Join Us for Our Annual Luncheon

And insight into the upcoming 2014 elections

Saturday, March 15, 2014
1 p.m.
The Tower Club
300 East Esplanade Drive, Oxnard

Special Guest Speaker
Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CD-26)

VCWPC 2014 Board Elections will be held during a brief membership meeting.

$25 members / $30 non-members
Includes program & lunch
New members joining the VCWPC at the pro-rated $20 fee (annual renewal date is July 1) may take advantage of the $25 luncheon price.

(Please note if you want a vegetarian option.)
To pay by credit card go here.

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VCWPC endorses Lorrie Brown
for Ventura City Council

During the September 18 General Endorsement Meeting at Downtown Sol, VCWPC members unanimously endorsed Lorrie Brown for Ventura City Council. Several commented that she is the type of woman candidate that VCWPC was created to support. To endorse Lorrie, find out about her scheduled events, sign up as a volunteer or donate to her campaign, visit her website at

Lorrie expressed strong support for VCWPC’s bottom-line issues: reproductive rights; the environment; social, educational and economic justice for women. She has also stressed how important it is to her to mentor and support other women who show an interest in public policy and public office.

Born and raised in Ventura County, Lorrie has spent most of her life in the city of Ventura and is committed to making it a more open government for women and minorities. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Administration from CLU. She is currently employed by the City of Oxnard. She is a single working mom with three teenage sons. She has not held elective office before, but she has been active in and served on several local non-profit boards.

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VCWPC General Meeting and PAC Endorsement for Ventura City Council

Date: September 18, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Downtown Sol
328 W. 3rd Street, Oxnard

Speaker: Nancy Conk, CEO,
Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation

In addition to our business agenda, including endorsement consideration of Ventura City Council candidate Lorrie Brown, we are very fortunate to have Nancy Conk as our guest speaker. Nancy joined CEDC as CEO in January 2012. She has more than 20 years of experience on the leading edge of non-profit affordable home development in California.

Affordable housing is a hot-button issue in the city of Ventura. Nancy will highlight the myths about affordable housing, reveal how we can participate in community advocacy and inform us about the increasing numbers of financially challenged single-parent female-headed households who are benefiting from it.

There will be time for networking while you enjoy light refreshments.

Please RSVP to

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Our garden party a great success

On August 11 the Ventura County Women’s Political Council held a summer garden party which we called “Growing Our Own.”  We honored Irma J. Lopez for her dedication to mentoring women who both serve in and seek public office, particularly in local government! VCWPC was thrilled at the turnout, the great food, and the beauty of the setting at the home of Gail Weller Brown and Jerry Brown.  

We acknowledge our very generous sponsors who helped make the “Growing Our Own” summer garden party a great success.  Sponsors include Connie Baer, Gail Weller Brown and Jerry Brown, Judy Bysshe, Richard Francis, Dr. Manuel Lopez, Bryan MacDonald, Carmen Ramirez, David Rodriguez and Yolanda Benitez, Celeste Weingardt, and SEIU Local 721.

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Join us for VCWPC’s Summer
Garden Party Fundraiser

Growing our own!

Sunday, August 11, 2013
1 to 4 p.m.
At the home of Gail Weller Brown and Jerry Brown
2101 Doral Court, Oxnard 93036

Honoring Irma J. Lopez, Oxnard’s former first lady, community and women’s activist and VCWPC’s cherished leader

Irma is a spectacular role model of a woman who never stops striving to improve women’s lives. She has been a charter member of Ventura County Women’s Political Council since our founding, a long-standing activist in National Women’s Political Caucus-Ventura County, and a long-time advocate of women’s and social justice issues in Ventura County.

Irma was born and raised in Ventura County. She is an extraordinary hostess to progressive political and social justice events. Irma and her husband, Dr. Manuel Lopez (former mayor of Oxnard), open up their beautiful Oxnard home for many county activities.

As women have achieved more success in politics, business and community affairs, Irma has always been out front, giving of her time, her energy, and her organizing skills to put us “over the top.”

At our annual fundraiser, we will honor Irma and celebrate the recent successes of VCWPC at a festive garden party held at the Oxnard home of Gail Weller Brown and Jerry Brown.

Tickets:  $25 members; $30 non-members
Sponsors:  $200 (includes 2 free tickets)
Will be recognized on the program, at the event and on VCWPC’s website.

Pay for your tickets at the door or make a secure online payment by going here.

If you plan to pay at the door, please e-mail your RSVP to  Questions may be directed to or (805) 983-4096.

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Jo Ann Olivares — Our endorsed candidate for the June 4 Oxnard City Council
Special Election

VCWPC has endorsed Jo Ann Olivares for Oxnard City Council in the special election to be held June 4, 2013. VCWPC members have held a special precinct walk day for Jo Ann as well as supporting her campaign with a financial contribution.

Ventura County Star: Olivares best for Oxnard council in June 4 election

“Thirteen candidates are offering themselves to Oxnard voters in the June 4 special election for one seat on the City Council.

The Star’s Editorial Board thinks candidate Jo Ann Olivares has the perfect blend of skills, temperament and background to excel in this job.”

Jo Ann was born and raised in Oxnard, attended local schools and currently works as Human Resources Director for San Miguel Produce, a local farming company. Jo Ann cares about women’s rights, education and family issues and will be an excellent addition to Oxnard’s City Council.

Learn more about Jo Ann Olivares and volunteer to help her campaign by visiting her website at;

(805) 889-0775; 141 South A St., Oxnard, CA 93036

If you live in Oxnard, please remember to vote!

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VCWPC Annual Meeting featured Congresswoman Julia Brownley

On February 2, 2013, we were fortunate to hear from Congresswoman Julia Brownley when she addressed VCWPC’s Annual Meeting at the Tower Club in Oxnard. She reported on her first month in Washington.

With 89 freshman in the 113th Congress, this is the second largest class in the history of Congress and the first one to have a majority of women and minorities, including Latino, LGBT, African-American as well as veteran members such as Tammy Duckworth. Duckworth is Asian-American, a double amputee and one of the first women to fly combat missions in Iraq. The Congresswoman said she was thrilled to witness the President’s swearing-in on the steps of the Capitol on Martin Luther King’s birthday — and reported that she was humbled by the experience.

Brownley’s new District Director is Carmina Armenta, an experienced staff leader who previously worked for Planned Parenthood as well as Congressman Howard Berman and Senator Barbara Boxer. Cheri Orgel is the Congresswoman’s Deputy Director. Brownley opened an office in Thousand Oaks and on the fourth floor of the Tower Building where we held our event.

Brownley is serving on the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs. She was also elected as Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, and also serves on the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. As Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee, she will focus on improving veterans’ access to mental health care, improving services for female veterans, and helping service members transition from the military to the veterans’ health care system. Congresswoman Brownley has already visited many of the Southern California military establishments to educate herself on veteran’s health needs and service availability and took suggestions from members of the military at our event. Additionally, Brownley is a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

Her website is You can sign up for her newsletter or write her concerning issues you’re interested in.

Congresswoman Brownley’s local offices:
Oxnard: 300 E. Esplanade Drive, Suite 470, Oxnard 93036; Phone: 805-379-1779 – Hours Mon.-Fri., 9:00 am – 5:30 pm.
Thousand Oaks: 223 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 411, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360; Phone: 805-379-1779 – Hours Mon-Fri, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm.

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Join Us for Our Annual Meeting
& Board Election

Meet Ventura County’s new Congresswoman

Julia Brownley

who will report on her first month in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

1 p.m.
The Tower Club
Financial Plaza
300 E. Esplanade Drive,  Oxnard

The Tower Club
$25 members / $30 non-members
Program & Lunch
To pay by credit card go here.

Members who want to attend the election portion only may come at 2:15 at no charge.


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Let’s Give a Big Round of Applause to
All VCWPC Endorsed Candidates!

Win or lose, these exceptional women campaigned hard and absolutely earned our support and admiration for their tireless efforts in pursuit of elected office. We’re ecstatic that Julia Brownley prevailed in one of the closest congressional races in the country. Fran Pavley won a tough re-election fight in a newly drawn district against a well-financed opponent, Hannah-Beth Jackson handily won her Senate seat and first-time candidate Vianey Lopez was the top vote getter in her race for Hueneme School District.

All told, 11 of our 16 endorsed candidates were victorious. Our gratitude goes out to the VCWPC members and friends who helped carry our candidates to victory.

Julia Brownley 26th Congressional District – won
Hannah-Beth Jackson 19th Senate District – won
Fran Pavley* 27th Senate District – won
Betsy Connolly* Conejo Valley Unified – won
Linda Taylor* Ojai Unified – won
Christina Urias Santa Paula Unified – won
(previously elected to SP High School Board which is being replaced by the Unified School district)
Vianey Lopez Port Hueneme School District – won
Sylvia Alejandra Lizama Oxnard Union HIgh School District – lost
Roseann Mikos* Moorpark City Council – won
Carmen Ramirez Oxnard Mayor – lost
Barbra Williamson* Simi Valley City Council – lost
Jacqui Irwin* Thousand Oaks City Council – won
Debbie Birenbaum Thousand Oaks City Council – lost
Kate O’Brien* Rancho Simi Recreation & Parks District – won
Elaine Freeman* Rancho Simi Recreation & Parks District – won
Janna Orkney Calleguas Muni Water District Div 2 – lost

(will continue her term on Triunfo Sanitation District board)
* denotes incumbent

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Announcing our endorsed candidates
for the November 6 general election

The Ventura County Women’s Political Council is pleased to announce its slate of endorsed candidates for November.

These candidates are a wonderfully diverse group representing Democrats, Republicans, Independents, eight cities, first-time candidates and multi-term incumbents. They are seeking office for Congress, State Senate, special districts, school boards, city councils and a mayoral race.

Each candidate completed our detailed endorsement application and was interviewed by members of the Political Action Committee before being recommended for endorsement. All of the endorsed candidates stated their agreement with our key issues – Social, Economic, Educational and Environmental Justice and Reproductive Health – as defined in our position papers.

Please choose a candidate or two for your direct support and give a few hours of your time to their campaign, put up a yard sign or write a personal check.

26th Congressional District – Julia Brownley;(805) 330-1070; P.O. Box 2018,Thousand Oaks, CA 91377

27th State Senate District – Fran Pavley; (805) 370-5414; 33 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Unit C, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

19th State Senate District – Hannah-Beth Jackson; (805) 216-7362; P.O. Box 92010, Santa Barbara, CA 93190

Oxnard City Mayor - Carmen Ramirez; (805) 216-7362; 2081 N. Oxnard Blvd., #150, Oxnard, CA 93036

Moorpark City Council – Roseann Mikos; (805) 529-4828 ; 14371 E. Cambridge St., Moorpark, CA 93021

Simi Valley City Council – Barbra Williamson; (805) 231-2497; 2731 Erringer Rd., Unit 1, Simi Valley, CA  93065

Thousand Oaks City Council - Deborah Birenbaum
birenbaum4council@gmail.com; (805) 368-1934; 1005 Meadowcrest Street Newbury Park   CA  91320

Thousand Oaks City Council - Jacqui Irwin; (805) 358- 1268; 2516 Northpark Street, Thousand Oaks, 91362

Conejo Valley Unified School District - Betsy Connolly ; ; (805) 498-3638; 863 Calle Compo, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Hueneme School District - Vianey Lopez; (805) 204-7500; 3004 Jackson St. Oxnard, CA 93033

Ojai Unified School District - Linda Taylor; (805) 646 9892; 912 N Drown St, Ojai, CA 93023

Oxnard Union High School District - Sylvia Alejandra Lizama; (805) 445-8435; 5533 Butterfield Street, Camarillo, CA 93012

Santa Paula Unified School District - Christina “Tina” Urias; (805) 407-2738; 919 La Vuelta Pl, Santa Paula, CA 93060

Calleguas Municipal Water District - Janna Orkney; (818) 707-9906; P.O. Box 3072, Thousand Oaks, CA 91359

Rancho Simi Recreation & Parks District - Elaine Freeman; (805) 577-1274; 5837 Cochran Street, Simi Valley, C. 93063

Rancho Simi Recreation & Parks District - Kate O’Brien; (805) 501-3623 3460 Township Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063

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© VC Women's Political Council