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Published November 9th, 2022
NCL hosts 'Civics for Teen Girls' event
NCL Acalanes and Lamorinda Chapters hosted a panel of local elected officials, from left: Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, District Attorney Diana Becton, Lafayette School Board Trustee Suzy Pak, Orinda Council Member Amy Worth, Moraga Town Council Vice Mayor Renata Sos, and Orinda School Board Vice President Hillary Weiner. Photo Shirley DeFrancisci

Over 200 teen girls from Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda filled the stands of the Miramonte High School gymnasium Oct. 23. They were not there to cheer for a sporting event; rather, these girls came together to attend Lamorinda's first-ever "Non-Partisan Civics for Teen Girls" event, to hear from inspiring local female elected officials in Contra Costa County about the importance of being engaged and informed citizens.
The Acalanes and Lamorinda Chapters of National Charity League (NCL) organized this informative panel discussion, and hope the success of this event can serve as a blueprint for other NCL chapters across the nation to encourage more girls to share their voice and become engaged in our political process. Abigail Weiner, a student from Miramonte High School and member of NCL, shared why her chapter helped organize the event: "It is important for young women to participate in voting in order to share a new and younger generation's perspective and to express their opinions and have a say in the political world."
The panel included District Attorney Diana Becton, the first woman and person of color to serve as Contra Costa District Attorney since the office was established in 1850; Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, the current 16th California Assembly District representative; Suzy Pak, a trustee on the Lafayette School Board; Renata Sos, a member of the Moraga Town Council and vice mayor; Hillary Weiner, current Vice President of the Orinda Union School District Board of Trustees; and Amy Worth, Orinda City Council member and former mayor who has served for 24 years.
Kay Lankford and Kirstin Parker, both seniors at Miramonte High School and members of NCL, served as the afternoon's emcees. They encouraged panelists to share their experiences as women in the political world and fielded questions from the audience. Questions included, "Why is it important for women to hold elected office?" and "What is the hardest and most rewarding part of your job?" The panelists shared their inspiring stories of how and why they entered politics, and described the unique skills and perspectives that women bring to the political process. They also appealed to the teen girls in the audience to get involved in local issues by attending city council and school board meetings, joining committees, interning, and letting their elected representatives know - via calls and emails, presentations, and other means - what issues matter to them. Girls 16 years and older were invited to pre-register to vote at www.registertovote.ca.gov.
In addition to attending the panel discussion of local elected leaders, the teen attendees worked together by class to make several hundred patriotic zipper pulls for soldiers, as requested by NCL philanthropy partner Blue Star Moms. Blue Star Moms is a national, non-political, Congressionally chartered veteran service organization that has been supporting troops since 1960.
National Charity League is a national philanthropic organization of mothers and daughters committed to philanthropy, culture, and leadership. NCL donates close to three million hours annually to over 6,000 charities in the United States. The Acalanes and Lamorinda chapters are composed of approximately 250 girls in 7th-12th grades, and their mothers. For more information, visit nationalcharityleague.org.

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