Another Womxn of Color Senator for California


Image above features from left to right Charlotta Bass, Carol Moseley Braun, Shirley Chisholm, Representative Barbara Lee, and Barbara Jordan.

Dear Governor Newsom,

Attached is a letter signed by more than 200 community leaders, philanthropists, activists and California residents requesting that you appoint a woman of color to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s Senate seat.

As a champion of gender equity and justice, we are hopeful that you will take this opportunity to recognize the importance of the leadership of women of color in rebuilding and strengthening our democracy. A progressive woman of color committed to gender, racial, and economic justice will be important to move forward a pro-democracy agenda for our nation. In particular we see opportunities for our elected leaders to take bold steps to strengthen our democracy including removing the filibuster as a structural reform that will advance legislation on a range of issues including COVID relief, gun control, climate change, higher wages, stronger benefits and access to quality healthcare, education, and childcare.  

We thank you for your leadership and consideration of our collective request.


Surina Khan
CEO, Women’s Foundation California

As we mark this historic victory for women’s leadership in the White House, we need to continue our work in California to elevate and celebrate the leadership of women of color.

Appointing a woman of color to fill this U.S. Senate seat is both the right thing to do and the easy thing to do. There is an abundance of incredible female leadership of color across California ready to represent our state in Washington, DC.

We know and you know that representation matters.

In her Senate role Kamala Harris was the only Black woman and the first Indian American woman in the U.S. Senate. As Governor, you have an opportunity to continue to advance the leadership of women of color by appointing a woman of color to continue this work for the next two years.

There have been 1,984 members of the U.S. Senate and right now, only twenty six of them are women and only four are women of color. Our representative democracy is supposed to represent us. With California’s racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, our best bet to advance our progressive values and live out our democratic promise is to fill this Senate seat with a woman of color. Appointing a woman of color to the U.S. Senate is what’s best for all of us.

On December 10th 11am PST we held a press conference urging Gov. Newsom to #AppointABlackWoman.
You can watch it on Women’s Foundation California’s
Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter at 11AM PST.

Check out Ms. Magazine’s coverage of the press conference.

Jane Fonda
Actor and Activist

Alicia Garza
Black Lives Matter
Co- Founder and Author

Ai-jen Poo
Co-Founder and Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Monica Ramirez
Co-Founder and President, Latinx House
Founding Principal, She Se Puede
Founder and Former President, Justice for Migrant Women

Berit Ashla
Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Betsy Butler
Executive Director
California Women’s Law Center

Tracy Beard
Commissioner, Santa Barbara County Commission for Women
Board of Directors, National Association of Commissions for Women

Sayu Bhojwani
Founder, New American Leadership

Phyllida Burlingame
Legal Policy Co-Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California

Kim Carter
Ambassador, Time for Change Foundation
Board Member, Women’s Foundation California

Dan Cohen
Founder, Full Court Press Communications

Kalyn Dean
Associate, PolicyLink

Erica Omena Erickson
Program and Policy Officer for Early Care and Education, Low Income Investment Fund

Lisa Fu
Executive Director, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative

Guillermo Guerra
Head of Culture Innovation & Strategy, tEQuitable
Board Member, Women’s Foundation California

Crystal Hayling
Executive Director, Libra Foundation

Mary Ignatius
Statewide Organizer, Parent Voices

Dana Kawaoka-Chen
Executive Director, Justice Funders

Caren Kaplan
Professor Emeritus, American Studies, UC Davis

Jill Kunishima
Vice President of Development, Cityside

Annie Leonard
Executive Director, Greenpeace USA

Diane Manuel
Financial Advisor, Urban Wealth Management
Board Chair, Women’s Foundation California

Monica McLemore
Associate Professor of Family Health Nursing, UCSF

Michelle Mercer

Maricela Morales
Executive Director, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy

Jessica Nowlan
Executive Director, Young Women’s Freedom Center

George Perezvelez
Community Leader

C.M. Samala
Partner, JourneyOne Ventures
Board Member, Women’s Foundation California

Lorraine Sheinberg
Board Member, Feminist Majority

Esta Soler
President, Futures Without Violence

Tracy Sturdivant
President & CEO, The League

Andrea Dew Steele
Partner, Platypus Advisors
Co-Founder, Emerge

Mary Valdemar
Library & Learning Support Services
San Bernardino Valley College

Jai Lee Wong
Community Activist and Co-Founder, Women’s Foundation California

Michele Goodwin
Chancellor’s Professor of Law at UC Irvine

Kamika Dunlap
Chief Strategist of Communications,
Women’s Foundation California

Dolores Huerta
President, Dolores Huerta Foundation
Co-founder, United Farm Workers

Aimee Allison
She the People

Fatima Goss Graves
President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center

Sonya Aadam
Executive Director, Black Women’s Health Project

Susan Pritzker
Board Member, Women’s Foundation California
Board Member, Libra Foundation

Dion Aroner
Former State Assemblymember
Board Member, Women’s Foundation California

Libby Benedict
Program Manager, Women’s Policy Institute Alum Networks, Women’s Foundation California

Ludovic Blain
Executive Director, California Donor Table

Michelle Cale
Philanthropist and Former Board Chair, Women’s Foundation California

Lian Cheun
Executive Director, Khmer Girls in Action

Crystal Crawford
Executive Director, Western Center on Law & Poverty

Vanessa Daniel
Executive Director, Groundswell Fund

Fabiola DeCaratachea
Director, Richard Heath & Associates, Inc
Board Member, Women’s Foundation California

Tracy Gary
Co-Founder, Women’s Foundation California
Executive Director & Founder, Inspired Legacies

Peter Bratt
Peabody Award Winning Filmmaker 

Sybil Henry
Administrative and Development Associate, Girls Leadership

Karuna Jagger
Former Executive Director, Breast Cancer Action

Kate Kendell
Interim Legal Director, Southern Poverty Law Center
Former Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Jane Lin
Director of Institutional Partnerships, Women’s Foundation California

Jacquie Marroquin
Director of Programs, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

Anuja Mendiratta
Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Race Gender Human Rights Fund

Cristina Jimenez Moreta
Co-founder, United We Dream

Phuong Pham
Director of Knowledge and Communications, Southern California Grantmakers

Quency Phillips
Community Partnerships/Development Engagement Manager, Google Ventures
Board Member, Women’s Foundation of California

Favianna Rodriguez
President, Center for Cultural Power

Kate Schatz

Laura Segura
Co-Executive Director, Servicios Monarca

Liza Siegler
Director of Individual Partnerships. Women’s Foundation California

Susan Swan

Emily Taylor
Owner, PT Ranch

Jennifer Terry
Professor, Gender and Sexuality Studies, UC Irvine

Beatriz Vieira
Chief Strategist for Programs, Women’s Foundation California

Briana Zweifler
Youth and Policy Attorney, Fresno Barrios Unidos

Ashley Wheeler
Board President, Theater Unbound

Bernadette Glenn
WHH Foundation

Marisol Franco
Director of Policy, Women’s Foundation California

Lora O’Connor
Inspired Productions

Alfre Woodard
Actress, Producer, & Political activist

Roma Guy
Co-Founder, Women’s Foundation California

Julie Castro Abrams
Founder & CEO, How Women Lead

Laurin Asdal
Deputy Chief Advancement Officer, Sierra Club

LaNiece Jones
Executive Director,
Black Women Organized for Political Action

Alice Waters
Author and Activist and Owner of Chez Panisse
Founder and President, The Edible Schoolyard Project

Teresa Younger
President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women

Regan Pritzker
Board Member, Kataly Foundation
Board Member, Libra Foundation

Patty Quillin
Meadow Fund

Nicole Baran
Executive Director, Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation

Jhumpa Bhattacharya
Vice President of Programs and Strategy, Insight Center for Community Economic Development

Kay Buck
CEO, Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking

Katrina Cantrell
Redding Clinic Director, Women’s Health Specialists

Jennifer Chou
Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California
Board Member, Women’s Foundation California

Judith D’Amico
President, Board of Directors, National Alliance for Partnership in Equity Foundation

Noreen Farrell
Executive Director, Equal Rights Advocates

Stephanie Green
Chief Strategist for Partnerships, Women’s Foundation California

Inderpal Grewal
Professor Emeritus, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Yale University

Eunisses Hernandez
Co-Founder and Co-Director, La Defensa
Board Member, Women’s Foundation California

Saru Jayaraman
President, One Fair Wage
Director, Food Labor Research Center, UC Berkeley

Aarti Kohli
Executive Director, Asians Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus
Former Board Member, Women’s Foundation California

Gladys Limon
Executive Director, California Environmental Justice Alliance

Kiersten Marek
Editor in Chief, Philanthropy Women

Heather McCulloch
Executive Director, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap

Autumn McDonald
Senior Fellow & Head of New America CA

Jonathan Moscone
Chief Producer, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Huong Nguyen-Yap
Director of Community Investment, Women’s Foundation California

Rachel Robasciotti
Founder and CEO, Adasina Social Capital

Kalyne Foster Renda
Co-Executive Director, Monarch Services

Greisa Martínez Rosas
Executive Director, United We Dream

Gretchen Sandler
Philanthropist and Former Board Chair, Women’s Foundation California

Eveline Shen
Executive Director, Forward Together

Kathryn Spillar
Executive Director, Feminist Majority Foundation

Luisa Tembo
Program Assistant, Women’s Foundation California

Jill Tidman
Executive Director, The Redford Center

Clanci Cochran
Executive Administrator, Women’s Foundation California

Kat Taylor
Impact Investor
Co-Founder, Beneficial State Bank
Founding Director, TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation

Additional Signatories

Sarah Abelow
Jasim Amons
Joyce Ancheta
Kendra Armer
Lydia Avila
Suzanne Badenhoop
Monisha Bajaj
Sara Behmerwohld
Tabby Biddle
Eleanor Brown
Trina Brown
Des Buford
Delphine Burns
Hanna Chandoo
Andrew Cheyne
Krystal Choun
Kim Christensen
Alba Mercado Clarke
Megan Comfort
Mary Cooper
Hairo Cortes
Kim Coulthurst
Donna Cullinan
Cody Dadiw
Pam Dardess
Jodi Doane
Matthew Pealer
Sahar Pirzada
Felisa Preskill
Zakiya Prince
Joann Ricci
Jennifer Roberts
Brooke Teal Robbins
Elizabeth Ruedas
Tavae Samuelu
Heidi Schwenk
Stephanie Martinez
Carolyn Warren-Smith
Deborah Miller
Alison Parker
Liliana Rivera
Kate Nelson
Lannie Duong
Janet Bayer
Heidi Schwenk
Jennye Garibaldi
Shirley Finfrock
Latressa Wilson Alford
Roger Schmidt
Ramelle Wiggins (Carter)
Dave Frank
Kendra Burns-Edel
Lauren Moss-Racusin
Tammy Sanchez
Leighanne Arellano
Bernardo Alayza Mujica
Juliana Nocker
Jessica Varela
Heather Rodríguez
Judy Decker
Mark Koritz
Amanda Holman
Blake McCormick
Tadri Edmonds
Allison Cook

Mark Dodds
Gwendy Donaker
Laurie Drabble
Felicia Espinosa
Emily Galpern
Kimberly Garcia
Michelle Garcia
Stacy Garcia
Sabina Gonzalez-Erana
Shonda Goward
Sarah Glenn-Leistikow
Isela Gracian
Cassie Gruenstein
Sabina Gonzales-Erana
Dolores Gonzales Hayes
Shonda Goward
Jessica Guinn
Nikki Henry
Isis Hernandez
Anne Im
Bryan Innes
Nora Jaffe
Zoe Jonick
Bronte Kass
Maureen Keleher
Jo Kenny
Sai Seigel
Hemali Shah
Naoko Chae Shin-Williams
Kia Skrine
Anne Stone
Mari Rose Taruc
Madeline Taylor
Vanessa Terán
Maura Tomassetti
Jessica Rojas
Marylu Javier
Kathleen Duffy
Roxanna Bautista
Fatima Rios
Stephanie Molen
John Molen
Gale Swartz
Sandra Poole
Kellie Griffin
Cloudell Douglas
Ces Rosales
Maya Iwata
Kathy Lin
Latressa Wilson Alford
Roxana Shirkhoda
Margo Wyse
Marie Lemelle
Breayle Riess
Zoe Nicholson
Denise Lytle
Juana Rosa Cavero
Michelle Maher
Adele Josepho
Lenore Dowling
Andrew Lujan
Deirdra Banks
Nicola Schulze

Jessica Kessler
Navina Khanna
Shelley Kind
Nikki Lanshaw
May Lee
Maria Legarda
Ashley Locke
Nina Lopez
Dawn Marie Luna
Heaven Luna
Nicole Maderas
Firuzeh Mahmoudi
Dorrine Marshall
Sara Matlin
Lucia Mattox
Debra Tom McRay
Natasha Middleton
Charlotte Milner-Barry
Daniela Miramontes
Barbara Montano
Arianna Morales
Jessica A Moritz
Jessica Navarro
Gabriela Orantes
Thema Page
Michelle Tonn
Jobana Townsend
Zoe Pettway Uno
Felisa Vallejo
Alison Wakefield
Elizabeth Warren
Jonae Watts
Miya Yoshitani
Marc Zammit
Cecilia Zamora
Gissele Medina
Sandra Negron
Dora Daniels
Bette Maisel-White
Kathleen Lilly
Marylu Javier
Xenia Emmanuel
Adrianna Griffith
Laurel Lee-Alexander
Wendy Chun-Hoon
Karen Topakian
Elizabeth Ayala
Taj James
Gail Stanley
Liza Rankow
Susan Ghanbarpour
Laura Weide
Anjali Sawhney
Kalinda Panholzer
Mary Lu Christie
Julia Root
Kendra Bozarth
Larry Cousins
Eileen Austen
Elaine Loh
Marie Minnick
Kim Kipnis
Bekah Ewig
Carol Hickman

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