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July 2018

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

Sixteen Women on June Local Ballot

Every day we hear that more and more women are getting active in politics, many for the very first time. The same is true in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties where sixteen women ran for key local positions on the June ballot.  From tax collector and city council posts to judges and superintendents of schools, women sought important leadership roles in our city and county government across both counties. Here’s a complete list of women who ran for nonpartisan local offices on the June Ballot:

  • Sandie Arnott -- Treasurer-Tax Collector, San Mateo County – Winner

  • Carole Groom – San Mateo Supervisor District 2 – Winner

  • Shay Franco-Clausen – San Jose District 9 City Council

  • Sabuhi Siddique – San Jose District 9 City Council

  • Pam Foley – San Jose District 9 City Council – Run-off

  • Rosie  Zepeda – San Jose District 9 City Council

  • Maya Esparza – San Jose District 7 City Council – Run-off

  • Van Le – San Jose District 7 City Council

  • Magdalena Carrasco – San Jose District 5 City Council -- Winner

  • Jennifer Imhoff – San Jose District 5 City Council

  • Susan Ellenberg – Santa Clara County Supervisor 4 – Run-off

  • Nancy Magee – San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools -- Winner

  • Cindy Hendrickson – Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge -- Winner

  • Maria Hernandez – Santa Clara County Supervisor 4

  • Angela Storey – Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge

  • Laurie Smith - Santa Clara County Sheriff - Run-off

Running for office can be fun, challenging, exciting and tiring, but each of these women found the time and the willingness to get into action to help build a better community. Win, lose or draw, we celebrate them! To learn more about how you can get involved with these campaigns, email

Just Do It

“Just do it!” That’s the advice that WIRE Board member IdaRose Sylvester offers women who are thinking about getting more involved in their local government. And IdaRose has taken her own advice. She helped start WIRE to encourage more women to get into public office, she served on the Mountain View Environmental Sustainability Task Force, and she was recently appointed to the Mountain View Human Relations Commission.

“Working in local government is amazing, yet can be challenging in unique ways. But it is so powerful to see the role that citizens play in building better communities. And we are responsible for that. It doesn’t just happen.”

“If you have even a spark of interest in an appointed commission or board, apply now. There will never be a perfect time, but your experience, your insight, your passion and your commitment to good governance are desperately needed right now!” Research shows that women will often discount their experience or wait for a future opportunity at a “better time” that may or may not come along. IdaRose encourages women to consider that their work, community, school and life experience combined with their passion make then abundantly qualified for most local government boards and commissions, and women need to stand in that power.

Although she started her career in public policy, IdaRose moved away from those interests for several years as she built a successful marketing career and consulting practice. Like many others, the 2016 elections re-ignited her interest in good policy and sparked a deeper commitment to making an impact on a local level, where so many decisions are made that affect our daily lives.

IdaRose’s story is like so many other women. Someone suggested that she’d be a good fit for the Environmental Sustainability Task Force because of her previous work in that field. Although she was initially concerned about the application, once she started to fill it out she realized she was perfectly qualified. She worked hard on her first Task Force and then applied for the appointed Human Relations Commission. Who knows where she’ll go from here!

IdaRose is building her political skills, networking with key policymakers and influencers, and contributing to improving the lives of everyone who lives in Mountain View. Not a bad day’s work! Great job, IdaRose!

If you’d like to learn more about open boards and commission positions in your town, email WIRE is here to help guide you through the process, offer support and advice, and build the pipeline of women entering public office.

WIRE in the News

Check out the great article about WIRE in the Almanac, the hometown newspaper for Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, and Woodside. Thanks to our founder, Carol Mayer Marshall, for working with the reporter to facilitate this outstanding write-up! 

Ask WIRE to Speak!  

We are building an army of people looking for women candidates and asking them to seek public office. You can help by telling your friends about WIRE. Here's our elevator pitch:

"WIRE is a nonpartisan organization committed to significantly increasing the number of women in appointed and elected office in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. WIRE provides information about available positions, recruits qualified female candidates for elected and appointed positionsand assists those candidates with a network to help them achieve public office."

WIRE Board members are available to speak about our mission to groups in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. If you know of a group that might like us to make a short presentation or if you'd like us to meet informally with a group of your friends, please email us:

WIRE’S Commitment to Civil Discourse

Civil discourse has become a hot topic in today’s political environment and it is one which we believe needs more attention. What is civil discourse?

A robust, honest, frank and constructive dialogue and deliberation

that seeks to advance the public interest.”

At WIRE, we are committed to promoting civil discourse as we pursue our mission. Although we realize that democracy is messy and often creates strong feelings on both sides, WIRE is a “big tent” nonpartisan organization. Our Members have diverse viewpoints, political philosophies, and affiliations, and the candidates for elected and appointed offices that we recruit and assist through the voluntary services of our Members also will have diverse viewpoints. We will respect those diverse opinions and hold ourselves to a high standard of conduct.

Here are 3 tips for cultivating greater civil discourse around you:

  1. Avoid binary thinking: The issues that are seriously debated in our public sphere are almost always too complex to fit into simplistic categories like liberal/conservative, religious/secular, open/close-minded, etc. Furthermore, it sets up a framework in which taking one side automatically defines one against “the other side” — thus further limiting serious and open engagement.

  2. Avoid fence-building and dismissive words and phrases. It might feel good to score these rhetorical points, but doing so is one of the major contributors to our polarized discourse. Think about the words you use and choose language that engages and draws the other into a fruitful exchange of ideas.

  3. Lead with your beliefs. Not only is this the best way to make a convincing case for the view you currently hold, but this practice often reveals that we are actually after very similar things and simply need to be able to talk in an open and coherent way about the best plan for getting there.

Below are some resources to help you better cultivate and champion civil discourse in your community.

  • The Women’s Campaign Fund has adopted the overarching principle of Common Ground and believes that elected officials who disagree and are able to work together can get more done for our country. Read more.

  • Academic leaders at Vanderbilt University believe that we need difference of opinion to thrive as a society. You can learn more here and here about what these and other academicians are saying about the importance of greater civility in public discourse.

Take action today to help promote this important tenet of American society.Use catchy text, bullets, links and more to bring your words to life.

Upcoming Events

  • August 9, 2018 -- A State Appointments workshop will be hosted by Speaker Anthony Rendon and Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin at 5:30 pm on Thursday, August 9, 2018 at the San Mateo County History Museum. For more information, you can check the Women’s Community Leadership Network of San Mateo website.

  • August 18, 2018 -- Candidate’s Forum -- WIRE is hosting a forum for candidates with experienced officeholders sharing their campaign advice to help new candidates run successful campaigns. This forum will provide candidates with relevant, timely and personalized information on grassroots activism, leveraging social media, and campaign strategy and operations. Please contact if you are a candidate for office and interested in attending.

Making It Easy to Donate to WIRE

Many of you asked how you could help support WIRE’s mission. We’ve added a Donate Now button to the website to make it easy! The vast majority of WIRE’s work is done by Board Members and volunteers, but we do have expenses for events, communications, and most importantly, to support our ongoing efforts to match volunteers with women’s campaigns. If you haven’t already, visit our website and think about making a donation today! Please note that donations to WIRE are not tax deductible, but a small contribution makes a big difference. Help us out!

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