Democratic Activists
for Women



DAWN is a Democratic organization whose primary purpose is to assist in the election of Democratic, progressive, pro-choice women (& men) to elected & appointed office, and to advocate for policies and actions that protect the rights of women locally, nationally, and abroad.


Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am? It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title. I'd appreciate it."

Barbara Boxer


Our Herstory

In 1992, many women were inspired by the Senatorial campaign of then-Congresswoman Barbara Boxer. Many of these women had never been involved in politics before; to use a common expression, they had come out of the woodwork to volunteer on her campaign. They propelled her to success, first in the June Democratic primary over Lieutenant Governor Leo McCarthy, Representative Mel Levine, and Charles Greene, and then in the November general election over Republican Bruce Herschensohn. Having tasted victory and experienced their own power for the first (and second) time, they did not want to go back into the woodwork.

So after the victory celebrations, after Senator-elect Boxer had been sworn into office, after a much needed rest, on Sunday, January 24 1993, these women gathered, as they had so many times during the campaign, at the Sunnyvale home of Willie Wool, to decide where they would go from here. Using the working title of the Gender Gap Committee, they decided on their goal: they wanted to form a local organization with the primary purpose of electing women to public office.

They then had to decide what form this organization would take. They could become a chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC), except that there already was a Santa Clara County chapter of NWPC. They could become a chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), except that there already were local chapters of NOW in the area. A local Democratic activist (male, as it happened) who had worked side by side with these women during the Boxer campaign suggested that the niche they could fill could be that of a county-wide Democratic Club with the focus of electing women, sort of a local Emily's List.

The rest, as we say, is herstory.


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