CA 95814