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PPPSW President and CEO Wins “Woman of the Year” Award from CA State Senator Atkins

Each year, in honor of Women’s History Month, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus hosts the “Woman of the Year” celebration to commemorate outstanding women from every Senate and Assembly district. The California Legislative Women’s Caucus, one of the largest bipartisan women’s caucuses in the nation, has promoted the interests of women, children, and families through legislation since its formation in 1985. The caucus champions important issues such as women’s economic security, access to affordable childcare, sexual assault and domestic violence prevention, fair treatment of incarcerated women, women’s health, and women in the military and military families.

This year, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins selected our very own President and CEO, Darrah Johnson, for the 39th Senate District’s 2022 “Woman of the Year” award. In accepting the award, Darrah said, “I am deeply honored to have been chosen for the 2022 Woman of the Year award by Senate President pro Tempore Atkins. It means so much to me to be recognized by such a relentless champion for reproductive health and rights. In the face of pandemic-related challenges and unrelenting political attacks, we have been able to stay true to our mission and our work to ensure that everyone has access to the care they need – no matter who they are or where they live. The reality is that there is no one “woman” of the year in this work, but this is a representation and acknowledgment of all of us - the people who commit to this work day in and day out. A huge thank you to the dedicated team of staff, volunteers and Board members at Planned Parenthood who fight every day to build a world where sexual and reproductive rights are treated as basic human rights, and where everyone can get the care they need without fear, judgment, or barriers.”

A big congratulations to our fearless leader Darrah Johnson for being selected for this award! We are grateful for her leadership every day and inspired by her unrelenting dedication to expanding access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.


Redistricting, the process of redrawing the boundaries that determine which elected officials represent us, happens once every ten years. The lines are drawn based on the results of the U.S. Census. In California, The Citizens Redistricting Commission, which was created when voters passed the Voters First Act in 2008, redraws the boundaries of California’s Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts.

 At the end of 2021, California’s independent commission adopted final congressional and legislative districts for the next decade, starting with the upcoming 2022 elections. These districts take effect with the June 2022 primaries and continue for the next decade. Check out the new districts here.

Accessible Public Restrooms

Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest and the Invest in San Diego Families Coalition have been advocating for accessible bathrooms and the building of new public facilities throughout the county. Access to bathrooms is a matter of equity and health. Building new bathrooms and improving the quality and cleanliness of existing bathrooms will improve public health and allow people to access a basic need with dignity and privacy. 

Recently, The Project for Sanitation Justice released a new report, which provides data-informed recommendations to strategically improve access to public restrooms, and subsequently, public health, across San Diego County. At Planned Parenthood, we are using the data from this report to advocate for increased access and we are partnering with The Project for Sanitation Justice for our outreach and advocacy plans.

We look forward to working with The Project for Sanitation Justice and other community partners to improve access to public restrooms and public health in San Diego County. 

The County and City of San Diego's lack of public bathrooms have led to major public health crises. Unsheltered people are burdened the most by the lack of public bathrooms and are often criminalized for attempting to use bathrooms. Join us in future lobby visits with the County Board of Supervisors as we promote the expansion of public bathrooms and demand better and safer conditions for unsheltered people. You can learn more about our advocacy on our social media channels @pppswaction in the coming weeks!

Doula Pilot Program

We are proud to have also led an effort, along with community partners, to establish a doula pilot program for San Diego County. This program will expand access to doulas for people across the country in an effort to support better birth outcomes and fight against maternal health disparities. As we know, Black and Indigenous/Native women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that most pregnancy-related deaths (more than 60%) are preventable, and due to a variety of contributing factors, such as access to appropriate and high-quality care, missed or delayed diagnoses, and lack of knowledge among patients and providers around warning signs. Doulas can significantly improve health outcomes, decrease the number of C-sections, lower the rate of epidural and pain medication use, and save hospitals money. 

On March 1st, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific and the Invest in San Diego Families Coalition voiced our support for the Doula Access Pilot Program at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting. The program was unanimously passed by the four present Supervisors. We look forward to staying in contact with the office of First Five San Diego, which is overseeing the program and its implementation.

Training Future Candidates

In July 2021, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest, Inland Empire United,  the Inland Empire Leadership PAC, and California Environmental Voters, launched the Inland Empire Justice Leadership Academy, which identifies, trains, and supports community members and leaders — specifically progressive women, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and LGBTQ+ people—to run for office and/or manage winning electoral campaigns. The Inland Empire Justice Leadership Academy has successfully completed its first round of candidate training!

The program is offered to a select group of local leaders and trains them on everything they need to know to run, manage, and win a grassroots, values-based campaign—at no cost to the participants. If you are interested in running for office or would like to learn more about the process, reach out to Karen Borja at [email protected].


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