With the help of multiple generations of Island women, Mercer Island Mayor Debbie Bertlin proclaimed March 2018 as Women’s History Month and March 8 as International Women’s Day.
The city has celebrated Women’s Equality Day in August for the past few years. With the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the topic is especially relevant in 2018, especially as Mercer Island has women serving simultaneously as mayor and city manager for the first time in its history.
City Manager Julie Underwood is the first woman and person of color to hold the position, and was recently featured in the International City-County Management Association’s (ICMA) magazine, along with other women who are changing the face of local government.
Bertlin and Underwood presented the proclamation to Dr. Lisa Chin, Myra Lupton, Amanda Clark, Dana Berejka and Julia Graham at the City Council’s March 6 meeting.
Chin is the president/CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of King County, and chairs the board of Bellevue College. She has directed multiple organizations, including Year Up Puget Sound, a job training and internship program that helps low-income young adults with education and career opportunities, Jubilee Women’s Center in Seattle, a provider of transitional housing for homeless women, and the Threshold Group, a private wealth management firm.
Lupton and Clark are longtime community volunteers and advocates on Mercer Island; Lupton for Youth and Family Services and Clark for Friends of Luther Burbank Park, the Arts Council and the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, where she served as past president.
Berejka and Graham are two of the three co-presidents of the Gender Equality Club at Mercer Island High School.
The 2018 National Women’s History theme is “Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight Against All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” And this year, “International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change,” according to the proclamation.
The city’s proclamation “celebrates that American women of every race, class, and ethnic background have made historic contributions to the growth and strength of our nation and that International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.”
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The 2018 campaign theme, #PressforProgress, reflects the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings that gender parity is still over 200 years away.
See the city’s news release online for more.