Elizabeth Toledo was a national leader in feminist politics and had a strong record of public speaking, media appearances and grassroots organizing when she was elected Vice President - Action of NOW in July 1997. She was the first Latina to hold this position. She previously served as President of the California chapter of NOW, where she organized its most diverse board of directors.
A strong history of grassroots organizing brought Toledo to the national level. She gave speeches at major rallies and political events, participated in debates at clubs and universities, regularly lectured at universities, and had extensive media experience.
While in California, Toledo organized marches and rallies with reported attendance ranging from 100,000 to zap actions with a few dozen protestors. She organized clinic defense at women's health centers, clothesline projects to highlight issues of violence against women, and protests at political party conventions. Her legislative experience included campaigns about family law, childcare funding, funding for violence prevention and treatment, civil rights protections, domestic partner and gay and lesbian marriage rights, reproductive rights and other women's health concerns, punitive welfare measures, and the broad range of feminist issues.
Toledo headed grassroots efforts in California in opposition to the anti-affirmative action ballot initiative, and was a national spokesperson on this subject. She had extensive hands-on experience with coalition organizing. She organized several Elect Women for a Change campaigns in California, which helped mobilize women voters to elect candidates ranging from the U.S. Senate to local school districts. She served on NOW's national PAC. She ran feminist campaigns against the California Governor's unsuccessful punitive welfare measure in 1992, and organized feminist opposition to the anti-immigration measure in 1994.
Toledo initiated the Redefining Liberation Project, a national effort to combat dangerous advertising messages by the tobacco, fashion, and alcohol industries. She was a co-plaintiff and leader in the successful effort to force California's public universities to offer equitable athletic opportunities to women. She co-produced two feminist documentaries.
Toledo attended Mills College a women's college and finished her undergraduate studies at St. Mary's College.
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