By Katrina Foley
Women of Orange County continue to shape our region dating back to the first female chief of the Acjachemen Nation, Coronne, who founded and led the village of Putuidem. Now, a statue of Coronne stands tall in the recently dedicated Putuidem Village Park in San Juan Capistrano’s Northwest Open Space.
In 2022, four in 10 Orange County elected officials were women, with women representing just under half of all elected officials serving in District 5 from sanitary board to Congress.
Forty-five women serve as judges, and the Orange County Business Council’s Community Indicators report shows that between 2021 and 2022, women-owned businesses increased 1.2% and the number of minority women-owned businesses increased by 5.2%.
As a small business owner myself, I love these stats. Much work remains for parity, but this month gives us the chance to celebrate the successes of women in our community.
This year’s Women’s History Month theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” One storyteller I want to highlight is our very own District 5 resident Vikki Vargas. Vikki, the veteran reporter and KNBC4 Orange County bureau chief, told the stories of our community for 40 years at KNBC4.
Her stories informed, exposed, and highlighted our community’s challenges, successes, and sad situations. Ms. Vargas retired last year, but she inspired many young women across the community through her storytelling ability, intelligence, and work ethic, so she deserves a highlight this month.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, I will host my second Women Making a Difference Awards. In line with the National Women’s History Month theme, we want to recognize women across all forms of media and storytelling.
Help us recognize these significant contributions made by women in District 5 by nominating women storytellers you know who work in print, radio, TV, stage, film, blogs, podcasts, news, social media, or the arts.
Help us celebrate Orange County’s long history of trailblazing women who share our stories. Then, join us for the awards ceremony and brunch on March 18, from 10 a.m.-noon, at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point.
Seats are limited, so RSVP today at tinyurl.com/D5-Women-Brunch-RSVP.
We’ll see you at the Festival of Whales this weekend in Dana Point!
Elected in 2022, Katrina Foley represents the Fifth Supervisorial District on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She was previously elected to serve the Second District from 2021-2022.