Women's Rights Team


June 2018

❏ Feel better, write to your Senators and tell them to keep fighting against Trump and Pence's anti-choice agenda.  They need to know you are pro-choice, along with 7 in 10 Americans.

Sen. Kamala Harris, 50 United Nations, Plaza, Suite 5584, San Francisco, CA  94102

Sen Dianne Feinstein, One Post St., Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104

We have some beautiful postcards, designed and printed by Minuteman Press to get you started--let Leigh Ann know if you'd like a stack(we know you do!) leighanntownsend@gmail.com 


Next Meeting:

 Wednesday, May 23, 6-7:30pm at Good Earth in Mill Valley


Donate a Doula

❏ Help first-time mamas around the county at the Marin Family Birth Center.  Just $250 will provide guidance by an experienced professional before, during, and after delivery.  This a wonderful facility, and it needs our support!

❏ Mortality rates for African-American mothers and babies are worse than they were 25 years ago.  Read a compelling article in the New York Times, "Why America's Black Mothers are in a Life-or-Death Crisis."


Things You Can Do - Feb 2018

❏ See Andrea Miller from National Institute of Reproductive Health speak at MVCAN Monthly Meeting on March 4.

❏ March! Attend the March for our Lives event in San Francisco to end gun violence on March 24.

❏ Support SB320. Thank State Sen. Mike McGuire for voting yes for college students to have access to the morning after pill.  Bill is headed to the Assembly.

❏  Don't let zealotry get in the way of good health care! Comment on the Health and Human Service site against a new policy exempting doctors and nurses from providing care that conflicts with their moral or religious beliefs.

Our next meeting is coming up.  Spend time with a bunch of angry, nice ladies.  We have much to discuss.

♛ Tuesday, February 21, 6:30-8pm, email Leigh Ann for the location, leighanntownsend@gmail.com

February 2018

Started off  the year marching down Market Street to protest the White House's assault on equal rights.  MVCAN organized three busloads of people from all over Marin.  It was a glorious day, a celebration of sholidarity.  We are in this together!  The Women's Right's team is geared up for 2018--here's what's on our list so far:

Support the Marin City Health & Wellness Center

End California's rape kit backlog

Bring rape kit testing back to Marin 

Support  SB320, California's College Student Right to Access Act

End child marriage in California

Want to help or add something to the list?  Join us at our next meeting:

♛ Tuesday, February 21, 6:30-8pm, email Leigh Ann for the location, leighanntownsend@gmail.com

2017 Quick Recap

Here are some highlights:

Raised over $3,000 to help pay travel expenses for women-in-need who live far away from abortion providers.

Hosted a fundraiser and collected over $10,000 for California Democratic Chair candidate, Kimberly Ellis.

Organized buses for Women's March San Francisco

Signed up local businesses to support California AB569, Reproductive Health Non-discrimination Act.

Pressured CA State Sheriff's Department to end the rape kit backlog.

Wrote postcards to our state and federal legislators to support reproductive rights.

Attended NARAL's Lobby Day in Sacramento to meet with state legislators about supporting reproductive rights.


Meetings, phonebanks, policy pieces, oh my.  See here for one of our team members pieces on one of the many hurdles poor women are facing in healthcare:  https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20171215.457066/full/

Our team is working on the Womens March coming up on 1/20/18 - see the Wag and/or the MVCAN FB page for details.  Or womensmarchca.org.

10/17, 11/17

Governor Brown signs AB 41 into law, but vetoes AB 569.

Victory for women and LGBTQ candidates in Virginia!  Thanks to Electoral our Women's Rights members who participated in phonebanking and letter writing.  Every little action counts!

Looking forward to fundraising for the Marin City Health and Wellness Center.  Stay tuned for details...


9/23/17, 10/3/17

Women's Rights members phone banked California voters to call Governor Brown's office and insist he sign AB 569 into law.  We also wrote postcards, made phone calls, and wrote letters to the editor to pass AB 41.


Next meeting TBA – keep informed!  Send me pertinent issues and I’ll send them to the Weekly MVCAN Wag!


AB 569 and  AB 41 passed both houses and are now sitting on Governor Brown's desk.  Tweet Gov. Brown directly:

My health is my business. Bosses shouldn’t make our reproductive health decisions. @JerryBrownGov should sign #AB569


This is a matter of economic justice. People shouldn't have to risk their jobs to access #reprohealth care. @JerryBrownGov must sign #AB569


Women of color already make far less than white men in CA. They shouldn't risk their jobs for #reprohealth care. @JerryBrownGov: sign #AB569


Trump and anti-choice Congress are on the attack against #reprofreedom. We need @JerryBrownGov to protect Californians by signing #AB569


MVCAN members Rock the Congress at College of Marin.  Participants attended workshops, spoke on panels and volunteered.

Next Women's Rights meeting: 10/3/17, 7pm.  Email townsendleighann@gmail.com for address.


Continuing work with SB 273 and AB 41.  Looking to fundraise for the Marin City Health and Wellness Center; need someone to take the lead!  Contact townsendleighann@gmail.com if interested.  Stay tuned for our  upcoming mixer!  Sites to visit:








Member Barbara Solomon wrote to the San Francisco Chronicle about AB 41, Rape Kit bill. 



We are currently working on: canvassing small businesses to support AB 569 (Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act), AB 41 (Rape Kit backlog legislation) and SB 273 (Child marriage ban) via postcards, conference calls and meetings with legislators.

Next meeting: last week of August, location and date TBA.

Sites to visit:

 Women’s Equality Day in San Francisco: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3040472





Next meeting 7/18.  Please email Leigh Ann Townsend if you plan to attend and the address will be emailed to you.  We will discuss: ongoing NARAL work, our next fundraiser (we are considering projects for the Marin City Health and Wellness Clinic, among others), legislation to prohibit child marriage in CA, next year's DA race, and local/state committees on which our members can serve.  A full plate!


Women's Rights team members Kate Barrengos and Sally DeVoto Hagstrom canvassed local Mill Valley businesses to support AB 569, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act.   Thank you to Seager Gray Gallery for being the first business to sign the letter.  Paste this into your browser for a copy of the letter:



Write postcards to support AB 41, DNA Testing of Rape Kit Evidence. Write to:

CA State Sheriffs' Association (they currently do not support it)

1231 I Street, Suite 200

Sacramento, CA 95814

Senator Ricardo Lara

State Capitol, Room 5050

Sacramento, CA  95814


Interested in representing Women's Issues in Marin?  See below and apply!

Supervisor Kathrin Sears is seeking representatives for District 3, comprised of Mill Valley, Strawberry, Tiburon, Belvedere, Marin City, Tam Valley, Sausalito and other nearby unincorporated areas.  

Supervisor Dennis Rodoni is seeking representatives for District 4, which includes West Marin, western Novato, the San Geronimo Valley, San Rafael’s Canal Area, Corte Madera, and Homestead Valley.  

The application deadline for all three seats is 5 p.m. Friday, June 9.

The Marin Women's Commission represents women and girls of diverse backgrounds and circumstances and advocates for equality through policy, education and collaboration. The commission hosts the Marin Teen Girl Conference, the Women & Money Conference, and co-sponsors the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame. Each year the commission focuses its efforts on topics of importance to the community, and this year it is concentrating its efforts on women’s leadership and economic empowerment.

Apply online or learn more about the application process by calling the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at (415) 473-7331. You can also request an application by mail at Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Suite 329, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael CA 94903 or by emailing bos@marincounty.org.

Canvas your local businesses with NARAL's letter supporting AB 569.  Anyone who owns or manages a small business can sign.  There is virtually no risk.  This is simple, effective and empowering.  Email me with any questions.  womens-rights-lead@mvcan.org 



Several members did the NARAL Small Business Canvassing Training in support of AB 569, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act.  NARAL's goal is 500 letters of support from small businesses throughout California.  The bill will ensure that employees and their families can make their own health decisions, without fear of losing their jobs or facing retribution from their employers because of private, non-work related decisions.

Write to your MOC and feel better.

Write to your MOC and feel better.

Women's March San Francisco, January 20, 2018

Women's March San Francisco, January 20, 2018

Nancy Bourne phonebanks for the Alabama Senate election 12/12/17.

Nancy Bourne phonebanks for the Alabama Senate election 12/12/17.

MVCAN Steering Committee member and Women's Rights liaison Eileen Fisher and Leigh Ann Townsend participate in Rock the Congress at College of Marin, September 9, 2017.

MVCAN Steering Committee member and Women's Rights liaison Eileen Fisher and Leigh Ann Townsend participate in Rock the Congress at College of Marin, September 9, 2017.



Co-leader Kate Barrengos joined Dump Trump member David Donnenfield and Mike Cavanaugh at the California Democratic Convention in Sacramento in support of Kimberly Ellis, candidate for CA State Democratic Chair.  She lost by only 62 votes (an audit is pending) but it was a sea of pink shirts and energized constituents for Kimberly and her vision for an equally-represented California.


Women's Rights would like to host an event or fundraiser to bring in more members and build momentum.  Ideas are needed!  We need someone to take the lead on this.

We are:

Researching SF Supervisor Chiu's legislation on rape kit procedure, and looking into possible support for Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Having a training on 5/22 with NARAL to learn how to canvass businesses in support of AB 569, the Reproductive Non-Descrimination Act, and assist with identifying those elected officials who are pro-choice.

Researching Women's Health Protection Act and will be asking Jared Huffman on May 15th about his support for AB 569, AB 41 and other issues.

We wrote postcards for us to write to Assemblyman Marc Levine asking him to support AB 569, the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act.

Next team meeting: TBA.

Contact team lead Leigh Ann Townsend at womens-rights-lead@mvcan.org for more info.



MVCAN and Women's Rights group members attended the Kimberly Ellis fundraiser at Seager/Gray gallery. We're planning for Lobby Day in Sacramento on 4/26; please contact Leigh Ann Townsend for registration and ride information. 

Next team meeting:  June 6th.  Email me for address.

Contact team lead Leigh Ann Townsend at womens-rights-lead@mvcan.org for more info.