Lauren Babb, 26 years old, attended college in D.C. and has lived in Contra Costa for about three years now. She has worked to better women’s rights, human rights, and racial equality. She has worked for a labor union, where she fought to better teachers’ wages and healthcare. She has been in politics for almost nine years and has worked on many election campaigns, including Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer Kahan’s campaign, President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign (registering college aged voters), and Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016. She was disappointed with the results of the 2016 election, yet revived and empowered by the Women’s Marches that took place. This year, she spoke at Contra Costa’s Women’s March about the “importance of having equity and justice for all people.” She has managed electoral and legislative efforts for over 20 counties in California, and has attended a conference in D.C. to discuss health care for females. Babb hopes to see “as many women as possible run for office.”
Council member Sabina Zafarof of the City of San Ramon and Senior Director of Technology at General Electric, serves on the Board of Directors for San Ramon American Association of University Women and encourages young females to pursue careers in STEM. She spoke at the Contra Costa County’s Women’s March for her first time this year, a “way of getting together in a peaceful way to make sure the message was clearly heard that women are an integral part of the fabric of this country.” The 2016 election disappointment her and she was “shattered that someone who had very clearly disrespected women” would be her President. She believes this is the time for women to speak up and own their stories. She hopes for women “to be able to make decisions about their rights, bodies, [and] circumstances” in the future.
Loella Haskew has lived in Walnut Creek since 1999 and practiced public accounting for 30 years. As a member of the city council, she is currently the Mayor Pro Tem of Walnut Creek. Haskew graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. She went into public accounting when firms started aggressively looking for women to hire after losing cases for discriminating against women. She found that male candidates got promoted faster than women. In her lifetime, “it was big news when a woman was elected even locally.” Loella says, “Sadly, it still is news when women are successful at the national level. I expect that is changing as women are finally breaking through to higher level management at the corporate world and gaining other seats of power.”
Terri Frangie, mother of Sophomore Basia Young, lives in Walnut Creek and was an advocate for NOW (National Organization of Women) in her twenties and “worked in corporate America.” Knowing that her wage was never the same as her male colleagues, she decided to become an entrepreneur. Frangie was in charge of coordinating sign making parties when working on the Women’s March in Walnut Creek. She promoted events by doing interviews with the media, passing out flyers, asking for donations, and being an ambassador of the local political organization. She bought a plane ticket the day after she heard about the march in Washington D.C., where she noticed the great mix of emotions and raw energy. It was comforting to Frangie to see the solidarity of the many who had felt “disenfranchised.” She hopes for “equal access to female hygiene products in all public bathrooms. We shouldn’t be taxed on these products either as they are essential to women’s health.”
Adina Zinn is a local advocate for women’s rights, a founder of the Women’s March held in Walnut Creek, and has lived here for 18 years. She is on the Board of Directors for the Contra Costa County’s Women’s March where she works on public relations and media outreach to look after the Women’s March weekly newsletter. She also works on policy issues and communicates with local progressive groups. After the election results of 2016, she, along with other women, decided to hold the Women’s March on a local level “to provide a venue for people who were pro human rights, science and environmental protections and who believed that facts matter.” She thought this was important because it would be the first time some people would be able to do anything political in Contra Costa County. The march became the place for like minded individuals to form groups, including Swing Left, which contributed in swinging the House of Representatives from Republican to Democrat.