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2020 Rose Parade We Heart float

2020 marchers Rose Parade for Women;s Suffrage Centennial 

Above: The 2020 Rose Parade float  commemorating the Women's Suffrage Centennial


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Sonoma County NOW
May 2024 Newsletter


  1.  President's Letter: Aug. 10 California NOW conference HERE in Santa Rosa.

  2. Mother's Day Proclamation 2019 from Rivera Sun.

  3. Juneteenth; May 20 meeting link; your contributions.

  4. Request for submissions of articles from our members.

  5. Action: Send ERA messages now—we are so close!

  6. Peace for Gaza and for us all—reprint of Elaine B. Holtz's Peace Press article

  7. Special Dates in May

Hello NOW Friends!

1. Our California State NOW Conference is Saturday, August 10th—save the date! The theme is "Moving Forward and Igniting Change." This year the conference will be held in Santa Rosa, at the Presbyterian Church of the Roses. Many thanks to our treasurer, Elaine B. Holtz, for finding the venue! We expect people from all over the state to attend and we can use volunteers to help in the days leading up to and including the conference. The conference will be a hybrid one, though attending in person is more fun. More details to come as well as a call for volunteers and sponsors.


2. Author/Activist Rivera Sun was interviewed by Elaine B. Holtz this week on Women's Spaces. Rivera crafted the Mother's Day Proclamation in 2019 that we have printed herein. We have also included Julia Ward Howe's Proclamation from 1870. Both are powerful and should be distributed to all. Rivera has written numerous books and novels, including The Dandelion Insurrection and the award-winning Ari Ara Series. She is the editor of Nonviolence News and the Program Coordinator for Campaign Nonviolence. Her articles are syndicated by Peace Voice and published in hundreds of journals nationwide. Rivera Sun is a member of CODEPINK, serves on the Advisory Board of World BEYOND War, and is on the board of Backbone Campaign. . The interview is archived on .


3. The 54th Annual Juneteenth Celebration will be held at MLK Park in Santa Rosa on June 15th. To find out how to become a sponsor, please click here. This website will also give many more details about the celebration, including being a vendor or a volunteer. We hope you will attend this important festival.


4. Calling all members! We'd love to get to know you better. We are looking for submissions to appear in the newsletter, such as a short bio, an event you wish NOW members to attend, an article you find important and think our readers would appreciate, a poem you've created, even a photo of you. Up to two submissions per member allowed at a time and these will be published at the discretion of the editor. Please send submissions to Our newsletter deadline is the 25th of each month. We hope to hear from you!


This month is a general membership meeting; while there is no presenter, if you attend, you will learn more about the inner workings of our chapter. You can help by sending in a contribution to our chapter so that we can expand our presence in Sonoma County. We now have a PayPal account! You can either click here or use the following QR code with QR Reader app.

 MayMeeting Information

This month is a general membership meeting; while there is no presenter, if you attend, you will learn more about the inner workings of our chapter.  

May 20, 2024 Zoom Details
7:00-8:00 p.m. PDT
Meeting ID: 828 4637 4496        Passcode: 035853


You can help by sending in a contribution to our chapter so that we can expand our presence in Sonoma County. We now have a PayPal account! You can either click here or use the following QR code with QR Reader app.

Paypal NOW Sonoma County QR Code


If you are interested in joining our board, please write to . We'd love to be able to do more in the county and need your skills for many different types of special projects, including planning upcoming events, such as our NOW State Conference.

—Amy Nykamp, President


Julia Ward Howell painting by John Elliot (in public domain)

Julia Ward Howell, Painting by John Elliot (in public domain)


Original Mothers' Day Proclamation
by Julia Ward Howe, 1870

Arise, then . . . women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.

Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and
applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been
able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, women of one country, will
be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says:
Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not
wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession. As men have often forsaken
the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may
be left of home for a great and earnest day of council.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them
then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great
human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own kind the sacred
impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general
congress of women, without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at
some place deemed most convenient, and at the earliest period consistent with its
objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable
settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Mother's Day Proclamation 2019 from Rivera Sun, Code Pink:
(Note dfferent apostrophe usage!):

“Instead of flowers, give us peace. Instead of brunch, end the wars.
“Let no more mothers raise their children to kill other mothers’ children.
“Give us, instead, the abolition of war, the promotion of peace, and the care of
people and planet. To commemorate Mother’s Day without demanding these
changes rings flat. For every mother appreciating the beauty of the spring, there is
another mother screaming under the terror of bombs and bullets. For every mother
savoring breakfast in bed, there is another mother hungry and unhoused, stateless
and fleeing from war.
“We, the mothers and the children of mothers, stand united against war and united
for the well-being of people and planet.”


5. Action: Send ERA messages now—we are so close!

Important action for the ERA!
Here's something we can do right now. Send your US
representative the message below.
This letter came from Judi Polson of NYC NOW:

Taking advantage of a potential opportunity to publish the ERA?
Greetings, all. I think we may have an opportunity to get a vote on H.J.Res.25: Removing the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment. As you know, Biden has said that if this passes, he’ll direct the Archivist to finally publish the ERA. Here is my thought:
Now that Speaker Johnson has FINALLY gotten a Ukraine funding bill through, the radical right may follow through on their threat to take a motion to vacate the chair forward, and attempt to remove him. If they do:
• Johnson can still keep his Chairmanship, IF the Dems vote to keep him.
• I expect there will likely be some negotiations around this, and I would like to see the Dems use their negotiating power to “persuade” Johnson to bring HJ Res 25 to the floor.
• This should not be a heavy lift: as you’ll see, 211 Reps (all the Dems, if I’m not mistaken) have signed on to Discharge Petition 6, which demands that HJ Res 25 be brought to a vote. I believe it takes only 218 to force it to the floor, so we’re almost there. Getting Johnson to go ahead and bring it would just be faster and less labor-intensive than Carolyn Maloney’s current sheroic efforts to persuade more of her former colleagues to sign DP6.
We need Pressley to get the message to Hakeem Jeffries; maybe Pelosi
would push for it. We should have a push to get NOW members in Dem
Reps states to call their Reps to do this.

Paypal NOW Sonoma County QR Code

Here's what Amy wrote to her Reprersentative:

I am delighted that the House Democrats supported the Ukraine/Israel/
Taiwan funding bill. Simultaneously, I am shocked, but delighted, that
Speaker Johnson brought it to the floor.
If a motion to vacate the chair is brought, please condition your support of
Speaker Johnson on his bringing HJ Res 25 to the floor for a vote
immediately. As Speaker Johnson said about the Ukraine funding, "It's
time to do the right thing."
Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of women's equality---[your
name here]


6. Peace for Gaza and for us all—reprint of Elaine B. Holtz's Peace Press article

Child of Gaza Painting

A Child's View of Gaza

by Elaine B. Holtz (excerpted from May 2024 Peace Press)

“We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.” —Howard Zinn

In September 2011, Barbara Lubin, co-founder of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), announced the cancellation of the “A Child’s View of Gaza” art exhibition on KPFA radio. Curated by MECA, the exhibit aimed to highlight drawings by Gazan children to raise awareness and end the conflict. Intrigued, I contacted KPFA to learn more.

Prior to that time, I befriended Therese Mughannam Walrath, co-founder of North Coast Coalition for Palestine. Our initial meeting was at a program presented by Santa Rosa Junior College, where Jews and Palestinians could get to know one another, share our perspectives, and gain understanding about what was going on in the Middle East. This experience gave me a new awareness of the Palestinian struggle and my ignorance of the conflict. As we were leaving, Therese asked me a poignant question: “As a Jewish woman, what will you do now that you
know?” Her question caused me to reflect on my Jewish heritage and personal experience of anti-Semitism. I remember hearing hurtful remarks during my school years, being called, “Christ Killer.”

I remember when the establishment of Israel happened in 1948 when I was only eight years old, and the emotional response it evoked within my community. I heard people crying words like, “Never Again.” Therese’s question motivated me to do research about what was happening at that time. I discovered that, besides six million Jews being killed during the holocaust, five million other human beings were killed, including Roma, homosexuals and the mentally challenged. It was hard to face that the children of the Holocaust were engaging in this same type of action in Palestine. I asked myself, “What can I do?”

Years later, after learning the art show was canceled, apparently due to concerns by Jewish organizations, and haunted by Therese’s question, I discovered that there was a powerful video by Rajie Cook and Thomas Francisco featuring artwork from “A Child’s View of Gaza.” In my research I found that Rajie Cook, a.k.a. Roger Cook, was a Palestinian American graphic designer, artist, peace activist, humanitarian, and photographer.
I do not remember how I got his phone number. I do remember in our
conversation, how honest I was about my fear of the art show inspiring the kind of anti-Semitism I sometimes felt as a child. He was understanding and supportive, and he gave me permission to air the video and sent a copy to me. Despite my fears, I decided to go forward. I contacted Therese, letting her know I had found something I could do. After years of silence, in February of 2011 with her as my guest I aired the art show on my TV show, “Women’s Spaces.” I had been listening to Israeli and former Zionist Dr. Gábor Maté lecture about institutional trauma, community trauma, family trauma, and individual trauma. He made a strong point that this was not an excuse or justification for any terrorists or countries to engage in terrorism or war, and I totally agree. In his presentations he shared his background and some of the bullying he experienced as a child around being Jewish. It made him feel ashamed and he wanted to hide being Jewish, to which I can relate. This led him to becoming a Zionist and even to leading Zionist youth groups. At some point he decided to visit Gaza, and when he saw the pain and suffering that was taking place there, it reminded him of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. He rejected Zionist ideas and became an advocate for peace, and for educating people about institutional trauma.

When I heard what had happened October 7, when Hamas slaughtered 1,200 innocent Israelis, and then learned the US response was to offer Israel billions of dollars to support Israel’s retaliation; and that since then, Israel has killed 30,000 people in Gaza and destroyed millions of lives as well as entire communities, I immediately thought of the children’s art show of 2011 and what it demonstrated. I decided to show it again in 2023 by including it on the Women’s Spaces channel on YouTube. (Detail from one of the children's drawings in the show shown above.) Although there is no justification or excuse for Hamas’s attack or Israel’s retaliation, when I watched the 2011 video before airing it and saw once again how these
children are being affected, I knew I was doing the right thing. I was particularly upset when I saw the Star of David the Palestinian children had painted on the Jewish children’s shirts and on the bombs they displayed in their art. I cried as I remembered when my grandmother gave me my Star of David on a chain when I was 13.

I understand in the deepest part of me that if we believe we have the right to kill others, war and terror will never end. Think about this: If these child artists were the Jewish children of Nazi Germany, in lieu of this Star of David symbol on falling bombs and shirts, we would have seen swastikas. If we had a revolution in the Americas with what is going on today, we might have two sides here, blue or red on the shirts the children are wearing in their art show. Until we look at all the trauma caused by wars, hunger, hate, terrorism, and mass shootings, nothing will change.

My hope is that folks look at these drawings of children traumatized by war and that we all ask ourselves: When will the next conflict happen and what will those children’s message be? War, hate, and terrorism are not the answer. If they were, we would have had peace long ago. You can see the video here.

A reminder—children learn what they live. We need to ask ourselves: What are these children, our children, the children of the world, learning?

Elaine B. Holtz is co-producer/host with Ken Norton of the radio show Women’s Spaces.


Do you like our events?

Your contributions can help our chapter grow and provide opportunities to make our community even better. We accept checks and cash to the address below, but you can send in your contributions even faster through our PayPal account, using the following QR code or Click This Link.

Paypal NOW Sonoma County QR Code

Sonoma County NOW
PO Box 6223
Santa Rosa, CA 95406
Note, while contributions are not tax-deductible, you can feel good about knowing your money is going to a great organization that will work for YOU!


7. Special Dates in May

Women wearing Bloomers advocating for Emancipation

  1. Mary Harris "Mother" Jones (1837–1930), activist, organizer

  2.  May Day

  3.  Nannie Helen Burroughs (1879–1961), educator, rights leader

  4.  May Sarton (1912–1995), author, poet

  5.  Anabel McGaughey Stuart (1840–1914), first Sonoma County
    woman physician

  6. Althea Hamer Focht (1894–1973), Sonoma Co. suffragist

  7. 4 Helen Putnam (1909–1984), first female Petaluma mayor, reformer
    (interesting bio and Petaluma history here)

  8.  Del Martin (1921–2008), Bay Area feminist activist

  9. 5 Elizabeth Seaman ("Nellie Bly"), 1854–1922, journalist, suffragist

  10. Cinco de Mayo

  11.  Martha Graham (1894–1991), dancer, choreographer

  12. 12 Mother's Day

  13. 12 Elaine "Woody" Schwartz (1924–1999), Sonoma Co. activist

  14. 12 Laura Lyon White (1839–1916), SF/Marin suffragist, Muir Woods

  15. 12 Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003), feminist, actor

  16. 15 Williamina Fleming (1857–1911), astronomer

  17. 21 Amelia Earhart's first woman's solo transatlantic flight

  18. 25 Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson (1889–1975), nonviolent resistance
    pioneer, founder Baltimore NAACP

  19. 26 Dorothea Lange (1895–1965), photographer/photojournalist

  20. 27 Memorial Day

  21. 27 Amelia Bloomer (1818–1894), suffragist ( image

  22. 27 Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910), activist, poet

  23. 27 Isadora Duncan (1877–1927), Bay Area choreographer

  24. 27 Rachel Carson (1907–1964), conservation pioneer, author 


If you are not yet a NOW member or need to renew your membership, please join our growing organization! Our chapter's ID is CA0660 and you can select it when you sign up here. If you prefer to write a check, here is a form you can clip and mail.

NOW Membership Form - Mail-in


Visit our Sonoma County NOW site for news, links, and

P.O. Box 6223
Santa Rosa, CA 95406

YouTube Channel of NOW Sonoma County:


Our proud Chapter

Celebrating the NOW's 50th Anniversary in Santa Rosa, CA

Above: Our Chapter celebrating the 50th Anniversary of NOW with the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, October 2016.


August 26, 2020, the 19th Amendment Centennial and Women's Equality Day was celebrated in Sebastopol with the Women's Suffrage Banners.

City of Sebastopol Celebrates 19th Amendment Centennial and Women's Equality Day August 26, 202          City of Sebastopol Celebrates 19th Amendment Centennial and Women's Equality Day August 26, 2020


The 2020 Rose Parade featured the We Heart float commemorating the Women's Suffrage Centennial and won the Theme Trophy. See video clip below for the passage of the float and the Women Suffragist marchers in front of KTLA cameras January 1, 2020.


Susan B. Anthony


Susan B Anthony grave decorated with I Voted stickers

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