It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.
— Madeleine Albright

Message from founder and president Joanna Weiss:

WE DID IT! We flipped the House. Some of us had never been politically active before 2016. Some of us had been engaged in politics for decades. Yet, together as WAVE, we developed our voice and engaged women in politics in Orange County like never before. We worked as a team, as an army of activists. We registered voters, we canvassed, we phone- and text-banked, and we got out the vote in record numbers. We were educated, informed, and empowered, and we educated, informed, and empowered others. We also did the hard work necessary to effect the change we want to see. Not all the change, but we’re just getting started. We championed that love, civility, and intelligence must triumph over hatred, bigotry, and fear. And wouldn’t you know it? As the exit polls and results revealed, women made the difference and, in record numbers, women will be serving in Congress! In flipping the House, we will have a check and balance on this Administration. We congratulate our newly-elected leaders and hope that they will display the bravery and vision to protect and advance our country. 

Elections test us and they teach us. We will be scrutinizing the election results closely. What we know now is that there are many signs of success and hope emanating from the results, including the Rust Belt of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin electing Democratic governors, Massachusetts voting to protect transgender rights, 40 women of color elected to the House, 1 to the Senate and 1 as Governor, and Colorado electing the nation's first openly gay male governor. Undoubtedly, these victories indicate that the progressive values and ethics we advance are taking root and being embraced by others throughout the country. Close to home, and buoyed by extremely dedicated WAVE volunteers, we celebrate that Mike Levin flipped the 49th, and Harley Rouda defied the odds and is poised to carry the 48th! We are incredibly proud of these outstanding leaders, as well as the remarkable local candidates who bravely answered the call to serve and ran for public office. We are holding out hope for better news on Katie Porter's and Gil Cisneros' races as approximately 400,000 ballots are left to be counted in Orange County. (We will be sending updates about all our endorsed candidates' election results in the next few days as more races are called.) Our own Cottie Petrie-Norris' race is too close to call, but initial numbers look promising. WAVE members Toni Iseman and Tiffany Ackley won their Laguna Beach and Aliso Viejo city council races! Member Beatriz "Betty" Valencia ran an inspiring race and, while she did not prevail at the polls, already has laced up her red sneakers and is thinking about 2020. 

Just maybe the greatest success story of yesterday was our full engagement in the process and in doing the work necessary to promote positive change. The race to the finish may have tested us, but we were up for the challenge because we were prepared for it, having built up our strength and stamina. After all, our work did not begin during the post-primary election push, but started in earnest in December 2016. We immediately saw the looming darkness and determined to be the light. Together as WAVE we crafted a compelling mission and pushed ourselves to new bounds. As the days moved on, we leveraged our strength and our empathy for others, and we learned to fight to ensure that our country is the best version of itself. We committed to lifting up each other, our communities, and our country. 

As President Obama stated this morning: “The change we need won’t come from one election alone – but it is a start.” We know that the work of WAVE transcends election cycles and results. There is so much more to be done and this work, the work of uplifting others, our communities, and our nation, occurs in between elections and it is when we are needed most. So our work now carries on! We do so with greater hope and optimism that America is stronger and safer (and saner) today than it felt Monday, and with the responsibility that there is so much more for us to do on this journey towards progress. 

Onward and upward!


Footage from Make Waves fundraiser with Chelsea Handler and Congresspersons, Karen Bass & Ted Lieu

We engage, educate and empower our members to advance progressive American values and ethics.


WAVE is —

A nonpartisan group of women from Southern California who are bound by a shared desire to uphold American values and ethics.

A diverse group of individuals from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, religions, and political affiliations.

Professionals in the fields of education and research, medicine and healthcare, law, business and entrepreneurship, innovation and technology, finance, information and communication, arts and sciences, and philanthropy and social work.

Dedicated to our mission of affecting change through political action on a local, state and national level.




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