Shirl Mendonca: Indivisible Women get involved in political process |

Shirl Mendonca: Indivisible Women get involved in political process

Shirl Mendonca

Indivisible Women of Nevada County is a results-oriented collective of local women who are committed to engaging more fully at local, state and national levels to transform our political process. More than 500 local women, including at least 20 women who I recognized from Lake Wildwood and the greater Penn Valley area, came together on Feb. 27 for the IWNC meeting at the Miner's Foundry to learn from each other about how to get involved in the political process.

Nationwide, Indivisible Women has mushroomed since January and now includes over 5,000 groups. Locally, IWNC is a place where local women can become informed, get involved, be supported, and become inspired. With over 2,300 members and growing, the group is very active locally but is also working with the national level and other local groups from Auburn to Yuba City.

Indivisible Women of Nevada County is organized by interest teams and each team is member led and member funded if needed. Current teams include: reaching across the aisle, women's rights, education, environmental action, equal rights for all, gun safety, healthcare reform, LaMalfa action, political reform, and media/outreach.

Three Penn Valley/Lake Wildwood women are key team participants. Sharon O'Hara, is a board member for Citizens for Choice and is one of the core leaders in the women's rights group. Janis Bumgarner is a former labor attorney and is a core member in the Equality for All group with a focus on immigration issues. Amanda Wilcox, Penn Valley, is a legislative advocate in Sacramento for The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and also leader of the Nevada County Chapter; she is one of the core leaders for the gun safety group.

All women are welcome to get involved with any team(s) that interests them. More information is available at or on Facebook at Indivisible Women Nevada County.

There is also The Indivisible Guide that was created by former congressional staffers to serve as a resource to all individuals who would like to more effectively participate in the democratic process. It also serves as an inspiring model for rural women, and women who have never before engaged in political action, to find their voice in a new way. Go to the internet and Google The Indivisible Guide to find the download.

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Western Gateway Park

Does anyone notice anything new on Highway 20? Driving from Grass Valley to Marysville on Highway 20 has always been a peaceful, rural drive with only a few businesses and lots and lots of greenery. Any signage was either at a business or announcing a local event.

But that may be changing.

Recently, I noticed 16 mini billboard/banners advertising local businesses all along one of the ball-field fences at Western Gateway Park.

Over the years, I have written a number of columns featuring Western Gateway Park and, each time, one of the key selling points by park staff has always been that the park was devoid of advertising and vendors. About five weeks ago, I talked to a board member at the park who was unaware of the current advertising or of any advertising policy (old or new), but would look into it; and the gentleman handling the ball fields has not returned my call.

While I am totally supportive of the park and of our local businesses, could this be the tipping point for advertising all along Highway 20? Is that what we want in this beautiful rural area? It may be as simple as getting the park to require that all banners be on white background and face into the ball fields instead of facing the road.

If you are concerned, please call Western Gateway Park at 432-1990 to voice your opinion.

Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood or Penn Valley? Contact Shirl Mendonca at

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