In Memoriam: Light Two Candles

Henry Howard a fearless feminist, rockstar reproductive rights advocate and a dear friend shared his poem Light Two Candles at our April 2019 #MeToo event from his most recent book. He offered his book for sale, and in true Henry fashion, he donated the proceeds to our NOW chapter.

We are forever thankful, and we’ll miss you.

Light Two Candles

As Hannukah sends forth its light
To roll back the darkness in our lives,
Light two candles to drive away the shadows
In men’s and women’s lives.

Light one candle for the courage of women,
Who have lit their own way forward to the future.
Light one candle for the men in their lives
Who have shared the long and winding road,
Not leading the way, but walking as partners side by side.

Light one candle for every woman,
In the silence of sexual harassment or abuse,
Who is silent no more,
And whose steadfast voice
Shakes her chains of bondage loose.

Light one candle for every man
Who refuses to hide in an ivory tower,
And use gender or position
To make women cower.

Light one candle for every woman
Who speaks truth to power,
To call forth the power of Sisterhood.
And light one candle for every man
Who gives up his false power
To free both sexes—if he only would.

Light two candles side by side
For the bravest of both sexes who walk together,
Talk together, understand together,
And with one voice, as women and men,
Shout down the darkness with two little words:

~ Henry Howard

Letter to My Fierce Fighting Women Warriors

Hi, my fierce fighting women warriors. Like you, I am shocked, saddened, disbelieving, heartbroken, worried…did I say shocked?

Fortunately, I did some reading (HuffPost, Facebook, etc.) love/peace/belief/strength posts; heartfelt messages with friends…and I came to work to find realistic, tough, inspirational words from Pat Reuss, who sends the group email for NOW leaders. I will share these with you in the hope that it gives us strength for the fight ahead. Also, Russell Allan Johnson sent his sympathies and the hope that we can find responsible Republicans to work within the government. Hope springs eternal.

My feeling is that now more than ever, I am so proud to be president of our chapter, and I promise to do all I can going forward to make NOW, and women’s equality and rights, a reality in our lifetime and to secure its place after that as well! I have never been more galvanized to make a change, to make a difference, and we have momentum on our side. I want us to launch a membership drive for people of all ages to join and create change, and I want to have fundraisers for the many organizations, including NOW, that will need support.

With love and sisterhood, and the knowledge that we can do this, just as our foremothers in the suffragette movement did. ONWARD!


San Gabriel Valley-Whittier Now Stands with Planned Parenthood

San Gabriel-Whittier Valley NOW (SGVN NOW) has just donated again to Planned Parenthood to help it fight the latest round of attacks against it. On September 18, the House of Representatives voted to stop federal funding of Planned Parenthood’s preventive health care services, including breast cancer screening, for the millions of women across the nation who depend on them. Legislatures in five states have actually defunded Planned Parenthood after a video made by the “Center for Medical Progress” purported to show that the organization is selling fetal tissue for profit.

On September 22, the bill failed to get the 60 votes required to advance. The fight continues.

The “Center for Medical Progress,” an anti-choice group, secretly recorded the video and then “heavily edited and ‘significantly distort[ed] and misrepresent[ed] it,” according to Glenn Simpson, a partner at the research firm Fusion GPS, in a report submitted to the leadership in Congress. The mission of the Center for Medical Progress is to take away essential services, such as mammograms and birth control, and to ban abortion entirely.

SGVW NOW is a long-time supporter of Planned Parenthood; we will keep fighting for women’s health care.

Women’s Rights Museum Could Become Newest National Park

Fourteen female senators seek to designate the landmark Sewall-Belmont House.


WASHINGTON — Women who fought to earn their right to vote set the stage for a century of enfranchisement advocacy in the United States. The 14 Democratic women in the U.S. Senate introduced a bill on Thursday to designate the nation’s foremost museum of women’s suffrage as a national park.

If the bill passes, it would mean increased funding to pay for park rangers, expanded hours and crucial repairs to the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum in Washington, D.C.

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Protest of Closing of the Domestic Violence Court in West Covina

For Immediate Release
Contact: Darby Mangen (626) 918-0492, cell (626) 893-1275

San Gabriel Valley NOW and the East Los Angeles College Feminist Club will protest Friday against the arbitrary closing down of the Domestic Violence Court in West Covina.

The protest will be at 12:45 p.m. at the Citrus Courthouse, 1427 West Covina Pkwy, West Covina, 91790 along with a Punch and Judy show at 1:15, demonstrating what the decision will do to families.

The Domestic Violence Court, which was housed in both the West Covina and Rio Hondo courthouses, was a one-room courthouse providing all services to families in crisis from one judge, one prosecutor and one public defender. Its function was similar to the more recent drug courts, but for domestic violence offenders.

The court was a model for handling domestic violence and had won awards and much praise from community groups and office-holders because it insured that all court officers involved were highly experienced.

In dismantling the court, Judge Scott Gordon gave “judicial burn-out” as the reason.

Michelle Geil, President of the SGV chapter of NOW, said “Rotating the judges for a period of time, perhaps two years or two months, would keep the Model Court running. This change seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

The court will now disperse domestic violence cases throughout the court load, like any other crime.

The last time the court was threatened, in 1999, Supervisor Michael Antonovich wrote in a resolution, “Domestic violence is a complex social problem that affects each individual in society, either directly or indirectly. These costs are eventually passed on to the taxpayer…”

After the previous closing, the Model DV Court was re-opened in 2000.

For the last 15 years the Model DV Court has ensured experienced judges and attorneys, protection for victims and their children, treatment for abusers, reduction of recidivism and a saving for the state of millions of dollars.

“The lives of the victims are more important than the comfort of the judges,” said Darby Mangen, chapter president emeritus, who has been involved with the Model Court since its inception.