Four women with UC Berkeley ties changed California politics forever

Friday, October 2, 2020

It was a year of challenge and turmoil: an overseas war, a deadly pandemic, a damaging economic shock. The U.S. Congress was polarized and paralyzed. Across the nation, conflict flared over political rights and equality and led to protest leaders being arrested and jailed; some began hunger strikes.

The year was 1918, and the protesters were pressing for the right of women to vote. In California, women had won suffrage seven years earlier, and as that year’s election campaign unfolded, a number of local political races were focused on overcoming the barriers that had kept women from the state Legislature.

When the polls closed that Nov. 5, four women had won their contests. And as they prepared to take office as the first women ever to serve in the California Assembly, the reputation of the University of California’s Berkeley campus as a center of innovative political thinking and influence was reinforced up and down the state, and across much of the nation. Click here to continue reading full story..

By Edward Lempinen