Newsletter: Do you know these women?

News Date

This is the month when we see a lot in our social media feeds about women who have changed the world. But as we celebrate Women’s History Month, what about the women who are making things better in San Diego, right here and right now? 

I took some time to honor some truly remarkable women who are creating positive change every day — here in our County and beyond.

These “Women of Impact” award winners are fearless women who are out here doing great things, making a mark on society, breaking barriers and inspiring others.

Yes, Skateboarding is for Girls!

Falling down and getting back up again – this not only perfectly describes the grind of skateboarding, but it also encapsulates the experience of being a woman. We’re constantly getting knocked down, but we don’t let that stop us!

That’s one of the reasons why on Monday I honored three Olympic skateboarders who live right here in San Diego County.

Growing up in San Diego, skateboarding and surfing were definitely not considered “girl sports.” I know a lot of girls grew up thinking, “skating sounds fun,” but were told it wasn’t for them. 

These three women are breaking stereotypes and being fantastic ambassadors for our hometown in the process, all while empowering other women through their leadership and athletic feats:

Jordyn Barratt was on the USA National Olympic Skateboarding team in 2017 and 2018, and is one of the world’s first skateboarding Olympians. This Encinitas resident is currently ranked 18th in the world. She’s also been competing in San Diego’s Exposure Events since 2013 and is a volunteer instructor for Exposure Skate’s Skate Rising events since 2018. 

Bryce Wettstein is a 2019 and 2021 USA National Champion in women’s skateboarding, and is currently ranked 9th in the world in women’s park skateboarding. This Encinitas resident was on the inaugural USA Olympic Skateboarding team and one of the world’s first skateboarding Olympians. She’s also been competing in San Diego’s Exposure Skate events since 2012. 

Amelia Brodka is the world’s first Polish olympic skateboarder and co-founded Exposure Skate in 2012 to empower women, trans and nonbinary individuals through skateboarding. She’s the 2017 and 2018 Women’s Skateboard Park European Champion and has been putting on programs in San Diego for 12 years, including the world's largest women’s skateboarding event.

Community Leaders Creating Change

During our last Board of Supervisors meeting, I also honored three Women of Impact who have been fearless in their commitment to helping our region tackle some of its biggest challenges, including protecting our environment, defending reproductive freedom, and helping the homeless.

Mayor Paloma Aguirre

Mayor Aguirre was elected as the first Latina councilmember of Imperial Beach in 2018 and has been a strong leader in environmental conservation and in her work restoring the Tijuana River Valley. She has been an amazing partner in fighting to get Washington D.C. and Mexico City to take action to fix the border sewage crisis!

Vernita Gutierrez

Vernita is a long-time community activist with over 30 years of experience advocating for social justice and the advancement of reproductive health and rights in San Diego. With women’s rights being stripped away by the Supreme Court and in states across the nation, her advocacy for the right to choose is more important than ever.

Katie Hildebrand

Katie has overcome significant challenges and quickly rose to become the lead program manager at People Assisting The Homeless (PATH), overseeing the trauma-informed, person-centered street outreach that is  essential to helping San Diegans experiencing homelessness. As we work to move people off the streets and into care and housing, her efforts are having a direct impact in our neighborhoods. 

All the women I mentioned here have been an inspiration to a lot of folks, of all ages, including me! They are not just inspiring the next generation of young women here in San Diego County – they’re doing it on a global scale.

But we don’t have to be mayors or medalists to have an impact. Women are changing the world every day, and I hope you can take a moment this month to recognize the amazing women in your life who are making differences big and small.

In service,