Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Honors 35 Incredible Women at His 2nd Annual Women of the Year Awards

September 23, 2015
Press Release
Discussion Focused on Wage Gap, Women in STEM, Other Issues Important to 3rd District Women
WOODLAND, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) and his Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) yesterday held his office’s second annual Women of the Year Awards ceremony. At the event, held at Woodland Community College, 35 incredible 3rd District women were honored for their contributions to their communities.
“Today, we’re identifying and celebrating women who are outstanding leaders, women who have contributed to the betterment of their communities,” Garamendi said. “The women we honor today come from many backgrounds. Some are mentors in their profession. Others are tireless volunteers for charity. Every single one has made a real difference and transformed lives.”
Following the award presentation, Congressman Garamendi facilitated a discussion with the 170 people in attendance on issues important to women. Women in attendance identified several areas of concern, including:
  • Rural broadband access and the ability of women to reliably work at home, both in terms of starting their own business and in working in a flexible time arrangement;
  • Ways employment can be structured to give women with families a rewarding work-life balance;
  • Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields of the study and the need for more robust mentorship and encouragement from an early age through college;
  • Unequal pay for equal work and the systemic undervaluing of women’s work product;
  • The experience of women in collaborative settings where the ideas of women are disregarded until restated by men and the need for women to lay claim to their ideas in these settings;
  • The compounded disadvantage of women who are also persons of color or disabled;
  • The need for more investment and better coordination in workforce development programs; and
  • Human trafficking and the need to be vigilant when women and children may be victims.
“We’re here to focus on the policies of this nation that provide support and opportunity for women and families,” Garamendi added. “I want to make sure that women are encouraged from an early age to reach their true potential. I think Congress can help more young girls stick with their dreams and pursue a rewarding career in whatever field inspires them.” 
Every year, the Office of Congressman Garamendi solicits nominations from the community for women who deserve to be acknowledged for their selfless work. WIN is Congressman Garamendi’s standing Advisory Committee focused on identifying issues important to women and families in the 3rd District and on solutions that Congressman Garamendi can take back to Washington.
The 2015 Women of the Year Awardees
  • Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, City Councilwoman, Winters – Yolo County
  • Andrea Armstrong, Community Leader, Williams – Colusa County
  • Constance Boulware, City Councilwoman, Rio Vista – Solano County
  • Zenobia Brokenbrough, Veteran Advocate and Peace Activist, Williams – Colusa County
  • Becky Brummet, Special Education, California Teachers Association, Orland – Glenn County
  • Barbara Christwitz, Community Leader, Clearlake – Lake County
  • Preet Didbal, City Councilwoman, Yuba City – Sutter County
  • Dawn Dowdy, Track Coach, Mentor, Hamilton City – Glenn County
  • Joanne Ellis, Community Leader, Yuba City – Sutter County
  • Paula Emigh, Retired Teacher, Woodland – Yolo County
  • Graciela Espindola, Youth Advocate, Live Oak – Sutter County
  • Margaret Fernandez, Community Leader for Hispanic Advancement, Business Development, Yuba City – Sutter County
  • Gloria Flaherty, Child and Family Advocate, Kelseyville – Lake County
  • Elvia Garcia, Community Organizer, Davis – Yolo County
  • Angie Gates, Community Organizer, Olivehurst/Marysville – Yuba County
  • Mary Jane Griego, County Supervisor, Olivehurst – Yuba County
  • Alma Hickel, Community Volunteer, Colusa – Colusa County
  • Sandy Holman, Cultural Competency Educator and Mentor, Davis – Yolo County
  • Jane Johnson, Community Organizer, Mental Health Advocate, Fairfield – Solano County
  • Amandeep Kaur, Chancellor’s Science Fellow, Advocate for Underrepresented Student Groups, Davis – Yolo County
  • Barbara LeVake, County Supervisor, Yuba City – Sutter County
  • Dionne McCullar, Business Leader & Community Volunteer, Fairfield – Solano County
  • Jan E. Meyer, Youth Advocate, Live Oak – Sutter County
  • Norma Montna, Lifetime Advocate for Persons with Disabilities, Yuba City – Sutter County
  • Cathleen Olsen, Nutrition Advocate, Winters – Yolo County
  • Dorothy Pooley, Ombudsman, Advocate for Seniors, Willows – Glenn County
  • Ramona Prieto, Peace Officer, Public Servant, Role Model, Davis – Yolo County
  • Deidre Robinson, Business Leader, Mentor, Vacaville, Solano County
  • Evelyne Rominger, Community Leader, Mentor, Winters – Yolo County
  • Liesl Schmidt, Community Leader, Yuba City – Sutter County
  • Toni Scully, Leader in Agriculture, Advocate for Fair Farm Labor, Lake County
  • Marie Azevedo Spooner, Lifetime of Community Giving, Williams – Colusa County
  • Cherie Stephens, Community Leader, Yuba City – Sutter County\
  • Jennifer Terra, Educator – Physical Education, Diversity Advocate, Davis – Yolo County
  • Susan Young, Educator, Agriculture Advocate, Live Oak – Sutter County