Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 6:53 am | Overcast 64º


Michelle Goldberg Traces Women’s Rights to Global Issues

Planned Parenthood Action Fund's annual fundraiser brings out Santa Barbara's political-erati

With Santa Barbara’s election season in full swing, local political royalty, human rights advocates and fashionistas alike gathered Sunday night to delve into the intricate concerns surrounding the battle for reproductive freedom.

Michelle Goldberg
Michelle Goldberg

This year, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties’ annual Politics, Sex & Cocktails fundraiser featured journalist Michelle Goldberg as its keynote speaker. The nonprofit advocacy organization baited attendees at the Montecito Country Club with prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, white wine ... and colored condoms.

In her provocative new book, The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World, Goldberg addresses a wide range of human rights issues, exposes a global battle over women’s reproductive rights, and explains why addressing these issues could be the first step to overcoming many major international problems.

Interviewed by UCSB political science professor Gayle Binion, a researcher of principles for equality across lines of gender, race and class, Goldberg’s passionate lecture connected worldwide issues such as population control and national security, human rights and religious conflict.

Former Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, helped raise several thousand dollars for the Action Fund by emceeing the abnormal auction of see-through satchels and cosmetic bags lined with rainbow-hued rubbers.

Joked Jackson, “Come on people, it could be a good conversation starter! Or in a good fundamentalist home, a conversation ender.”

Among those in attendance were several current and hopeful Santa Barbara politicians: City Council members Grant House, who is running for re-election, and Helene Schneider, who is running for mayor, along with council candidates Dianne Channing and Bendy White. Also in attendance was a cardboard cutout of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Although attendance was slightly lower this year, the Action Fund reached out to young people, offering students sponsored tickets to attend. Of the 170 people who turned out, organizers said about 25 were under age 30.

“We were very well supported by our founders, the sponsors, the donors and the community ... in spite of the economic downturn,” Christine Lyon, the Action Fund’s vice president, said Monday. “We are very pleased with the results.

“We want to give credit to the volunteers ... they’re the ones in charge of overseeing this event and worked very hard to make it a success,” she said.

Sponsors included Jackson, Nancy Brown and Betty Stevens.

Click here for more information on the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Noozhawk intern Rachel Urbach can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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