VC Women’s Political Council Sponsors Forum
By Tim Pompey
The Ventura County Women’s Political Council (VCWPC) will host “When Women Succeed America Succeeds,” the first in a series of forums to help grow dynamic women leaders in Ventura County.
Catherine Sepulveda, the chair of the VCWPC’s education committee and a former campaign manager for Oxnard City Council Representative Carmen Ramirez, elaborated on why this topic is so important to women in the community. “We want to draw in women who are energetic and have a desire and a passion to serve,” she said. “We want to give women a place to assimilate as a group and encourage the women in our audience who are interested in serving.”
Sepulveda believes that these types of forums are a way to encourage women to get out into the community and be socially and politically active. “Women, even though they are a majority of the population, hold fewer political and community leadership positions,” she maintained. “Across the board, they are not being represented.”
The forums are part of the VCWPC’s overall mission to encourage women to serve on commissions and boards, on election teams and in office. To that end, the VCWPC has their own political action committee, contributes funds to select candidates, and is active in promoting women as candidates in local elections. Last year, for instance, they publicly supported the candidacy of Lorrie Brown for a seat on the Ventura City Council.
Sepulveda noted the advantage of having an organization like the VCWPC. “For women, it’s a networking opportunity. They get the chance to see and meet other women in office, and by networking with other women in office, it gives more opportunities for all women, including women of color.”
She told of how VCWPC recently had an opportunity to appoint one person onto the economic commission for the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. “We appointed Lorrie Brown,” she said. “We think she’s smart and articulate, she’s Black, she’s female, and we felt that she could have a voice for women and the Black community.”
This year, the forum will feature as their keynote speaker California State Senator for the 19th District, Hannah-Beth Jackson.
Sepulveda feels that Jackson epitomizes what VCWPC is trying to encourage. “We think that Hannah-Beth aligns well with our mission,” she stated. “Like Jackson, I think it’s safe to say that we lean toward social justice issues and we look for women that have our specific platform.”
She thinks that the traditional values women hold, particularly when it comes to the family, are the same values that motivate members of the council. “We feel like if we are supporting policies that have as their cornerstone adequate health care, education, and affordable housing,” she declared, “that if a society is healthy in those areas, and if we are supporting those types of women that are supporting those policies, it’s good for families, it’s good for women, it’s good for America.”
For Sepulveda, the ultimate goal of this forum and of VCWPC is to serve as a base for women to discover and develop their own leadership potential. As she explained, “We really want to inspire women and give them a place where they can be supported. We feel that it’s so important because what’s good for women is good for America.”
The forum will be held Thursday, April 24, 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Ventura County Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Center Board Room located at 4001 Mission Oaks Boulevard in Camarillo. Those interested should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.