Founded by Betty Stephens (1932-2018) in 1970, Democratic Women of Santa Barbara was created to champion Democratic principles and candidates. Betty envisioned building a community of local women who worked together to raise awareness and funding for Democratic candidates and causes. A victim of sexual violence, Betty said “I found a strength I didn’t know I had. I did daring things.” She believed in empowering women and was a major supporter of many Democratic candidates and causes, including Planned Parenthood and Domestic Violence Solutions.
In 2020, Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The organization has been a chartered club of the California Democratic Party for 45 years. Growing out of the U.S. women’s movement of the 1960s, the founders of Democratic Women, who had been working hard in the political arena in Santa Barbara, sought to have a larger decision-making role in their activities.
- The well-being of families and children, including safety from gun violence
- Safe access to reproductive healthcare
- Sustainable economic and environmental practices
- A well-funded public education system
- Healthcare for all
- Voting integrity, voter accessibility and automatic voter registration
- Social justice for all
- Representation for disenfranchised and marginalized people
- Equal rights and protection under the law for LGBTQ+ people
- Comprehensive immigration reform
- Ramification for the Equal Rights Amendment
- Respectful International relations
- Solutions to end homelessness