WIRE 2021 Year in Review

Updated: Jan 3



WIRE is very proud of all our accomplishments in 2021. We have added new leadership, focused on efforts to grow our Appointed Office program and outreach to women in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, and prepared for Election 2022!


New Leadership

In 2021, we were honored to add four new impressive women to our Board of DirectorsBonnie Mace, Diane Papan, Linda Prieto, and Karen Schwarz.


Bonnie brings a passion for public education and nonpartisan public service to WIRE. She is the Executive Director of the Santa Clara County School Boards Association and recently served two terms as an elected school board member for the Evergreen School District in San Jose. Diane brings a broad perspective based upon her unique background of working and serving in the non-profit, public, and private sectors. She was first elected to the San Mateo City Council in November 2015 and is serving her second term after being re-elected in 2020.


Linda is passionate about recruiting more female candidates for public leadership positions, both appointed and elected roles. She currently serves as Executive Director of Upward Scholars where she promotes education and career opportunities for adult immigrants from low-income households.

Karen served on various Boards and capacities, including five terms as President of the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees and completed her 25-year tenure as Board President. She hopes to share her vast experience of being an elected and appointed woman to help all women in their quest to also serve our community.


During 2021 we also had amazing women step off the Board—Kathy Anderson, Diane Sheardown, Jessica Moore, and Shelly Masur—we are so thankful to them for the time, talent, and treasures they brought to our WIRE family.


Kathy joined the Board in February 2020 bringing with her a robust governance background from her prior experience on non-profit boards serving young girls and women leaders. Diane joined the Board in May 2018 bringing with her a strong business background and having volunteered with various philanthropic organizations across Belmont and San Carlos. Jessica joined the Board in 2018 and served as our Secretary. She brought with her a passion for grassroots organizing for women and local issues. In 2021, she transitioned to serving on the Advisory Council. Shelly joined the Board in August 2020 bringing with her strong leadership experience in education and women’s health. In 2021, she transitioned to serving on the Advisory Council.





2021 Initiatives


After a busy and very successful 2020 election cycle, we welcomed 2021 as an important time to pause, evaluate our programs, and plan for the future. Our priorities this year have been to add a vigorous appointed office program while continuing to recruit and support candidates for elected office. In addition, to expand our reach and impact, we created a multi-structured marketing plan, with renewed focus on our Speakers Bureau. We are proud to report that we are getting ever nearer to gender equity in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties and we are confident that when all citizens are represented in every part of our local government we will all benefit. WIRE's work to assist women running for both appointed and elected programs is vital to that mission. As you know, we are a volunteer organization and welcome those of you committed to our mission to join us in this important work. As the current calendar year comes to a close, we wish you and your loved ones a time of reflection, good health, and happiness. We look forward to seeing you in 2022!



Forward-looking Appointments


This year the Appointed committee added to our resource page. Information includes what and when appointed positions are available, names and email addresses of city clerks for both San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, and other helpful tools for anyone interested in seeking appointed office.

A WIRE interview with Lauren Segal highlights how her involvement with WIRE helped her receive an appointed position in Palo Alto. Her conversation with WIRE Appointed Committee Chair, Karen Schwarz, also includes hints to consider before seeking a position. The committee, with member Emily Lo as coordinator, organized a workshop for interested participants with a panel consisting of past elected and appointed participants. An easy dialogue of hints and advice was recorded and is available on our website.

As we look forward to 2022, a goal of the committee is to add members and partner with the marketing committee to connect with other organizations whose women members we can also encourage to apply for appointed positions.


Election 2022 is Right Around the Corner


Are you interested in helping our community by running for elected office? The 2022 election cycle is right around the corner. Here are three important facts you need to know before taking the plunge onto the campaign trail.


1) WIRE for Women is here to help you! We offer FREE mentoring services for women running for elected office in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Contact us at info@wireforwomen.com for more information. 2) Get to know your Election Official

In San Mateo County, the San Mateo County Registration and Elections Division is the Election Official for school and special district candidates. Each City Clerk is the Election Official for candidates for city councils. Elections - San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Elections (smcacre.org)

In Santa Clara County, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters is the Election Official for school and special district candidates. Each City Clerk is the Election Official for candidates for city councils. Candidates & Measures - Registrar of Voters - County of Santa Clara (sccgov.org)


3) Get Informed about Election Calendar Deadlines and Resources Available to Candidates The Election Officials in San Mateo and Santa Clara County offer a wealth of informational resources to candidates seeking elected office. These include:

  • Campaign Finance Filing Regulations and Paperwork

  • Candidate Guide

  • Candidate Election Calendar of Deadlines

  • Candidate Forms for Filing, including nomination papers

You can learn more about election regulations and resources by looking at the League of Women Voters (Elections | League of Women Voters (lwv.org)) and the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC Home (ca.gov). It's an exciting adventure running for elected office, know that WIRE for Women is here to support your journey


Get Involved!


If you support our mission, there are many ways to support WIRE:


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