THOMPSON HONORS GAYE LEBARON AS SONOMA COUNTY’S WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Washington, D.C. – In recognition of Women’s History Month, U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-5) recognized Gaye LeBaron as Sonoma County’s Woman of the Year. LeBaron was one of five women recognized. One woman from each of the five counties that make up the Fifth Congressional District was honored.
“I regularly have the privilege to work with extraordinary women across our district. It’s important that they are recognized – and what better time to do it than Women’s History Month,” said Thompson. “Gaye is a leading historian and a pillar of the community. I’ve had the privilege to know and work with her since I first ran for public office. She is an extraordinary individual and it’s my honor to recognize her as Sonoma County’s Woman of the Year.”
LeBaron is a renowned columnist for the Press Democrat newspaper, the best known historian of Sonoma County, and has been prolifically telling the story of our county, with over eight thousand articles published. Her influence and acclaim have grown over the years because of this focus and the level of trust she has built with the general public through her constancy. She’s worked for the Press Democrat for 45 years.
The origins of Women’s History Month begin in Thompson’s district. Until the late 1970’s, women’s history was rarely included in K-12 curriculum and was virtually absent in public awareness.
To counter this, the Education Taskforce of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978 centered on International Women’s History Day. With the help of the National Women’s History Project, founded in Sonoma County, thousands of schools and communities joined in the commemoration of Women’s History Week.
In 1981, Congress responded to the growing popularity of Women’s History Week by making it a national observance and eventually expanding the week to a month in 1987.
Earlier this month, Thompson introduced H. RES. 525, a bipartisan resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives honoring March as Women’s History Month.
The women recognized were:
· Cynthia Guzman – Napa County Woman of the Year
· Pamela Phillips – Lake County Woman of the Year
· Gaye LeBaron – Sonoma County Woman of the Year
· Karen Taylor – Solano County Woman of the Year
· Maureen Toms – Contra Costa County Woman of the Year
Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.
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