L.A. Activists Aim to Make National Conference Special

by Judith Meuli, Los Angeles NOW President

Los Angeles NOW is honored and elated to be the host chapter for the historic 1999 NOW Conference. What a marvelous opportunity to organize and empower all of us to meet the challenges of the coming Millennium.

Adding a new component to the conference, Los Angeles NOW is staging a NOW Pioneer Reunion, chaired by long-time activist, Ivy Bottini, founding president of NOW's New York City Chapter. Bottini designed NOW's national logo in 1969. The Pioneer Reunion, a symposium of multi-generational feminists is designed to share wisdom and vision among NOW's elder stateswomen, other early feminists, and current and future leaders. If you know a pioneer activist, encourage them to contact Bottini via e-mail at irene71@aol.com and to attend the conference.

Kirsten Hall, L.A. NOW member in charge of recruiting Young Feminists (krstnhal@aolcom), is coordinating the college campus/Women's Studies outreach so that young leadership will be represented at the conference and symposium.

This year—1999—is a symbolic time to assess NOW as an organization and feminism as a movement—introducing older feminists to the next waves of the movement’s leadership, honoring the past century and moving into the future.

You can contact the local conference organizers as follows:

The Los Angeles NOW Conference Planning Committee is chaired by L.A. NOW president, Judith Meuli, also a pioneer NOW activist. Meuli, a founding member of Los Angeles NOW and co-author of "The Feminist Chronicles,"  can be reached at Meuli@aol.com.

Entertainment chair, Barbara Pepe, has suggested to the national officers several possible comics for Friday night, July 2, and bands for Saturday night, July 3. There are also plans for an Artist Access venue where in addition to those who have contacted us to perform (read, sing, play, speak, paint, show films or videos), people can sign up on site for a slot on the Artist Access program. Contact Pepe at punkinp@aol.com.

Pioneer activist and past L.A. NOW president, Shelly Mandell, is coordinating the chapter's recommendations to the National Action Center for speakers. Mandell is a V.P. of L.A. NOW.

Los Angeles NOW pioneer and ERA activist and "Missionary" is Susan Van Trees. She is gathering marvelous items for the NOW/PAC auction. Come with money to bid (credit cards accepted) because you will not want to miss some of these collector’s items, TV walk-ons, scripts, and trips.

The local Theme and Workshop Committees are chaired by Patricia Bellasalma. Bellasalma, a V.P. of Los Angeles NOW, will pass on recommendations for workshop topics and presenters to the National Action Center.  She can be e-mailed at pattyab@earthlink.net.

Bertha Contreras, a new NOW member and young feminist, is coordinating the ad sales for the program book. If you want to place an ad or tribute, contact her by email at berthacontreras@hotmail.com.

The local Public Relations/Outreach Committee is chaired by Jean Stapleton, another veteran member of L.A. NOW and a past L.A. NOW president in the 70s. Stapleton worked on PR at the 1971 conference in Los Angeles and was PR chair for the 1979 NOW conference in L.A. She teaches journalism at a local college and her students will be working with her. She can be
reached at js4elac@aol.com.

The Equipment and Supplies coordinator is Don Cannon. If you can donate computers or other equipment for conference use, please e-mail him at dcannon1@ix.netcom.com.

There will be many other jobs at the conference so if you wish to help out, check with Volunteer Coordinator Mary Jo Cysewski when you arrive or e-mail her at mjcysewski@mediaone.net.

Anyone in Southern California who wishes to volunteer or network, is invited to attend L.A. NOW’s general meeting, held the second Thursday of every month at the Sony Entertainment Plaza 10202 Washington Blvd (Culver City) at 7:00 p.m. Write Los Angeles NOW, 11301 W. Olympic Blvd., #547, Los Angeles, CA90064 (losangNOW@aol.com) or  call our chapter office (310)312-1185 for more information.

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