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Running for Office in 2024? 

Read on if you or anyone you know is running for office in 2024 and would like to seek a Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest endorsement:

Each election cycle, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest endorses and rates candidates for public office who will champion reproductive rights, access to sexual and reproductive health care, and comprehensive sex ed.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest represents over 5 million residents in its tri-county region – which spans over 16,000 square miles – from San Diego to Riverside to Imperial Counties.

If you are interested in seeking an endorsement for any race in the Imperial, Riverside, or San Diego regions (e.g. CA State Legislature, county offices, city councils, school boards, health care districts, etc.), please contact [email protected]. For all other areas, we can connect you with the appropriate Planned Parenthood 501(c)(4) affiliate.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest Advocates Visit the Capitol 

On May 9, 2023, some 250 people from across the state flooded the California State Capitol after a two year hiatus for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC)’s Capitol Day. This year, 28 staff, volunteers, board members and Planned Parenthood Generation Action student representatives from Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest were proudly in attendance. 

This one-day, in-person event included an agenda full of connection, empowerment, and most importantly – action. 

After a series of speakers who pumped up the crowd, and spoke to power of storytelling – our own Vice President of External Affairs, Vernita Gutierrez, had the pleasure of moderating a panel composed of Planned Parenthood staff from across the state, and a representative from the Assembly. When asked what people should know when advocating for abortion providers, panelists agreed: Reducing stigma by talking about abortion, and sharing your story is key. 

Attendees were then released to put their stories into action, and do the important work of lobbying and speaking to local representatives about the reproductive health and rights issues and bills that matter most to their communities. 

Of the action-packed day, Vernita Gutierrez said: “I am so grateful to our amazing staff, PPGA members, volunteers, storytellers, and board members who participated in one of the most meaningful things we can do to influence public policy and laws. It was a marathon day, at once exhausting and invigorating. Some people saw us on the plane and at the terminal gate and our bright pink and cheered for us and thanked us.”

Thank you to the elected officials who met with us during Capitol Day – thank you for representing us, and letting us tell our stories! A special thank you, too, to all staff, volunteers, board members and students who attended, spoke, and helped us envision and put into action a world where sexual and reproductive rights are basic human rights, and where all people have access to the health care they need and deserve.

Public Restroom Access for All

Over the last several months, Planned Parenthood Action Fund volunteers and advocates have stood strongly with community partner, Think Dignity, as part of their Basic Dignity Coalition in their Project for Sanitation Justice.

Think Dignity is a San Diego-based non-profit organization that advances basic dignity for people experiencing homelessness through advocacy and innovation. Think Dignity has been advocating for universal sanitation access in San Diego for over 15 years.

Recent action items across this years-long campaign have called for the San Diego City Council to have a People’s Budget. Unfortunately, the San Diego City Council failed to include necessary funding for public restroom facilities in their budget memos for 2024. 

Nevertheless, access to public bathrooms remains a matter of equity, safety, and public health. 

To follow updates on this important project, visit: bathrooms.sdsu.edu

Celebrating PPPSW’s 60th Anniversary

On May 22nd, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest celebrated its 60th Anniversary with an in-person Anniversary Dinner at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

Staff, volunteers, board members, supporters and elected officials alike came together to raise money, enjoy performances, and be inspired by an impressive repertoire of guest speakers, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America President, Alexis McGill Johnson.

Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest has proudly grown from an information booth in Balboa Park to one of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country, with more than 700 dedicated staff and 19 bustling health centers — and counting. Millions of people across San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties have received lifesaving health care, comprehensive sex education, and the rights and protections that result from over half a century of dogged advocacy.

We are proud of the work that we have done and continue to do to fight for the reproductive health and rights that every person deserves. A special thank you to all of our elected officials who joined us in celebrating Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest's 60th Anniversary!

See photos from the event here.

Special Election: San Diego Board of Supervisors 

Did you know there is a Special Election being held on August 15?

If you live in San Diego County Board of Supervisors District 4, there’s an election coming up to elect your new Supervisor. 

Important voter information:

  • All registered voters in District 4 will receive a mail ballot starting on July 16th
  • Mail your ballot or drop it off at a designated location as soon as you receive it. 
  • Or vote in-person at a voting center starting August 5.
  • Election Day is Tuesday, August 15. Make sure to vote on or before August 15.

To find out what district you’re in and for more election information, visit voteforchoice.org/specialelection.

Help us get the word out about this election!

  • Canvassing – Saturday, July 22nd, 10:00am-2:00pm 
  • Phone banking – Thursday, July 27th, 5:00pm-7:00pm
  • Text banking – Thursday, July 27th, 5:00pm-7:00pm

Click here to volunteer and sign up.

Donations Collected for Border Asylum Seekers

On May 11, 2023 an emergency health rule known as Title 42 expired. While the initial influx of asylum seekers across the U.S.-Mexico border leading up to and immediately after the expiration of Title 42 has subsided for now, the need for personal items and services for people being housed in temporary detention facilities and shelters remains.

Members of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest’s External Affairs team collected essential items to support asylum seekers who were temporarily in Imperial County and in need of basic hygiene and other supplies. Items collected included clothing, toiletries, activities for kids, baby care supplies, and menstrual hygiene products. 

Monetary donations are still being collected: You can send monetary donations to the Brown Bag Coalition in Imperial Valley. They accept donations via Venmo, PayPal, or Zelle sent to [email protected]

Planned Parenthood Generation Action San Diego State University Imperial Valley Receives Award For Second Year in a Row

In April of 2023, our PPGA SDSU IV chapter received the “Most Active Recognized Student Organization Award at SDSU IV Campus” for the second year in a row. We could not be prouder to work with such passionate and fierce young advocates for reproductive health and rights. 

If you are interested in learning more about Planned Parenthood Generation Action, email us at [email protected]

History Made in Imperial Valley: First Ever Pride Flag Flown

On Thursday, June 15, 2023 members of the LGBTQ+ community and supporters, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest staff and volunteers, gathered at Calexico City Hall to celebrate the first official Pride flag raising to happen in Imperial County.

Calexico Mayor Raul Ureña contextualized the historic event in a speech spotlighting the sobering realities of gay and transgender individuals in America. Mayor Ureña shared the story of Marilyn Cazares, a 22 year-old transgender woman who died of a hate crime in July of 2020 in the neighboring town of Brawley – Ureña honored Cazares with a moment of silence, calling her “nuestra hermana”.

Of the moment, resident Juan Valencia shared: “This flag is a statement that the time to be afraid and hidden is finally over, and it is now finally time for Calexico to join the rest of the world in that resounding message: we exist and we have a right to do so”. 

Click here for photos capturing the historic moment.

Accessible Transit in Imperial Valley:

Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest Organizers in Imperial Valley are advocating for accessible transportation options for El Centro residents. They look forward to joining forces with community partners like Imperial Valley Equity and Justice Coalition to increase bus routes in El Centro for residents who face limited access to healthcare, food, and libraries. 

To learn more, or sign up to get involved, please email Imperial Valley Organizer, Maribel Padilla Leyva: [email protected]

Riverside Light Brigade: Following a successful volunteer night, members of our Riverside County Public Affairs team joined a few community members in assembling a light brigade over the 91 westbound freeway. The light brigade was a form of activation and stance against the Mifepristone court case, spelling out the phrase “NO MIFE, NO PEACE”. Participants were supported by the surrounding community through several honks, cheers, and claps.

Click here to sign up for future events and actions.

Riverside and San Bernardino County Candidate Training

In 2023, IE United,  the IE Leadership PAC, California Environmental Voters, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest will be welcoming our second cohort for Inland Empire Justice Leadership Academy to identify, train, and support community members and leaders, specifically progressive women, black, indigenous, LGBTQ, and/or people of color, to run for office and/or manage winning electoral campaigns. Over the course of 4 months, we will train a small cohort of leaders on everything they need to know to run, manage, and win  grassroots, values based campaigns – for free.

If you are interested in participating, please fill out our cohort application here: ieunited.org/academy


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