At the March 2, 2019 meeting, WISPPA membership voted to slightly change their name from Women Involved in South Pasadena Political Action to Women Involved in South Pasadena Political Activism.
Initially, there were some members who were concerned about the word “political” in their name and that it might be driving away new members. After a lengthy discussion, the membership overwhelmingly chose to keep the word “political”.
In a statement from the organization, they explained the multitude of reasons behind all this:
1) The primary definition of political is “relating to the government or the public affairs of a country, state or city”
2) WISPPA was formed initially 10 years ago because there was a lack of transparency in our city government and therefore WISPPA is by its very nature political.
3) WISPPA encourages women to be more involved in our government, whether it is on the city council or on a commission.
The name change from “action” to “activism” stems from the possible interpretation of political action meaning a PAC of some sort, which they are not.
More importantly, we believe activism more clearly describes what we do. We want the word activism to encompass “Awareness, Advocacy, AND Action. We are a group of women and men who have used direct and noticeable action to achieve a result – both political and social.
We do this by taking on state legislation such as the loophole for massage parlors that we helped close at the state level. Sometimes it just means informing as many people as possible about what is coming up at a City Council meeting, or digging into the background of a long-simmering construction project. We ask questions of movers and shakers who are integral to what is happening in our city right now. Whether it is the police chief, planning director, a developer, or the new president of the Huntington Library and Gardens, we get the inside scoop.
Although, we don’t endorse particular candidates, we believe in an informed and engaged electorate. We encourage qualified candidates, especially women, to develop their leadership skills and run for office. To that end, we publish up-to-date information about openings on city commissions and promote election forums. We also collaborate with and promote local groups that are making a difference in South Pasadena.
Lastly, we also keep a finger on the pulse of what is happening in town with a comprehensive calendar & events list, important city information and website links, issues page, etc.
So to summarize, yes we have made a slight change to our name but we are still WISPPA whose purpose is to push for accountability, integrity, and transparency in South Pasadena government, and to actively encourage strong, well-qualified candidates, and especially women, to run for City Council and to serve on City Commissions, to seek & offer opinions and advocate for positions concerning the well-being of the City of South Pasadena, and to provide information to the electorate regarding City Council candidates and city issues.